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Things to do in
Inverness

Explore the medieval streets of this gateway to the Scottish Highlands and look out for the Loch Ness Monster.

Our most recommended things to do in Inverness

Loch Ness: Urquhart Castle Round-Trip Cruise

1. Loch Ness: Urquhart Castle Round-Trip Cruise

Cruise the Loch and view the castle on this 50 minute voyage across the deepest, mysterious waters of Loch Ness with breathtaking views of the historic Urquhart Castle, departing from the Clansman Harbour. Once on board, our audio is bursting with lots of facts and legends to tune into as you sail. And don’t forget to look out for Nessie, with a little help from our onboard sonar. Boats also have free WiFi for your convenience, as well as selection of snacks and drinks which can be purchased at the bar. Soak up the stunning mountain views as you cruise to the remains of Urquhart Castle, the envy of Scotland’s romantic ruins. Once you reach the blunt peninsula of Urquhart Bay, the boat will turn around and sail back to Clansman Harbour.

Inverness: Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Day Trip

2. Inverness: Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Day Trip

Take in some of the most dramatic and stunning landscapes Scotland has to offer on an eco-certified tour from Inverness. Discover the Isle of Skye, including its capital Portree, Lealt Falls, and the Old Man of Storr. See Loch Ness from Invermoriston, Loch Carron, and Eilean Donan Castle. Meet your guide on Railway Terrace, where your group will board an air-conditioned coach. Head south out of the city. Then, follow the shores of Loch Ness to Invermoriston, where you will stop for a short break. Grab a coffee, take scenic photos, and try and spot Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. Then, continue to Eilean Donan Castle, one of Scotland's most photographed castles, set on its own island at the head of Loch Duich. You will have time to visit the castle and learn about its history if you like (admission fees apply) or just admire the picturesque castle and its scenic surroundings. Next, journey to the Isle of Skye. Stop at Portree, a small colorful town fringed by cliffs and rolling hills. Take in these beautiful surroundings while enjoying lunch and the views of the boats in the harbor. Once your appetite has been sated, move on to tour the rest of the island. Head to the Old Man of Storr, an iconic rock formation. Next, take a walk at Lealt Falls to admire the beautiful waterfall and gorge. Finally, head back to Inverness via the panoramic Strome Viewpoint over Loch Carron.

From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

3. From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

Embark on a 3-day guided tour of the Scottish Highlands and visit highlights, including Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. Learn the history of this lush region from your guide and spend two nights in Inverness. Day 1: Departing Edinburgh, we will take our first short drive heading north and stop at the mysterious Kelpies. Scotland’s largest piece of outdoor art depicting mythical creatures of Scotland’s folklore that your driver will tell you all about. We’ll then continue on our journey and pass Stirling Castle. Be inspired by tales from your guide of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Continuing north, into the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, admire the scenery as your tour guide explains the remarkable tribal clan history of the Highlands. Discover beautiful Glencoe, the most famous valley in Scotland, and hear of its tragic history. Admire the spectacular Glenfinnan Viaduct then head north and arrive on the southern banks of Loch Ness to get photos of the infamous monster Nessie! Stop for photos of Urquhart Castle before arriving in Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, where you'll stay for 2 nights, choosing from a local guesthouse, hostel, or hotel. Day 2: After breakfast, depart Inverness and drive across the Kessock Bridge to the Black Isle and marvel at the spectacular scenery of Achnasheen and Loch Carron. Arriving on the Isle of Skye, venture north to explore the highlights of the island, including; the Cuillin Mountains, Trotternish Peninsula, Portree, the Old Man Storr, Kilt Rock and the famous Quiraing. In late afternoon, stop for photographs of the most beautiful castle in Scotland, "Eilean Donan Castle." Backdrop to many famous films, such as 'Highlander' and 'Made of Honor', this castle is another must-see iconic landmark! A scenic drive through stunning Glen Shiel follows, returning to Inverness to stay your final night. In the evening, visit a local Highland Pub to drink some Scotch whisky or beer and eat some traditional Scottish food, whilst listening to some local musicians perform. Day 3: Visit Culloden Battlefield, site of the last Jacobite Rising, then 'Clava Cairns', incredible 4,000-year-old, Bronze-Age standing stones. Travelling south, stop at the Highland Folk Museum. Here you'll experience highland life in the 17th century. See the buildings, the clothes and weapons, and how people lived 300 years ago. Then, drive through the dramatic Cairngorm National Park. You will have the chance to experience a Scotch Whiskey tasting before you visit the historic village of Dunkeld on the banks of the mighty River Tay. Your journey back to Edinburgh takes you across the famous Forth Bridges. The expected arrival time back in Edinburgh is around 6:30 PM.

