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28 Top Scotland Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

28 Top Scotland Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring
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My wife and I share a fierce love of Scotland! Known for its rolling hillsides, historical towns, castles, bagpipes, and the loch ness monster – it’s a storybook destination that will leave your heart feeling full and tranquil.

Scotland’s climate is quite cold and unpredictable, so packing can be surprisingly challenging. That’s why we’ve put together a list that includes our top packing recommendations, what to wear in Scotland, along with what NOT to bring, and some useful FAQs.

Me freezing at Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh!
Me freezing at Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh!
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What to Pack for Scotland – 28 Essentials

  • 1. Scotland Power Adapter

    Scotland (U.K.) power outlets are not the same as in the U.S. or many other countries, so you will need an adapter in order to charge items like your phone, camera, or other devices. I always recommend bringing a universal adapter so that you can have multiple electronics charging at a time, cutting down on the total waiting time for those recharges.

    Power Adaptor

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  • 2. Jet Lag Relief

    International travel days are HARD, point blank. The layovers, time changes, long flights, and sheer physical and mental stress can really deplete your energy. Don’t sacrifice any precious vacation time being exhausted or dragging your feet. I find that using this natural jet lag prevention and remedy makes a huge difference in how I feel during and after travel days, especially since it uses chamomile flowers instead of caffeine.

    jet lag relief

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  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    There have been some major cyberattacks in Scotland, with attempts rising every single day. From charities to individuals to highly secure enterprises – Scotland has faced its fair share of complex and malicious attacks with troves of stolen data.

    Don’t risk your personal security. A VPN is something that you should never travel without since you’ll be joining public Wi-Fi networks at cafes, coffee shops, airports, hotels, etc. It acts as a safeguard by adding a layer of encryption between your data and any hackers, ISPs, government entities, or nosy neighbors who want to spy on your online activity. I speak from experience – this happened to me at an Airbnb, and our credit card number was stolen! The last thing you want is to wake up with a drained bank account when you’re meant to be enjoying the Scottish highlands. A VPN is easy to use and very affordable. Frankly, it should become part of your everyday artillery for online security!

    Virtual Private Network (VPN)

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  • 4. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    While Scotland experiences a full range of climates, rain visits Scotland about 200 days per year (closer to 250 in the Highlands!) Whether it be a heavy downpour or a quick drizzle, a travel umbrella like this one pictured will add significantly to your comfort while you’re out exploring. It’ll stand up much better to gusts of wind without you getting yanked around dangerously!


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  • 5. Quick-Dry Convertible Hiking Pants

    These convertible hiking pants are game-changers when traveling in Scotland! The chilly and damp climate can really take a toll if you don’t bring quick-dry fabrics. This pair is compact when stored but super warm (with silver fiber lining), lightweight, and nicely fitted. I love that they transform from pants to shorts, so I have the option to keep on the pant legs for warmth or zip them off if they get muddy or wet.

    Quick-Dry Convertible Hiking Pants

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  • 6. Travel Insurance for Scotland

    Keep in mind that you will likely not be covered by your domestic provider once you’ve crossed international borders. We had a friend break their arm hiking in Europe – thankfully, they had insurance to cover the medical bills and the expensive transit to a treatment facility because paying out-of-pocket would’ve been a nightmare! Travel insurance covers you against common issues like flight delays, cancellations, baggage loss, theft, and medical emergencies.

    Recently, we discovered an incredible provider that has really blown us away. Faye is a one-of-a-kind company that is raising the bar for all providers. With real-time care, everything can be handled from your phone for hassle-free claims. Most companies would draw out the process for months with paperwork, delays, and interviews. What is the point of having insurance if you can’t get your money back when something goes wrong? For a low price, you will be so thankful you protected your travel investment with Faye. They are simply the best!

