Perfect 10 Day Scotland Itinerary by

10 Day Scotland Itinerary

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Captivating landscapes, picturesque cities and a fascinating history make Scotland one of the top destinations in the world. With so much to choose from, creating the perfect itinerary for Scotland can be quite an undertaking. No need to worry, though. This 10 Day Scotland Itinerary – outlined in a simple, day-by-day format – features the best Scottish sights, attractions and experiences.

From ancient castles to buzzing cities to charming villages and rugged lands, we are outlining the Best Scotland Vacation Itinerary!


10 Day Scotland Itinerary: Trip Planning FAQs

Before we get to our outlined Scotland trip itinerary, we want to answer a few frequently asked questions, which will help you plan your adventure.


How Many Days in Scotland?

The first step in planning a Scotland trip is deciding how many days to spend in the country. That will depend on your interests, budget and overall travel timeframe. That said, we think visiting Scotland in 10 days is ideal.

Spending 10 days in Scotland allows visitors enough time to experience the best of Scotland, without feeling too rushed or overwhelmed.

We understand, however, that not all travelers plan on visiting Scotland in 10 days. To help sort out the best way to visit Scotland within shorter or longer timeframes, we share alternate Scotland itineraries at the end of the article.


Which Destinations are Included in this Scotland Travel Itinerary?

Although rather small in size, Scotland boasts a number of diverse and intriguing destinations that span the country. On a 10-Day Trip to Scotland, visitors need to pick and choose what to see in order to create their best Scotland itinerary. 

Our 10 Day Itinerary of Scotland features the top destinations in the country, including Edinburgh, Inverness, Isle of Skye and Glasgow.

The journey begins with 3 days in historic Edinburgh, a city that boasts grand architecture and a rich culture. Visitors then traverse north into the Highlands to the city of Inverness, where they have 2 days to explore the beautiful rolling hills of the region.

Next, navigate to the majestic Isle of Skye and spend 4 days discovering the enchanting landscapes. The trip ends in Glasgow, an often overlooked city with a vibrant atmosphere and buzzing entertainment venues.

This trip plan for Scotland appeals to a variety of travelers – including nature lovers, history buffs and whisky enthusiasts. We traveled as a couple, but you can easily make changes to create a special Scotland honeymoon itinerary, a family vacation or solo adventure.


Is this Sample Scotland Itinerary for Driving or Public Transit?

One of the biggest decisions when planning a Scotland 10 Day Itinerary is determining how to get around. Should you plan a Scotland self-drive tour or use public transport? Fortunately, our Scotland itinerary planner can be adapted to either driving or using trains and buses.

Driving a car does allow for the most freedom, but it comes with a bigger responsibility (and can be difficult for those not used to driving on the left). Scottish Public transport can be limiting but is typically more affordable and a more relaxing mode of transit.

We share tips for how drivers can expand the itinerary in the day-by-day guide – and offer hints for those traveling Scotland without a car, as well. We provide additional transit advice in the Travel Tips section at the end of the article.


Is the Suggested Itinerary for Scotland a Budget Trip Plan?

There is no doubt about it: Scotland is expensive. However, with a little effort, budget conscious travelers can plan an affordable vacation to Scotland.

On this 10 Day Scotland Itinerary we recommend sightseeing adventures and hotel accommodations in a range of prices – but, generally speaking, it is a mid-to-low range budget trip.

Those with a big travel budget can easily splash out on high-end hotels, private tours and fine dining. On the other hand, budget travelers may want to eliminate or substitute some of our recommendations for cheap or free things to do in Scotland.


Planning Tips for 10 Days in Scotland Itinerary

Scotland Itinerary, Edinburgh View from Above

This overview of how to plan a trip to Scotland can be further enhanced with these articles:

Travelers visiting Scotland from abroad will also find it useful to read our advice on How To Plan a Europe Vacation.


Organized Scotland Trip Planner

As you being to make your plans and reservations, organization is key! We recommend using a vacation planner – like our Printable Travel Planner – to stay on top of all the details!

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Day-by-Day Scotland Itinerary 10 Days

Find the Best Edinburgh Scotland UK Views

Now that we have covered the basics, it’s time to get to the detailed outline of the 10 Day Travel Itinerary Scotland.

 Save, Pin or Bookmark our Guide to the Best Scotland Itinerary to plan your vacation!


DAY 1: Essential Edinburgh

Calton Hill View, Essential Edinburgh, Scotland

Kick off your 10-Day Trip to Scotland Itinerary with essential Edinburgh sightseeing. After getting settled into your hotel (we share recommendations later), head right for the heart of the city: The Royal Mile. See the highlights, then climb up Calton Hill – and end the day with whisky and a pub meal.


Sights on The Royal Mile

Walking The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland

The Royal Mile links the mighty Edinburgh Castle to the grandiose Holyrood Palace – and marks the center of Edinburgh.

