Natural beauties, medieval castles, historic buildings and surprising scenery: discover the most beautiful cities to visit in Scotland

In addition to being a country rich in histories and traditions, the Scotland It is full of beautiful landscapes and, therefore, is one of the places that most attracts tourists from all over the world. To discover some of the surprises that this charming place holds, we list some cities that will make your trip even more incredible than you could have imagined.

Most beautiful cities to visit in Scotland

Edinburgh

most beautiful cities to visit in scotland

Most beautiful cities to visit in Scotland. Photo: Carlos Delgado / Pixabay

Edinburgh has attractions that captivate all types of visitors: cobbled streets, medieval buildings, pubs and museums are just some of the things visitors can do to experience what the region has to offer. One of Europe's cultural centers, the place is beautiful, breathes history and is one of the most welcoming places in the world, so it's the kind of city that everyone should visit at least once in their lives.

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It is impossible to start an itinerary through one of the largest cities in the country without its main tourist attraction: the edinburgh castle. The building, which can be found on top of a rocky mountain in the middle of Edinburgh, has undergone many reconstructions and transformations over the decades. Inside the fortress there are several places to visit, such as the Santa Margarida Chapel (the oldest building in the region), the one o'clock gun (a weapon located in the castle that fires daily at 1 pm), the Royal Palace (which was the official home of the royal family), prisons of war, among others; to fully experience the castle, you need to set aside about three or four hours a day, as there is so much to see.

Want a lively tour? Just go through the Royal Mile. In addition to having a series of attractions located along the street – which is the heart of the city, it is a place full of life, with many artists, shops, museums and restaurants; walking through it is like traveling through the history of Edinburgh. A visit to the Tartan Weaving Mill, a gigantic shop selling Scottish goods, can be a great way to explore a little more about the local culture – even understand how the production process works to make a kilt, those plaid fabric skirts that are used by men.

Taking advantage of the walk, it is important to pay close attention to all the details scattered around the streets, such as the Heart of Midlothian Mosaic (a heart-shaped mosaic that was, for many years, a prison and public execution site), the statues of Adam Smith (considered the “father of modern economics” and a central figure to the Scottish Enlightenment), Water Scott (Scottish writer, playwright and poet) and David Hume (one of the most important thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment), and the site of the last public execution in 1864.

One of the most interesting places in Edinburgh, of course, is Mary King's Alley. The attraction – famous for its urban legends, myths and spooky stories – is located beneath the buildings of the Royal Mile and visitors can tour the site on a guided tour to learn a little about the characters who lived there.

Those who do not give up seeing historical buildings need to visit the Cathedral of St. Egidio, built in honor of the city's patron saint, one of the most important churches in Scotland. Beautiful on the outside and impressive on the inside, the cathedral has a program with several concerts, choirs and organ recitals that make the visit even more special.

After so much walking to check out the city's postcards, there's nothing better than a stop to eat, right? To taste typical Scottish dishes, the capital's local restaurants are the best options; be sure to try the black pudding (smoked sausage made with clotted blood) and the haggis (oatmeal dough with beef belly stuffed with viscera, a dish similar to buchada de goat from the northeast), two delicacies of Scottish cuisine.

Glasgow

United Kingdom

Cities in Scotland. Photo: brigsteer / Pixabay

Irreverent, daring and cosmopolitan, Glasgow it is famous for its Victorian architecture, modernity and the liveliness of the city. Just walk a little through the streets to notice that there is no lack of music, pubs with refreshing drinks and typical food – after all, tourists are also exploring the local cuisine.

Glasgow Lighthouse is one of the city's postcards for its historical importance, beauty and also for providing one of the most impressive panoramic views of the destination. Initially built for the Glasgow Herald, the building currently houses an exhibition honoring Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the architect responsible for the design of this and other buildings in the city.

