Top 5 hotels in Inverness City Centre

Top 5 hotels in Inverness City Centre

The small city of Inverness in the northeast coast of Scotland, also known as the Capital of the Highlands is popularly visited because of its ideal location to exploring Loch Ness. Loch Ness is the most famous loch in the world for the legendary resident, the Loch Ness monster, Nessie. In addition, Inverness is at a central point and a gateway to the northeast coast offering opportunities to explore the breathtaking landscapes, the ancient sites and the wider region of the Highlands. As such, the city offers a number of accommodations to suit all budgets and lifestyle.

With so many choices, finding the most suitable place to stay can be time consuming. Therefore, in this article, there are carefully selected top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness city centre for you to peruse, select and book.

Why select a hotel in the heart of Inverness City centre | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre

The surrounds of Inverness city boasts breathtaking landscapes and makes the location a special place to be. Here are some reasons to select the city centre as your point of stay when exploring the Scottish Highlands.

1 | A compact city

2 | Choices in entertainment and eateries

Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre
Traditional Scottish pub along River Ness

The city is lively and offer great choices in entertainment in the evenings. As well there are a good selection of restaurants and eateries for you to try classic Scottish recipes. Visit one or more of the many Scottish pubs dotted around the city for the hospitality, ambience and a classic Scotch on the rocks, for a memorable experience.

As for places to eat, try the Castle Tavern which is popular amongst visitors to Inverness. Known for good service, it is said to serve the best haggis in town!

Address: 1 View Place, Inverness IV2 4SA Scotland

3 | Myriad of things to do during the day

There are so many things to do in and around Inverness during the day that you will not be bored!

Inverness Castle | Things to do in Inverness City | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness
Inverness Castle, Inverness, Scotland

Attractions conveniently located within the Top 5 hotels in Inverness City Centre

Just so you know, all of the hotels listed below, Top 5 hotels in Inverness City are conveniently located to the following popular attractions:

  • Inverness Castle 0.3 miles
  • Caledonian Canal 0.4 miles
  • Inverness Floral Hall 0.9 miles
  • James Pringle Weavers 1.2 miles
  • Culloden Battelfield 4.8 miles

Do a value for money, small group one day guided tour of Glen Affric, Culloden and Clava Cairns

4 | Major transport hub | Air, Train and Road

Furthermore, accessibility to public transportation such as Inverness train station and the bus/coach station is convenient and located only within minutes of any the following centrally located hotels.


Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City centre

Booking dot com Logo

As you may know, my go-to place for booking accommodations is Booking dot com. Booking offers vast choices in accommodation style such as hotels, hostels and aparthotels to suit varying budgets. In addition Booking offers a choice of cancellation policies and depending on the properties you select, you could either pay in full upfront or pay later.

Here are the selected top 5 hotels in Inverness which I know is a great place to stay.

1 | Ness Walk | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre

Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre
Ness Walk, Inverness

Ness Walk is located in a beautiful setting along River Ness and is rated as superb with friendly staff and world-class service by customers. Within steps, you would be walking along River Ness and enjoy a stroll to Ness Island, watch the sunset over the city of Inverness or the adventure in you may lead you along the Caledonian Canal which is a stone’s throw away. Whatever you choose to do during your stay at Ness Walk, you are assured of a celebrity treatment.

The accommodation comes with free WiFi, continental breakfast daily and attractions within minutes of the property.

Peruse and book your stay at Ness Walk, Inverness

2 | Rocpool Reserve Hotel & Restaurant

Rocpool is a luxurious boutique hotel, bar and restaurant located in the heart of Inverness and offers nothing short of a world-class service.

This 5-star hotel, Rocpool Reserve boast numerous awards, including Conde Nest Johansens Most Excellent UK City Hotel 2008 and 2010.

Peruse and book your stay at Rocpool Reserve Hotel & Restaurant


Though not 5-star rated, the following three hotels provide good comfort, style and friendly service.