Visit the castle (take a tour for a fantastic introduction) then walk the length of The Mile, stopping along the route to visit other popular sights. Top things to see are the St. Giles’ Cathedral, the Museum of Edinburgh, Canongate Kirk and the Scottish Parliament. Use our complete guide of Things To Do in Edinburgh for more details and additional attractions.

At the Palace of Holyroodhouse, buy a ticket to go inside to see the lavishly decorated British royal residence and The Queen’s Gallery.


Explore Calton Hill

Best and Unique Views on Calton Hill, Edinburgh, UK, Scotland

In the afternoon, make the short climb up Calton Hill. In addition to offering one of the most spectacular views of Edinburgh, the area hosts a handful of sights – like the National Monument (resembling the Parthenon), the Nelson Monument and the City Observatory.


Whisky and Pub Dinner

Taste Scotch Whisky, Edinburgh, Scotland

Wind down after a full day of exploring historic and royal Edinburgh with a Scotch whisky. There are an ample variety of whisky tasting experiences offered – from a whirlwind intro at The Scotch Whisky Experience (get tickets in advance) to an intimate Whisky and Folklore Tasting (booking is essential!).

Exterior of Deacon Brodies Tavern, Edinburgh, Scotland

End your first day in Scotland with a classic Scottish meal at a traditional pub on The Royal Mile. Deacon Brodies Tavern or The World’s End are our top picks, but have a peek at more recommendations (and explanations) on our list of Edinburgh Eats!


DAY 2: Explore Edinburgh Beyond The Royal Mile

View of Circus Lane, Stockbridge, Edinburgh, Scotland

On Day 2 of this Scotland Highlights Itinerary, explore beyond The Royal Mile. Stroll through parks, visit the best museums, discover beautiful districts and smell the flowers at the Botanic Garden.


Edinburgh Parks, Museums and Monuments

Fountain in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh is lush with vast green spaces, fantastic museums and ornate monuments – and seeing a few of the best is the perfect way to start Day 2 of your trip.

Spend the morning on a leisurely stroll through the landscaped Princes Street Gardens, which sit just beneath Edinburgh Castle. The National Gallery marks the east end of the park – and it’s well worth popping inside to see the collection of artworks (plus, it’s free!).

Gothic Scott Monument, Edinburgh, Scotland

The nearby Scott Monument – dedicated to Sir Walter Scott and riddled with statues – is a must-see Edinburgh sight. Energized visitors can climb the 287 stairs to the top for panoramic views.


Discover New Town

Houses of New Town, Edinburgh, Scotland

New Town is the posh, planned neighborhood just north of the Royal Mile. Developed in the late 1700s, the district is marked by elegant architecture and grand Georgian homes.

Start your discovery of New Town at St. Andrew Square (the first section of New Town to be built in 1772) and then walk a block north to the fabulous National Portrait Gallery and step inside the lavish Grand Hall entryway.

View of Georgian House on Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, Scotland

Zigzag your way through New Town so that you walk along all three of the parallel streets – Rose, Thistle and George – and end in Charlotte Square at The Georgian House, a furnished 18th century home open to visitors (with a ticket).


Dean Village, Stockbridge and the Botanical Gardens

View of Dean Village, Edinburgh, Scotland

Just a short walk from Charlotte Square is quaint Dean Village, which boasts a handful of old cottages and fine stone dwellings. The bucolic village sits appealingly along a curve of the Water of Leith River, attracting visitors and locals alike.

Look for the Old Stockbridge Market Arch, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

From Dean Village, follow the Water of Leith Walkway Path north to Stockbridge (detour to Circus Lane for the best mews in the city) and then continue on the path to the Edinburgh Botanical Garden.

Encompassing 70 acres, the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh features planned gardens connected by intertwining paths.


Dinner and Drinks in New Town

Must Eat at Edinburgh Street Food, Scotland Things To Eat

On the second day of your Scotland trip, dine in New Town, where there are upscale pubs (try The Magnum), spicy Indian eats (like the ever-popular Dishoom) and loads of fun bars (The Black Cat often has live music).

For an entirely different scene, join the boisterous crowds at Edinburgh Street Food, where international fare and local eats are on offer from multiple vendors under one roof.


DAY 3: Unique Edinburgh, Scotland

Interior of the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

Day 3 of our Best Itinerary for Scotland features some of the most interesting Edinburgh sights and attractions. Embark on a hike, visit a world-class museum, see an ancient cemetery and then go underground for an alternate perspective of the city.


Arthur’s Seat

Hike to Authur's Seat, Edinburgh, Scotland

Stretch your legs in the morning and hike to the 822-foot summit of Arthur’s Seat. The inclined trek is challenging, but the views are sublime.

Trekkers can opt to retrace their steps back into Edinburgh – or head down the backside of Arthur’s Seat to the Duddingston neighborhood, which boasts a historic pub and a lakeside walk.


University, Museum and Cemetery

McEwan Hall, University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Spend the better part of the day visiting top sights to the south of The Royal Mile: The University of Edinburgh, the National Museum of Scotland and Greyfriars Cemetery.