    Faye Travel Insurance

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 7. Passport Pouch

    Edinburgh and Glasgow are known hotspots for pickpockets, so it’s still wise to take basic precautions with your important documents, passports, cash, credit cards, and phone while traveling. This neck wallet hangs around your neck, tucking neatly under your shirt so that you can keep your items safe and discreet. Plus, you won’t look like a vulnerable tourist wearing a tacky fanny pack.

    Passport Pouch

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  • 8. Luggage Straps

    An item that people tend to overlook is a luggage strap. Be thankful you haven’t dealt with a suitcase exploding open due to faulty zippers or locks – it’s a nightmare! My friend’s suitcase once busted open after some rough handling by the airport staff. Luckily, I had one of these adjustable belts on me that reinforced his bag for the next flight. If he had used these in the first place, the zipper never would’ve burst.

    It also makes the baggage claim process way less stressful since you don’t have to push past massive crowds to check each generic bag that vaguely resembles yours. Instead, these brightly colored straps POP from afar and you can’t miss your belongings. In the unfortunate chance that your bag gets lost, it has a reusable label for your contact information.

    luggage straps

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  • 9. Moisture-Wicking Headband / Scarf

    Scotland receives the highest rainfall in the United Kingdom. So the more you can aim for moisture-resistant or fast-drying options in Scotland – the happier you’ll be! These moisture-wicking headbands do the trick. They’re pretty stylish with a great ability to be multi-purposeful – I use mine as a headband to keep the hair out of my face, a gaiter (around the face) in harsh winds, a dust mask, or a scarf.

    Moisture wicking scarf ireland

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  • 10. Packing Cubes

    Packing cubes are by far one of my favorite inventions for traveling. With labels on each cube, you can organize pieces by tops, bottoms, pajamas, essentials, or whatever system works for you. It’s a breeze to find things without throwing your suitcase around the room, and you can also easily switch the smaller pouches from luggage to a day bag without having to unpack and repack everything when city-hopping. They cut down so much on bulk – once you use cubes, you never go back!

    Available on with an exclusive 15% discount using the coupon code “HERO”.

    packing cubes

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  • 11. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    European bathrooms are notoriously small. Whether it’s a loo, a water closet, a cludgie, or any other wacky name that the Scots call a restroom – the storage space will generally be limited. We recommend coming prepared with this hanging toiletry bag – a nifty invention turns any door, hook, shower pole, or branch (if camping!) into a shelf-like contraption. It allows you to see all of your products in the 4 giant internal pockets (with elastic bands to keep bottles from slipping and sliding), plus 3 smaller external pockets for things you need quick access to.

    This may sound dramatic, but this hanging toiletry bag has changed our lives! Because we are avid travelers and it changes the way we travel. It will make you feel like a pro since it’s designed to last for life, designed by a sustainable brand based in Hawaii that gives back to women’s education. Don’t forget the TSA-approved bottles, and you’re all set!

    hanging toiletry bag

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  • 12. TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

    After having something stolen out of our checked bag, we always put luggage locks on our suitcases. You can also use these on your backpack when exploring crowded attractions, your carry-on, a locker, and more. It offers peace of mind and is TSA-safe for random baggage screenings. This set even comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee!

    luggage locks

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  • 13. Waterproof Hiking Shoes

    As you hike up to Edinborough Castle or the mountains of Cairngorms National Park, hiking shoes will be very important. This pair has a waterproof seal that allows you to explore natural attractions without becoming vulnerable to freezing, wet toes! Even if just walking through the cobblestoned towns, supportive walking shoes will make all the difference.

    Hiking Shoe

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  • 14. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    A quick-dry towel will be one of the most valuable items on your packing list. Some accommodations won’t provide towels and hiking around with big, fluffy ones is not practical. Opt for these microfiber towels that are premium quality and light as a feather. They’re 10x more absorbent than cotton so you can use them for water activities, canyoning, hiking, or for more unique purposes like a seat cover, packing cushion, wrap, etc.

