Inverness: The Complete Guide

CC BY-SA 3.0 / Avarim

Inverness meaning “Mouth of the River Ness” is a city in the Scottish Highlands. Inverness attracts visitors from across the world for its natural landscapes, quaint towns, medieval ruins, and prehistoric sites. Located in the Scottish Highlands, it’s a great place for nature lovers looking to explore its vast landscape. There are many hiking and cycling trails of various lengths that run along the canals, lakes, and forests of Inverness.

Exploring the city centre gives you plenty of sightseeing opportunities in the form of Victorian-era marketplaces, cathedrals, and museums. Inverness also houses some of Scotland’s top whisky distilleries, where you can learn about the process of making this Scottish tipple while sampling some single malts. From spotting the elusive Loch Ness monster to reliving one of the bloodiest battles in Scottish history, check out our guide on the best things to do in Inverness.

Visiting Inverness for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Inverness on the first visit. To help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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8 Best places to See in Inverness

This complete guide to Inverness not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Inverness and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

Inverness Castle

Inverness Castle, Scotland
Inverness Castle sits on a cliff overlooking the River Ness in Inverness, Scotland. The red sandstone structure, displaying an early castellated style, is the work of a few 19th-century architects. William Burn (1789–1870) designed the Sheriff Court, Joseph Mitchell (1803–1883) the bastioned enclosing walls, and Thomas Brown II (1806–c. 1872) the District Court, originally built […]
Location: Inverness Castle Inverness IV2 3EG United Kingdom | Hours: Opening Hours (until 31 Oct 2020) Thursday – Monday from 10.30 – 16:00 (Last booking at 15.30) Tuesday & Wednesday: CLOSED | Price: £6 per adult £4 per child (aged 12 and under) | Distance: 0.20km
Visiting Inverness Castle

Click here to read our blog about Exploring Scotland's North Coast 500

Inverness Cathedral

Inverness Cathedral, Scotland
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Dave Conner
Inverness Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew (1866–69), is a cathedral of the Scottish Episcopal Church situated in the city of Inverness in Scotland close to the banks of the River Ness. It is the seat of the Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness, ordinary of the Diocese of Moray, Ross […]
Location: Inverness Cathedral, Ardross Street, Inverness, UK | Hours: 7am to 8pm, Cafe & Shop 9am - 4pm* 7 Day's a Week | Website | Distance: 0.50km
Visiting Inverness Cathedral

Ness Islands

Ness Islands Footbridge, River Ness
CC BY-SA 2.0 / djmacpherson
The Ness islands are a collection of natural islands that sit in the middle of the River Ness, connected from the river banks and throughout by beautiful Victorian footbridges. Just a short stroll away from Inverness city centre it is a place of natural beauty to take a breath, get some exercise or just watch […]
Visiting Ness Islands

Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Centre

Culloden Battlefield6
CC BY-SA 1.0 / Stablenode
The Culloden Battlefield is a powerfully emotive and atmospheric battlefield where the 1745 Jacobite Rising came to a tragic end. The Battle of Culloden was the final confrontation of the Jacobite rising of 1745. On 16 April 1746, the Jacobite army of Charles Edward Stuart was decisively defeated by a British government force under Prince […]
| Hours: 9am-7pm Jun-Aug, to 6pm Mar-May, Sep & Oct, 10am-4pm Nov-Feb | Price: adult/child £11/9.50 | Website | Distance: 7.90km
Visiting Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Centre

Beauly Priory

Scotlan Beauly Priory
GNU 1.2 / Wojsyl
Beauly Priory is one of three priories founded in Scotland in about 1230 for monks of the Valliscaulian order. The Valliscaulians came from Val-des-Choux (‘Valley of the Cabbages’) near Dijon in France, and adhered to strict ideals of poverty, chastity and obedience. Beauly, meaning ‘beautiful place’, must have seemed to the monks a wonderful location […]
| Hours: 1 Apr to 30 Sept: Daily, 9.30am to 5.30pm Last entry 5pm1 Oct to 31 Mar: Daily, 10am to 4pm Last entry 3.30pm | Distance: 13.90km
Visiting Beauly Priory

Cawdor Castle

Castell Cawdor, Scotland
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Lesbardd
Cawdor Castle is a castle in the parish of Cawdor in Nairnshire, Scotland. It is built around a 15th-century tower house, with substantial additions in later centuries. Located about 5 miles south west of Nairn, Cawdor Castle was built around a 15th century tower house which originally belonged to Clan Cawdor before passing into the […]
| Hours: 10am-5.30pm May-Sep | Price: adult/child £11.50/7.20 | Website | Distance: 18.50km
Visiting Cawdor Castle

Urquhart Castle

Scotland Urquhart Castle
CC BY-SA 4.0 / LornaMCampbell
Urquhart Castle, a ruin, sits beside Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland. The castle is on the A82 road, 21 kilometres (13 mi) south-west of Inverness and 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) east of the village of Drumnadrochit. The present ruins date from the 13th to the 16th centuries, though built on the site of […]
| Hours: 9.30am-8pm Jun-Aug, to 6pm Apr, May & Sep, to 5pm Oct, to 4.30pm Nov-Mar | Price: adult/child £9/5.40 | Distance: 21.50km
Visiting Urquhart Castle

Brodie Castle

Brodie Castle
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Mihael Grmek
Brodie Castle is a well-preserved Z plan castle located about 3+1⁄2 miles (5.5 kilometres) west of Forres, in Moray, Scotland. The castle is a Category A listed building and the grounds are included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland. The original Z-plan castle was built in 1567 by Clan Brodie but […]
Location: Brodie Castle Brodie Forres IV36 2TE United Kingdom | Hours: 10am-5pm Mar-Oct, 11am-3pm Nov & Dec | Price: adult/child £11/6.50 | Website | Distance: 33.60km
Visiting Brodie Castle