SCOTLAND ITINERARY FOR 10 DAYS
Scotland is a truly magical location that should be at the top of your travel list. It’s filled with Vikings history, beautiful castles, and lovely people who are more than happy to welcome you to their country. Planning a trip to Scotland can be difficult, especially if you’ve never been before. There’s just so much to see while in Scotland! Use this Scotland itinerary 10 days to help you best plan your trip. Hopefully, it saves you some time on research!
Here is the best 10 day Scotland itinerary for you to follow!
Getting Around Scotland
Even though Scotland is an island, there are many different ways to get around the country during your 10 day Scotland road trip. Here are a few of the best and most convenient ways to get around the country so that you can get the most out of your trip!
One of the most fun ways to get around Scotland is by taking the train. The train will bring you to all the major cities, like Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen, and will also take you even further. However, not every place throughout this itinerary can be reached by train, so you’d have to consider other modes of transportation in addition to the train. If you choose to take the train, consider purchasing some sort of rail pass to save money.
The bus is another option. It can bring you pretty much everywhere, and on weekdays, you can find coach bus rides for an extremely affordable price. Just make sure you pay close attention to the size of the bags that you can bring on the bus. You don’t want to show up and find that you have to pay for extra baggage!
Renting a car is the easiest way to get around the country. It gives you the freedom to do anything you want. You can drive to any place you wish to, make stops at beautiful photo viewpoints that you come across, and more. While this option may be a bit more costly, you can get discounts by booking well in advance.
Last but not least, you can also fly to some places too. Flying within Scotland can generally be pretty cheap, especially if you don’t mind flying uncomfortably with companies like RyanAir or EasyJet.
Scotland Safety for Female Travelers
This tour of Scotland itinerary would not be complete without mentioning female safety. Luckily, Scotland is a very safe country for female travelers, even if they are traveling solo!
Everyone is amicable, and it’s one of the top destinations in Europe for solo female travelers.
As a disclaimer, just because Scotland is so safe does not mean that you shouldn’t take standard precautions that you’d take when traveling elsewhere. Be careful where you go at night, watch your belongings, and be wary of possible tourist scams in the bigger cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow.
When to Visit Scotland
You can follow this Scotland itinerary 10 days at any time of the year because it’s beautiful no matter the season! However, you can plan your trip wisely if you don’t want to visit during peak tourist seasons.
The most popular time to visit Scotland is during the summer. This is because the weather is beautiful and the days are long. Seriously, some nights the sun won’t even go down until around midnight! During this time, prices for accommodation, trains, flights, etc., will be more than it will be during other months because of the influx of visitors.
The least popular time to visit Scotland is obviously winter. The least amount of people visit during this time because many of the top places to visit in the country are closed during this time. The weather also isn’t that great, because Scotland can get quite a bit of snow, significantly farther up north. If you want to visit Scotland on a budget and don’t mind the cold or the possibility of having to skip out on visiting some places, then visit in the winter.
Arguably the most beautiful time to visit is during the spring and the fall. These are the shoulder seasons in Scotland. The weather is excellent, everything is still open, and prices aren’t too terrible. Plus, there are other tourists, but it is nowhere near as crazy as it would be if you were to visit during the summer.
How many days do you need to explore Scotland?
Don’t get me wrong, you could easily make this a Scotland 4 days itinerary, Scotland 3 day itinerary, or Scotland itinerary for 5 days, but I recommend 10 days in Scotland. This way, you’ll be able to squeeze in everything listed out in this itinerary, and you’ll be able to visit some of the best attractions in the country.
Unfortunately, Scotland is not a cheap country, especially with the British Pound. On average, you’ll need around 125 EUR for accommodation, travel, visiting attractions, and transportation. Of course, this number can significantly fluctuate depending on which types of transportation you choose, the time of year that you visit, and if you decide to visit every place on this list or not.
What to Eat in Scotland
When following this Scotland 10 day itinerary, try to squeeze in some local delicacies whenever you can. Here are a few of the must-eat treats while you’re traveling around Scotland!
This is arguably one of those foods that tourists usually don’t want to try, but if you’re up for it, you absolutely should. This is a Scottish classic and is the national dish of the country. It’s essentially a combination of liver, lung meat, sheep heart, and a bunch of spices and vegetables.
Yes, this is a popular dish in England, but try this at a cafe on a scone. You won’t regret it!
These are extremely popular in Scotland, especially in Edinburgh. It’s essentially a type of fudge. Don’t want to try the butter flavor? Don’t worry; there are other flavors!
Scottish shortbread is unlike any other. You can buy it at the store for a low price. I suggest you purchase Walker’s brand!
