Things to do in
Inverness

Explore the medieval streets of this gateway to the Scottish Highlands and look out for the Loch Ness Monster.

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Top sights in Inverness

Our most recommended things to do in Inverness

From Inverness: Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle

1. From Inverness: Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle

Cruise on Loch Ness and visit Urquhart Castle on this coach and boat tour that transports you directly from Inverness city center to the legendary Loch Ness. You’ll learn everything there is to know about the stirring past of these famous shores as you relax on a guided coach tour. After departing from Inverness by coach, you will drive to Loch Ness. Once you arrive, hop on board a boat to cruise across the Loch’s world-famous waters. Keep an eye on the sonars for a blip that could be Nessie! There is a fully stocked bar on board and a selection of Scottish snacks. Coffee, tea and hot chocolate are also served, should you require a little warming up. Once you are back on shore, explore the historic ruins of the once mighty stronghold of Urquhart Castle. After you have seen the castle, relax on the coach as you make the return drive to Inverness city center.

From Inverness: Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Tour

2. From Inverness: Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Tour

Explore the Isle of Skye on a day trip from Inverness, and marvel at some of the most stunning scenery in Scotland. Discover Loch Ness, Eilean Donan Castle, Portree, Kilt Rock, Lealt Falls, the Old Man of Storr, and more. Depart Inverness and travel South, along the shoreline of Loch Ness to Invermoriston. Stop for a short break at Loch Ness which is 24 miles long, over 700ft deep, famous for its sightings of the Loch Ness monster. Continue to the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle, situated on its own island at the head of Loch Duic. Take time to explore one of Scotland’s most photographed castles and its atmospheric surroundings. Journey to the Isle of Skye, passing over the Skye Bridge and on to the small village of Portree for a lunchtime stop. Portree, although a small harbor village, is the capital of Skye, and is surrounded by rocky cliffs and rolling hills. Take in its beautiful surroundings while enjoying lunch with views of the boats. Begin touring the island with stops at Kilt Rock, Lealt Falls, the Old Man of Storr, and perhaps Strome Viewpoint.

From Inverness: Jacobite Steam Train and Highlands Tour

3. From Inverness: Jacobite Steam Train and Highlands Tour

Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the Scottish Highlands and board the Jacobite Steam Train on a day trip from Inverness. Cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct for a scenic tour of Loch Ness and in the fishing town of Mallaig. Begin your journey by bus and drive along the world-famous Loch Ness, stopping for photos above the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Continue south and visit the Commando Memorial, overlooking the Nevis Range—home to the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Next, set your sights on the Jacobite Steam Train and hop on board at Fort William. Your journey through magnificent landscapes will end in the fishing port of Mallaig, where you can try fresh seafood for lunch (at your expense) or explore the town. Take the scenic ‘Road to the Isles’ to Glenfinnan viaduct for stunning views. Admire beautiful scenery as you ride to Fort Augustus, the Caledonian Canal, and Loch Ness. Finish your tour at Falls of Foyers and Dores Beach on the banks of Loch Ness.

From Inverness: Isle of Skye Scenery Tour with Fairy Pools

4. From Inverness: Isle of Skye Scenery Tour with Fairy Pools

Depart from a central meeting point in Inverness, where you will meet your guide and board the mini-bus. First, stop at Eilean Donan Castle and take plenty of photos as you admire the majestic beauty of this iconic sight in its wonderful coastal location. Upon arrival in Portree, make your way to the harbor viewpoint where you can see the pretty pastel-colored houses. Enjoy a short stop here, where you can also purchase a light lunch. Next, stop at a loch-side viewpoint, and discover the unique rock formation of the Old Man of Storr. See the 50-meter high pinnacle that juts out from the Trotternish Ridge and is recognizable from blockbuster films including Ronin 47, Snow White & The Huntsman, Prometheus, and The BFG. Continue to Kilt Rock, an exposed sea cliff that resembles the traditional Highland kilt. Be amazed by the imposing waterfall that cascades 60ft (180m) into the Sound of Raasay below. Visit the Quiraing landslip on the eastern face of Meall na Suiramach. On a clear day, see the Outer Hebrides and the Scottish mainland, framed by pinnacles, cliffs, and great buttresses. Enjoy some time for a short hike at this scenic location. Continue to the Fairy Pools, a series of crystal clear waterfalls and pools surrounded by the stunning backdrop of the Cuillin Mountain. Finally, stop for some photos of Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness. Admire the sight of the castle on a distinctive peninsula jutting out onto the mysterious Loch Ness, before heading back to Inverness.

