32 Fun and Unique Things to Do in Inverness | 2024 (with Photos)

Staša Petrović

Staša Petrović - Travel Writer

Last Updated: March 25, 2024

Hey there! I'm Stasha, a passionate traveler who has explored Inverness extensively. Let me share with you some of the most exciting and unique experiences this vibrant city has to offer.

Fun and Unforgettable Things to Do in Inverness

Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, is a vibrant city located in Northern Scotland. Steeped in Scottish history and surrounded by the Scottish Highlands, this city offers a plethora of exciting activities and attractions for visitors.

From the legendary Loch Ness to the iconic Inverness Castle, this city has something for everyone. Explore the charming city center, stroll along the scenic River Ness, or venture out to historic sites like Fort George and Urquhart Castle.

Shop at the delightful Victorian Market and indulge in the rich flavors of local whisky distilleries. Get ready for an unforgettable experience as we uncover 32 fun things to do in Inverness.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Top Choice Hotel

Premier Inn Inverness Centre (River Ness)

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Best Time to Visit

Summer for exploring castles, Loch Ness, and nature.

Average Temperature

Cool and variable climate with mild summer temperatures.

Transportation Options

Buses, taxis, trains, bicycles, walking paths, car rentals.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

One of my top recommendations for spending time in Inverness is taking a leisurely stroll along the enchanting River Ness, soaking in the tranquility and breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and bridges.

Another must-do while in Inverness is visiting the iconic Inverness Castle, not only for its stunning architecture but also for the panoramic views it offers from the top. Standing proudly on the banks of the River Ness, this historic fortress provides a perfect vantage point to witness the magic of the city, from the bustling streets to the mesmerizing Highland landscapes that stretch as far as the eye can see.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Valid passport and travel documents.
  2. Weather-appropriate clothing and accessories.
  3. Comfortable walking shoes.

What Not to Miss

  1. Loch Ness
  2. Inverness Castle
  3. Culloden Battlefield
  4. Eden Court Theatre
  5. St. Andrews Cathedral

What to Avoid

  1. Crowded tourist areas
  2. Unfamiliar neighborhoods
  3. Overpriced restaurants and shops

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

The Inverness Museum and Art Gallery is a cultural gem nestled in the heart of the city. With its rich history and diverse exhibits, the museum is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and art lovers alike.

At the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, you'll find captivating displays that showcase the local history, including a portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

The Inverness Museum and Art Gallery also features Inverness silverware, authentic Scottish Highland weapons, and bagpipes, giving visitors a glimpse into the local history of the area.

Additionally, the museum hosts exhibitions on natural history and archaeology, providing a comprehensive experience for all.

Located on Castle Wynd, the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery is an enriching and informative stop during your visit to Inverness.

2. Inverness Castle

Inverness Castle

Perched atop a hill overlooking the city, the mighty Inverness Castle stands as an iconic symbol of the region. Steeped in history and legend, Inverness Castle captures the imagination of visitors from near and far.

With its commanding presence, Inverness Castle offers panoramic views of the city and the picturesque River Ness.

While the castle itself is not open to the public, its exterior beauty and historic significance make it a must-see attraction.

Whether you're taking a leisurely stroll along the riverbank or simply admiring the grandeur from a distance, Inverness Castle leaves an indelible mark on the landscape and the hearts of those who visit.

3. Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle is a captivating historic fortress nestled on the banks of Loch Ness. With its dramatic ruins and breathtaking setting, Urquhart Castle exudes an aura of mystery and intrigue.

This iconic landmark offers visitors a glimpse into Scotland's past, showcasing centuries of history and turmoil.

Explore the remnants of the castle walls, towers, and gatehouse, imagining the lives of those who once resided within its walls.

From its strategic position on the shore of Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle provides stunning views of the expansive lake and the surrounding Scottish Highlands.

A visit to Urquhart Castle is a journey through time and a memorable experience for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

4. Fort George

Fort George

Fort George is an imposing military fortress located on the northeastern coast of Scotland. This historic stronghold, known as Fort George, stands as an impressive testament to Scotland's military heritage.

It was constructed in the 18th century, Fort George boasts well-preserved ramparts, barracks, and a stunning parade ground.

You can explore the intricate network of buildings, artillery installations, and exhibitions that bring the history of the fort to life.