From Inverness: Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle

4. From Inverness: Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle

Cruise on Loch Ness and visit Urquhart Castle on this coach and boat tour that transports you directly from Inverness city center to the legendary Loch Ness. You’ll learn everything there is to know about the stirring past of these famous shores as you relax on a guided coach tour. After departing from Inverness by coach, you will drive to Loch Ness. Once you arrive, 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. There is a fully stocked bar on board and a selection of Scottish snacks. Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are also served, should you require a little warming up. Disembark and explore the historic ruins of Urquhart Castle. After you have seen the castle, relax on the coach as you make the return sightseeing drive to Inverness bus station, through beautiful Highlands countryside.

From Inverness: Isle of Skye Full-Day Trip

5. From Inverness: Isle of Skye Full-Day Trip

Depart Inverness and travel via Loch Ness to the Isle of Skye. Loch Ness is the largest Loch by volume in the British Isles, and one of the deepest ones too. Famous worldwide for its elusive monster, it hosts one of the most iconic castles of Scotland: Urquhart Castle. Visit the Fairy Pools. Walk the trail that takes you to the pools and enjoy a swim with the fairies. Next, stop at Talisker Single Malt Scotch Distillery based in Carbost. You'll go through the Visitor Centre (not on the tour) and, if available, sample one of the fine whiskeys produced here. Continue your journey to the Isle of Skye, and see the small village of Portree for an afternoon break. Portree is a small harbor village, and the capital of Skye.  Before you travel back to Inverness, enjoy sights of the mighty Eilean Donan Castle, which is situated on its own island, and is one of Scotland’s most photographed castles. Continue homeward bound to Inverness, where your tour ends.

From Inverness: Isle of Skye and Fairy Pools Day Trip

6. From Inverness: Isle of Skye and Fairy Pools Day Trip

Discover the best of the Isle of Skye on a day trip from Inverness. Travel in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle and enjoy views of the picturesque countryside as you travel to see the Fairy Pools in Glenn Brittle, Eilean Donan Castle, and more. Cross the famous Skye Bridge to the little village of Kyleakin, where you'll hop off the bus to stretch your legs and take some stunning photographs. Travel past the stunning scenery of the Cuillin Hills and learn of the mysterious waters under the Sligachan Bridge. Your driver-guide will enlighten you with tales of the history and legends of the Isle of Skye. Stop in Portree on the east of the island for lunch before a 90-minute stop at the stunning Fairy Pools. The trip concludes with a photo-stop at Eilean Donan Castle and a drive along the shores of Loch Ness as you make your way back to Inverness.

From Inverness: Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Tour

7. From Inverness: Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Tour

After an early start, you leave the city and travel along the Great Glen Fault Line towards Loch Ness. Here, you have a chance to spot the monster and admire lovely Castle Urquhart from afar. You continue through dramatic Highland scenery to the west coast and Eilean Donan Castle*. You can go inside ‘the most photographed castle in Scotland’ or simply enjoy the astounding views. And now, it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. Because it’s over the sea and onto the Isle of Skye. You travel up the island’s east coast through the stunning Red Cuillin Mountains to Sligachan, where you stop for a photo of the clear mountain waters. Arriving in the town of Portree, you have free time to grab a bite to eat at one of the many delightful local restaurants. After you’ve filled your belly, you explore some of the most famous scenery of the island at the Trotternish Peninsula. The Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock, and the Quiraing are all unforgettably beautiful. You venture to Kyleakin for refreshments and a chance to view the dramatic ruin Castle Moil or the Skye Bridge and Eilean Ban. Travelling over the bridge, you journey back to Inverness. The route you take back is different from the morning, so you get even more opportunities to enjoy the Highland scenery. *Please note that Eilean Donan Castle will have reduced opening hourse between 1st Feb 2024 - 24th March 2024 (open 10am until 3pm). Eilean Donan Castle will also be closed due to weddings on the following dates: 14th, 22nd and 29th February 2024.