From Inverness: Loch Ness and The Highlands Day Trip

5. From Inverness: Loch Ness and The Highlands Day Trip

Leave Inverness in the morning and follow the beautiful Caledonian Canal to its source at Loch Ness. The loch is home to the famous Loch Ness monster, affectionately known as Nessie. You'll spend most of the morning at Loch Ness, allowing plenty of time to look for Nessie. Choose to take a 5-star cruise across the loch to Urquhart Castle. If you’d rather see the loch from the shore, then stay on board the bus and your driver will take you to Urquhart Castle. Explore the ruins of the castle, enjoy the visitor center, and soak up the atmosphere of Scotland’s most famous Loch. Your tour continues to Invermoriston, where you'll pause to take photos of the bridge and Columbus Well. Afterwards, journey to Fort Augustus, the furthermost point of your full-day Highlands tour. Fort Augustus is a small town of only 650 people and a perfect spot to watch boats passing through the Caledonian Canal while you enjoy your lunch. After lunch you'll begin the journey back to Inverness, stopping at the Falls of Foyers. The waterfall was a favorite retreat for poet Rabbie Burns, and is truly breathtaking. Enjoy plenty of time here to appreciate the landscape before continuing on to Dores to see Dores Beach. Spend a short while wandering the sandy shoreline before boarding the bus for the final time and returning to Inverness.

From Glasgow: Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Tour

6. From Glasgow: Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Tour

From Glasgow, travel north towards the Scottish highlands. The first stop is for a cup of tea or coffee at a café on the shores of Loch Lomond. Climb up into the Highlands over the unique, desolate landscape of Rannoch Moor and the Black Mount to Glencoe, the site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald clan. After lunch in the Fort William area, continue beneath Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and into the Great Glen. At Loch Ness, take aN optional 1-hour cruise on the loch or enjoy the beautiful views at its shores. Before arriving back in Glasgow, cross the Grampian Mountains and the woodland scenery of Perthshire, including the Forest of Atholl.

Inverness: 24-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

7. Inverness: 24-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Join an open-top double-decker bus tour for an insight into the development of the city from the original street between Castle and Kirk, with the oldest building Abertarff House, to the recently completed Highland Archive Center. Inverness has had 5 castles through the centuries with many famous visitors, not all welcome, Macbeth, Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie among them. Plan your day from the top of a double-decker bus, with 360-degree panoramic views of the city. Visit the many churches, including St Andrews Cathedral, one of local architect Dr Alexander Ross’s finest buildings. On the Western outskirts of the city, see Tomnahurich Hill and the Caledonian Canal, hop-off for great panoramic views of Kessock Bridge, The Black Isle and the Inverness Firth out to Fort George. Discover the flight of 5 locks at Muirtown, constructed in 1822 by Thomas Telford to bring the Caledonian Canal to sea level. Finally, pass by the South side of Inverness Castle to see Flora MacDonald’s statue, the 3 Graces, then along General Wades road by Bellfield Park to Holm Mills shopping village. Red Route Tour stops: 1. Bus Station 2. Bridge Street 3. Castle Street 4. Bellfield Park 5. Bishops Road - opposite Cathedral 6. Bught Drive 7. Dochgarroch 8. Telford Street Blue Route Tour stops: 1. Bus Station 2. Old Perth Road - Opposite Filling Station 3. Culloden Battlefield 4. Stadium Road 5. Cromwell Road 6. Bus Station

