What typically comes to mind when hearing the word “Scotland” are images of the Loch Ness monster, bagpipes, majestic landscapes, and castles. Disappointing as it may sound, magic creatures, are not real. But to make up for the loss, the land boasts of its unique cuisine, great cosmopolitan cities, beautiful green valleys, majestic mountains, and gorgeous fjords.
If you are planning to visit Bonnie Scotland for the first time, with all the attractions it has to offer compared to the limited time you have, setting priorities is key. But rest assured that whether you explore the place by land or sea, picturesque and history-rich places await.
Here are some of the best ways to plan your first-ever visit to Bonnie, Scotland.
Communication Is Key
When visiting any country in the world, it would be best if you could learn a few phrases of their language to fully embrace their culture. This will also be helpful in some places where the locals do not practice speaking English.
Scotland has three languages – Gaelic, a language prominent in the islands and highlands, Scots and English, which are often combined by a majority of the people. Aside from learning a few Scottish words, knowing a few Gaelic phrases may also benefit you, especially when interacting with locals from the Highlands, Harris, or Lewis islands.
Ink In Edinburgh First On Your List
It is imperative for first-time Scotland vacationers to visit Edinburgh. Leaving the country without going to this beautiful city would be a waste. Aside from having an Old Town and a New Town, it also features a castle that is sitting on top of a prehistoric volcano. If you are pressed for time and want to see everything the town has to offer, bus tours are available to quickly take you to the major attractions in the city.
Next, you should visit the Holyroodhouse Palace. A former monastery, it is now home to the Queen of England whenever she is in Scotland. But while she is someplace else, the royal residence is open for public viewing, showcasing the palace’s Great Gallery, which features portraits of renowned Scottish heroes, the Throne Room, and the State apartments.
Lastly, it would not hurt if you do something unusual in Edinburgh by visiting Camera Obscura. Complete your town tour by visiting this amazing place and fill your eyes with interactive exhibits, outstanding optical illusions, and awesome picturesque places that will surely be fun for the entire family.
Visit Scotland’s Largest City
Another place in Scotland that you would not want to miss is Edinburgh’s sassy cousin, Glasgow. As Scotland’s biggest city, it is home to a lot of the region’s beautiful architecture, fine shopping, green meadows, and the most welcoming people in the world, not to mention their great sense of humor.
If you are up for a bit of hiking and aquatic sights, trek a short distance outside the city and head to Loch Lomond. Branded as the biggest lake in the UK, and if you’re up for some fishing, you’ll find great quantities of whitefish, trout, and salmon.
Head Northeast To The Coolest City In Scotland
Located between Aberdeen and Edinburgh, Dundee has flourished and become a famous city. A big part of its success is due to a grand redevelopment project of their waterfront that displays as its showpiece the marvelously enchanting V&A Dundee Design Museum.
Likewise, if you crave a plateful of seafood while relaxing in comfy surroundings, you can also visit and dine near Broughty Ferry at Ship Inn.
Visit The Highlands
Scotland, or Caledonia according to the Romans, is best explored via road trips. Whether by car or by tourist bus, include the Highlands in your list and be amazed at all the scenic tourist spots the city has to offer. Known for their rugged and rough landscapes, including a long history of romance and violence, the Highlands will not shortchange visitors in what it has in store for them. Plan a visit to Inverness, tour the home of the mysterious monster at Loch Ness or go to the highest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis.
With few inhabitants, people who enjoy various activities like rafting, kayaking, and fishing frequent the Highlands. Likewise, the place is very popular with cyclists, hikers, and outdoor aficionados.
The Trip Must Include A Pub
Visiting the Scottish Highlands doesn’t mean you have to wear a kilt and play the bagpipes. Yes, Scots love parties, but not this type. What they are very fond of is having a lively conversation coupled with either a shot of whiskey or a pint of beer and contemporary music.
Almost every place you visit in Scotland has a place where you can unwind. In Edinburgh, they have Bennets Bar where you can enjoy artisanal whiskey or craft beer. In Dundee, they have Draffens – an amazing cocktail bar, and while in Glasgow you can visit either the Barrowlands Ballroom or the Oran Mor.