This soda is weirdly the obsession of many Scottish citizens! It tastes like liquid cotton candy and can be purchased cheaply at any convenience or grocery store.
The Best of Scotland in 10 Days
Now that you know everything there is to know about food to eat, how to get around, and when to visit, it’s time to finally share the best Scotland itinerary 10 days. You could quickly turn this into a Scotland by train itinerary or driving Scotland itinerary if you wish. Choose the transportation that best fits your budget! You could even combine it with the Emerald Isle and make your own Scotland and Ireland itinerary, which I highly recommend.
Scotland Day 1: Edinburgh
Make sure you arrive in Edinburgh to start your trip. The airport here is international, so if you’re not from Scotland, Wales, or England, it’s effortless to get here. I’ve included a few of the easier places to visit on this first day in case you’re not feeling 100% up to it!
Harry Potter Walking Tour
As you may or may not know, Harry Potter has a lot to do with Edinburgh. J.K. Rowling wrote many of the books here, so there’s no better way to get introduced to the city than by going on a walking tour. There are some free tours out there, but there are also some paid. It depends on the time of year that you visit. Just make sure you reserve your spot on the tour ASAP so that the tour guide knows you’re coming!
Edinburgh Castle sits atop Castlehill in the city and honestly can’t be missed. No matter where you are, you can probably see at least some part of it. This castle dates back to the 11th century and now houses the country’s Crown Jewels and is a museum. You can choose to go inside or just take a beautiful photo from the outside!
Next up on this Scotland itinerary is the Royal Mile. This is the historic street that starts at Edinburgh Castle and goes all the way to Old Town. Along the road are a bunch of historical buildings and spots that you won’t want to miss. Even if you don’t care about the history, this is a great place to walk, explore, and people-watch without much on your mind!
St. Gile’s Cathedral
St. Gile’s Cathedral is located right on the Royal Mile and is a gorgeous church from the 12th century. It’s built in the gothic style of architecture and is entirely free to visit. Just make sure you don’t have your camera out; you get charged for taking photos or videos while inside! This is a must-visit if you’re interested in checking out the historical architecture of Edinburgh.
Victoria Street is most likely a place you had seen on your morning walking tour, but it’s worth returning to explore more. This street is said to be J.K. Rowling’s inspiration for Diagon Alley and is a beautiful curved street lined with brightly colored buildings. Take the time to peruse the shops and grab some dinner while you’re here. For a cheap option, be sure to check out Oink, which has sandwiches for 5 pounds.
Scotland Day 2: Edinburgh
For your second day, you’ll take a bit more time exploring Edinburgh before heading off to Glasgow! Here are a few of the attractions you absolutely must visit while in Edinburgh before following the rest of this Scotland itinerary 10 days.
Arthur’s Seat is one of the most popular hikes to do in Edinburgh. From the top, you’ll get one of the best views of Edinburgh from above. You can even see out to the ocean! The mountain is an old volcano too, which only adds to the allure.
I recommend you go straight to Arthur’s Seat right when you get up in the morning. You may even be able to catch the sunset if you’re lucky. If you’re renting a car and want a free place to park, make sure you get there even earlier.
There are a few different trails to the top, some of which are easier than the others. Keep in mind that it can get a bit strenuous at the top, no matter which trail you choose. Make sure you wear strong walking shoes, or you’ll regret it. No open-toed shoes!
Palace of Holyroodhouse
Right next to Arthur’s Seat is the Palace of Holyroodhouse. This is the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. Visitors are welcome to go inside and go on a tour unless someone of importance is visiting during the time. Still, it’s beautiful from the outside!
Next on this Scotland travel itinerary is Dean Village. This is a neighborhood that is often overlooked by tourists, which makes it so beautiful! Spend some time strolling around Dean Village for the afternoon, exploring the breathtaking 19th-century buildings. Make sure you bring your camera, or you’ll regret it!
Scotland Day 3: Glasgow
For day three, it’s time to finally hit the road. Head to Glasgow, which is about a one-hour drive or train ride from downtown Edinburgh.
Glasgow Mural Trail
The Glasgow Mural Trail is a cool selection of public street art. You can look up the actual trail online. It’s so worth it because each piece of art is so incredibly gorgeous. Some of them even have secret meanings and agendas if you look closely enough. Take this time to walk the trail and get introduced to the city as a whole.
Next, head to Glasgow Cathedral. This church is breathtaking and dates back to the 12th century. It’s built in the gothic style of architecture and is an absolute must-visit. The inside is breathtaking!
Princes Square Shopping Centre
Now, take the time to do some downtown exploring and shopping! Princes Square is the most popular shopping area in all of Glasgow. It’s from the ’80s and is filled with tons of shops. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, you may even run into some great local artists performing out on the streets.