From Inverness: Skye & Eilean Donan Castle Small-Group Tour

8. From Inverness: Skye & Eilean Donan Castle Small-Group Tour

Travel in style in a Mercedes minicoach and hear about Scotland's turbulent past from your knowledgeable guide. Marvel at the views of the mountains of Wester Ross on the drive to Eilean Donan Castle. Visit the castle before traveling over the bridge to Skye. Head through the mountainous heart of the island before arriving in the harbor town of Portree for lunch. After lunch the drive takes you around the Trotternish Peninsula. The guide will point out landmarks, including the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and Quiraing. Make your way back through majestic Glen Shiel, along the shores of Loch Clunie. The final part of the trip takes you along the banks of mighty Loch Ness.

From Inverness: Complete Loch Ness 1-Day Experience

9. From Inverness: Complete Loch Ness 1-Day Experience

Depart Inverness and journey to the deep freshwater lake of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands, where, on arrival, you will head to the Clansman Hotel for an optional boat trip across the water. Cruise around the loch for stunning views of the surrounding scenery, and get the chance to see Urquhart Castle from a different perspective. Look for the legendary Loch Ness Monster to work up an appetite, and then enjoy a delicious lunch at a nearby restaurant. Venture on with a gentle drive to Invermoriston, where you can go on a scenic stroll that showcases flowing rivers, an ancient summerhouse and the ruins of a picturesque stone bridge. Continue to the wee village of Fort Augustus, nestled between Loch Ness and the 60-mile Caledonian Canal. Journet back towards Inverness, stopping for short walks and coffee breaks at the scenic villages of Foyers and Dores before your estimated arrival in Inverness at 5:00 PM.

Inverness: John O'Groats and the Far North Tour

10. Inverness: John O'Groats and the Far North Tour

Your tour departs Inverness before traveling north, up to Loch Fleet to the village of Golspie. The village, situated on the north sea coast is nestled next to Ben Bhraggie and is an attractive little seaside resort complete with long sandy beaches. You will be able to spend time here for refreshments, before continuing on to Dunrobin Castle. A stately home in Sutherland, Dunrobin Castle is the family seat of Clan Sutherland. It resembles a French chateau with it’s towering spires, and overlooks the Moray Firth. You will spend time here exploring the beautiful stately home whilst enjoying some refreshments. You will then continue north through the Helmsdale Clearance to the Highland town of Wick for your lunch break. A former Viking settlement, Wick is the principal town in the far north of mainland Scotland. You can spend time exploring the town and taking in the views across Wick Bay whilst you enjoy your lunch. From Wick, you will then travel to John O’Groats; the most northerly point on British mainland. Here you’ll be able to stroll along the cliff path, take iconic photos at the signpost, and enjoy dramatic coastal views, perhaps even seeing some local wildlife! From John O’Groats, you will begin to make your way back to Inverness. You will travel to Dunbeath Harbor for photos, and to Brora, famous for its golf courses and magnificent coastal scenery.

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What people are saying about Inverness

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 5,346 reviews

Sean’s our tour guide was top notch! Knowledgeable, easy to understand, fun! Rabbies does a great job! About the tour itself, we got to see and do so much more than I realized. A full days tour! To those that may have injuries or trouble going long distances walking, Culloden is a very long walk around! Glen Affric was gorgeous! But the hikes are moderate to difficult if you have knee issues. I wish I’d have brought my hiking poles !

Beyond amazing! Rob was the best driver, guide, historian and story teller! The isle of slur was breathtaking, stories of Nessie in the loch, the castles and each beautiful skyline! The hike to the fairy pools was way more then I thought and with low water no as amazing as I expect but it didn’t stop this tour from being any less incredible! 10/10 recommend!

Great tour, a lot to see in one day, sometimes you would like a little more time, but that's not the point of the tour here. You would have to book a longer tour for that.

Matthew our guide was fun, an amazing source of knowledge, kind and looked out for us all. Definitely recommend.

Great guide, wish I had done 3 day tour to isle of Skye, otherwise great knowledge and scenes