Petit Futé
English
  • Français
  • English
  • Español

Travel guide
Scotland

Close your eyes. When the word Scotland is mentioned, what is it to you? Mist, lochs, castles, the sound of a bagpipe, the taste of a whisky, men in kilt, an accent to be cut with a knife... Your tour guide highlights Scotland, a land of clichés, as a mysterious, proud, rebellious, clan country. It is lived and discovered from the inside, and above all it is really worth a visit, especially since there is something for almost every taste. From the Borders to the Orkney and Shetland Islands, there are countless castles, palaces, noble residences, abbeys, dungeons, raised stones and prehistoric sites. These sites are part of magnificent landscapes, sometimes untouched by any human trace. The Highlands, the Hebrides, Cairngorms National Park, the Lochaber region or the Dumfries and Galloway region are all places where our planet shows its most beautiful face. And if you are looking for cities: visit Glasgow or Edinburgh, dynamic cities with exceptional architectural heritage. You can then take the time to taste a single malt, or to read again the books of Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson..

What to see, what to do Scotland?

When to go Scotland ?

In Scotland, the tourist season runs from May to September and advance reservations will be required, especially in July and August when there is the highest attendance. If you can, come in May or June instead: probably the best time to go to Scotland. There will be fewer tourists, a drier climate, already long days and, above all, midges (Highland mosquitoes) will not yet have arrived! Visiting Scotland in winter is also a must. The climate will certainly be harsher and the sun will set early (around 3:30 pm), but the light and snow will make the landscapes absolutely wonderful. You will have the country to yourself and the prices will be discounted in the accommodation, as well as on the ferries and for some visits. Be careful, however, many establishments and museums close their doors in low season, especially on the islands

Read more

Suggested addresses Scotland

Travel Scotland

  • Book a flight
  • Find a hotel
  • Car Rental
  • Travel Insurance
  • Find a local agency

Covid-19 : current situation Scotland

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, entry and travel restrictions may apply Scotland. Remember to visit the site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before you leave for the latest information
Practical information for travel Scotland

How to go Scotland

How to go alone

How easy it is to go to Scotland alone! There are many means of transport to connect Scotland (plane, train, ferry...). On site, it is easy to get around and stay (it is better to book in advance according to the seasons). In addition, Scotland, as a good western country, is very safe. Just be careful about behaviour related to heavy beer or whiskey consumption. While it is often prized for its festive evenings, Scotland is also a great place to visit as a family.

How to go on a tour

Tour operators offer many trips, stays and tours to visit Scotland. Some organize trips of a dozen days to discover the highlights of the country: Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Highlands.... Other stays will focus on a specific theme: the Scottish islands, manors and castles, woodcock hunting...

How to get around

On the spot, all means of transport exist: the plane or boat to reach the various archipelagos; the bus and train whose networks are very dense (ask about the good transport plans); and the car (don't forget that the Scots drive on the left and drive on the right!). Hitchhiking is also a regular practice outside major cities. In Glasgow and Edinburgh, taxis and public transport are easily accessible.

Featured articles Scotland

Prepare for your trip Scotland
Transportation
Car Rental
Taxi
Tailor-made trip
Accommodation & stays
Find a hotel
Holiday rental
Services / On site
Book a table
Activities & visits

Discover Scotland

Going to Scotland means discovering another culture, although not so far away. You will discover a history that is both united and tense with England, but also more friendly with France. You will explore a nature sometimes green, sometimes desert, or even lunar, with each time, glitter in your eyes. You will enjoy a climate and a luminosity that colours the sublimated landscapes with vivid hues and contrasts. You will taste the whisky, produced here thanks to pure water sources and ancestral know-how. You will meet a rich and amazing wildlife, including puffins, seals, deer and dolphins, not forgetting the emblematic, but not wild (whatever...) Highland cows. And there was no mention of music, pubs, sports..