University of Glasgow
Finish the day off by heading to the University of Glasgow. This 15th-century university is breathtaking. Your trip to Scotland isn’t complete if you don’t visit at least one historic university! Take the time to walk around the university and explore. You can usually even get into the library for free! If you’re feeling up to it, pack a picnic to have out in the courtyard.
Scotland Day 4: Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park
For day four, it’s time to finally head out and explore some of the natural beauties of Scotland! First up: the highlights in Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park.
Loch Lomond is arguably even more beautiful than Loch Ness and is often missed by tourists visiting the country. There are a few viewpoints around the loch you can stop at to take in the view. You have to stop at at least one of these! This is the main attraction of the day, so take as much time as you need to explore it.
While exploring Loch Lomond, be sure to head to the Three Sisters. This is a beautiful set of mountain ridges that you can’t miss. This is the perfect place to take an Instagram photo and snap some gorgeous landscape shots.
Killin is a quirky little village in Stirling that is a great place to visit to learn more about Scotland’s small-town life. While there isn’t a lot to do here, the village’s charm and people make it worth visiting. Many tourists consider Killin a hidden gem! This is also a great place to spend the night before your next day of adventures.
Scotland Day 5: Glenfinnan and Loch Ness
For day five, it’s time to head to Glenfinnan and Loch Ness. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, then you are going to have a fantastic day today! This is a day that would be easier if you were renting a car.
First up on the Scotland highland itinerary for today is Glenfinnan Viaduct. This is popularly known as the set of train tracks used in many of the Harry Potter films, and any Potterhead would immediately recognize it after seeing it. It dates back to the 19th century, and there’s a short little hike that you can do nearby to get a better view of it. You won’t need more than an hour here.
Next, head to Urquhart Castle, which is right on Loch Ness. This castle in the Highlands is from the 13th century and is filled with history. You do have to pay a small fee to get inside, but it’s entirely worth it. Take your time exploring here. While the castle is mostly in ruins, it’s still a lot of fun to walk around.
Now it’s time to finally see Loch Ness, one of the most popular attractions in all of Scotland. This loch is home to the famous Loch Ness Monster. If you’re lucky, you might even see Nessie! You could just drive all around the loch for free, or you could pay and check out the visitor center to learn more about the loch and get closer to it. It’s entirely up to you!
Finish the day off strong by heading to Shieldaig, a beautiful village right on the water. This beachside village is the perfect place to spend the night before you head to the Isle of Skye tomorrow. Take the time to head to some pubs, meet some locals, and relax by the water.
Scotland Day 6: Isle of Skye
The best Scotland itinerary would not be complete without including at least a day at the Isle of Skye. This is one of the most breathtaking and scenic places to visit in all of Scotland! Start your day off with a 1.5-hour drive from Shieldaig to the Isle of Skye. Then, get exploring!
Here are a few of the places on the Isle of Skye that you can’t miss.
First up is the Fairy Glen, one of the most out-of-this-world locations on the Isle of Skye. It seriously doesn’t even look like Earth! Follow the roads in the area to explore the glen fully; you won’t regret it. I recommend heading here first because it’s one of the most popular places to visit. The earlier in the morning you visit, the fewer people and cars you’ll run into!
Old Man of Storr
Next, head to the Old Man of Storr. This is a beautiful rocky mountain. If you have the time and the energy, you can walk up on top of it by following a trail for slightly over an hour. The hike is worth it if you’re feeling up to it! If you’re not, hop back into your car and get ready for some even more notable attractions in the area.
Time for another otherworldly mountain: the Quiraing. This mountain doesn’t even look like it belongs on this planet. If you visit on a day that the weather is moody, you’ll be amazed. This is another mountain that you can hike to the top of, which will only take two hours to loop around if you follow the path.
End the night by heading to Portree, the biggest town on the Isle of Skye. It’s located right on the water and has houses that are in beautiful colors. There are lots to do in Portree, so take the time to explore a bit and grab a great dinner at a pub or restaurant of your choosing. Then, get some rest because you’re about to hop on a ferry tomorrow!
Scotland Day 7: Isle of Harris and Isle of Lewis (Outer Hebrides)
Today it’s finally time to head to the Isle of Harris and the Isle of Lewis. You’ll have to make your way to Ullapool to get on the ferry, but it’s well worth it.
Here are a few of the must-visit places on the Isle of Harris and the Isle of Lewis. While you must visit these, be sure to take the time to explore the rest of the isles too!