3 | Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre

Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre | Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa
Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa | © timelesstravelsteps.com | georgina_daniel

Located along the banks of River Ness, Inverness Palace Hotel offer direct views of Inverness Castle which looks glorious at sundown. The hotel offers swimming pool, leisure club, spa and free WiFi. Riverside restaurants and bars are within steps of the hotel. Train and coach stations are about 10 minutes walk – you need to take the bridge across River Ness.

Address: 8 Ness Walk, Inverness

Peruse and book your stay at Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa

4 | The Royal Highland Hotel Inverness | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre

The Royal Highland Hotel | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre
The Royal Highland Hotel, Est 1856 | © timelesstravelsteps | georgina_daniel

Literally just about 10 steps from the entrance/exit of Inverness train station is the The Royal Highland. One of the oldest in Scotland, The Royal Highland has been around for 160 years.

Grand staircase at the The Royal Highland Inverness | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre
Grand staircase at The Royal Highland Inverness

Boasting a grand staircase that was an inspiration for the very same in the movie “Titanic”, the decor is traditional, rich and warm. Dining here is an experience in itself – Ash is contemporarily styled and serves an à la carte menu. Food is sourced locally – fish comes from nearby lochs and rivers. Ash Restaurant is one of the best drinking and dining venues in Inverness.

Peruse and book your stay at The Royal Highland Inverness

5 | Mercure Inverness Hotel

Located at just 200 metres from Inverness train station, Mercure Inverness Hotel is best if you have to join guided tours or if you wish to explore surrounding areas by train. Guided tours usually drop you off at about 8 p.m. by which time you may just want to head straight to your hotel.

Mercure Inverness offers breakfast daily and free WiFi.

Peruse and book your stay at Mercure Inverness Hotel


Besides these top 5, there are many more in and around Inverness which you may want to research upon and select to suit.

Booking.com

Travelling to Inverness City | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre

Inverness is well-served by both train and air along with good ground transportation such as bus/coaches. Roads around Inverness are good, and it was nice to drive around. Just remember that in Scotland as is in the rest of United Kingdom, we have a right-hand drive but drive on the left side of the road.

1 | Train travel to Inverness City

Train services to Inverness is mainly served by ScotRail trains. There are frequent services from Aberdeen to Inverness (2 hours 12 minutes), Glasgow to Inverness (3 hours 13 minutes), and from Edinburgh to Inverness (3 hours 33 minutes).

If you are travelling from London to Inverness, the journey with no changes of trains takes about 8 hours.

Read: 8 Most Scenic Train Journey in UK

Georgina: I travelled to Inverness recently from London onboard the Azuma – it was a comfortable train ride. Long 8 hours but the comfort of the First Class carriages and the scenic route made the journey pleasant. If you are not driving to Inverness, Scotland, I would recommend a train journey.


2 | Travel by Air to Inverness

Inverness Airport is located in Dalcross, about 13 kilometres (8.1 miles) northeast of Inverness city. It is an international airport offering a range of flights daily to and from key destinations such as London, Amsterdam and Dublin. The Airport Terminal provides customers with a variety of cafes, restaurants, shops.

For great money savers to Inverness, look-up budget flights offered by Easy Jet, Jet2 and On the Beach . For a greater selection on air travel, Opodo is pretty good – link below.


By Car

Exploring Inverness and the Scottish Highlands by car is one of the best ways to see and experience the many dramatic vistas of this region. Car tours are specially useful if you have only a few days where you would like to maximise your time and cover lots of areas.


Pro tip

If you are considering travelling by train or by air to Inverness city and would like to explore more of the Scottish Highlands, then you may find the following suggestions helpful:

If you are considering travelling by train or by air to Inverness city and would like to explore more of the Scottish Highlands, then you may find the following suggestions helpful:

1 | Hire a car when you arrive in Inverness if you wish to explore at your leisure;

2 | Book day or multi-day guided tours with reputable sight-seeing providers so your booking is secure, refund is possible if you change your mind and tour guides are local as well as knowledgeable to maximise your experience.