Art lovers are delighted to visit GoMA (Gallery of Modern Art), a museum housed in an 18th-century neoclassical building whose collection includes works by great names, such as Andy Warhol and Sebastião Salgado, for example. But the most interesting part of the museum is outside: it's the statue of the Duke of Wellington with a traffic cone on his head. For a long time, the authorities removed the object, but the next day there it was again – a display of the locals' good mood – so they eventually gave in and today the cone on the statue has become a symbol of Glasgow.

Those who like European bohemia should pay a visit to the West End, a very cool place, full of shops, bars and restaurants. A great tour is to walk to observe the architecture and charm of the neighborhood, and whoever is looking for a place to have a beer you have to pass by Òran Mór, a bar that works in the basement of a 19th century church.

To enjoy some of the nature of the Scotland, a stop at the Glasgow Botanical Gardens is a must. It is common to see people enjoying the afternoon and having picnics on the lawn - especially in autumn, when the place is extremely beautiful -, watching the greenhouses or enjoying some public event (such as concerts, theater performances and small craft fairs) that take place on the weekends. weekdays and are unmissable events for those who want to know a little better how life in the city works.

As the typical Scottish dishes are quite peculiar, many travelers are afraid to taste the local food, but this is not a problem in Glasgow, as the city has typical Scottish food restaurants, but also establishments specializing in Mexican, Thai, American food. and many other options, that is, the tourist will certainly find something that pleases the palate.

perth

Scotland destinations

Most beautiful cities to visit in Scotland. Photo: via @boraviajartt

Located on the banks of the Toy River, Perth is an extremely important city in Scotland – many don't know it, but it was the country's capital for about 500 years – and owner of beauties that enchant tourists who venture through the region. So, make no mistake: despite being a small town, there are attractions that make the visit worthwhile.

When the idea is to enjoy the city for just a weekend, the program that needs to be part of the itinerary is a visit to the Perth fair, where local producers sell their handicrafts and fresh products directly to consumers. In addition, it is also a great way to see how the Scots live, have breakfast with a delicious honey cake, a typical dish of the country, and be entertained by all the vibrant atmosphere of the region. In the city center there are several fairs, some with entertainment options for children, live music and even animals.

The Fergusson Gallery is one of Perth's great treasures! The venue is dedicated to John Duncan Fergusson, one of the UK's most influential and important artists. The museum is not big and admission is free, so it's easy to fit it into your travel schedule.

St. Andrews

cities in scotland

Cities in Scotland. Photo: spotoftea / Pixabay

Located just 80 kilometers from the Scottish capital, St. Andrews was one of the most important pilgrimage centers in the country during the medieval period, as pilgrims went there to worship the saint who was the first patron of Scotland and gave the city its name. Currently, the region – full of history – has changed a lot and has become even more welcoming and full of charm.

The city's main attraction is St Andrews Cathedral, a church built in the 12th century and once the largest and most splendid in all of Scotland. Nowadays, those who visit the place are faced with the ruins of the construction, but make no mistake: this does not diminish the importance and beauty of the place, it just makes it even more unique. Another must-visit for travelers is the Cathedral Museum, which has a collection of impressive medieval sculptures, and the Tower of St. Rule, where you can go up and have a magnificent view of St Andrews.

Self-titled as “the land of golf”, tourists who arrive there are eager to discover the Old Course, the oldest and most iconic golf course in the world. As it is a public field, open to everyone, even those who are not familiar with the sport have fun visiting the place – which has hosted some of the main players and championships – and watching the games taking place. Close to the golf courses, the Golf Museum is the best place for the curious to understand the evolution of the sport over the years.

Another very interesting place to visit is the St Andrews Aquarium, located under the cliffs with a breathtaking view of the beach. Those who visit the place guarantee that they are transported to an underwater world of adventure and discoveries, as it is home to some of the most beautiful, fascinating and dangerous marine creatures, in addition to allowing interaction with some animals, such as penguins and reptiles.

Did you know that St. Andrews was the "Cupid City" of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Kate Middleton? The couple met when they attended the University of Saint Andrews (the oldest and most renowned in the country) and, since then, the place has become even more special and that is why it attracts many visitors.

