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Things to do in Inverness

Things to do in  Inverness

Welcome to Inverness

Nestled on the banks of the River Ness in northern Scotland, Inverness is the last city stop on the way up to the remote Shetland Islands. Slightly more subdued than major Scottish cities such as Edinburgh or Glasgow, Inverness lies within reach of top attractions including the Great Glen and Loch Ness—attracting year-round travelers eager to admire the spectacular scenery and rugged landscapes for which Scotland is famous. Within the city itself, visitors can take hop-on hop-off bus tours to sites of interest including Abertarff House, the Caledonian Canal, Inverness Castle, and the Merkinch Local Nature Reserve—and gain insight from tour guides into centuries of Scottish history. Looking farther afield, you’ll find whisky-tasting tours to the Highland and Speyside regions, home to famous distilleries including Glenfiddich and Glenlivet; early-morning canoe trips through the mighty Aigas Gorge; full-day tours to Loch Ness and Glen Affric; and day trips to diverse destinations including Applecross, Eilean Donan, and Torridon, where life ticks by at a wonderfully relaxing pace. And if time isn’t pressing, two- to five-day adventures take in far-flung corners of the Scottish shoreline such as the Isle of Skye, Orkney Islands, and Hebrides, where the natural beauty of Scotland’s rugged Atlantic Coast reveals itself in full.

Top 15 attractions in Inverness

#1
Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

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Scotland's largest island, the Isle of Skye is a pocket of wilderness jutting off the coast of the West Highlands. The area is a treat for nature lovers, with its dramatic sea cliffs, windswept valleys, and glittering lochs.More
#2
Loch Ness

Loch Ness

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While visitors flock to Loch Ness hoping to catch a glimpse of its elusive and eponymous monster, Loch Ness—a lake in the Scottish Highlands—is worth the trip even if you don’t believe the rumors. Vast and surrounded by magnificent Scottish scenery, Loch Ness is a popular boating and sightseeing spot.More
#3
Fort Augustus

Fort Augustus

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A village on the shores of Loch Ness, Fort Augustus is a popular destination in the Scottish Highlands. Once a garrison in the 18th century, the scenic village today attracts cyclists, hikers, and travelers in search of the Loch Ness monster. It’s also a gateway to the Great Glen Way, a 73-mile trail that runs from Inverness to Fort William.More
#4
Urquhart Castle (Caisteal na Sròine)

Urquhart Castle (Caisteal na Sròine)

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Set on the shore of Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle (Caisteal na Sròine) attracts many visitors that come here in hopes of glimpsing Nessie, the loch’s fabled aquatic monster. The ruined medieval fortress, which was destroyed in 1762 to prevent it from becoming a Jacobite stronghold, now houses a visitor center that exhibits objects found amid the ruins.More
#5
Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield

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The Culloden Battlefield was the site of one of the last battles to take place on British soil. On April 16, 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie and his army of 5,000 Jacobite Highlanders faced off against the Duke of Cumberland and 9,000 Hanoverian government troops. Though the Jacobites fought valiantly, they were ultimately defeated, resulting in the elimination of the Scottish clan system and the suppression of Highland culture. Today, the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre retells the events of that fateful day through interactive exhibits that put travelers in the thick of the action.More
#6
Clava Cairns

Clava Cairns

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The Clava Cairns—or the Prehistoric Burial Cairns of Balnuaran of Clava—are all that remains of what was once a much larger Bronze Age burial complex. Dating back 4,000 years, the evocative cemetery site retains original features, including passage graves, standing stones, and ring cairns (stone circles).More
#7
Inverness Castle

Inverness Castle

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Perched atop a hill by the River Ness, this Victorian-era red sandstone castle—built to replace the medieval fortress blown up by the Jacobites in 1746—is one of Inverness’ most prominent historic structures. Access to the castle, now occupied by government offices and law courts, is restricted but the grounds are open to the public.More
#8
Caledonian Canal

Caledonian Canal

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Pleasure boats float along Caledonian Canal, a scenic 60-mile (97-kilometer) waterway that runs through Scotland's Great Glen, connecting Fort William in the southwest to Inverness in the northeast. The canal, which links Loch Lochy, Loch Oich, Loch Dochfour, and Loch Ness, is popular with walkers and cyclists, who follow towpath trails.More
#9
Inverness Cathedral (St. Andrew's Cathedral)

