Welcome to Inverness, a beautiful city located in the Scottish Highlands known for its stunning scenery, rich history, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, or just looking for a relaxed holiday, Inverness is sure to offer something that suits your interests. In this blog post, we’ll highlight some of the best attractions and things to do in Inverness, so you can make the most of your time in this captivating city. From exploring ancient castles to hiking in picturesque landscapes, Inverness has it all. So, let’s get started!
The 7 Best Things To Do Alone Inverness
- Glen Affric Culloden and Clava Cairns Small Group Tour from Inverness
- Wednesday Tour Fort William and Glencoe
- 3 Day Orkney Explorer Small Group Tour from Inverness
- Lewis Harris and the Outer Hebrides 3 Day Small Group Tour from Inverness
- Isle of Skye and the Fairy Pools Tour
- From Inverness Loch Ness Cruise Urquhart Castle
- City Sightseeing Inverness Hop on Hop Off Tour
The 7 Best Things To Do Alone Inverness
1. Glen Affric Culloden and Clava Cairns Small Group Tour from Inverness
Explore some of Scotland’s most magnificent Highland scenery on this day tour from Inverness. This small-group tour (max 16 people) will take you to multiple top attractions without the hassle of driving or navigating public transport. Get ready to visit the haunting Culloden battlefield, the ancient Clava Cairns, and take a peaceful walk through the stunning Glen Affric.
During the tour, you’ll learn all about local history and culture from your knowledgeable guide, who will ensure that you travel in comfort by a top of the range Mercedes mini-coach. Admission fees to some of the attractions are included in the tour price (from 1st April 2023, Culloden Museum and Battlefield will be included). However, food and drinks are not included, and gratuities are also not covered.
The meeting point is located at 87 A, so be sure to plan accordingly. Don’t miss the opportunity to see multiple Highland attractions in just one day!
2. Wednesday Tour Fort William and Glencoe
This full-day guided tour of the Scottish Highlands takes you from Inverness to Loch Ness and to the haunting landscape of Glencoe, spectacular Glenfinnan Viaduct, and Ben Nevis. With a small-group tour (max. eight), you’ll have the opportunity to upgrade to a private tour. Your friendly driver will welcome you aboard our distinctive minibus outside Highland House of Fraser Scottish Visitors Centre on 4 Huntly Street, and guide you through the Scottish history. Check off multiple top attractions from Loch Ness to the Glenfinnan Monument. The tour starts at 8:30 AM and ends back at the meeting point at 4 Huntly St.
3. 3 Day Orkney Explorer Small Group Tour from Inverness
Explore the hidden gems of the Orkney Islands on this 3-day small-group tour from Inverness. Leave the hassle of driving to your knowledgeable guide and travel aboard a luxurious, air-conditioned 16-seat Mercedes mini-coach. Discover prehistoric sites, a stunning red sandstone coast, and charming fishing villages that are off the beaten path. With a maximum of 16 guests, this tour ensures a personalized experience. Enjoy two nights of accommodations with private facilities in a B&B or 3-star hotel, and round-trip transportation from Inverness. Admission fees to Maeshowe and Skara Brae are also included starting from April 1st, 2023. Food, drinks, and gratuities are not included. Meet at the meeting point located at 87 Ardross St. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable Orkney Island adventure.
4. Lewis Harris and the Outer Hebrides 3 Day Small Group Tour from Inverness
Venture out to one of Scotland’s wildest destinations with this 3-day small-group tour from Inverness to the Isle of Lewis and Harris. Travel in a top-of-the-range 16-seat Mercedes mini-coach and visit small villages such as Stornoway, Harris and Great Bernera. Learn about the rich history of the island, including its Viking past, and admire the picturesque scenery before heading back to Inverness. Your tour includes 2 nights en-suite accommodation with breakfast included (B&B or 3-star Hotel), admission fee to Arnol Blackhouse (starting from April 1st, 2023), and round-trip ferry to the Outer Hebrides. Food and drinks, gratuities, and hotel pickup and drop-off are not included, ensuring a more personalized experience. Don’t miss out on exploring the rugged coastline, beautiful beaches, and imposing mountains of Lewis Harris and the Outer Hebrides.
5. Isle of Skye and the Fairy Pools Tour
Explore the stunning Isle of Skye and the magical Fairy Pools on this private tour from Inverness. This exclusive tour is personalized to your interests and takes you to the most beautiful locations on the Isle of Skye, including the famous Fairy Pools and Talisker Distillery. Along the way, you’ll also stop at Loch Ness and Eilean Donan Castle. With private transportation and a friendly driver, you’ll have the flexibility to make the most of your limited time in the Scottish Highlands. The tour starts at 10 Huntly St Inverness and ends back at the meeting point. Don’t miss this opportunity to see the top attractions of the Isle of Skye on this private tour.