    Quick-Dry Travel Towel

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  • 15. Discounted Tickets to Scotland Attractions

    Get Your Guide offers can’t-miss tours in popular cities. Scotland is oozing with history and elegance, so you’ll want to hit the major attractions like Edinburgh Castle, cruising through Loch Ness, and going Roman for a day at Hadrian’s Wall. We found the underground vaults to be another great experience, and whiskey lovers will adore this tasting and history lesson.

    While getting around major cities is easiest with a hop-on-hop-off tour, some of the best things are far across the glens and valleys of Scotland. We recommend daytrips to scenic Northumbria, historical Loch Lomond, the fairy pools of Isle of Skye, or the awe-inspiring Highlands.

    Discounted Tickets to Scotland Attractions

    See all Scotland attractions at ➜

  • 16. Universal Waterproof Phone Case

    Water is certainly a threat to electronics, so it’s better not to risk exposure. Your phone should be well-protected since you’ll likely want to have it on you at all times. This waterproof case also protects against dirt, and dust, all while still allowing you to use the touchscreen and camera. The price can fit into any travel budget, too, so it’s absolutely worth it. We love the quality and the fact that it’s designed in Hawaii by a woman-owed company.

    waterproof phone pouch

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  • 17. Water-Resistant Daypack

    The more protection you can get from the rains, mists, and other sources of water in Scotland, the better. This daypack is water-resistant and does an excellent job of shielding any fragile items or electronics inside from the moisture outside. With a roomy main compartment, it can fold up compactly into its very own tiny carrying pouch when you’re not using the bag. We’ve found it to be an incredible value for the price!

    Water-Resistant Daypack

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  • 18. Mosquito-Repellent Wristbands

    Mosquitos and other biting insects like midges are certainly an issue in Scotland, as in many other parts of the U.K. and Europe. To avoid worrying about it, I always recommend mosquito-repellent. These wristbands are non-toxic, which I find way safer than spraying and respraying harsh chemicals on my family all day. Locals also swear by Avon’s “Skin So Soft” lotion for repelling both mosquitos and midges, especially when paired with this wearable method of bug-repellent.

    Mosquito-Repellent Wristbands

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  • 19. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    As you explore the Royal Mile, Stirling Castle, and vast scenery that can put you out in the middle of nowhere – a portable charger for your devices can be a lifesaver! This one is about the size of a lipstick tube but can fully charge a dead phone. It’s a great safety precaution in case you need to look up an address, book an Uber, or call for help in an emergency.


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  • 20. High-Quality Jacket

    Scottish winters rest at a cool 0°C (32°F), which is literally freezing. Whether it’s a snowy or sunny time of year, it’s almost always sweater weather here, so having a high-quality jacket is a necessity. Columbia is our go-to brand because they design with travelers in mind, making practical gear that is durable and affordable. This one is waterproof and ideal for light rain.

    High-Quality Jacket

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  • 21. Insulated Gloves

    Gloves are nice to have regardless of the season in Scotland. You may not need them during summers at the pub or inside the cathedrals – but anytime you’re going near a mountain or coastline, the wind picks up and makes things wayyy chillier. These are the best gloves I’ve found since they’re waterproof, made with genuine sheep leather, and still breathable due to the polyester lining. They’re not cheap, but the quality checks out. A small investment to avoid frozen digits!

    Insulated Gloves

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  • 22. Waterproof Pocket Blanket

    When I envision my dream trips to Scotland – we’re having picnics in the Highlands, enjoying the beaches of Eigg, and taking in the sights atop the cliffsides of deep inlets. This waterproof blanket comes with us for all of these adventures and more. It dries fast, doesn’t allow moisture to seep through, repels sand, and folds up into a compact hand-sized bag. As the Scots would say, “it’s pure dead brilliant!

