The Best Cities to Visit in Scotland for a Weekend Away

For those seeking an unforgettable weekend break filled with historical landmarks, cultural experiences and exciting endeavours, Scotland should rank high on your list of places to visit. Whilst it is a fairly small region of the UK, all the best opportunities for sightseeing here are within reaching distance, should you plan to head over to another location during your time away. So, what are the best cities to visit in Scotland?

Glasgow

With its historic Victorian architecture and vibrant music and nightclub scenes, Glasgow has reimagined itself as one of Europe’s major cultural developments. For avid vacationers, the city boasts an impressive number of museums, art galleries and botanic gardens. You can easily explore Glasgow on foot, thanks to the pedestrian-friendly streets and vast array of green spaces. If performing arts is more your thing, the King’s theatre regularly plays host to some of the biggest names and shows in the theatre world and has done so since 1904. There is also the opportunity to attend an opera show at the Theatre Royal or partake in a visit to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery.

Scottish Highlands

Home to dramatic landscapes, friendly locals and a remarkable history, the Scottish Highlands is the perfect setting for a romantic weekend away or an outdoors break. The Highlands is home to the infamous Loch Ness, widely known for its monster and what remains of Urquhart Castle. During the summer, the area is great for hiking and biking escapades in the Cairngorms National Park, whereas, in winter, it becomes a hub for ardent skiers, particularly in the town of Aviemore.

Aberdeen

The North Sea port town of Aberdeen is another great location to traverse on foot, allowing you to take in its well-preserved architecture and beautiful gardens. The city is noticeably distinctive from other destinations on this list, thanks to its public buildings being constructed from granite from Rubislaw Quarry. Life here revolves around Aberdeen’s busy harbour, a fundamental hub for fishermen and ferries that set off each night to the Shetlands. You can simply sit on a nearby bench and observe the daily frenzy whilst sampling some of the best food the town has the offer. The beach here is also home to some famous wildlife residents; Bottlenose dolphins can often be seen from the beach, so try to keep an eye out, especially if you see the RSPB’s Dolphinwatch.

Edinburgh

If you have the opportunity to visit only one of the cities on this list, make it Edinburgh. The capital is known for its winding streets and breath-taking castle that is perched upon a dormant volcano. Edinburgh is a relatively large city, so those flying into the airport should consider organising their Edinburgh airport transfers ahead of travelling to make the most of their time here. The city is renowned as a cultural destination, hosting a variety of festivals throughout the year. Arguably, the most famous is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, featuring countless arts and media performances from individuals all over the globe. In the winter, Edinburgh opens its Christmas market, featuring a variety of food and drinks vendors and festive memorabilia. The market is set to reopen again this year and, like in previous years, will showcase an ice-skating rink and Ferris wheel. It is difficult to do everything here within the space of a weekend, meaning you’ll definitely be back in no time to complete your itinerary.