Walk through The University of Edinburgh – often ranked as one of the prettiest campuses in the UK – to admire the Georgian Old College and McEwan Hall. 

Just north of campus is the National Museum of Scotland, a phenomenal museum with interactive displays and natural history exhibits (be sure to find Dolly, the first cloned sheep!). 

Greyfriars Cemetery is right next to the museum – and it’s one of the city’s best attractions. The old graveyard features elaborate tombstones, spooky corners and a memorial to Bobby, a legendary dog. Travelers can join a tour or visit the cemetery on their own.


Edinburgh Underground Tour

In the late afternoon, delve deep into the dark history of Edinburgh and go underground on a tour of the hidden Edinburgh Vaults.

The subterranean space is a labyrinth of dark passageways that played a big part in the history of the city. The vaults can only be reached on a guided tour – and it’s best to buy tickets in advance


Dinner and Drinks in Grassmarket

Castle View from Cold Town House, Edinburgh, Scotland

The lively and fun Grassmarket district is the perfect place to cap off the third day of your 10-Day Scotland Trip.

Head up to the Cold Town House Rooftop Bar for local craft beer and then indulge in a pub meal at The White Hart Inn – one of the oldest pubs in Edinburgh and is also said to be haunted.  


DAY 4: Inverness and Scottish Highlands

Get Inspired with view like these in Inverness, Scotland

Get an early start on Day 4 of your 10-Day Tour of Scotland Itinerary and transit from Edinburgh to Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. Once settled in your hotel, set off to explore the city.  


Car, Train or Bus from Edinburgh to Inverness

Views of Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

Driving the route to Inverness from Edinburgh allows the opportunity to see a few sights along the route. Drivers can stop to see The Kelpies (the famous Scotland horse statues), Stirling Castle and the Victorian town of Pitlochry. If time allows, visitors with a car can also stop in Aviemore and visit Cairngorms National Park in route to Inverness.

Both trains and buses transport passengers from Edinburgh to Inverness. Either way, the ride takes about 3.5 hours, but trains tend to be more expensive.


Inverness Sightseeing

Take a Sight Seeing Tour, Inverness, Scotland

A thriving city in the heart of the Highlands, Inverness features abundant nature, a handful of sights and a buzzing bar scene.

With a half day to explore, visitors can cover some ground. Start in the city center to see the castle, cathedral, Inverness Museum, The Victoria Market, Old High Church and the famous Leakey’s Bookshop. If time allows, discover even more by using our article, What To See in Inverness.

Take a River Ness Inverness Walk, Scotland

Before dinner, set off on foot along the banks of the River Ness, crossing the historic bridges along the way. South of the center, the top attractions are the Ness Islands and the Inverness Botanic Gardens. Alternatively, take a walk north to Carnarc Point in search of dolphins in the Beauly Firth!


Dinner and Drinks in Inverness

Listen to Live Music, Inverness, Scotland

Make a dinner reservation at The Mustard Seed, one of the best restaurants in Inverness. Situated in an old church, the restaurant menu features Scottish Highland specialties – like Highland beef, Scottish salmon and venison dishes.

After your meal, head to one of the best Inverness bars. Gellions and MacGregor’s are our two favorite places for live music and a great atmosphere – but Johnny Foxes, Highlander and Hootananny have a solid line up of musical acts, as well. 


DAY 5: Tour the Highlands from Inverness

Boats in the lock at Fort Augustus, Scotland, UK

Inverness is an ideal jumping off point to see some of the best attractions in the Highlands! From historic sights to nature hikes or boat trips in search of mythical sea creatures, there are endless ways to plan Day 5 of your Itinerary for Scotland Trip.


Tour from Inverness

Loch Ness Jacobite Boat Tours, Scotland

Travelers with a car can plan to see these sights of Scotland on their own, but there are top-rated tours that can save the hassle of planning and driving. Plus, the guides offer outstanding insight into the history and people of the region. We are highlighting a few of the best guided tours and DIY adventures from Inverness.


Highlands Highlights Tour

Look for Highland Cows in Inverness, Scotland

Featuring the natural beauty of the Highlands, this top rated, small group tour takes you to the historic Culloden Battlefield, the ancient stones of Clava Cairns and a distillery. Also included are seeing Highland cows at a local farm, the iconic Urquhart Castle and photo stops along Loch Ness. Check availability! 


Classic Nature and Whisky Highlands Tour

Taste and Tour of Tomatin Scottish Whisky

On this classic Highlands tour, participants spend a full day experiencing some of the best Highlands sights: Cairngorm National Park, Carrbridge Village and Aviemore – plus, a stop at a historic Highlands distillery for a tour and tasting. Get the details!


Falls of Foyers, Loch Ness Views and Highland Coos

Trails of the Falls of Foyers Hike, Scotland

Travelers can plan their own day trip from Inverness to the east side of Loch Ness. Attractions along the loch are the Falls of Foyers Forest Hike, The Camerons Tea Rooms and Hairy Coos. You can also add in a stop to see the Loch Ness Alpacas in Dores!