A visit to the city is only complete after the tourist tastes a Deep Fried Mars, a local delicacy that is a chocolate bar filled with caramel breaded and fried. A sweet, simply, irresistible!

aberdeen

United Kingdom

Cities in Scotland. Photo: Graeme Churchard / Flickr

Aberdeen may not be a metropolis, but make no mistake: it's an amazing city and should be on every traveller's “place to see” list, especially those who love to venture out into Europe. As it is not a very touristy place, those who visit the region can feel like a true Scotsman, as they get closer to the routine of the residents, the places they most frequent, the weekend programs, but all this without forgetting to know the cards. postcards that “the city of granite”, as the town is known for its gray historic buildings, has to offer.

Located on the east coast of Scotland, the region is a real treasure for nature lovers, who are enchanted by its landscapes and has varied tourism options such as the Aberdeen Winter Gardens, the largest indoor garden on the entire continent that has an impressive collection. of plants from around the world.

THE Dunnottar Castle, which is on top of a cliff facing the sea, is one of the most beautiful places in the country. To visit it is necessary to face a trail, but there is no worry about fatigue, because the walk will be worth it since on the way to the construction there are some benches and viewpoints so that tourists can stop for a while to enjoy the view.

As it is home to one of the main fishing ports in the country, the city owns a large fish market and therefore has seafood dishes as its main gastronomic specialty. And to delight in the food options of the tour, after all, trying different dishes is also part of the tourism, the traveler needs to taste the famous buttery before leaving the destination; made with butter and lard, the biscuit was created in the 19th century for sailors who needed calories to sustain their journeys on the high seas. Since the subject is Aberdeen's maritime relationship, a curiosity about the region is the fact that it is home to one of the only beaches with white sand.

A holiday trip to the cities of Scotland can only be complete after a traditional glass of whiskey, right? A unique experience for visitors who know the destination is to visit some distilleries – which are fully prepared to receive tourists – to taste this classic drink.

Fort William

Scotland

Most beautiful cities to visit in Scotland. Photo: Tony Hisgett / Flickr

Known as “the outdoor capital of the UK”, Fort William is among the most beautiful cities to visit in Scotland and welcomes tourists throughout the year. The city has a variety of outdoor adventures to offer - as a result of its proximity to several mountains and trails - so, whether spring, summer, autumn or winter, travelers can go climbing, canoeing or even hiking. It is in the region that the largest mountain in the country is located, that is, there are many beautiful things to discover and observe in the region; what is not lacking is emotion and fresh air!

The main street in the city is the High Street, where you can find a little bit of everything: pubs, restaurants, shops, cafes, among other things. Taking advantage of the tour, the traveler needs to make a mandatory stop at the West Highland Museum, a place full of fascinating exhibits and a history collection (about archeology, Victorian Era and Jacobitism) that catches the attention even of people who don't like to take historical tours. .

Neptune's Staircase, or Neptune's Staircase, is an engineering marvel. Comprised of eight locks on the Caledonian Canal, it has an intricate design that allows for the passage of boats. To better understand how it works, set aside a few hours in your travel itinerary to walk along the steps and check out how the machinery works and see the ships passing by. To fully enjoy the tour, nothing better than a delicious picnic on the banks of the building, listening to the relaxing sound of the water and with the mountains in the background – which makes the place a great backdrop for photos.

The best things about Fort William are not its attractions, but its breathtaking landscapes, full of mountains, waterfalls and all the nature present on all sides. Ben Nevis is 1,344 meters above sea level and its ascent can take between four and eight hours (a time that depends on the amount of stops to change clothes, take pictures and eat), but once up there it is possible. have a privileged view and visit the ruins of the observatory (which operated between 1883 and 1904).

» Places to see in Edinburgh
» Britain's Most Amazing Castles and Palaces
» 15 days UK itinerary
» Harry Potter Fans Can Travel Scotland on the Real Hogwarts Express

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