Inverness Cathedral (St. Andrew's Cathedral)

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With its imposing pink sandstone turrets presiding over the River Ness, Inverness Cathedral (St. Andrew's Cathedral or, less commonly, the Cathedral Church of St. Andrew) is one of the most striking of the city’s many churches. The 19th-century Gothic-style structure is conspicuously spire-free. Though architect Alexander Ross put them in his original design, they had to be scrapped due to lack of funds.More
#10
Glen Ord Distillery

Glen Ord Distillery

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Founded in 1838, Glen Ord is the only remaining single malt whisky distillery on the Scottish Highlands’ Black Isle peninsula. Visitors can go on a behind-the-scenes tour to see and understand the process of making a single malt from start to finish; you’ll check out the barley maltings as well as fermentation and distillation methods.More
#11
Cawdor Castle and Gardens

Cawdor Castle and Gardens

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Cawdor Castle is immortalized in literary history as the fictional home of the Thane of Cawdor in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The Highland castle, however, has little in common with its fictional counterpart as it wasn't built until the 14th-century, 300 years after the reign of both the real and fictional King Macbeth.More
#12
Fort George

Fort George

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Built by George II in the mid-18th century to defend against Jacobite attacks following the Battle of Culloden, this vast military fort functions as a working army base and as a tourist attraction. View collections of arms, browse exhibitions on Scottish army regiments, and make the 1-mile (1.6-kilometer walk around its ramparts.More
#13
Old High Church (Old High St. Stephen’s)

Old High Church (Old High St. Stephen’s)

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Dating back to 1897, Old High Church (or Old High St. Stephen’s) is the oldest church and congregation in the Scottish Highlands capital of Inverness. The church is noteworthy for its Arts and Crafts/Gothic-style architecture, Ballantine stained glass, 1902 organ, and adjacent cemetery overlooking the Ness river.More
#14
Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition

Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition

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Using projections and special effects, this immersive exhibition focuses on the ecology of Loch Ness and the mysterious monster that supposedly swims its waters. Curious visitors find out about the lake habitat and the likelihood of a monster surviving here, as well as learning about previous monster hunts, research missions, and hoaxes.More
#15
Eden Court Theatre and Cinema

Eden Court Theatre and Cinema

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A cultural hub in the capital of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness’ Eden Court Theatre and Cinema hosts a variety of events from a broad range of disciplines, including music, theater, dance, comedy, and film. A visit to the venue is a great way for travelers to take the pulse of the local cultural scene.More

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Top activities in Inverness

The Isle of Skye & Eilean Donan Castle from Inverness
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Highlander Loch Ness and Culloden Battlefield 8 Seater Tour from Inverness
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Full-Day Outlander Experience in the Scottish Highlands from Inverness
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Isle of Skye Full Day 8-Seater Bus Tour from Inverness
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Hogwarts Express and the Scenic Highlands Day Tour from Inverness
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The Ultimate Isle of Skye Day Tour from Inverness
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Glenfinnan Viaduct and The Great Glen 8 Seater Tour from Inverness
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John O'Groats, Dunrobin Castle & the Far North from Inverness
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Loch Ness & The Highlands from Inverness
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GoHighlands Dunrobin Castle and more
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Isle of Skye Day Trip from Inverness
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Isle of Skye Private Tour

Isle of Skye Private Tour

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Recent reviews from experiences in Inverness