Visitors can self-drive or use public buses to complete this day trip from Inverness.


Great Glen Way, Fort Augustus and Caledonian Canal

Loch Ness view from the The Great Glen Way, Scotland

The Great Glen Way is a multi-day hike that extends from Fort William to Inverness – but trekkers can easily complete just a portion of the route. We recommend taking the bus from Inverness to Invermoriston – and then hiking 7.5 miles to Fort Augustus (where you can take a bus back to Inverness).

Looking for Nessie at Loch Ness, Scotland

The top thing to do in Fort Augustus is to marvel at the locks of the Caledonian Canal (which also stretches from Fort William to Inverness), but visitors can also set sail on a Loch Ness boat tour to track down that illusive Nessie!

Travelers can self-drive or use public transit to complete this day trip, but a bus is best if planning to walk a full section of the Great Glen Way.


Inverness Dinner and Drinks

Craft beer at Uilebheist Distillery and Brewery, Inverness

After days of tucking into hearty Scottish cuisine, switch things up a little with pizza for dinner from Black Isle Bar. The short menu features wonderful wood-fired pizzas topped with local ingredients, which just happen to pair perfectly with a pint of excellent Scottish craft beer.

Stay local and grab a post-dinner drink at the riverside Uliebheist Distillery and Brewery, which boasts a contemporary bar as well as an outdoor beer garden.


DAY 6: Travel to Portree, Isle of Skye from Inverness

Isle of Skye, Portree, Harbour View, Scotland

Continue your Scotland Highland Tour Itinerary and travel from Inverness to the incredible Isle of Skye. After settling in at your hotel, set off to see the lovely town and, if time allows, take a coastal hike.


Car or Bus from Inverness to Isle of Skye

Amazing Duncraig to Plockton Walk Views, Scotland, UK

Travelers can reach Isle of Skye from Inverness by car or bus – and both routes traverse some of the most stunning landscapes in the Scottish Highlands.

By car, we recommend driving on A832, passing through gorgeous valleys, along blue lochs and around striking mountains. Make a stop in Plockton, Scotland – a pretty west coast village – to eat lunch and have a walk around town. Before continuing to Isle of Skye, make a second stop at the famous Eilean Donan Castle.

View of the Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland, Highlands, UK

Travelers without a car can take a bus from Inverness to Skye. The Eilean Donan Castle is on the route – and travelers who want to tour the castle can hop off the bus, store their luggage in lockers, check out the castle and then be on the next bus to continue the journey to Skye. Do note that individual bus tickets for each leg of the journey will need to be purchased (and they should be purchased in advance).

Note that there is a train from Inverness to Plockton, but there are no lockers at the train station and travelers will need to continue on by train to Kyle of Lochalsh to pick up a bus to get to Skye…and the train/bus times do not align very well.

The ride from Inverness to Skye – by car or bus – takes at least 3 hours without any stops.


Portree, Skye Sights

View over Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Once on Isle of Skye, make the most of what is left of the day. Use our tips to discover the Best Things To Do in Portree Town

See the colorful houses in the harbor, walk the Meall Walkway to the top of The Lump or spend a couple of hours hiking the coastline Scorrybreac Trail. If the weather is rainy (and it often is on the Misty Isle), spend the afternoon tasting local gin and whisky at the Isle of Skye Distillers.

Those who arrive early in the afternoon can opt to join one of the exceptional wildlife-watching boat trips that depart from Portree Harbour.


Dinner and Drinks in Portree

Find the Colorful Houses of Portree Viewpoint, Scotland

For dinner on your first night in Isle of Skye, feast on fresh caught seafood at Sea Breezes. The restaurant is situated in an old harborside building and the seafood offerings are spectacular (book ahead!).

After your meal, enjoy a drink (and maybe live Scottish music) at Merchant Bar, An Talla Mor 1820 Pub or West Highlands Bar.


DAY 7: See the Best of Isle of Skye, Scotland

See the Best of Isle of Skye, Scotland Itinerary

On Day 7 of this Best of Scotland Itinerary, explore the magnificent and mystical landscapes of the Isle of Skye on the Trotternish Peninsula. Most of the day will be spent outdoors and on trails – so lace up your hiking shoes and bring a waterproof jacket!


Trotternish Peninsula Sights

Hike Old Man Storr, Must Do Isle of Skye, Scotland

The Trotternish Peninsula hosts some of the most iconic rock formations, vistas and waterfalls on the Isle of Skye.

Top attractions along the route are Old Man of Storr, Lealt Falls, dinosaur prints and viewpoints at Brother’s Point, Kilt Rock Cliff and Mealt Falls Viewpoint, The Quiraing escarpment and The Fairy Glen. We share detailed information about each sight and more in our Best Things To Do on Isle of Skye article.