6. From Inverness Loch Ness Cruise Urquhart Castle
Cruise on Loch Ness and visit Urquhart Castle on this coach and boat tour that takes you directly from Inverness city centre to the legendary Loch Ness. A live tour guide on the coach will provide you with all the interesting facts about the stirring past of these famous shores, and you can relax on the guided coach tour.
Once you arrive at Loch Ness, hop on board a boat to cruise across the Loch’s world-famous waters. Keep an eye on the sonars for a blip that could be Nessie. You’ll also get to explore the ruins of the historic Urquhart Castle.
The tour includes transportation from Inverness, admission to Urquhart Castle, a 30-minute Loch Ness boat cruise, and return transportation by coach from Inverness city centre. Snacks and drinks can be purchased on the coach. However, the tour is not suitable for people with mobility impairments.
7. City Sightseeing Inverness Hop on Hop Off Tour
Explore historic Inverness along the banks of the lovely River Ness on this hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour. With a 24-hour pass, create your own adventure with 11 possible stops including Abertarff House, Caledonian Canal, Merkinch Nature Reserve, and Inverness Castle. As you travel via double-decker coach, learn about the city’s history and culture from your expert guide. See top attractions like Inverness Castle, Eden Court Theater, Gaelic Church, Tomnahurich Hill, and Whin Park at your own pace and create a personalized sightseeing itinerary. Your ticket includes recorded audio commentary, and vouchers are valid for 12 months. The tour departs daily from 10:00 AM to 04:00 PM. Encompassed by verdant hills and majestic waterways, Inverness is known for its charming Old Town, historical landmarks, and stunning natural scenery.
Frequently Asked Questions About InvernessAs the cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness is one of the most popular destinations in Scotland for tourists. From its rich history to the stunning natural landscapes, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Inverness that will help you plan your trip.
What is the best time of year to visit Inverness?
The best time to visit Inverness is during the summer months, between May and September, when the weather is mild and the days are long. This is also the peak tourist season in Inverness, so make sure to book your accommodations and tours in advance.
What are the must-see tourist attractions in Inverness?Inverness is filled with many fascinating attractions to explore. Some of the top attractions include:
- Inverness Castle – a beautiful 19th-century castle that is now used as a courthouse and administrative center
- Loch Ness – the famous lake that is home to the legendary Loch Ness Monster
- Culloden Battlefield – the site of the historic battle between the Jacobites and the British in 1746
- Urquhart Castle – a stunning castle ruins situated on the shores of Loch Ness
- Whisky Distilleries – several local distilleries offer tours and tastings of their world-renowned Scottish whisky
What outdoor activities can I do in Inverness?Inverness is a hub for outdoor activities, thanks to its breathtaking natural landscapes. Here are some outdoor activities you can enjoy:
- Hiking – there are many hiking trails in and around the city, including the popular Great Glen Way that runs from Fort William to Inverness
- Fishing – Inverness is known for its excellent salmon fishing on the River Ness
- Golf – there are several golf courses in Inverness, including the Castle Stuart Golf Links with stunning views of the Moray Firth
- Cycling – several local companies offer bike rentals and guided cycling tours through the scenic countryside
- Kayaking – take a guided tour of the stunning Moray Firth coastline and spot dolphins and other wildlife
What is the best way to get around Inverness?Inverness has an excellent public transportation system, with buses and taxis readily available. However, if you want to explore the countryside and Loch Ness, it’s best to rent a car. There are several car rental companies available in Inverness, and driving is relatively easy with clear signage and well-maintained roads.
What traditional Scottish cuisine should I try in Inverness?Scotland is known for its hearty and delicious cuisine, and Inverness has plenty of options to choose from. Some traditional Scottish dishes to try include:
- Haggis – a savory pudding made from sheep’s organs and spices, typically eaten with neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes)
- Cullen skink – a creamy smoked haddock soup
- Cranachan – a dessert made from whipped cream, raspberries, honey, and toasted oats
- Scottish salmon – the freshest and most delicious salmon in the world, which can be enjoyed smoked, grilled, or as sashimi
- Scottish whisky – the perfect accompaniment to any meal, try local Malts like Glenfiddich, Glenlivet or Talisker
Is Inverness a safe city for tourists?Yes, Inverness is generally considered a safe city for tourists. However, it’s always best to take precautions and stay aware of your surroundings, especially when traveling alone or at night. Avoid walking alone in unlit areas, and keep your valuables secure.
