Scotland offers so many things to do and it’s quite impossible to create a “standard” 10 days itinerary which everyone will love. This itinerary visits Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen, offering some interesting stops in between, too.
- You’ll be flying in/out of Edinburgh
- You’ll be staying in a hostel or budget hotel and use the public transportation to get around.
- A rental car is a good option for some trips
Day 1 Edinburgh
After your flight to Edinburgh, take the Airlink Expres to get to the hostel/hotel. Ideally you should look for a place close to the sights but please note that keeping the costs down means you’ll be traveling during the shoulder season.
Get to know the area around the hostel/hotel, grab a bite to eat and figure out the logistics to get to/from the main sites.
>>book a hotel near Edinburgh Castle
Day 2 Edinburgh – Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Mile, Holyrood Palace
Start the day with breakfast and then head to the Edinburgh Castle. Adult tickets cost £16.00. There are complimentary guided tours available. If you have time, visit the National War Museum, located within the castle.
From the castle, walk on the Royal Mile. You can even pick some souvenirs (or leave that for the last day in the city). Also is in the area is Holyrood Palace, which deserves your attention, too.
Depending on how much time you have and how tired you are, you can explore more sights in the Old Town.
Day 3 Blair Castle
You can either rent a car and drive directly to Blair Castle, or take the train towards Inverness, get off at Perth and then take a bus to the village of Blair Atholl and walk to the castle.
The castle said to have been started in 1269 and has been in the Murray family since 1629. The castle commands a strategic position on the main route through the central Scottish Highlands.
Now travel back to Perth and stay here for the night.
Day 4 Castle Menzies
In the morning take a bus to Crieff and then another one towards Lochearnhead and get off at Aberfeldy. The castle is located near the small village of Weem and you can walk to the location.
It’s certainly easier to rent a car and drive from Perth to Castle Menzies (32.5 miles).
This is a 16th century castle which has been restored. Located in a strategic position, it has been involved in the turbulent history of the country.
Travel back to Perth and then take a train to Glasgow (or drive the 73 miles in your rental car)
Day 5 Glasgow
Glasgow is a heaven both for pedestrians and cyclists, so if you don’t plan to walk too much you can rent a bike for exploring the town. Glasgow Cathedral, Tradeston Pedestrian Bridge and Riverside Museum should be on your list of places to check out.
A free walking tour of Glasgow is a good option to get to know the city better . The tour leaves at 11 a.m. year round from outside the Tourist Information Office in George Square.
Day 6 Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle
You should definitely rent a car for this part of the trip. Drive the 152 miles on A82 from Glasgow to Loch Ness passing by Fort William and Fort Augustus. Feel free to stop to take photos and explore the sites.
If you feel like walking , then embark on a hike to get to the Castle or you can safely use the rental car. The site is located between Fort William and Inverness. It’s in ruins but offers an excellent location for creative photos.
Drive to Inverness and spend the night there.
>>read more about Getting from Glasgow to Inverness
Day 7 Inverness
Inverness Castle is a must-see while here and you shouldn’t miss the Old High Church either. Otherwise, you can use this day to do some shopping and taking things easy. If you feel you want something active to do, rent a bike and explore the area.
Day 8 Aberdeen
Early in the morning, take a train to Aberdeen and explore the city. Take your time to soak up the atmosphere and the city’s famous granite architecture. Walk on the beach – even if it’s not sunbathing weather – and explore Old Aberdeen.
Spend the night here and travel to Edinburgh by train early in the morning.
>>read more about Getting from Aberdeen to Edinburgh
Day 9 and 10 Edinburgh
If you felt rushed during your first day in Edinburgh, now it’s time to take things slow. Take a free walking tour (which takes 3 ½ h) , explore the Old Town , walk along the Water of Leith and visit a museum or two.