Pro tip 1 | Combine a stay in Inverness and Explore the Scottish Highlands by Car

Isle of Skye.Complete Guide to the Capital of the City
Quiraing, Isle of Skye, Highlands, Scotland | © timelesstravelsteps | georgina_daniel

As a gateway to the Scottish Highlands, Inverness allows you to explore more than just the city and its immediate surrounds. It would of course depend very much on your time and what you plan to achieve when visiting Inverness. Taking a road trip to the Scottish Highlands allows you to explore at your leisure. You will experience more of the beautiful scenery and many Scottish heritage, castle ruins and dramatic coastlines. You will navigate through mountainous peaks, shimmering lochs and single track roads with friendly hairy Highland cows beckoning a stop for a photo-shoot. The unbelievable natural beauty will have you planning your next trip in no time.

Road trip to the Isle of Skye

Portree | Isle of Skye | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City
Portree, a pretty harbour town and the capital of Isle of Skye, Highlands, Scotland | © timelesstravelsteps | georgina_daniel

The Isle of Skye is one of the most visited destinations in the Highlands. Skye can be visited from Inverness in one day and the journey is about 3 hours each way. Whilst this is possible, it is a lot of driving. To make the best of your visit to the Isle of Skye, I recommend either one or two overnight stays in Portree, a charming harbour town or any other place you would prefer.

The highlights on this road trip may include Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, Eilean Donan Castle, Skye Bridge, Quiraing, Fairy Pools, Bridal Falls, Kilt Rock The Old Man of Storr, Lochalsh, Portree and so many more depending on how many stops you make.

Suppliers of good value for money combination of an All-in-One

For great value for money holidays to the Scottish Highlands travelling by air or by train, take a look at EasyJet for cheap flights and Travel Supermarket for unbiased information. Select what suits your itinerary and book in advance to avoid disappointment. Always check cancellation policies and fine prints before finalising your booking.

Combine cheap flights with handpicked 3, 4, or 5 star accommodations from self-catering, to boutique with EasyJet Holidays. Add any extras you may need such us car rental, airport transfers.


To save time and money, Travel Supermarket offers unbiased information on all travel products. You can compare prices and book a package holiday by selecting flights, hotels and car hire.


Pro tip 2 | Book day or multi-day guided tours

To make the most of your stay in Inverness, and if you do not wish to drive, join a guided tour with a reputable tour provider and let someone else drive you around. You could easily do a day trip from Inverness or a multi-day trip to explore the Highlands. Here are a few carefully selected day and multi-day trip guided tours with reputable tour providers.

Peruse the following day trips:


You may like the following multi-day trips and ensure you book early to lock in the low price:


A final note on the Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness City Centre

Whether you spend the day hiking, and exploring the wonders of Loch Ness, driving far and discovering the joys of single track roads or guided by knowledgeable locals, you are going to need a good night’s rest! I hope my selection of the top 5 hotels in Inverness will give the comfort and relaxation needed whilst away from home.

Finally, don’t forget Travel Insurance! Never leave home without it even if you are a domestic traveller. I use World Nomads and I also check Travel Supermarket to compare prices, so I get the best value to suit my travels.

Sincerely hope that this post is valuable to you in planning your visits to Inverness. If so, use the links embedded in this post and all related posts to book your stay in Inverness. Timeless Travel Steps earns a commission from qualifying purchases and as always, your support is greatly appreciated.

If you have visited Inverness, please share your experiences – you never know who you might inspire.

Have a splendid time exploring Inverness and the Highlands.

Some basic information about Scotland

__________Q

Population: Over 5.4 million (2020)

Common Language: English. Gaelic is spoken by 1.3% of the population mostly in the west and in the Highlands.

Currency: £ – Pound (GBP)

Capital City: Edinburgh. Home to the first fire brigade in the world, and is the second largest city in Scotland. The largest metropolis in Scotland is Glasgow.