    Waterproof Pocket Blanket

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  • 23. Wool Socks

    Is there anything worse than cold, wet toes? Wool is an ideal material to wear in Scotland to keep everything toasty. It’s a material that keeps the chill away yet is surprisingly light to carry, so it won’t add a ton of weight to your luggage. It’s also always a good idea to carry an extra pair of socks in your backpack, as you really don’t want to experience walking or hiking for long periods of time in wet socks.

    Wool Socks

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  • 24. Water-Resistant Shoe Bags

    Travelers rarely consider how to store their shoes when they’re on-the-go – but you won’t want to put snowy, wet, muddy, or sandy shoes back in your suitcase or backpack. Not to mention, the city street funk and public loos (bathrooms) aren’t always the cleanest… Pack along these shoe bags that elegantly solve this conundrum – giving you a barrier between your dirty and clean items.

    Water-Resistant Shoe Bags

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  • 25. Water Bottle with Built-in Filter

    You should never trust tap water in foreign countries unless you know for sure it’s drinkable. While the water is generally safe in Scotland, carrying your own water with you is the best way to avoid paying for tons of wasteful plastic water bottles. This filtered water bottle will help improve the taste and clarity of the water in Scotland so you can stay hydrated..

    Water Bottle with Built-in Filter

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  • 26. Pre-Paid Europe SIM Phone Card

    Unless you’re on a pre-paid international phone plan (likely being price-gauged by your provider with extreme roaming rates and service fees), you will need a European SIM card. This one allows you to have 10GB of data and 1,000 texts for your time abroad, which should be enough to get you by for a short vacation. It will save you time, money, and stress!

    Pre-Paid Europe SIM Phone Card

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  • 27. Eye Mask

    The midnight sun is a phenomenon that occurs in the summer months in places near the Arctic region. Scotland experiences what the locals call a ‘nearly midnight sun,’ which causes the sunset and sunrise to be pushed to peculiar times. Bring along a black-out eye mask which is proven to improve overall sleep by blocking out ambient light.

    Eye Mask

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  • 28. Packable “Just in Case” Bag

    Scotland is famous for top-quality gifts and souvenirs that you actually want to bring back to friends and family! This “just in case” bag is the perfect tagalong since it takes up virtually no room on the way there, but counts as your personal item on the flight back. It fits perfectly under your seat and you can fill it with locally-made treats like cashmere clothing, Arran fragrances, handmade jewelry, Edinburgh crystals, and single-malt whiskey or scotch.

    Packable “Just in Case” Bag

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What to Wear in Scotland

If you are planning a trip to Scotland, be prepared to be surrounded by stunning beauty with dramatic landscapes, mist-topped mountains, and plenty of sheep.

Fashion doesn’t play a big role in what locals wear – dressing for the unpredictable weather definitely takes priority, especially outside of cities. Always dress in layers, and no matter what time of year you are visiting, be ready for rain by bringing an umbrella, a raincoat, moisture-wicking gear, and waterproof boots at the very least.

What should WOMEN wear in Scotland? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample women’s clothing list. (All items link to for your convenience).

In cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow, start with a pair of comfortable shoes for walking on cobblestone and hilly streets. Wear leggings or skinny jeans with solid-colored shirts or long sleeves and a knitted sweater on top. If you are primarily visiting cities, you can add some style with a trench coat or leather jacket and a satchel purse. A scarf always looks great and a hat and gloves can be useful in any season. For travel plans that go outside of the cities into the Highlands and the Outer Hebrides, it is vital to have a pair of waterproof hiking boots and socks. Pack thermal leggings and moisture-wicking athletic clothing like workout long sleeves or zip ups. For outside, you will want a waterproof jacket and pants. It’s also useful to have a warm hat, gloves, and a scarf as it can be very windy.

What should MEN wear in Scotland? – (Click to expand)
Below is a sample men’s clothing list. (All items link to for your convenience).