Brothers Point View, Best of Isle of Skye, Scotland

Those interested in hiking in Scotland will find fabulous trails on Isle of Skye. Old Man of Storr, Brother’s Point, The Quiraing and Rubha Hunish are all rated moderate – and each takes about 2 hours to complete.

Trotternish sights are accessible via the A855/A87 road that encircles the northern peninsula – and travelers can use a car or bus to reach them all.

View of The Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye, Scotland

That said, visitors without a car will need to pick and choose which sights to see, as the limited number of buses makes it impossible to see them all in a single day. Use the current Skye bus schedule to plan your best route.

Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that, while the parking lots (and bus stops) for each sight are close to the road, walking and/or hiking is required to reach nearly all the points of interest on Skye.


Portree Pub for Dinner and Drinks

Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, Edinburgh, Scotland

After a full day of hiking and sightseeing in Scotland, indulge in a hearty pub meal at The Isles Inn Pub in the heart of Portree. The casual restaurant serves classic Scottish meals alongside local craft beer and drams of whisky.


DAY 8: Isle of Skye Must See Sights

View of Neist Point Lighthouse, Isle of Skye, Scotland

More dramatic landscapes await on Day 8 of our ultimate Scotland Itinerary – plus a few man-made marvels and can even include a whisky tasting.


Adventuring Around Isle of Skye

View of the Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye in Scotland

The Isle of Skye is the second-largest island in Scotland. Attractions and sights are flung from one end to the other. Therefore, travelers have two ways to adventure around Skye: Self-Drive or Organized Tour.


Self-Drive Tour on Isle of Skye

Tips on What To Pack for Isle of Skye Vacation, Scotland Itinerary

Visitors with a car who are comfortable driving on the single-track roads can cover quite a distance in a single day. The top sights to see on Day 8 include Dunvegan Castle, Neist Point Lighthouse, Dun Beag Broch, Talisker Distillery and the Fairy Pools. We share additional details on how to plan this day in our complete Isle of Skye Itinerary.


Isle of Skye Organized Tour

Waterfall at the Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Scotland visitors without a car (and those who would just rather leave the driving to someone else for a day) can still see most of these sights on an organized tour.

We opted to join an active sightseeing tour that featured ample time for exploring top attractions (like Neist Point Lighthouse, Fairy Pools and The Fairy Glen), plus picturesque photo stops along the way. Find out more!  

Another popular Skye tour features stops at the Fairy Pools, Talisker Whisky Distillery and either Dunvegan Castle or Neist Point Lighthouse – and additional stops along the Trotternish Peninsula for photos. See if there is availability! 


Portree Dinner with a View

The View Restaurant and Lawn, Portree, Scotland

End Day 8 of your Scotland trip with an exceptional dinner at The View Restaurant in the Cuillin Hills Hotel. The menu features delectable meals made with locally sourced food – and the views across the bay are simply astounding. Just be sure to make reservations in advance, as they do book up – especially in the summertime.


DAY 9: Idyllic Island Landscapes

Amazing View of Isle of Skye from Isle of Raasay, Scotland Itinerary

The landscapes of Isle of Skye are otherworldly – and sometimes it is best to see them from afar. On the morning of Day 9 of your 10-Day Itinerary Scotland, set sail to Isle of Raasay. Then, back on Skye in the afternoon, wander and gaze at the mountainous vistas in Sligachan.


Isle of Raasay

View on Isle of Raasay of a Beach, Scotland Itinerary

Sitting just a stone’s throw from Skye, Raasay Island is rustic, charming and far less crowded than Skye. Plus, the views of Skye from across the bay are utterly staggering!

Getting to Raasay is easy and inexpensive with the local ferry from the Sconser pier. The ferries accept passengers, bicycles and a limited number of cars.

Coastline Walks on Isle of Raasay with Isle of Skye views, Scotland Itinerary

On Raasay, the top things to do are hiking or biking the coastal trails and eating a picnic lunch from an epic viewpoint along the elevated shoreline. After touring the island, visit the Raasay Distillery, where they produce both Scotch whisky and gin on site.


Sligachan Trails

Mountain Views in Sligachan, Skye, Scotland Itinerary

Ferry back to Skye and make your way to Sligachan, a historic Scottish settlement at an important crossroads on the island.

Trails extend from the Old Sligachan Bridge into the extraordinary Cuillin Mountain Range. A popular (but often soggy) footpath follows the riverside, offering sweeping views of the peaks in the distance. Another great trail is the short 1-mile hike to the flowing Sligachan Waterfall. Ambitious trekkers can continue an additional 5 miles to the Fairy Pools. 


Drinks and Dinner in Sligachan

Beers from the Cuillin Brewery, Sligachan, Skye, Scotland

Seumas’ Bar in Sligachan is a popular place to eat and imbibe on the Isle of Skye and is our recommended restaurant to end Day 9 of your trip. The fun eatery welcomes a lively crowd and serves satisfying pub grub – like burgers and fish-and-chips.

More than 400 Scottish whiskies are available at the bar and they offer tastings, too. Plus, they sell local craft beer from the Cuillin Brewery that is right next door.