High season: Summer (July – August)

Religion: Christianity – 40% Church of Scotland. 15% Roman Catholic and 6% other Christian denominations. Minorities include Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh with a quarter of the population has been recorded as having no religion.

Social courtesies: Handshaking is customary when introduced to someone for the first time. When visiting someone’s home, a small gift such as flowers or a box of chocolates is appreciated.

Scotland: Travel and Transport

Scotland: International Travel

UK Government: Foreign Travel Advice

UK Government: UK nationals travelling abroad

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5 hotels in Inverness city centre


Top 5 hotels in Inverness City Centre first published at timelesstravelsteps.com and regularly updated. Latest update June 11 2021

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Beautiful places to stay in Inverness | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness | Explore Inverness | Stay at the Capital of the Highlands | Gateway to the North Coast of Scotland | Visit Scotland | Visit Inverness | John O'Groats | Loch Ness | Heart of Scotland | Wild Highlands | Unique Experiences via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/Beautiful places to stay in Inverness | Top 5 hotels to stay in Inverness | Explore Inverness | Stay at the Capital of the Highlands | Gateway to the North Coast of Scotland | Visit Scotland | Visit Inverness | John O'Groats | Loch Ness | Heart of Scotland | Wild Highlands | Unique Experiences via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

Inverness | A Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands

Inverness | A Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands

When I visited Inverness, autumn was beginning to dress herself for the season. Though the first leaves tumbled to the soil, most remain green, glowing with new hues. The subtle golden and earthy hues took a sweet turn all along the River Ness. The freshly calm air, soothing sounds of the waters and the sight of a salmon fisherman in the River were moments of serenity – moments that awaits every visitor.

Though a small city in Scotland‘s northeast coast. Inverness offers a wealth of discovery, so much more than a base to visit the infamous Loch Ness, or the surrounding attractions. From fine food, historic architecture, green spaces and Highland tales, Inverness is perfect for short getaways. Plan your itinerary to Inverness with this Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands so that you do not miss the highlights of the city and things to do around the cultural city of the Highlands.

complete guide to the Capital of the Highlands

A brief history of Inverness

Inverness |
Inverness, Scotland | ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

Inverness, means the mouth of River Ness as it is located at the best crossing place of the River Ness where it meets Moray Firth. It flows from River Ness at the east end of Glen Mor, commanding the route system of northern Scotland.

This small city is also known as the Capital of the Highlands. Once an ancient settlement, Inverness had played key roles in Scottish history. One of the historic events was the visit of St Columbo in 565 AD when he converted the King of the Picts to Christianity. Then, in 843, the Kingdom of the Scots and the Picts were united to create the Kingdom of Alba which has developed into Scotland as we know today. In 1040, Macbeth is said to have murdered King Duncan at his castle in Inverness.

The real story though, Macbeth killed King Duncan I in August 1040 in a battle near Elgin, Morayshire.

Learn more about “Macbeth” – one of Shakespeare’s most important works that also reflects the tensions, battles and destruction that took place during this era.

Buy Macbeth: by William Shakespeare on Amazon

The early Modern Ages sees tension escalating between the Highlands and the Scottish Crown, heightened when Mary Queen of Scots was refused entry to the castle in 1562 by the Highlands governor, who was later executed.

Learn more about the Highlands battles between the ninth and fourteenth centuries as well as the confused and turbulent period which led to a more settled history of the region in The Highland Battles: Warfare on Scotland’s Northern Frontier in the Early Middle Ages by Chris Peers (Hardcover – 30 Oct. 2020)

Quick facts about Inverness | City of the Highlands

1 | Population

The city of Inverness covers a small surface area totaling 21 square kilometers (8 square miles) and is home to a population of over 46,000 residents.

2 | Climate

Inverness lies 7 metres above sea level and the climate is warm and temperate. Rainfall is significant with precipitation even during the driest months.

The average temperature is 8.0 °C | 46.4 °F. Precipitation here is about 740 mm | 29.1 inch per year.