Men can go for a more stylish look if they plan on spending a lot of time in cities. Choose a pair of comfortable shoes for walking. Wear chino pants or fitted trousers with solid-colored shirts and knitted cardigans. If you are going to be exploring the Highlands and the Outer Hebrides you will need a pair of good, waterproof hiking boots. Keep your feet warm with waterproof socks and if it’s winter, thermal underwear is always a good idea. Opt for dry-fit clothing and underlayers whenever possible. It’s also useful to pack a pair of convertible waterproof pants which you can change into shorts if it gets too warm. Outside wear a warm waterproof jacket and bring a hat, gloves, and a scarf.

Packing for the Seasons in Scotland

Seasons in Scotland are temperate, with a definite difference between Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Expect more of a chill than you may be used to – Scotland is very far north of the Equator, and can get quite cold during certain seasons.

WINTER – December, January, and February

These are the coldest months. Winter is the least pleasant season with short hours of daylight, lots of rain, and some snow. Make sure to pack warm layers including thermal underwear, wool socks, fleece-lined pants, sweaters, a warm winter jacket, a hat, a moisture-wicking scarf, and mittens. Outside will be quite wet so you should bring a pair of waterproof boots and an umbrella. Temperatures average from 32°F to 41°F (0°C to 5°C).

SPRING – March, April, and May

The spring has a milder breeze and is a great time to visit. Flowers like cherry blossoms and bluebells are blossoming and young wildlife (including baby animals!) can easily be spotted. The weather is unpredictable this time of year so wear lots of layers. Match fitted pants with t-shirts and cardigans that you can peel off if it gets too hot. You’ll also need a good windproof and rainproof jacket for outside and a pair of hiking boots if you plan on doing any exploring outside the cities. Temperatures average from 45°F to 55°F (7°C to 13°C).

SUMMER – June, July, and August

These are the warmest months in Scotland although, when compared with many other countries, the temperature doesn’t feel like summer. Summer in Scotland boasts extended hours of daylight where the sun won’t even start to set until around 10:00 PM in the Highlands but even later if you are visiting Orkney and Shetland. However, the midges (similar to mosquitoes) are notorious for being voracious this time of year, so you must wear mosquito repellent.

Locals swear by Avon’s “Skin So Soft” as the best protector against the midges and other bugs. Definitely dress in layers! Scotland is very breezy in the summer so you will want a windproof jacket, and it should be able to stand up to rain as well. Pants, long sleeves, and sweaters are still necessary this time of year. Temperatures average from 59°F to a 63°F (15°C to 17°C).

FALL – September, October, and November

You can expect a lot of rain, so waterproof boots, a windproof umbrella, and a good rain jacket are essential. Also bring a hat, a moisture-wicking scarf, and mittens to keep warm.

Layers are essential, so start with pants and a t-shirt and add on a long sweater or cardigan. Wool socks will come in handy! Temperatures range between 46°F to 57°F (8°C to 14°C).

How to dress correctly for the activity in Scotland – (Click to expand)

City Exploring – Edinburgh and Glasgow are the two largest cities in Scotland, and are where most travelers arrive to start their trip. Beware that in these cities there are many cobbled streets, and Edinburgh is very hilly so any shoes with much of a heel will be impractical. Instead, you will want to choose a pair of comfortable shoes. If you plan on hiking Artur’s Seat for panorama views of Edinburgh (which we strongly recommend) you should wear a pair of hiking boots. Men can wear chino pants with a fitted t-shirt and cardigan and women can choose between leggings or jeans with a t-shirt or dress and a long sweater. Make sure to bring a windproof jacket during any season and pair with a scarf to keep warm.

Hiking – There are so many great places to hike in Scotland for all skill levels. Bag a Munro (a list of Scottish Mountains reaching 3000+ feet), take in the beauty of the Quirang on Skye, or check out Scotland’s most popular long distance walk the West Highland Way. No matter what type of hike you are looking to go on you will need the basics, which include hiking shoes, waterproof socks, waterproof pants, and long-sleeved quick-dry shirts. It can get quite windy on hikes so leave the umbrella and opt for a waterproof jacket with a hood.