What are the best accommodations in Inverness?Inverness offers many excellent accommodation options for tourists. From cozy bed and breakfasts to luxury hotels, there is something to suit every budget and preference. Some of the top-rated accommodations in Inverness include:
- Ness Walk – a luxury hotel located on the banks of the River Ness
- Bunchrew House Hotel – a charming country house hotel set in beautiful gardens, just four miles from Inverness
- Kingsmills Hotel – a contemporary hotel set in stunning grounds, with a spa, golf course, and restaurant on site
- The Gatehouse – a delightful bed and breakfast in the heart of Inverness, decorated in traditional Scottish style
What is the currency used in Scotland?The currency in Scotland is the British pound sterling. Make sure to exchange your currency before arriving in Scotland, or use an ATM to withdraw cash. Many shops and restaurants in Inverness also accept credit cards.
Is it okay to tip in Inverness?Tipping in Inverness is not mandatory but is generally appreciated for good service. A 10-15% tip is standard in restaurants, while drivers and tour guides usually receive a 5-10% tip. Tipping for other services, such as haircuts or hotel porters, is also optional but appreciated.
What is the dress code in Inverness?Inverness has a relatively informal dress code, but it’s always best to dress appropriately for the occasion. Smart casual attire is suitable for most restaurants and bars, while more upscale establishments may require a jacket and tie. Comfortable walking shoes and warm clothing are essential, especially during the winter months when temperatures can drop below freezing.In conclusion, Inverness is a vibrant and exciting destination that offers something for everyone. By answering these frequently asked questions, we hope we’ve helped you to plan your trip to Inverness successfully. Enjoy your trip and have a great time exploring all that this fantastic city has to offer!
How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in InvernessAre you planning a trip to Inverness and wondering how to spend your time there? Look no further because in this guide, we will provide you with a detailed itinerary of the top things to do and see in the city. Whether you enjoy history, nature, or adventure, there is something for everyone in Inverness.
Day 1: Explore Inverness City CentreStart your day by exploring the city centre of Inverness. Begin at Inverness Castle, a historic fortress that sits on a hill overlooking the city. From the castle, walk down to the River Ness and stroll along the Ness Islands to take in the picturesque scenery. Next, head to the Victorian Market for a unique shopping experience. The market is home to over 40 independent businesses, selling everything from local crafts and gifts to fresh produce and tasty treats. Don’t miss out on trying some traditional Scottish shortbread!For lunch, head to The Mustard Seed, a popular restaurant located along the River Ness. They offer a variety of Scottish cuisine featuring fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. After lunch, take a walk along the Caledonian Canal and watch the boats pass through the locks. Finish off the day by visiting the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, where you can learn about the history and culture of the Highlands through interactive exhibits and artwork.
Day 2: Discover Loch Ness and Urquhart CastleNo trip to Inverness is complete without a visit to Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle. Begin your day by driving or taking a bus to the southside of Loch Ness. There, you can take a boat tour of the lake and learn about the legends and mysteries surrounding the infamous Loch Ness Monster.Stop off at Urquhart Castle to explore the ruins of an ancient fortress that dates back to the 13th century. You can explore the castle at your own pace and enjoy stunning views of Loch Ness from the top of the tower. After exploring Urquhart Castle, head to the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition to learn about the history of the area and the famous Loch Ness Monster. Stop by the Nessie Hunter gift shop to pick up some souvenirs before heading back to Inverness for the night.
Day 3: Outdoor Adventures in InvernessSpend your last day in Inverness enjoying some of the outdoor adventures the city has to offer. Start your day with a hike up Craig Phadraig, a hill that offers panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside. Next, head to Culloden Battlefield, the site of the historic Battle of Culloden in 1746. The battlefield offers a unique insight into Scottish history, and you can take a battlefield tour or explore on your own. After lunch, head to the Moray Firth for a dolphin watching tour. The Firth is home to a resident population of bottlenose dolphins, and you can spot them from the comfort of a boat or from the shore. Finish off your day by taking a stroll along the River Ness and enjoying the sunset over the city. For dinner, check out Rocpool, a contemporary Scottish restaurant that offers stunning views of the river and city skyline.
Book Your Tour NowInverness offers a variety of activities for visitors, from exploring the city centre to discovering the history and myths surrounding Loch Ness. With this itinerary, you can make the most of your time in Inverness and experience the best that the city has to offer. Don’t forget your camera and enjoy your trip!
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