3 | Culture

Inverness

Inverness is the cultural centre for a number of events in the Scottish Highlands. Every September the city of Inverness hosts the Northern Meeting, for bagpipe players and lovers. Another major event is the annual City of Inverness Highland Games that can be traced back to 1822. Two summer music festivals are held each year, the Rockness and the Tartan Heart Festival, that bring a variety of music to the city.

4 | Language

Although official language of the Highlands is the English Language, Inverness still has a solid Scottish Gaelic speaking community and a relatively lively Gaelic scene. About 4.8% of Invernessians above the age of 3 speak Gaelic compared to 1.1% nationally.

5 | Long-distance Walking hub

Inverness is connected to three long-distance walking paths:

i | The Great Glen Way – Connects to Fort William along the Great Glen | 127 km (79 miles) | 5-6 days

ii| The John O’Groat’s Trail – connects to John O’Groats along the coast;

iii| The South Loch Ness Trail – Connects to Fort Augustus along the southeast side of Loch Ness.

6 | Geographical location

Inverness is located in the northeast coast of Scotland, at the mouth of River Ness. It lies on the Great Glen Fault. There are minor earthquakes and the last one to affect Inverness was in 1934.

The City of Inverness is located at:

Latitude: 57° 28′ 44.69″ N | Longitude: -4° 13′ 26.33″ W

Click on the image to view a larger scale | Google data

Highlights and Things to do around Inverness | Complete Guide to the Capital City of the Highlands

Here is an outline of the things to do in and around Inverness to be included in your itinerary.

1 | River Ness Walk

River Ness Walk | Inverness A Complete Guide to the Capital City of the Highlands
River Ness Walk, Inverness | ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

A great way to explore the cultural city of the Highlands is to stroll along River Ness. The beauty of this walk along the banks of the River is that one minute you are in the busy streets of the city, and the very next you are in the “countryside”. If you are lucky, you may spot some seals bobbing up and down between the two road bridges in the centre of Inverness.

Bridge.Inverness| A Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands
Greig Street Suspension Bridge, Inverness was built in 1880-1881 for £1400.00 and credited to C.R. Manners and the local Rose Street Foundry. | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

The Ness Walk route starts from the castle and follow the riverside path along the Great Glen Way. There are a number of footbridges along the length of River Ness allowing you to cross from one side of the river to the other.

Salmon fisherman standing in the river.Inverness - Complete Guide to the City of the Highlands
Salmon fisherman standing in the River Ness, Inverness, Scotland | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

Along the route, look out for some iconic landmarks such as the Inverness Cathedral and the Inverness War Memorial. You might also see a salmon fisherman standing in the river – apparently, and the story goes that around here years ago, a fisherman caught a massive salmon weighing 29kg (64lbs) but returned it to the waters after having it photographed

Georgina suggests: Walk upstream alongside one side of the River Ness to Ness Island and returning down the other bank. This allows you to have two different experiences of some magnificent views.

2 | Inverness Cathedral

Inverness Cathedral | Complete Guide to the Capital City of the Highlands
Inverness Cathedral | Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands

Inverness Cathedral, Highland, Scotland | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

Inverness Cathedral is a cathedral dedicated to St Andrews. The Cathedral is not a large one but the serenity is one to be experienced. It is built of pink freestone from Conon Quarry near Dingwall. Dressed in warm cream coloured stone from Covesea Quarry near Lossiemouth, in Moray. It’s roof is green Westmorland slates and has a pine ceiling. Spend a moment or two here while on your walk along River Ness.

Address: Ardross St, Inverness IV3 5NN | Opening hours: Generally from 10 am.

3 | Ness Island

Walking upstream, you will reach Ness Island. Ness Islands is a collection of small islands in the middle of the River Ness. These small islands are connected to one another by a series of suspension foot bridges that gives a Victorian feel, sturdy and well built.

