The largest (and only) city in the Highlands, Inverness is a hub for travellers to the far north of Scotland. Visitors flock to the city in search of Loch Ness, the Culloden battlefield, and authentic Highland experiences.
Home to tartan, Scottish ales and Scotch whisky, the Scottish Highlands are a popular destination for travellers seeking unique experiences. Inverness is the main city of the region and is situated near some of its most important historical sites. The battlefield of Culloden, where the last stand of the Jacobite uprising was put down, is just outside the city, while visitors come to the nearby Loch Ness in search of its famed monster and the ruined castle on its shores.
Visitors to Inverness will be able to begin their exploration of the Highlands by wandering through Inverness Castle, watching dolphins in the Moray Firth, or fishing off the forested Ness Islands. If this sounds like your kind of place, go ahead and book your flight from Zurich to Inverness with SWISS today.
How do I get around Inverness?
The city center, which includes Inverness Castle, Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, among other attractions, is largely pedestrianized and can be explored on foot. Even a trek out to the Ness Islands isn’t out of the question. For longer trips, however, try the Stagecoach buses that serve the city and outlying villages – these buses are also a great way of getting to and from the airport. If you plan on heading further out to explore the glens and dales of the highlands, hiring a car is your best bet, as it will allow you to see the sights at your own pace. Hiring a bike is another great idea – as long as you don’t stray too far outside of Inverness, the terrain is not too hilly.
When is the best time to visit Inverness?
The best time to visit is generally between April and August, when temperatures are at their warmest and precipitation is at its lowest. However, even in summer the temperature can drop below 10°C. Visiting later in the season – September or October – will allow you to take in the region’s attractions while enjoying lower rates for accommodation and greater availability.
How should I pack for a trip to Scotland?
The key to packing for a trip to Scotland is to expect the unexpected. Sun can turn to clouds or rain in no time at all, and while the climate is generally relatively mild, it can vary a great deal throughout the day. Bring jumpers or light jackets and dress in layers, so that you can easily deal with changes in temperature.
Inverness is a perfect place to begin your explorations of the enchanting Scottish Highlands. Begin in the city centre, with its riverside B&Bs and pedestrianized walkways: explore Inverness Castle, a nineteenth-century construction that boasts commanding views of the River Ness and the old town. An exciting introduction to Highlander culture can be had in Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, with photographic exhibits, Viking and Pict artefacts, and even a stuffed puma.
Most popular attractions in Inverness you should visit:
- Old High Church
- Ness Islands
- St Andrew’s Cathedral
The land of whisky and tartan
Further immerse yourself by exploring local traditions, from tartan to single-malt whisky. Watch tartan being made in the Scottish Kiltmaker Visitor Centre, which holds the outfits worn by actors in the films Braveheart and Rob Roy. Then experience the world of Highland whiskies by visiting a local distillery.
Discover the Highlands
Of course, Inverness is just the beginning of your Highland sojourn, there are several excellent day trips on offer just outside the city. Visit Loch Ness, supposed home to the world-famous monster, Nessie, and the iconic ruins of Urquhart Castle, which overlook the lake.
The land of Jacobites and Macbeth
The nearby town of Culloden is home to the battlefield that ended the Jacobite uprising in 1747, its monument on the sombre, windswept moor and visitor centre with costumed re-enactors and audio-visual guides to the battle is visited by hundreds of thousands yearly. Or you could head to Cawdor Castle, the real-life inspiration for the play Macbeth, whose fourteenth-century passageways and gargoyles will take you back in time. Finally, a trip out to the shores of the Moray Firth may grant you a glance of the resident population of bottlenose dolphins. With so much to see and do in the Highlands, don’t hesitate to book your flight from Zurich to Inverness with SWISS today.
Enjoy Highland cuisine in Inverness
Inverness dining combines traditional ingredients with a modern twist and excellent surroundings. Venison and beef from inland grace menus alongside langoustines and razor clams from along the coast. Inverness’s café scene is nothing to sneeze at either, with cosy surroundings offering hot coffee or soup to patrons coming in from the cold. In addition to more traditional restaurants, Inverness is no stranger to Scotland’s flair for curry houses, with several restaurants serving up Indian fare to hungry locals and tourists.
Ale and scotch in the heart of the Highlands
The Highlands are home to some of the best Scotch whisky out there: the countryside between Inverness and Aberdeen is home to distilleries belonging to some of the world’s most famous brands, including Glenlivet and Glenfidditch, and plenty more besides. The pubs in Inverness, meanwhile, offer a combination of fine whiskies and locally brewed ales – along, of course, with live music, delicious foods, and occasional ceilidhs, events featuring traditional Scottish music and dancing.
Shop for authentic tartan in Inverness
Being the hub of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness receives goods from all around that are snapped up by visitors looking for souvenirs or one-of-a-kind finds. Head to the Victorian Market, a historic covered market that offers the best in gift shops, jewellers and more. The Eastgate Centre, a more modern option, offers upmarket fashion and major brand stores. The boutiques of the city centre provide more traditional offerings, including fashion items that incorporate local tartans, including ties, scarves and shawls.