Scotland is one of the most picturesque countries in the world. Its boundaries are the Atlantic Ocean to the north, England to the south, the North Sea to the east, and the North Channel and the Irish Sea to the southwest. The Scottish territory also includes around 790 islands. The area of this country is 30,414 sq mi, and if you were to compare the physical size of Scotland, it is around the same as the Czech Republic.
Scotland has seven cities: Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Stirling and Perth. Edinburgh is the capital city while Glasgow is the largest. These cities are a must-see as they have a lot to offer tourists – delicious food, beautiful sights, medieval architecture, and amazing shopping. Scotland also has many islands, lochs (lakes), and highlands. There are beautiful museums and castles, that have many fables and folklore associated with them, making them very special. Given below is a list of Scotland’s most beautiful places to visit.
Scotland Sights and Experiences
Aberdeen has been given the monikers – the Granite City, the Grey City, and the Silver City with the Golden Sands, because most of the buildings in this city are made of gray granite. The particles of mica present in this type of granite give the buildings a silver sparkle, making them very unique. The main tourist attractions in this city are the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, Aberdeen Arts Centre, Provost Ross’ House, Marischal Museum, Aberdeen Harbor, The Town House on Union Street, King’s College, and the King’s Museum.
Apart from the beautiful sights in this city, Aberdeen is also known as the shopper’s paradise of Scotland. It is one of the oldest shopping areas of the country. Union Street and George Street are the areas to shop till you drop. Also visit the Trinity Centre and the Bon Accord & St Nicholas Shopping Centres, as they are the best shopping centers in Aberdeen.
The city of Dundee is also known as the city of ‘jute, jam, and journalism’. This city expanded rapidly during the 19th century due to its jute industry. Tay Rail Bridge, Claypotts Castle, Dundee War Memorial, RRS Discovery and City Centre, Magdalen Yard Bandstand, and the University of Dundee are the places of importance in Dundee.
Dundee is a paradise for foodies and has superb restaurants with splendid multi-cuisine menu. Restaurants to pay a visit to are The Tapas Bar, The Ship Inn and Waterfront Restaurant, The Playwright, Jute Cafe Bar at Dundee Contemporary Arts, Agacan, and The Tasting Rooms.
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland. It is situated on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth in Scotland’s Central Belt. This city is home to Scottish rugby, two professional football teams (Hearts & Hibs), the Scottish Cricket team, golf courses, and many sporting clubs. Edinburgh is also known as the festival capital of the world as it hosts many festivals, like The Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh International Book Festival, and many others.
The main places to visit in the capital city are the Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland, the National War Museum, the Museum of Edinburgh, Ross Fountain, the Museum of Childhood, and the Edinburgh Zoo.
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and the third largest city in the United Kingdom. It is one of the largest seaports in the world, and is situated on the River Clyde. Places to visit in this beautiful city are the Clyde Auditorium, Clyde Arc, River Clyde, Glasgow Science Centre, Duke of Wellington statue outside Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square, The Lighthouse, Gilbert Scott Building of the University of Glasgow, Finnieston Crane, and Glasgow City Chambers.
The meaning of Glasgow is ‘dear green place’, and this city definitely lives up to its meaning. It houses numerous parks that one can retire to for a quiet evening after all the sightseeing. One of the prominent parks to visit in this city for recreation is Queens Park, which has beautiful rose gardens, and activities for children and adults at its Orienteering Course, Pitch and Putt, and Bowling Greens.
Inverness is taken from the Scottish Gaelic – Inbhir Nis, which means ‘Mouth of the River Ness’. This city is located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands and is considered the capital of the Highlands of Scotland. Inverness is located near two very important battle sites – The Aird (11th century battle of Blàr nam Fèinne) and Culloden Moor (18th century Battle of Culloden).
This city is a photographer’s paradise due to its scenic beauty. The amazing sights in and around the city include the The Inverness Castle, Great Glen (Gleann Mòr), the River Ness, Loch Ness, Nairn, and Aigas Field Centre. After a long day of admiring the sights in and around Inverness, you can relax by shopping, eating, drinking, as this city has numerous riverside restaurants and cafés; or just take a stroll around the riverside.
Being the center for local government, higher education, retail, and light industry, Stirling is an important city in Scotland. You can visit The Wallace Monument, The tomb of James III, Statue of Robert the Bruce, the Church of the Holy Rude, Stirling Castle, Broad Street, Castle Wynd, Ballengeich Pass, Lower Castle Hill Road, and St. Mary’s Wynd.
Stirling Arcade is the place you must go to if you are in a mood to shop to your heart’s content, as most of the best retailers in Stirling are located there.
Also known as the ‘Gateway to the Highlands’, the city of Perth is located in the central region of Scotland on the banks of the river Tay, and is a popular tourist destination due to its rich history. History lovers should see St John’s Kirk on South St John’s Place, Perth Museum and Art Gallery, St Paul’s Church, Pullar House on Mill Street, and the Fair Maid’s House on North Port.
Sports fans should check out McDiarmid Park in the Tulloch area of the city, as most of their major football matches take place there. Perth is also known for its two parks – North Inch and South Inch, which were given to the city by King Robert III in 1377.