From Inverness: Jacobite Steam Train and Highlands Tour

8. From Inverness: Jacobite Steam Train and Highlands Tour

Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the Scottish Highlands and board the Jacobite Steam Train on a day trip from Inverness. Cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct for a scenic tour of Loch Ness and in the fishing town of Mallaig. Begin your journey by bus and drive along the world-famous Loch Ness, stopping for photos above the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Continue south and visit the Commando Memorial, overlooking the Nevis Range—home to the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Next, set your sights on the Jacobite Steam Train and hop on board at Fort William. Your journey through magnificent landscapes will end in the fishing port of Mallaig, where you can try fresh seafood for lunch (at your expense) or explore the town. Take the scenic ‘Road to the Isles’ and admire beautiful scenery as you ride to Fort Augustus, the Caledonian Canal, and Loch Ness. Finish your tour at Falls of Foyers and Dores Beach on the banks of Loch Ness.

From Glasgow: Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Tour

9. From Glasgow: Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Tour

Embark on a full-day guided bus tour of the Scottish Highlands from Glasgow. Marvel at the wild beauty of the Scottish countryside and visit highlights, including Loch Lomond and Loch Ness. Head north towards the Highlands and admire the lush pastures of the Scottish countryside from an air-conditioned bus. Stop for a cup of tea or coffee at a café on the shores of Loch Lomond before ascending into the Highlands. Traverse the desolate landscape of Rannoch Moor and the Black Mount to Glencoe, the site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald clan. Learn about the events and history of the area from your guide. After lunch in the Fort William area, pass beneath Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and into the Great Glen. At Loch Ness, opt for a sightseeing cruise on the loch or choose to admire the views from the shore. On your way back to Glasgow, cross the Grampian Mountains and admire the woodland scenery of Perthshire, including the Forest of Atholl.

From Edinburgh: Magical Highlands Tour with Hogwarts Express

10. From Edinburgh: Magical Highlands Tour with Hogwarts Express

Get first-hand experiences at some of the sets in the Harry Potter film series. Travel through Scotland on a bus to these locations, and conclude your tour with a visit to Glenfinnan Visitor Center. Pass some of the key film locations from all 8 Harry Potter movies as you lose yourself in the wilderness of Rannoch Moor. Discover the volcanic glen from "The Prisoner of Azkaban" en route to Fort William, where you will board the Jacobite steam train (as seen in the Harry Potter films as the Hogwarts's Express) Cross the Victorian-era Glenfinnan Viaduct and get views of Loch Shiel from the "Chamber of Secrets." See the site of the Triwizard Tournament from "The Goblet of Fire" and continue to the fishing village of Mallaig to get some time for lunch.  You will board the coach from Mallaig where we will have a stop at the Glenfinnan Visitor Center for an excellent chance to photograph the steam train returning across the viaduct before you return to Edinburgh. *Please note this tour is not exclusively "Harry Potter" related.

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Frequently asked questions about Inverness

What top attractions are a must-see in Inverness?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Inverness?

The best day trips and excursions from Inverness are:

Isle of Skye

Other Sightseeing Options in Inverness

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What people are saying about Inverness

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 8,106 reviews

It was great! Even though you spend quite some time in the bus it was totally worth it! The guide Chris was really friendly and had many interesting stories to tell during the ride. The whole tour was well planned and organised. You get a great impression of some sights and the fantastic landscape. And we were lucky enough to see highland cows!

Guide Loam was awesome. He kept everyone entertained and gave detailed description of the places. Definitely was people’s person.

An absolutely fantastic tour. Would totally recommend if you have the time! Scott was fantastic as a guide

Brilliant tour, gorgeous scenery. Well worth the money - it was a fantastic day out.

Superb. the driver and guide Chris was absolutely fantastic