Scotland has many charming towns, such as flowery Pitchlory or cold but beautiful Fort William. But Are the cities of Scotland just as beautiful? The answer is yes. This country is well known for its fascinating nature, but it also stands out for its huge metropolises, being the ideal places to explore. In the end, it is one of the most diverse countries, which also has wonderful islands and unforgettable excursions within places such as the Scottish Highlands. On this occasion, in The Happy Traveler we will visit the most beautiful cities in Scotland.
The 10 best cities in Scotland to visit
Edinburgh, the nation’s capital, It is located on the south coast of the Firth of Forth, and is one of the most beautiful cities in Scotland. For many people it is just a stopover to get to the Highlands or other parts of Scotland. However, this beautiful city has a lot to offer its visitors. The Royal Mile is the most important street and connects Edinburgh Castle with the Palace of Holyroodhouse. But its beauty does not reside only here, its alleys, its beautiful gardens, its museums and its numerous monuments make it an interesting and very beautiful city.
In short, the capital is the perfect place to enjoy a long weekend, featuring a visit to the many monuments in Edinburgh. In addition, with the inexhaustible faith of meeting JK Rowling through her streets. Also, you can appreciate the wonderful views from Arthur’s Seat, discover the Old and New Town, and enjoy the night in Grassmarket. You will also have to choose between an endless number of pubs and night bars to visit.
Glasgow is one of the most valuable and beautiful cities in Scotland to visit. Many see it as a purely student city, but it is much more than that. Glasgow has a wide range of galleries, museums and theaters, and its architecture is quite remarkable. The Kelvingrove Museum, St. Mungo’s Cathedral, Merchant City, Mackintosh Lighthouse are just some of its main attractions and points of interest. It is also a city that is characterized by having a lot of nightlife.
It is also known for being the complete opposite of Edinburgh. Therefore, you will enjoy two opposite experiences, which further enriches your visit to Scotland. Once in Glasgow, it is recommendable to visit the Burrel Collection, the Pollok House or get to know the world famous Santa Dash, held every year.
Inverness is one of the important cities in Scotland that anyone falls in love with. The capital of the Highlands, the Scottish Highlands, It is characterized by its mountainous landscapes, by its lakes, by its tranquility and by being very welcoming. It has a large number of historical treasures, such as the Cairns of Clava or the Culloden battlefield, and endless natural treasures, including the famous Loch Ness. A trip to another world and another time.
Aberdeen, located on the east coast, is the third largest city in Scotland, behind only Edinburgh and Glasgow. Its name means “mouth of the Dee”, although it is also known as “City of Granite”. It has a little more than 200,000 inhabitants, where the economy is based on the shops in the most important seaport in the northeast of Scotland, which translates into a greater daily activity.
The reason why it is nicknamed the City of Granite is because of its large historical buildings with similar colors, most of which are covered in granite. The sea, as we mentioned, is its main attribute. It has beaches, a maritime museum with free access, several companies that focus on the oil sector and many ferries that leave for the Orkney and Shetland islands.
Perth is one of Scotland’s smallest cities, with a population of approximately 50,000 people. Also, it is known as “The Fair City”, La Ciudad Hermosa in Spanish. It is found throughout the center of the country, and was even the capital of Scotland in the Middle Ages. At that time, Scottish kings were crowned in Scone, a town very close to Perth, and from there the idea of becoming the capital arose.
It is located at the foot of the River Tay, and it was only added to the official list of cities in Scotland in 2012. It is small, peaceful and very cosy, so you can visit its most important sites in just a few hours. After getting to know its commercial streets full of businesses, the best thing to do is to escape to the Black Watch Castle & Museum, an imposing castle with an art gallery dedicated to the Black Watch regiment.
Another of the best cities in Scotland is Dundee. Among its many attractions are the botanical garden of the University of Dundee, the coastal route of the Riverside natural park or Ley Dundee, an inactive volcano that offers beautiful views of the city and the River Tay.
Part of its history is due to the city’s shipyards and large textile industry, which were the main commercial activity of the town for a long time. That’s why today Dundee places a higher value on its traditions, offering museums for all preferences, where the V&A Dundee design center stands out.
However, the RRS Discovery also stands out. It has, in addition to its large art gallery, the ship that was the protagonist of Captain Scott’s first excursion to the Antarctic in 1901. Another of the things to do in Dundee is to visit its historic center, or walk the narrow streets of its most remote, but they are full of magical corners to discover.
Despite barely reaching 40,000 inhabitants, Stirling is one of the most historically and culturally important cities in Scotland. It stands out for its incredible old town, with a medieval style that follows the same model as Stirling Castle, a wonderful fort considered a National Monument. It can be seen from a large part of the city, which allows you to live an authentic experience of kings and queens.
On the other hand, there is also the monument to William Wallace, since the town was the scene of the Battle of Stirling Bridge during the Wars of Independence. To the south, the battle of Bannockburn is also remembered, led by Robert the Bruce, considered by many to be the true Braveheart. In turn, you can walk the slopes of the Old Town, consume in any of its cafes or restaurants in the center and pass near the River Forth.
Saint Andrews is one of Scotland’s must-see cities, characterized by its calm and very familiar atmosphere. Despite being small, this did not prevent it from being considered the cradle of golf. In that sense, it has just over 17,000 inhabitants. Another of its highlights is the great Cathedral of St. Andrews, which at the time was one of the most visited in the country. Nowadays it is demolished, as well as its castle.
The city is also isolated from much of Scotland, to the point that it does not even have its own train station. However, it only makes the place that much more appealing to visit. Also, it is usually a land of students, so the nightlife is one of its main attributes.
Fort William is one of the most visited Scottish cities in the entire country. It houses the entrance to great landscapes of the country, besides being the ideal place to discover the spaces of the Highlands. With its incredible panoramas and colorful mountains, which have inspired many artists, Fort William is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Scotland. Even one of the best places to get away and forget about the routine.
Dunfermline is one of the most beautiful cities in Scotland, which is part of the kingdom of Fife, located north of Edinburgh. is considerate one of the most recommended destinations at a cultural, historical and aesthetic level for everything it has, making it a mandatory stop. In its time, it became the capital of Scotland, and in its medieval monastery, which dates back to the 12th century, monarchs such as the great King Robert the Bruce rested.
There is no doubt that Scotland has countless beautiful places and many return to visit more of them. However, few know that the cities of Scotland are part of the most beautiful in Europe, so it is worth knowing them. Leave us in the comments if we missed anything to add!