4 | Inverness War Memorial

A walk along River Ness on the east bank as it heads towards the southern outskirts of Inverness is the Inverness War Memorial. The memorial is dedicated to the men who fought in the Burma Campaign during World War II.

5 | Inverness Botanic Gardens and Nursery

Inverness Botanic Gardens
flower – Inverness Botanic Gardens

A little beyond Ness Islands, is an oasis of calm and beauty. The Inverness Botanic Gardens and Nursery was formerly known as the Floral Hall is an explosion of colour, texture, impressive glass houses and subtropical horticultural gem.

Tea & cakes in the Cafe is highly recommended.

Entry: FREE | Hours: 7 days a week – 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Address: Bught Lane, Inverness, IV3 5SS | Inverness Botanic Gardens


Georgina suggests: With the Ness Walk, allow yourself up to 2-3 hours for a complete circular walk. You can make this walk as long or as short as you like as there are a number of bridges that allows you to shorten your walk if necessary, so you could return to your starting point. Alternatively, you could extend your walk along the Great Glen Way.


6 | Cameron Highlanders Memorial

Complete Guide to the Capital of the City
Cameron Highlanders Memorial | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

An impressive statue and monument dedicated to the Cameron Highlanders who lost their lives during the war. Erected in 1893, the monument stands testament to the 142 soldiers from Inverness who lost their lives in the Egypt and the Sudan conflict (1882-1889). Names of the soldiers and references to the many campaigns are also engraved thereon. This memorial is situated immediately outside of the Inverness Railway station. The Station Square was purposefully chosen as the statue’s location to ensure maximum exposure and reverence from visitors to the Capital of the Highlands.

7 | Inverness Castle | Capital of the Highlands

Complete Guide to the Capital City of the Highlands
Inverness Castle, Highlands, Scotland | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

The beautiful Inverness Castle is made of red sandstone building and sits on a hill overlooking the River Ness. A castle had been on this site since 1057 but it had been destroyed and rebuilt many times. The present castle dates back to 1836, designed by architect William Burn.

Today, most of the Inverness Castle is closed to the public except for the Castle Viewpoint in the north tower. The Castle is home to the Inverness Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court. However, the Court is due to move to another location soon. There are plans to open up more of the castle for public viewing.

The Inverness Castle Viewpoint gives 360° view of Inverness and the Scottish Highlands.

June 2021 prices:

Costs: Adults – £6.00 | Children – £4.00 for 25 minutes timeslot. Visits must be pre-booked.

8 | The Victorian Market | Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands

Victorian Market,Invrness | Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands
Victorian Market.Inverness.

Victorian Market, Inverness, Scotland | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

Spend a few minutes at the Victorian Market, Inverness.

The original market was built in 1870 but was destroyed by fire in 1889. The only life lost was a faithful dog which refused to leave a shop it guarded. The market was rebuilt in 1890-1891. This picturesque market is home to a fish market (accessed from Church Street) as well as a wide selection of cool craft shops and independent boutiques which are great for unique souvenirs. There are a number of eateries as well for some freshly baked pies and cream cakes.

9 | Leakey’s Bookshop, Inverness

Leakey's Bookstore.Inverness
Leakey’s Bookstore, Inverness | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

When in Inverness, the one place not to be missed and even more so if you are a literary lover is Leakey’s Bookstore on Church Street. Leakey’s is the largest secondhand bookstore in Scotland and is independently owned. Sprawling with 100,000 books or so from ceiling to floor, organised into sections albeit not in any great order. Leakey’s Bookstore is a paradise for both young and old alike. As it covers all genres, as well as antique prints and maps, any one of the books can easily leap off the shelves and find it’s way into your purchase basket.

Located in a former 17th century Gaelic church, the bookstore retains most of the Church’s features. The only exception being an iron spiral staircase connecting the two floors that was added after it opened in 1979. Complete with wood burning fire that heats the shop, visitors to Leakey’s will have an amazing experience, for sure 🙂

Address: Church St, Inverness IV1 1EY

Opening hours: 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM | Monday – Saturday

10 | Meet the Unusual Greeter at Inverness Town House

Town House Inverness
Wolves at the door

The unusual greeters, wolves once roamed the Highlands and many places still bear their Gaelic name, madadh-allaidh. They greet visitors to the Town House to remind us of the wild landscapes that the Highlands is known for.

