Reasons to visit Scotland’s 8 cities

Spot wild dolphins, climb mountains and discover fascinating history. These are just some exciting things you can do in and around Scotland’s incredible cities.

So if you’re planning a trip and need some inspiration, check out our top reasons to visit Scotland below!


Spot dolphins in Aberdeen

One of Scotland’s most underrated cities, there are plenty of exciting things to see and do here. From spotting dolphins in the harbour, admiring the striking architecture and discovering the cosmopolitan side of this east coast city by the sea. Wandering the cobbled streets of Old Aberdeen will take you past the cathedral-like grandeur of King’s College and the Cruickshank Botanic Garden. And the city’s restaurants have fantastic local produce to play with too. Delicious Aberdeen Angus beef and fresh seafood dishes await at locations such as the Silver Darling Restaurant.

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Cycle along the River Tay in Dundee

Dundee is a UNESCO City of Design, home to the hotly anticipated V&A Dundee. A stroll or bike ride along the River Tay provides splendid waterside views and where you will pass some of the city’s top sites and attractions. Walk further to reach Broughty Ferry, a quaint and charming seaside town. Visit Scale Dundee Law, where you can enjoy views over Dundee, across the river and beyond. There are lots of places where you can explore the city’s rich history, such as Discovery Point and Verdant Works.

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Wakeboarding in Dunfermline

Up until the 17th century, Dunfermline was the royal capital of of Scotland and stood as one of its oldest settlements. Today, besides glimpses into its intriguing history, it offers many thrilling activities. Culture-vultures will love visiting Dunfermline Abbey and Dunfermline Palace. For adrenaline junkies, Townhill Loch is one of the best places in the UK to try out and learn some watersports, such as wakeboarding! If you need to re-fuel after all that activity, then head to the Ceramic cafe for a coffee, cake and some pottery-making!

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Experience the Edinburgh Fringe

Edinburgh thrives in the summertime when the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festivals takes place, and if you want a break from all the hustle and bustle of the festival, you can climb Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park, which offers a birds-eye view of the city. Calton Hill is also a fascinating place for a walk. It is home to a cacophony of monuments, the soon-to-be-open Collective gallery, and some of the city’s finest panoramic views. For the foodies, you’ll find four of Scotland’s Michelin Star Restaurants and quintessentially Scottish delights like The Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh Gin Distillery and Six by Nico. For history buffs, check out Duddingston Loch and the medieval ruins of St Anthony’s Chapel. Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Yacht Britannia and The Palace of Holyroodhouse.

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Wander through the 90 parks and gardens in Glasgow

Did you know that the name Glasgow means ‘dear green place’? It’s no surprise as it’s home to over 90 parks and gardens, making it the perfect place to be on a summer’s day. Explore the Heritage Trail through Glasgow Botanic Gardens and return to the tea room for refreshments Cool down at Crolla’s Gelateria, or head to the pub for a pint. Enter The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture, to explore the exhibitions, visit the Mackintosh Centre, and take in the city from the viewing platform.

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Follow the Public Art Trail in Perth

Perth is Scotland’s newest city and is located on the River Tay banks. Follow the River Tay Public Art Trail to find specially commissioned sculptures along the way, each inspired by Perth’s history and natural landscapes. Dine-in restaurants such as The Bothy and Tabla and browse the fantastic selection of goods in Provender Brown, an award-winning delicatessen. For those keen on walking, you can stroll through the woods up Kinnoull Hill for various viewpoints, including views across the city and along the River Tay. The clifftop Kinnoull Tower is an awe-inspiring sight. For other entertainment, you can visit Perth Museum and Art Gallery, Black Watch Museum, Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre.

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Discover Loch Lomond and The Trossachs Nation Park surrounding Stirling

Outdoor lovers flock to Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park on its doorstep. Dumyat, at the end of the Ochil hill range, is a lovely walk that rewards views across the River Forth. Once you’ve worked up a thirst, head to the historic pubs, including Nicky-Tams, and great lunch spots like Cisco’s. And if you’re hungry, check out Port Street for the local farmers’ market. If you have the energy, you can also trek up the 246 steps to the top of The National Wallace Monument to be treated to incredible views over the city. History buffs will love Stirling Castle, the site of the Battle of Bannockburn and the Old Town Jail open to visitors.

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Enjoy 360 views atop Inverness Castle

Known as the ‘capital of the highlands, Inverness is the ideal base for exploring the surrounding area and has plenty of attractions. Go upstream along the River Ness by foot or cycle and cross the footbridge to the beautiful Ness Islands. Keen walkers can continue to the Caledonian Canal. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, treat yourself to seasonal dishes at the Kitchen Brasserie, or sit back, relax and listen to traditional Scottish music at the award-winning Hootenanny pub. The breathtaking Inverness Castle in the city centre offers excellent 360-degree views along the River Ness. The city is also home to the majestic Inverness Cathedral, the age-old Victorian Market and Fort George.

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