With its strategic location offering panoramic views of the Moray Firth, a visit to Fort George offers a fascinating glimpse into Scotland's past and a chance to immerse oneself in the rich military history of the region.

5. Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands

The Scottish Highlands are a majestic and enchanting region that captivates visitors with its rugged beauty and untamed landscapes.

Stretching across the northern part of Scotland, the region offers a breathtaking tapestry of mountains, lochs, and sweeping glens. This wild and untamed terrain is home to diverse wildlife, ancient castles, and storied clans.

Whether you embark on a scenic hike through the towering peaks of Ben Nevis or explore the mysterious depths of Loch Ness, these Highlands provide an immersive experience of nature and a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Scotland.

From its dramatic vistas to its storied history, the Scottish Highlands never fail to leave a lasting impression on all who venture into its embrace.

6. Victorian Market

Victorian Market

The Victorian Market, located in downtown Inverness, is a delightful haven for shoppers and food enthusiasts alike. 

Steeped in history and charm, the Victorian Market offers a unique shopping experience in a beautifully restored Victorian-era building.

From boutique shops to local vendors, you can find an array of goods, including clothing, crafts, jewelry, and souvenirs. Additionally, the market is a culinary delight, offering a variety of Scottish dishes that tantalize the taste buds.

Whether you're craving traditional haggis, hearty Scotch pies, or delectable shortbread, the Victorian Market is the perfect place to indulge in authentic Scottish cuisine while immersing yourself in its vibrant and nostalgic atmosphere.

7. Inverness City Centre

Inverness City Centre

Inverness City Centre serves as the vibrant heart of the city, pulsating with energy and activity. The bustling city center is a hub of shopping, dining, and entertainment, offering a diverse range of shops, boutiques, and department stores to explore.

You can meander through its charming streets, soaking in the atmosphere while discovering a mix of historic and modern architecture.

The city center is also home to a wide selection of cafes, restaurants, and pubs, where you can savor local delicacies and enjoy a lively night out.

With its lively ambiance and diverse offerings, Inverness City Centre is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the city.

8. Inverness Highland Games

Inverness Highland Games

The Inverness Highland Games is a celebration of Scottish culture and athleticism, showcasing a range of traditional sports and activities.

This vibrant event features an array of competitions, including highland dancing, bagpiping contests, and the awe-inspiring caber tossing, where participants showcase their strength by flipping large logs. 

The games attract participants and spectators from near and far, creating a lively and festive atmosphere.

You should familiarize yourself in the sounds of bagpipes, marvel at the intricate footwork of highland dancers, and witness the raw power of caber tossing.

The Inverness Highland Games offer a captivating experience that embodies the spirit and traditions of Scotland's rich heritage.

9. Inverness Cathedral

Inverness Cathedral

Inverness Cathedral, designed by architect Alexander Ross, stands as an architectural marvel and an important landmark in the city. 

Known as the most northerly Anglican cathedral, it boasts a stunning Gothic Revival style that exudes grandeur and elegance.

Steeped in rich history, Inverness Cathedral serves as a spiritual and cultural center, hosting various religious services, concerts, and community events. Its intricate stained glass windows and ornate interior details add to the cathedral's allure.

A visit to Inverness Cathedral is among the things to do in Inverness and offers a serene and contemplative experience, allowing visitors to appreciate the architectural beauty and immerse themselves in the spiritual ambiance of this remarkable place.

10. Whin Park

Whin Park

Whin Park is a beloved recreational destination in Inverness that offers a plethora of outdoor activities for visitors of all ages.

This expansive park is a playground paradise, featuring zip lines, climbing structures, and slides that provide endless fun and excitement for children.

Additionally, Whin Park boasts a scenic boating pond where visitors can rent paddle boats and enjoy a leisurely ride on the water.

With its lush green spaces, picnic areas, and walking paths, Whin Park is an ideal spot for families and outdoor enthusiasts to relax, play, and soak up the beauty of Inverness.

11. Search for The Loch Ness Monster

Loch Ness

Embarking on a search for the famous Loch Ness Monster is an exciting adventure for those who visit Loch Ness.

Immersed in Scottish folklore, the legendary Loch Ness Monster has captured the imaginations of countless enthusiasts. Head out on a boat trip, scanning the depths of the lake in hopes of catching a glimpse of the elusive creature.