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A Great Day in Inverness
John_D, May 2022
Half-Day Loch Ness Tour from Inverness with Pick up
Our total group was 6 people and tis is the best way to see everything and be able to get out and take some great photos.
star-5
Wonderful Tour of the City
Marcus_J, May 2022
Inverness Bike Tour a 2 hours guided bike tour around the Waterways of Inverness
This was an incredible way to see the city of Inverness!
star-5
Excellent activity and top guide
AnneMarie_R, Apr 2022
Inverness Bike Tour a 2 hours guided bike tour around the Waterways of Inverness
Would highly recommend to anyone wishing to see Inverness from a locals perspective.
star-5
Amazing day around Inverness
Eric_V, Mar 2022
Loch Ness,Culloden Battlefield,Cawdor Castle & Much More From Inverness City
It was a perfect way to see the sights around Inverness and would use him again if I had the choice.
star-5
Totally recommended
Chelsea_T, Feb 2022
The Complete Loch Ness Experience Small-Group Day Tour from Inverness
A gift for my dad and his partner whilst in Inverness travelling, they told me it was a fantastic day lots to see and the tour guide was amazing
star-5
Great experience
Thomas_M, Dec 2021
GHD Clan Tour of Northern Whisky Distilleries
Along the way we stopped to see highland cattle and other points of interest.
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Wonderful Tour with a Great Guide
Julie_C, Dec 2021
Half-Day Tour, Loch Ness, Cawdor Castle & Outlander sites Tour from Inverness
Would highly recommend this tour for anyone who wants to see the main attractions of Inverness and the surrounding area with someone helpful and knowledgeable, and willing to cater the experience to you.
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A highly recommended tour! Had a great time.
Barinder_A, Dec 2021
Isle of Skye Full Day 8-Seater Bus Tour from Inverness
Will revisit the City and Isle again in the Summer im sure.
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Highlands with Culloden, Clava Cairns, and more
Ann W, Aug 2018
Highlander Loch Ness and Culloden Battlefield 8 Seater Tour from Inverness
He knows the history and all the special places to visit in the Inverness area.
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Very good tour. You don't get to see...
Keith H, May 2016
Isle of Skye Day Trip from Inverness
You don't get to see all of the Isle of Skye but what you see is well worth going for.
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Had a wonderful time in Inverness...
Justine G, Jul 2016
Isle of Skye Day Trip from Inverness
Had a wonderful time in Inverness the tours I went on with the Highland experience and our driver and was very informative even though it rained most of the time we still got to see a lot of things my Jacobite tour of Loch Ness was beautiful
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Perfect Speyside Distillery Experience!!!
Stacy_C, Oct 2021
GHD Clan Tour of Speyside Distilleries
We experienced a tasting, toured a distillery, and grabbed a quick lunch before we headed out to see the Coopers work their magic with whisky barrels at the Cooperage.
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Best trip ever! Can’t go wrong with this one
Medha_S, Sep 2021
Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Small-Group Day Tour from Inverness
Everything was very well planned and organised and Paul was ever so sweet to accept our request of doing a quick pit stop to see the Highland cows!
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Fantastic tour with a fantastic guide
Patrick_G, Oct 2020
The Ultimate Isle of Skye Day Tour from Inverness
Got to see pretty much everything on my list and then some which I probably wouldn't have gotten to on my own.
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Day tour of Loch Ness
Philip_B, Sep 2020
Loch Ness & The Highlands from Inverness
The tour was excellent, we were only in Inverness for a day and wanted to see the area and learn a little of it's history.
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Tailored and warm experience
James_H, Mar 2020
Loch Ness,Culloden Battlefield,Cawdor Castle & Much More From Inverness City
Mike was a warm, knowledgeable, and energetic guide who always knew the best way to see each site.
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Our highlander guide Jim was a highlight
BrooklynJetset, Oct 2019
Luxury Loch Ness Private Tour with Local Highland Guide BMW X5 + Whisky Tasting
The fall colors were gorgeous as we drove through the countryside to see the famous railway viaduct from the Harry Potter movies.
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Best Tour of our Entire Stay
Denise D, Oct 2019
The Isle of Skye & Eilean Donan Castle from Inverness
I'm definitely interested in visiting the Isle of Skye again to see more, but if you're visiting and want to make the most of a day from Inverness - this is the tour for you.
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Scotland Andy
Ambassador82716, Sep 2019
Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Day Tour from Inverness
The weather went from sunshine to steady rain, which lended for outstanding photo opts of numerous waterfalls rolling from the mountians and a rainbow over the bay.
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Recommended trip with a lot to see
Tero_L, Apr 2019
Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Small-Group Day Tour from Inverness
There's a lot to see along the route and a dozen stops was included in the schedule.
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