DAY 10: The Best of Glasgow

View looking down Buchanan Street, Glasgow, Scotland

On the final day of your Scotland trip, make your way from Isle of Skye to Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city. After a long day of travel, there will just be enough time to take in the top sights.


Car or Bus from Isle of Skye to Glasgow

View of Buachaille Etive Mor, West Highland Way, Scotland

The route to Glasgow from Isle of Skye along A87/A82 is incredibly scenic…and incredibly long, with a total distance of about 200 miles.

Travelers with a car can make the journey in about 5.5 hours. However, there are a few gorgeous places to stop along the way (like Glencoe and Loch Lomond) to stretch your legs and gawk at the wonderful Scottish scenery.

The bus trip from Portree to Glasgow takes 7 hours – and we recommend leaving bright and early on the first bus of the day. That said, travelers can break up the journey with a short stop in Fort William for lunch (although, this will severely limit the amount of time you have to explore Glasgow later in the day).


Glasgow Sightseeing

Exterior View Kelvingrove Art Gallery Museum, Glasgow

Although Glasgow Attractions span from east to west, most sights are located in or near the city center and can be seen in half a day. If you plan to visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery or Hunterian Museum in the Glasgow West End, we suggest you begin there and then go straight to the Cathedral and finish in downtown Glasgow.


Glasgow Cathedral and Necropolis

View of the Glasgow Cathedral, Scotland

The Cathedral and Necropolis are two Glasgow sights that are not to be missed! The stone cathedral dates to the year 1136 and features colorful stained-glass windows. Behind the church, ornate gravestones and mausoleums cover the hillside, which served as the burial place for prominent Glaswegians in the 1800s.


Glasgow Street Art  

Famous St. Mungo Street Art, Glasgow, Scotland

The outstanding street art in Glasgow is impossible to miss. Large murals cover the sides of buildings all around the city. The most famous Glasgow street art mural is Saint Mungo – a painting by artist Smug, which is located at 287 High Street.

You can also find excellent murals on Mitchell Street, along with the architecturally unique ‘Lighthouse’ building that was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in the late 1800s.


George Square and Surrounding Streets

People enjoying the nice weather at George Square, Glasgow, Scotland

George Square marks the civic center of Glasgow. The green space is surrounded by elegantly designed buildings and is dotted with statues, monuments and memorials.

Nearby sights include the Gallery of Modern Art (free to visit) and the Duke of Wellington Statue that stands in front of the GoMa building (which will likely be topped with a traffic cone – a humorous Glasgow tradition).

Buchannan Street is a thriving shopping district – and even those with no ambition to shop should stroll the length of the wide pedestrian-only area and soak up the atmosphere of modern Scotland.


Eat and Drink in Merchant City

High Street and Merchant City, Glasgow, Scotland

End your day in Merchant City, the go-to district for dining and entertainment in Glasgow. An absolute mecca of pubs and restaurants, there is certainly something to please every palate.

Merchant Square, with multiple restaurants under one roof, is a fun place for a meal – and Paesano Pizza around the corner is a popular choice for locals. That said, for a final Scottish meal, our top pick is The Piper Whisky Bar, where you can savor one last serving of haggis!

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Scotland Itinerary Map

Use this link to Google for an interactive version of our Scotland map.

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Alternate Scotland Itinerary Ideas

Hiking Trails on Isle of Skye, Scotland Itinerary

We shared our Best Scotland Vacation Itinerary for 10 days, but we have a few ideas for travelers with alternate trip plans.


Scotland Itinerary 5 Days

With just 5 short days in Scotland, you will need to create a very concise itinerary. There are a few different ways to plan a 5 Days in Scotland Itinerary – and we are sharing our two recommendations.

The simplest way to plan a Scotland 5 Day Itinerary is to limit yourself to visiting just Edinburgh and Glasgow. Spend 3 days in Edinburgh and 2 days in Glasgow.

Those who want to experience the Highlands, however, could plan a fast-paced 5 Day Scotland Itinerary that includes Edinburgh, Skye and Glasgow.

Spend the first two days in Edinburgh, drive to Skye on Day 3, spend the next full day in Skye and then return to Edinburgh or drive to (and depart from) Glasgow.

Travelers without a car can also complete this itinerary by joining an organized 3-Day Skye Tour from Edinburgh.


Scotland Itinerary 7 Days

One week in Scotland can be a fantastic vacation! Planning a 7 Days in Scotland Itinerary allows you to enjoy quite a bit of the country at a fairly enjoyable pace.

One way to plan a Scotland 7 Day Itinerary is to visit Edinburgh, Skye and Glasgow. Spend 3 days in Edinburgh, drive to Skye on Day 4, spend a full day in Skye (Day 5). Next, drive to Glasgow on Day 6 and spend the complete next day exploring the city.