While there's no guarantee of an encounter with the Loch Ness Monster, the breathtaking views of Loch Ness and its mysterious allure make the journey worthwhile.

Whether you believe in the monster's existence or not, the quest for the Loch Ness Monster offers a memorable experience, steeped in myth and surrounded by the scenic beauty of Scotland.

12. Inverness Botanic Gardens

Inverness Botanic Gardens

The Inverness Botanic Gardens is a horticultural haven that delights visitors with its diverse and captivating displays.

These stunning botanical gardens boast a range of enchanting features, including a cactus house, a tropical house, and a picturesque wildflower meadow.

The meticulously curated collection of plants showcases both local and exotic species, offering a feast for the senses.

Strolling through the serene pathways, visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of the botanic gardens and marvel at the vibrant colors and fragrant blooms.

A visit to the Inverness Botanical Gardens provides a tranquil escape and a chance to appreciate the wonders of nature in the heart of the city.

13. Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield, located at Culloden Moor, is a significant historical site where one can delve into Scottish history. It marks the location of the infamous Battle of Culloden in 1746, a turning point in Scottish history.

The battlefield stands as a poignant reminder of the Jacobite uprising and the subsequent end of the Highland way of life. 

To enhance the visitor experience, the Scottish National Trust has established an impressive visitor center, offering informative exhibitions and interactive displays.

Exploring Culloden Battlefield allows visitors to connect with the past, learn about the events that transpired, and gain a deeper understanding of the impact on Scottish culture and identity.

14. Cawdor Castle and Gardens

Cawdor Castle and Gardens

Cawdor Castle and Gardens is a captivating destination that transports visitors back in time. 

Steeped in history and myth, this private fortress was built by the Thanes of Cawdor. Exploring the castle allows visitors to marvel at its impressive architecture, ancient artifacts, and opulent interiors.

The surrounding gardens, with their manicured lawns, vibrant flower beds, and tranquil pathways, offer a serene escape. The combination of the castle's rich heritage and the beauty of the gardens creates a truly enchanting experience.

Whether you're exploring the castle's chambers or strolling through the serene gardens, Cawdor Castle and Gardens is a must-visit for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

15. Fort William

Fort William

Fort William, located in the Scottish Highlands, is a captivating town that serves as a gateway to Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the UK.

This picturesque destination attracts outdoor enthusiasts with its breathtaking landscapes and opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and winter sports. 

The town itself exudes a charming ambiance, offering a blend of traditional and modern elements.

You can explore historic sites like Old Inverlochy Castle, take a scenic ride on the Jacobite Steam Train, or simply soak in the stunning views of Loch Linnhe. 

Fort William's beauty and rich history make it a captivating destination for adventure seekers and history buffs alike.

16. Inverness Walking Tour

Inverness Walking Tour

Embarking on an Inverness Walking Tour is a delightful way to explore the city's history and charming atmosphere. 

As you stroll through the streets, knowledgeable guides will regale you with fascinating tales of Scottish lore and share insights about the city's landmarks.

Explore the historic sites, such as Inverness Castle and the Inverness Cathedral, while taking in the scenic beauty of the River Ness. 

Discover hidden gems tucked away in the city's nooks and crannies, and learn about the local culture and traditions.

This walking tour offers an intimate and immersive experience, allowing you to truly connect with the spirit of this enchanting Scottish city.

17. Visit The Ness Islands

Ness Islands

A visit to the Ness Islands is a must for nature lovers seeking tranquility and natural beauty in Inverness. The Ness islands, nestled in the River Ness, offer a serene escape from the bustling city.

Embark on the Ness Walk, a picturesque trail that winds its way through the Ness islands, providing a peaceful retreat where you can stroll along the river banks and admire the lush surroundings.

Enjoy the idyllic atmosphere as you listen to the gentle sounds of flowing water and birdsong.

For a different perspective, join a boat tour and navigate the river to fully appreciate the charm and tranquility of the Ness Islands.

18. Inverness War Memorial

Inverness War Memorial

The Inverness War Memorial stands as a solemn tribute to the brave individuals who sacrificed their lives in conflicts throughout history.

Located in the heart of Inverness, this memorial serves as a poignant reminder of the city's connection to the armed forces and the profound impact of war. 