Pictures and images Scotland

Édimbourg porte fièrement son statut de capital écossaise. Alamer - Iconotec
Yesnaby Castle. William McKelvie - Fotolia
Broughty Castle. taystar - Fotolia
Vache des Highlands. Alamer - Iconotec

The 12 keywords Scotland

1. #Accent

The Scottish accent will give you a hard time. It has nothing to do with what you may have learned in your studies. Don't worry if you don't understand what you're being told and vice versa. Here the "r's" are rolled over and, for example, the "ch's" are pronounced "rrr". So for Loch Ness, remember to pronounce [Lorr] and not [Lok]

2. #Beer

Beer's been brewed in Scotland for 5,000 years... The oldest beer in the world is thought to have been found in the north of Scotland at Skara Brae. The first breweries are said to have developed in the late 16th century. Everywhere you can taste a local beer, brewed by hand. Some 70 breweries are scattered throughout the country...

3. #Thistle #

iStock-1005080698.jpg

Thethistle is a national symbol. It is said that in the Middle Ages, warriors slept in a camp when they were awakened by the cries of enemies who had taken off their shoes to keep quiet and stepped on thistles. It appears on the jersey of the rugby team, on many logos and in Scottish folklore.

4. #Clan

Since its origins, clans have defined the social organisation of Scotland. The term "clan" comes from the Scottish Gaelic "clann" meaning "children". Today, clans are a family name, a tartan and an inheritance, but they are still a source of pride for Scots and their emigrant descendants.

5. #Cornemuse

iStock-487330138.jpg

The Scots have a very humorous way of talking about the most emblematic musical instrument of their culture. Any examples? "A real gentleman is someone who knows how to play the bagpipes, but doesn't play them" or "What is the difference between an onion and a bagpipe? Nobody cries when you chop a bagpipe!"

6. #Haggis

It is the emblematic dish of traditional gastronomy. It consists of a sheep's belly stuffed with lungs, liver and heart, cereals and spices. The famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns, lyrically and humorously declaimed his love of this traditional dish, which the Scots are honouring in his memory on January 25

7. #Highland cow

The Scottish long-haired cow is probably the most photographed animal in Scotland. You will come across it, mostly and as its name suggests, in the Highlands. Small, stocky, with big (very big!) horns, redheaded, hair in the wind, she is a real star. The height of "mignonnonnitude"? The highland calf!

8. #Kilt

The kilt, originally from the Highlands, is said to have appeared in the 16th century. It is worn on special occasions. You will see it at certain festivals where pipe bands play, by some bagpipers proudly wearing their traditional outfit at the entrance of tourist places for "postcard" animations which are always welcome!

9. #Midges

Midges are worse insects than mosquitoes. They take a wicked pleasure in sucking your blood in the spring and summer. Sounds terrifying and it is! They even go through mosquito nets! Only the wind and a few specific products, easily found in supermarkets and pharmacies, will protect you from them..

10. #Nessie

iStock-173557913.jpg

Perhaps Scotland's most famous character, Nessie is one of the country's mascots. She has been under the waters of Loch Ness for centuries and is the star of souvenir shops, legends and the press. Last time I checked, she was just a big eel... but you're free to refuse this unimaginative explanation!

11. #Pub

" The local, the boozer or the public house: it's the second home of the Scots. They are often rustic, decorated with wood panelling, black and white photos and authentic, local decorations? The association CAMRA(Campaign for Real Ale) has made their quality its hobbyhorse and defends real ales (traditional beers).

12. #Whisky

iStock-117326764.jpg

Scotland has the largest number of distilleries in the world. This is evidenced by several Scottish sayings: "Never drink whisky without water and never drink water without whisky" or "The rain of yesterday and today is the whisky of tomorrow. "or "Whisky for a Scot is as harmless as milk for the rest of humanity".

You are from here, if...

You know that you have to say no to anyone who offers you a "Glasgow kiss" (it's a punch, not a friendly hug).

You order your cocktails in one-litre pitchers... per person!

Your behaviour is like a contest of courtesy, friendliness and giving in as spontaneous as it is smiling.

You don't see how eating a mars fried in oil that has previously been cooked fish can be a problem.

You put your laundry outside to dry, even in the rain

You drink tea at any time of the day or night, and with any dish, sweet or savoury.

When someone asks you what is under your kilt, you answer "your mother's lipstick".

You find it easy to hike with 900 metres of difference in altitude, with ascents on steep slopes and descents in the peat bogs.

Other destinations Scotland

Card Scotland

Review