On the Isle of Harris, you’ll be greeted with some fantastic beaches that look like they belong in a warmer climate. One of those beaches is Luskentyre Beach! It’s a secluded beach that has bright white sand and is surrounded by mountains. This is a must-visit for the Isle of Harris.
Isle of Harris Distillery
Next on this Scotland itinerary 10 days is a bit of a fun stop: the Isle of Harris Distillery. This is a great place to try some of Scotland’s finest whisky and gin. They even have a cafe where you can stop and grab some delicious bites to eat. Many past visitors have loved their cakes and hot drinks!
Calanais Standing Stones
Now head to the Isle of Lewis. Compared to the Isle of Harris, you’ll find a lot of historical landmarks here. One that you can’t miss out on is the Calanais Standing Stones! This is similar to Stonehenge and dates back to the Neolithic period. If you’re a fan of Outlander, the TV show, you may instantly recognize this place!
Scotland Day 8: Cairngorms National Park
For day eight, head to Cairngorms National Park for a day filled with castles. Seriously, today you have four different castles on your drive Scotland itinerary!
First up is Blair Castle. While this castle may not be as lavish as some of the other castles you’ll be visiting today; it’s still worth visiting. It’s from the 13th century and was home to the chief of the Clan Murray. It’s located near Pitlochry.
Now it’s time for Balmoral Castle! This is probably the most over-the-top and luxurious castle that you’re going to visit today. It was built in the 19th century and is said to be Queen Elizabeth’s favorite castle. She vacations there every summer with her family, ever since she was a young girl!
If you visit any time but in the summer, you can purchase a ticket and roam the grounds and even go inside the castle. This is an absolute must-visit if you visit during the right time of year.
Castle Menzies is another excellent castle to visit while exploring this area of Scotland. It was built in the 16th century and is located right against the mountains. This is a popular castle used for wedding photos, so you can imagine how gorgeous it can be depending on the time of day and year you visit.
Finish off the day by heading to one of Scotland’s most unique castles: Craigievar Castle. Wondering what makes it so unique? Well, it’s bubblegum pink! It dates back to the 17th century, and someone lived there up until about fifty years ago. Now, visitors are welcome to come and explore it for a small price. This is a must-visit for a Scotland honeymoon itinerary!
Scotland Day 9: Aberdeen
For your ninth day, make your way to another one of Scotland’s cities, Aberdeen.
Start the morning off by heading to Duthie Park. This park is from the 19th century and is enormous! There is even a botanical garden inside that you won’t want to miss. Make sure you visit right in the morning to avoid the crowds, even though it’s open 24 hours a day.
Aberdeen Art Gallery
Next on the Scotland vacation itinerary, head to the Aberdeen Art Gallery. This is the main art gallery in Aberdeen and dates back to the 19th century. There are lots of great pieces of history held inside. Keep in mind that you may need up to two hours to explore everything here.
Codona’s Amusement Park
Did you know that Aberdeen has its own amusement park? It does! This 20th-century amusement park is located right on the water and can be fun if you’re looking for a more laid-back attraction. At least take the time to go on the Ferris wheel; it offers excellent waterfront views.
The Gordon Highlanders Museum
The last part of your day in Aberdeen is to visit the Gordon Highlanders Museum. If you’re interested at all in the Highlands way of life, this is your place to learn about it. Inside, you’ll find historic army gear, weapons, and more! This is a great place to learn more about the country’s culture and history.
Scotland Day 10: Dundee
For your last day in Scotland, make your way to Dundee. This waterfront town is often overlooked by tourists but is located only thirty minutes north of Edinburgh. Take the time to visit both of these attractions and then catch your flight home from Edinburgh!
The McManus Art Gallery & Museum
The McManus Art Gallery & Museum is a 19th-century art gallery that holds a wide variety of art. Inside, there are many award-winning pieces. In fact, the historic building itself has also won quite a few rewards! You will probably need around one to two hours here.
V&A Museum of Design
For your last attraction in Scotland, make your way to the V&A Museum of Design in Dundee. It’s completely free to enter, but you have to pay for some different exhibits inside. Be on the lookout for some fun comic exhibits; DC Comics (yes, the famous superheroes brand) was created in Dundee!
Now you truly know the best way to spend 10 days in Scotland. You could easily do this whole itinerary backward or add and remove different parts so that it’s wholly curated to you. This itinerary is just everything that I suggest you see to have the best possible time in this beautiful country!
Did I leave anything out of this itinerary that you think should have been included? Let me know in the comments!
DO YOU WANT TO BECOME A FULL-TIME TRAVELER?
Download my free travel guide ''How to become a full-time traveler | Budget breakdown'' and become part of the Nomadic Community where you will benefit from special content and exclusive products.
YES! I WAN'T IT NOW!