The memorial features an elegant design with inscriptions honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

It serves as a place of reflection and remembrance, allowing visitors to pay their respects and honor the memory of the fallen. This war memorial stands as a symbol of gratitude, unity, and the enduring spirit of those who served their country.

19. The Scottish Kiltmaker Visitor Centre

Scottish Kiltmaker Visitor Centre

The Scottish Kiltmaker Visitor Centre in Inverness, Scotland, is a haven for kilt enthusiasts and those curious about Scottish heritage.

This renowned establishment serves as both a kilt shop and a hire service, offering an extensive selection of traditional kilts and accessories.

The Scottish Kiltmaker Visitor Centre provides an immersive experience where visitors can learn about the art of kilt-making, witness skilled craftsmen at work, and even try on kilts for themselves.

With its knowledgeable staff and high-quality products, the center embodies the essence of Scottish culture and allows visitors to embrace the rich traditions of Highland dress.

20. Eden Court Theatre

Eden Court Theatre

Eden Court Theatre is a cultural gem nestled in Inverness, Scotland. As a prominent venue for performing arts, Eden Court Theatre offers a diverse range of theatrical productions, music concerts, dance performances, and film screenings.

With its state-of-the-art facilities, including multiple performance spaces and a cinema, the theater attracts both local talent and international acts. 

Eden Court Theatre provides a platform for artists to showcase their skills and creativity, while also engaging and entertaining audiences of all ages.

Whether you're a theatre enthusiast, a music lover, or a film buff, Eden Court Theatre promises a memorable and enriching experience in the heart of Inverness.

21. The Highlanders Museum

Highlanders Museum

The Highlanders Museum, located in the heart of Inverness, is a captivating destination that offers a glimpse into the rich military history of the Scottish Highland regiments.

As one of Scotland's largest regimental museums, it showcases an extensive collection of artifacts, weapons, uniforms, and memorabilia.

You can explore the exhibits and learn about the heroic deeds and traditions of the Highland soldiers throughout the centuries.

This museum provides a unique opportunity to delve into the proud military heritage of Scotland and gain a deeper appreciation for the courage and sacrifice of the Highlanders.

22. The Glen Ord Distillery

Glen Ord Distillery

The Glen Ord Distillery is a place for whisky enthusiasts and curious visitors alike. 

Known for its exceptional single malt Scotch whisky, the distillery offers guided tours where guests can learn about the whisky-making process and witness the craftsmanship firsthand.

Explore the traditional warehouses filled with oak casks, sample a range of whiskies, and enjoy the rich aromas and flavors that define this renowned distillery.

A visit to the Glen Ord Distillery is an opportunity to appreciate the artistry and tradition behind Scotland's beloved whisky industry.

23. Clava Cairns

Clava Cairns

Clava Cairns, a remarkable ancient site, is known for its circular burial chambers and the remnants of a medieval chapel.

These prehistoric cairns provide a fascinating glimpse into the ancient burial practices of the region. The site's unique stone structures, dating back thousands of years, exude an aura of mystery and intrigue.

Exploring Clava Cairns allows visitors to connect with Scotland's rich archaeological heritage and marvel at the craftsmanship of our ancestors.

24. Highland House of Fraser

Highland House of Fraser

The Highland House of Fraser is a renowned Scottish retailer, offering a wide range of traditional Highlandwear and tartan products.

With a history dating back to 1868, the store is known for its quality craftsmanship and authentic Scottish merchandise.

From kilts and tartan accessories to tweed clothing and clan merchandise, the Highland House of Fraser caters to those seeking to embrace their Scottish heritage.

With its wide selection of products and commitment to preserving Scottish traditions, it has become a go-to destination for those looking to celebrate and showcase their love for Scotland.

27. Drive Along The North Coast 500

North Coast 500

Driving along the North Coast 500 is an unforgettable journey through the stunning landscapes. 

This scenic route covers approximately 500 miles, taking you along winding coastal roads, past majestic mountains, and charming villages.

The North Coast 500 offers breathtaking views at every turn, with highlights including rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and historic castles.

28. Hootananny


Hootananny, a vibrant establishment in Inverness, hosts a weekly ceilidh, a Scottish word for a lively party filled with music and dancing.

This lively venue attracts locals and visitors alike, offering a lively atmosphere, live music performances, and a chance to experience authentic Scottish culture.