Highland Games – From May to September, Scotland holds over 80 Highland games across the country in towns, villages, cities, and even castles. The games date back to the 11th century and include activities like hammer throwing, bagpipes, drumming, highland dancing, and clans battling it out in competitions. While all competitors are required to wear a kilt when they compete, as a visitor you are free to wear what you like! Skinny jeans are a popular choice, along with solid color tees. Make sure to wear some sunscreen, put on a hat, and protect your eyes with some shades. Lastly, bring a jacket and an umbrella in case it rains.

Golf – Scotland is known as the country that gave rise to the sport of golf – the first recorded game dates back to the 15th century! Scotland has over 550 golf courses to play, including tournament courses like the Royal Troon, the Old Course at St. Andrews, and Castle Stuart. If you are looking to include golf in your holiday it’s important to dress in layers and to be prepared for rain with a waterproof jacket and pants. Also, bring a hat to protect yourself from the sun. For clothes, wear a buttoned shirt with a collar (like a button-down or a polo) and fitted trousers or shorts that go down to the knee. If you want to add some extra style, choose a pair of patterned trousers. For cold weather, also include a sweater on top with the collar tucked in.

What NOT to take to Scotland

  • 1.Weighty Items

    You’re better off leaving your heavier burdens behind. This will not only save you some money when it comes to things like checked bags, it’ll also help prevent the back strain that comes from carting around too much stuff. Items like hardback books and extra shoes are prime examples of things that you can do without.

  • 2.Valuables

    Anything that you can’t afford to lose and don’t desperately need to bring with you should be left behind. This applies to everything from expensive electronics to items with sentimental value. These things can and do get lost or stolen with amazing frequency. Because, let’s be honest, no one really wants to steal your old, unwashed clothes.

  • 3.Uncomfortable Footwear

    Shoes that aren’t well broken in should be left behind. You’re also better off leaving your high heels behind. Edinburgh has got some very steep staircases and there are plenty of other places with equally step gradients that you’re better off not trying to navigate in heels.

  • 4.Beach Wear

    Unless polar plunging is your thing or you’re making a trip in the middle of the summer, you’re probably not going to need beach wear. It’s true that Scotland has some gorgeous shorelines, but you still might not want to venture in the water, which can be pretty cold at the best of times. So just plan on rolling up your jeans and taking your shoes off if you’re feeling adventuresome.

What NOT to Wear in Scotland – (Click to expand)

While there are some nice beaches in Scotland, the water is still quite cold even in summer so you really don’t need to bring a bathing suit unless you want a very cold dip. Avoid wearing a kilt unless you are attending a wedding or Scottish social events. Otherwise, you will really stand out as a tourist. There are many cobbled streets in the cities so leave your heels at home! Also, knee-high rain boots are unnecessary and rarely worn so instead opt for a good pair of waterproof hiking boots.

FAQs about Traveling in Scotland

  • 1. What’s a good basic daily budget for Scotland?

    Price of Travel recommends $75 as a basic daily rate for Edinburgh. I found that to be fairly accurate, even if some of the paid attractions like Edinburgh Castle are pretty hard on the wallet. Stick to the free museums or the lower-priced attractions and you should be fine. Costs outside the main city do tend to be slightly cheaper as well. However, if you’re taking one of the prepackaged tours of the country, you will need to budget $300 to $500 for that as well. Just be sure to read the fine print so that you know what’s included and what additional things you will have to pay for on your own.

  • 2. When is the best time to go?

    It depends on what you’re planning to do, of course. The summer months are the warmest, driest portion of the year. This makes them a great time for outdoor pursuits like hiking and wildlife watching. However, you may have to fight the crowds at some of the more popular attractions and the more popular hostels may end up being sold out. The spring is a good compromise when it comes to avoiding the worst of the crowds and the worst of the weather, but it can still be rainy and cold at times. When I went in late May, there was still snow on some of the mountains.