The wolves join an Inverness bestiary along with the camel and elephant on the city’s coat of arms, unicorn, falcon and gargoyles that you may see around the city.

Address: Castle Wynd, Inverness IV2 3BJ

11 | Walk around Inverness town

Complete guide to the Capital City of the Highlands

Take a walk around the city centre and see where the old courthouse was. Learn about one of the most notorious times in the history of the Highlands associated with the infamous Patrick Sellar


While all of the above can easily be accomplished in one day, you may also wish to explore the surrounding areas of Inverness. The following are some suggestions for you which can easily be done as part of a day or as a day trip.


Day trips from Inverness, Capital of the Highlands

Take a break from the city and explore the magical land of castles, myths and extraordinary landscapes that will leave you with moments of speechlessness. The Scottish Highlands offers endless panoramic views of Scotland’s natural beauty which you would not want to miss! Here are some suggestions for you:

1 | Dolphin Tour

Dolphin Tour | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

I did a boat trip with Dolphin Spirit Inverness. Dolphin Spirit Inverness boat trip takes you into the Moray Firth in search of dolphins, sea seals and a variety of sea birds. Each trip lasts about an hour fifteen minutes and run four times a day. I did not see any dolphins, but I guess such is luck 🙂

2 | Loch Ness, Fort Augustus

Complete Guide to the Capital City of the Highlands
Loch Ness, Fort Augustus | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

Loch Ness needs little introduction. It is the most famous loch in the world, home to Nessie, the Loch Ness monster. Located just a short distance from Inverness, you could either drive, cycle or hike the South Loch Ness Trail, connecting to Fort Augustus along the southeast side of Loch Ness.

3 | Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle
Urquhart Castle | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

This beautiful castle ruins stands on the banks of Loch Ness, and apparently it is one of the best places to spot Nessie. There are boat tours and visitor centre here as well.

Embark on a beautiful day trip to Loch Ness from Inverness for an unforgettable complete Loch Ness experience. Discover picturesque villages, ancient summerhouse and go on scenic walks.

Learn more about the complete Loch Ness experience and secure yourself a spot on this day tour > > Loch Ness Experience

4 | Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield.Complete Guide to the Capital of the City
Culloden Battlefield

Visit the moorland where it all happened that changed the course of world history – The Battle of Culloden ended the Jacobite cause. There is a visitor centre and audio guides.

Visit the Culloden Moor, along with Glen Affric and Clava Cairns on an amazing day trip from Inverness >> Glen Affric, Culloden, Clava Cairns in one day from Inverness.

Pre-order your Culloden Visitor Centre Entrance Ticket and Audio Guide to Culloden

Go a little further and experience the amazing scenery of Scottish Highlands

5 | Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye.Complete Guide to the Capital of the City
Isle of Skye | Image: ©timelesstravelsteps, georgina_daniel

Experience the amazing scenery of this beautiful isle in one day – especially the spectacular rock formations of the Quiraing and Trotternish Ridge. It is breathtakingly beautiful.

Experience the amazing scenery of this beautiful isle either in one day or over several days. The spectacular rock formations of the Quiraing and Trotternish Ridge are breathtakingly beautiful and should not be missed.

Hogwarts Express

Glenfinnan Viaduct | Scotland at a Glance
Jacobite Steam Train Ride | Hogwarts Express – Image:

Ride one of the greatest train journeys in the world – onboard the Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William to Mallaig and marvel at the scenic beauty of Scotland.

Go on an epic ride onboard the Jacobite Steam Train and Highlands Tour – superb value for money one day activity.


While in Inverness, give yourself plenty of time also to explore the bars and the many restaurants for a Scottish culinary delight.

