Lifestyle, Travel December 27, 2018
9 tips to visit Scotland for the first time

9 tips to visit Scotland for the first time

Our travel posts are back and today we talk about Scotland and the top 10 tips to visit this country. Scotland is a magical place: it offers beautiful landscapes and very unique experiences. In this post, you can find our top 9 tips to visit Scotland, especially if it is your first time there!

1. When to go?

We recommend avoiding the colder months, as the sunset comes very early and you can’t go around and travel much during the dark hours. August is the month of the festival in Edinburgh and it’s amazing to visit the city during that period. However, you need to consider that streets will be packed with people and hotel prices/apartments will definitely go up. Spring, early summer or early autumn are perfect if you want to enjoy the relatively nice weather and also make sure you don’t spend too much!

2.How to organise the trip?

If you can we certainly recommend renting a car in order to move freely across sites. If you are students, you can always book some tours, most of them are made exclusively for university students and they can be really cheap. But you need to take into account that they are very intensive: there is not much time and there is way too much to see. The risk?You could end up not enjoying all the stops. Are you a student and want to travel? Don’t miss our post about how to travel on a budget!

3.What if tours are the only option?

Most of the tours leave from Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness. The most famous tours are those organised by Scottish Tours and Rabbie’s, but there are really countless websites if you search for them. If you are students, IS UK tours offers several tours with the main Scottish destinations and very nice prices.

4.Where to stay?

There are many options, but we would recommend either a B&B or an apartment, which are definitely more characteristic and cheaper than traditional hotels. Many agencies rent small typical Scottish houses for short periods of time from one to several weeks and located across all Scotland (even the Highlands). A good agency is Dickins, which rents beautiful apartments in Edinburgh. 

5. How to reach Scotland?

From Europe, definitely check flight offers from Ryanair or Easyjet. Of course, the sooner you book a flight the cheaper it will be!

6. Which itinerary to choose?

If it is the first time visiting Scotland, we recommend the traditional itinerary. Visit the main cities and attractions, such as Edinburgh (the historical heart of Scotland), Glasgow (the centre of Economics and Industries), Stirling (medieval town) and Inverness (the cultural capital of the Highlands).

Next, you should definitely visit the Highlands. This region of Scotland is geologically unique and is home to the most scenic lakes (‘lochs’) in the whole country. It is also possible to have cruises on some of the biggest lakes (such as Lochness). 

7.What are the things I absolutely need to do?

Visit the main cities with the Free Walking Tours, visit as many museums as you can (since they are mostly free), try whiskey and Scottish dishes, walk in a castle, go to the coast, buy a kilt.

8. How to prepare for the weather?

This depends on the season: if you visit in the colder months you can expect a lot of wind and frequent rain. Bringing an umbrella is often useless, while a rain jacket is the best option.

9.  And what about the food?

Definitely try the most famous Scottish dishes, like haggis, and experience the Sunday brunch or the afternoon tea. Scottish food is usually pretty heavy (a lot of meat and fried dishes). However, there are many nice places where the food is amazing, but you need to spend a bit more. For example, I loved the restaurant chain Howies and I went there as much as I could. Other recommended places?Edinburgh Food Studio, The Piemaker, The Edinburgh Larder

In addition, pubs are a very popular option in Scotland, and many of them feature live music and bands!Some options are Nicholson’ Pubs, The Conan Doyle, Finnegan’s Wake

This guest post first appeared on Sweety Readers

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