Alternatively, visitors could create a 7 Day Scotland Itinerary that visits Edinburgh, Inverness and Skye. Start the trip with 2 days in Edinburgh, drive to Inverness on Day 3, explore the Highlands on Day 4, drive to Skye on Day 5. Spend Day 6 discovering Isle of Skye, then on Day 7, drive to Glasgow.


Scotland Itinerary 14 Days

Travelers who can swing a full two weeks in Scotland will not be disappointed – because there is still so much to see!


Scotland Hiking Itinerary

The best way to plan a 14 Day Scotland Itinerary is to use our 10-day trip plan as a base – but add an incredible hiking adventure into the mix!

Begin by following our Scotland 10-day plan exactly as it is written (3 days Edinburgh, 2 days Inverness, 4 days on Skye). Then, spend the next 3 or 4 days Hiking the West Highland Way – one of the most stunningly beautiful long-distance walks in the world. Finish your trip in Glasgow, perhaps celebrating with a wee dram of Scottish Whisky.


Scotland Leisurely Trip Plan

Those not inclined to take a multi-day hike through the Highlands can expand their trip into an ideal Scotland 14 Day Itinerary. Simply add one full day to each destination.

Start with 4 days in Edinburgh and make a day trip to St. Andrews or Dunbar, Scotland. Next, spend 3 days in Inverness, which allows time for two day trips in the Highlands. Then, explore Isle of Skye for 5 days, as there are still more sights to see on the south end of the island. The final 2 days of the trip are in Glasgow (allowing time to see top sights in the city’s vibrant West End).

Note that it is still possible to complete either 2-Week Scotland Itinerary by Train and Bus or by car.


Scotland and Ireland Itinerary 2 Weeks

Top Tips for the Cliffs of Moher Walking Trail Doolin, Clare, Ireland

Travelers often choose to create an itinerary for Scotland and Ireland – as there are numerous cheap flights between the two. We recommend planning a 2-Week Ireland and Scotland Itinerary that showcases the best of both countries.

To begin, use our above advice for 1 Week in Scotland, ending the trip in Glasgow. Fly from Glasgow to Dublin, Ireland – and use our 1 Week Ireland Itinerary to plan your perfect trip!


England, Scotland, Ireland 2 Week Itinerary

View looking down Whitehall, London, England, UK

Planning a 2-Week England, Ireland, Scotland Itinerary? Fantastic! Our ideal 2-week trip includes 4 days in England, 5 days in Scotland and 5 days in Ireland.

Spend 3 Days in London exploring the top sights – and take one full day trip to either Windsor Castle or Bath, England. Next, travel to Edinburgh for 2 days and then join this 3-Day Skye Highlands Tour.

From Edinburgh, fly to Shannon, Ireland. Spend 3 days exploring the Village of Doolin and Cliffs of Moher, along with the Aran Islands and Galway. Then, spend your last 2 days enjoying the Best Things To Do in Dublin


Travel Tips for Scotland

View of Kilt Rock from Brothers Point Hiking Trail, Isle of Skye, Scotland Itinerary

Now that you are well on your way to planning your best Scotland itinerary, we have some practical information and honest advice to share with you.


Best Time to Visit Scotland

McLennan Arch and Collins Fountain, Glasgow Green, Scotland

Travelers should carefully consider when to visit Scotland. There are pros and cons to each season.

The weather in Scotland is notoriously unpredictable, but summer offers the best chance for sunshine – plus the days are long, which is ideal for sightseeing. On the downside, crowds can try your patience and prices are at their peak.

The shoulder seasons – spring and autumn – can be even more hit and miss with weather. May is historically the driest month and autumn can be sublime. Of course, winter can come early and stay late, which could put a damper on your outdoor plans. The upside is that there are far fewer fellow tourists and prices are not so steep.

Winter is the least desirable time to visit Scotland for most people. The days are incredibly short and it rains…a lot. That said, Christmas in Edinburgh and the New Year Hogmanay celebration attract happy herds of revelers!


Getting To and From Scotland

In our outlined sample Scotland Itinerary for 10 Days, we recommend arriving in Edinburgh and departing from Glasgow. Travelers have a wide range of options to arrive and/or depart either by plane – and it is possible to take a train to both from London.

Both Edinburgh and Glasgow have international airports that are served by major air carriers, as well as regional UK flights.

Travelers who prefer to fly in and out of the same city can choose Glasgow or Edinburgh. There are numerous trains and buses that connect the two in less than 2 hours.

We recommend using Skyscanner to search for fares – but read our tips for Booking Flights for Cheap before booking!


Getting Around Scotland

Go on a Train Journey in the Scottish Highlands

As we have already mentioned, the outlined 10-Day Scotland Tour Itinerary can be completed with a car or with public transport. We shared bits of advice along the way, but we have a few more important things to consider.


Tips for Creating a 10-Day Scotland Road Trip Itinerary

Travelers planning a Scotland driving itinerary can use this guide as is – but, with a car, it is possible to add a bit more sightseeing between destinations.