Places to Eat and Drink in Inverness | Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands

Inverness pub.
Inverness | by georgina_daniel

Scotland is renowned for its unique delicacies and dishes. These include haggis and black pudding to porridge with a wee drum and shortbread. The Scottish Highlands is a great source for prime steak, organic vegetables, freshly caught kippers, salmon and mussels. It’s a gastronomical heaven. Inverness offers a great selection but the one “dish” I have heard a lot of is the Mac n cheese pie – apparently you will either love it or hate it! I haven’t tried, so I can’t comment.

Here are some suggestions of restaurants and bars for you to try:

CASTLE TAVERN | Scottish | Vegetarian & Vegan Friendly

Good service, good quality food and apparently serves the best haggis in town! (I did not try the haggis).

1 View Place, Inverness IV2 4SA Scotland

MUSTARD SEED RESTAURANT | European Cuisines | Dine in only

Nice and cosy restaurant in a former church with wood burner.

16 Fraser St, Inverness IV1 1DW

CAFE ONE | European & Scottish dishes from locally sourced produce | Dine-in and Take-away available.

 75 Castle St, Inverness IV2 3EA

RIVER HOUSE | Sleek and upscale dining experience with beautiful river views | Seasonal, sustainable local seafood.

1 Greig St, Inverness IV3 5PT

THE BOTANIC HOUSE | Excellent Cocktails!

9-11 Castle St, Inverness IV2 3DX


Places to Stay in Inverness | Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands

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BEST WESTERN INVERNESS PALACE HOTEL & SPA | An upscale accommodation with beautiful views of the river, castle and more.

THE ROYAL HIGHLAND HOTEL | Located just steps away from Inverness Train Station. Has a glorious staircase that inspired the staircase in the movie “Titanic”

MERCURE INVERNESS HOTEL | Located 200 yards from the Inverness Train Station offers views over River Ness.

Search more accommodations in Inverness

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A final note on Inverness

Inverness is a small and bustling city that is steeped in history, surrounded by landscapes untouched by time where monster myths and ancient mysteries are waiting to be discovered. With misty lochs, wildlife and fabulous traditions as well as warm hearty food, Inverness is a delight from the moment you arrive. I sincerely hope this guide has given you an inspiration to visit (if you haven’t already) what has famously become known as the Capital City of the Highlands.

Do use the links embedded in this article and related articles to book your stay, or activities to do. TTS earns a commission from qualifying purchases at no cost to you, and as always, your support is much appreciated to keep TTS going.

If you have visited Inverness, do share your experiences – I would love to learn more. Do return to this page as I will continue to add more places to visit and experiences to enjoy as I shall be returning to Inverness to explore further.

Have a splendid time in Inverness. As always, please get in touch on ggdaniel166@gmail.com if I could help plan your itinerary.

Some basic information about Scotland

__________Q

Population: Over 5.4 million (2020)

Common Language: English. Gaelic is spoken by 1.3% of the population mostly in the west and in the Highlands.

Currency: £ – Pound (GBP)

Capital City: Edinburgh. Home to the first fire brigade in the world, and is the second largest city in Scotland. The largest metropolis in Scotland is Glasgow.

High season: Summer (July – August)

Religion: Christianity – 40% Church of Scotland. 15% Roman Catholic and 6% other Christian denominations. Minorities include Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh with a quarter of the population has been recorded as having no religion.

Social courtesies: Handshaking is customary when introduced to someone for the first time. When visiting someone’s home, a small gift such as flowers or a box of chocolates is appreciated.

Scotland: Travel and Transport

Scotland: International Travel

UK Government: Foreign Travel Advice

UK Government: UK nationals travelling abroad

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complete guide to the Capital of the Highlands
Complete guide to the Capital of the Highlands
Complete guide to the Capital of the Highlands

Inverness | A Complete Guide to the Capital of the Highlands first published at timelesstravelsteps.com and is regularly updated. Last updated June 10 2021

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