Whether you're tapping your feet to traditional folk tunes, joining in the energetic ceilidh dances, or enjoying a pint of local ale, Hootananny guarantees a memorable night filled with camaraderie and merriment.

29. Leakey's Bookshop

Leakey's Bookshop

Leakey's Bookshop, located on Church Street, is a delightful haven for book enthusiasts. This unique bookstore specializes in selling used books and is housed in a charming old Gaelic church.

As you wander through the aisles, you'll discover a treasure trove of literary gems spanning various genres and eras.

The cozy atmosphere and the scent of old books create a nostalgic ambiance, inviting you to spend hours browsing through the shelves.

30. Whisky Distillery Tours

Whisky Distillery Tours

Embarking on a whisky distillery tour is a captivating experience for whisky enthusiasts and curious visitors alike.

These tours offer a unique opportunity to visit whisky distilleries, learn about the intricate distillation process, and appreciate the craftsmanship behind Scotland's iconic spirit.

The tour provides a glimpse into the rich heritage and traditions of whisky-making. Enjoy the aromas, taste the distinct flavors, and gain a deeper appreciation for the artistry and dedication that goes into creating fine whiskies.

31. Caledonian Canal

Caledonian Canal

The Caledonian Canal, often hailed as a marvel of engineering, traverses the scenic landscapes of Scotland, connecting the east and west coasts.

This historic waterway, known as the Caledonian Canal, offers a unique and picturesque journey for boating enthusiasts.

Whether you choose to sail, kayak, or simply stroll along its banks, the Caledonian Canal provides breathtaking views of mountains, lochs, and charming canal-side villages.

32. The River Ness

River Ness

Embark on a captivating boat trip and cruise along the picturesque River Ness, which gracefully flows into the Moray Firth.

This leisurely journey offers a unique perspective of Inverness, allowing you to soak in the beauty of the city and its surrounding landscapes.

As you glide along the river's gentle currents, you'll be treated to stunning views of historic landmarks, verdant banks, and the vibrant wildlife that calls the River Ness home.

A cruise along the River Ness is a serene and enchanting experience that showcases the natural splendor of this charming Scottish city.

FAQs: Fun Things to Do in Inverness

Below are frequently asked questions regarding fun and unforgettable things to do in Inverness.

Is it worth it to go to Inverness?

Yes, it is absolutely worth it to visit Inverness. Nestled in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, this enchanting city offers a wealth of attractions and activities. From exploring the historic Inverness Castle and strolling along the picturesque River Ness to immersing yourself in the beauty of the Inverness Botanic Gardens and embarking on a quest to uncover the secrets of Loch Ness, there are so many things to do in Inverness that will leave you with incredible memories and a deep appreciation for this remarkable destination.

What is Inverness best known for?

Inverness is best known as the epicenter of the Scottish Highlands, serving as a gateway to the breathtaking landscapes and natural wonders of the region. Its close proximity to Loch Ness, famed for the legendary Loch Ness Monster, adds to its allure and intrigue. Visitors flock to Inverness to experience the stunning beauty of the Scottish Highlands and to embark on adventures that combine history, folklore, and the mesmerizing allure of Loch Ness.

How many days should I spend in Inverness?

To fully understand the charm of the city and explore its key attractions, a minimum of two to three days is recommended. This time frame allows you to visit popular sites such as the nearby Loch Ness and Inverness Botanic Gardens and also provides ample time to experience the rich history, vibrant culture, and natural beauty that Inverness has to offer.

What is the famous street in Inverness?

High Street is a famous street in Inverness. It is a bustling thoroughfare that serves as the main artery of the city, lined with an array of shops, restaurants, and historic buildings. High Street is a vibrant hub where locals and tourists alike gather to explore the city's offerings, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Inverness.

Summing up: Fun and Unforgettable Things to Do in Inverness

Inverness, Scotland, is a destination that will leave you with lasting memories. With its picturesque landscapes, rich history, and wide array of activities, there is no shortage of fun and unforgettable things to do in this captivating city.

Whether you're exploring the Scottish Highlands, touring Downtown Inverness, or searching for the legendary Loch Ness monster, the city has an abundance of adventures awaiting you.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, soak up the fascinating history, and savor the unique experiences that Inverness has to offer. Using the information in this article you can now explore Inverness and have a truly remarkable time.