We do recommend taking a few tours in the outlined Itinerary for 10 Days in Scotland. We think tours can be a fun and stress-free way to sightsee, but travelers with a car can skip the tours and drive on their own.

Also, keep in mind that a car is not necessary in Edinburgh. Hold off renting a car until the fourth day of the trip. Find more rental car money-saving advice in our article, Rental Car Tips


Travel Tips for a Scotland Itinerary No Car

Scotland has an extensive network of trains and buses, making it possible for visitors to plan trips using only public transportation.

Planning a Scotland Itinerary by train and bus does require a bit more thought and attention to detail, but our outlined Scotland suggested itinerary is ideal for visitors without a car.

Travelers visiting Scotland during the busy summer months will want to buy tickets in advance. Tickets can be purchased online – and we recommend buying directly from the company if possible.

Google Maps is generally accurate with train and bus schedules, but the official bus and train websites offer the most up-to-date info (especially in the case of Scottish transport strikes).


Where To Stay in Scotland

Camping on Isle of Skye, Scotland Itinerary

In our 10-Day Trip Plan for Scotland, we recommend staying in Edinburgh, Inverness, Portree and Glasgow. We are sharing our top hotel recommendations for each location.


Edinburgh Places To Stay

Hotels in Edinburgh fetch top dollar (especially in the summer) – and you should expect to pay around $300 USD per night…and even more at luxury hotels, like the posh 5-star Balmoral Hotel.

The centrally located Hotel Indigo on Princes Street offers a superb location, but more affordable accommodations – like the Elder York Guest House – are just a block away.

Budget travelers can find a dorm bed at Castle Rock Hostel for a comparable bargain.


Inverness Hotels

Accommodation in Inverness ranges from luxury stays to cozy B&Bs.

Ness Walk is the premier luxury hotel in Inverness and features an ideal location along the riverside. That said, Columba Hotel in the heart of the city offers nice rooms at more reasonable rates.

Visitors looking for a charming bed and breakfast should check availability at Drumdale B&B, which offers guests a warm welcome and an exceptional breakfast.


Portree, Isle of Skye Accommodations

While accommodations dot Skye Island, we think it is best to stay in Portree – where there’s the most restaurants, pubs, tours and transit options.

The Portree Cuillin Hills Hotel is a top-rated property that offers guest rooms with lovely bay views and excellent service – and is priced accordingly. The Royal Hotel is a more affordable option in the center of town.

Budget conscious travelers should check out Portree Youth Hostel, which has bunks in dorms, as well as private rooms.


Glasgow Places To Stay

Our top pick for a one-night stay in Glasgow is in the city center – and the boutique Carlton George Hotel is an ideal choice. Situated next to the Queen Street Rail Station, the hotel offers clean and comfortable rooms – plus complimentary drinks from the minibar!


What To Pack for your Scotland 10-Day Vacation

What To Pack for your Scotland 10-Day Vacation Itinerary

Our final tips are all about what to pack for your vacation to Scotland. You can find all of our packing advice on our Packing Tips Page. Need a checklist? Grab your FREE Packing Checklist here!


Comfortable Travel Shoes

Deciding what shoes to pack for a Scotland vacation is a big decision. You will need a pair of shoes that are comfortable for city walking, as well as hiking trails. It’s also best to wear quick-dry or waterproof shoes.

I typically travel wearing lightweight sneakers and Kris is always comfortable in these trail shoes. If you’re intending to take longer hikes in Scotland, consider also packing proper hiking boots.

We share more advice and reviews in our article, The Best Shoes for Traveling.


Scottish Weather Gear

It’s often joked that while in Scotland, you can experience all four seasons in a single day. Therefore, you need to be prepared for the elements. A waterproof jacket is essential and a quality travel umbrella is also a good idea.

Of course, when the sun does come out, you will want to be prepared with sunscreen (or a travel hat that shades your face). It’s also smart to pack insect repellent that will keep away the midges (which are Scotland’s pesky, biting insects).


Day Pack

Whether you travel with a backpack or suitcase on your 10-Day Scotland Itinerary – it’s best to also have a day bag where you can stow all your everyday items. We like to wear small backpacks when sightseeing, but there are many styles to choose from. Use our advice for the Best Day Packs for Travelers


Travel Camera

Scotland is magnificent – and you will want to upgrade to a real camera to capture the true beauty of the landscapes. We use a DSLR Canon Rebel with a 18-135mm lens for our travels.

Not only does it take quality photos, it is easy to use and priced affordably – making it one of the best cameras for budget travelers.


UK Trip Insurance

Regardless of how well you plan your trip, things can go wrong. Lost luggage, canceled flights and getting sick abroad are just a few common trip mishaps. In many instances, a good travel insurance policy can help cover the costs incurred. If you don’t already have trip insurance, check the rates and coverage at World Nomads.


Travel Documents for Scotland

Of course, remember to pack all of your important travel documents – from your passport to printed confirmations to your Travel Planner! We recommend tucking them into a zippered Travel Organizer


Start planning your trip to the United Kingdom! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!


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