  • 3. Is it difficult to get around using public transportation in Scotland?

    Getting around in Edinburgh was easy enough. However, the bus routes in the more sparsely-populated areas are said to be a bit tricky to navigate and getting some places does require numerous connections. Travelers may, therefore, want to rent a car or go places outside the cities with a tour group, particularly if they’re short on time.

  • 4. What are some good day-trips from Edinburgh?

    Roslyn Chapel is amazing. It’s well worth the £9 ($12 USD) admission price to see all the intricate carvings that are inside the building. The chapel is well-signposted and fairly easy to find from the bus stop. The guides there give informative talks about the chapel’s history every few hours and point out some of the more interesting carvings, so definitely stick around for that. The only downside is that you can’t take pictures inside. Yes, they will catch you at it and ask you to stop.
    The Edinburgh Botanic Garden is another interesting spot just outside of the city limits. It’s also easy to get to using the public bus system. The grounds are free to wander around in, but there’s a small surcharge for entering the greenhouses. On the plus side, you can take as many pictures there as you want without anyone stopping you.

    If you’re an early riser or the gardens have switched to summer hours, you can visit both places in one day to take advantage of the flat daily rate for the Edinburgh city buses. I did this myself, but I didn’t get to spend much time in the gardens because I got up late and the summer hours hadn’t started yet.

  • 5. Is Scotland safe for solo travelers?

    Yes! It’s very safe. The Scots are also a friendly bunch. Although some people reportedly have trouble understanding them at times, I didn’t. Basic precautions are always recommended: no extra cash, no excessive valuables, try to fit in when possible.

  • 6. Is Scotland safe for women traveling alone?

    Yes, it is. Scotland is known to be hospitable and friendly as a whole, though a lot of activities are more fun with travel buddies. Women should avoid walking alone at night, of course, but that’s a rule everywhere. It’s also best to plan your day ahead of time when possible so that you can move around with confidence.

  • 7. Do you recommend any guided tours?

    If you’re short on time and don’t want the hassle of constantly navigating bus schedules, the McBackpacker and Haggis Adventure Tours both get good reviews. They do very reasonably priced tours that take in a lot of the popular sights and will drop you back off in Edinburgh. I went with the former since they charge the same rate for everyone. They also had last-minute discounts available that made it an even more affordable experience. I had a great time! However, the McBackpacker’s Tour is definitely focused on budget activities and my group was mostly comprised of college kids. A lot of hiking involved, so plan accordingly. There’s one lengthy mountain climb included in the activities on Skye. But if you’re not feeling up to it, you can walk back down the hill and wait in the parking lot. The bus also plays loud Scottish music, which is fun, but it gets stuck in your head after a while and it might not appeal to everyone. The main difference between the tours seems to be that Haggis Adventures gives their participants the option of riding on the Jacobite Steam Train and boating on the Loch Ness…for an extra surcharge.

  • 8. What’s the weather like in Scotland?

    Scotland’s average temperatures don’t generally go much below freezing in the winter, but they also don’t get much above 60 ºF in the summer. Naturally, the farther north one goes, the colder the average temperature is going to be during any given month. As this article has already mentioned, the county tends to be rainy and windy at times, so you’ll want to prepare for both possibilities.

  • 9. Where can I get a thicker sweater?

    A second-hand or consignment store is normally your best bet when it comes to finding vacation wear that you may never need again. However, the UK doesn’t have anything like Goodwill where one stop will provide you with reasonably priced clothes in just about every size imaginable. Their second-hand shops tend to be spread out and have a limited selection. To get good deals, you really have to hunt for them. A much easier solution is to go to Primark, which sells cheap clothes that will probably last for the duration of your trip and make great souvenirs once you get back home.

  • 10. Can I see the Northern Lights in Scotland?

    Yes, sometimes they can be seen as far south as Edinburgh! However, you’ve got a much better chance of seeing them if you head for the northern portions of the country during the fall and winter months.