Inverness travel guide: best things to do for a city break, hotels, restaurants, attractions

Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle

One of Scotland’s most iconic locations, Loch Ness is just 30 minutes by car or bus south of Inverness. Take a boat trip to find ‘Nessie’, the Loch Ness Monster, and also visit the ancient ruins of Urquhart Castle. Stretching 37 kilometres, Loch Ness is the largest lake by volume in the UK.

River Ness and Ness Islands

You can take a two-hour walk from Inverness city center along the banks of the River Ness to the Ness Islands. Cross the footbridges to explore both sides of the riverbank and spot seals and seabirds between the two road bridges that cross the town. Other things to see include the Inverness War Memorial and Inverness Cathedral. Did you know, but the very first sighting of the Loch Ness Monster was not actually in Loch Ness, but in the River Ness, says


Towering over the city from the highest point above the River Ness, Inverness Castle is one of the city’s top tourist attractions. Although access to the castle is restricted, the park is open to the public. Other historic sites to visit include the 18th century fortress Fort George and the Bronze Age cemetery complex of Clava Cairns.

Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield, 10km east of Inverness, is the site of one of the most defining moments in Scottish history. It was here, on April 16, 1746, that the last Jacobite rising culminated brutally in one of the most heartbreaking battles Britain had ever seen. The battlefield is open daily and the visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

North Coast 500 road trip

Beginning and ending in Inverness, this rugged Scottish coastal route is well worth the 500 miles for which it is named. Taking up to five days to complete, trippers on the North Coast 500 can admire jagged mountains, historic fishing villages, Scottish architecture and breathtaking mountain scenery.

Shopping and markets

Inverness High Street is the centre’s “main shopping thoroughfare”, said. Shops and boutiques line the street and in addition to international and national brands, the street also hosts a choice of small Scottish shops and independent businesses offering ‘unique local items’. The Victorian Market in the center of Inverness is an indoor market which houses a wide range of independent shops, cafes and services. Here you can buy gifts from Inverness Souvenirs, clothing from Ness Ware or sweets from Story Chocolates.