Are you planning a trip to Scotland? Wonderful! We look forward to welcoming you. If it's your first visit you might have some questions about passports, visas, money and customs. We'll answer those questions for you here.

Do I need a passport to visit Scotland?

  • From 1 October 2021, all EU, EEA and Swiss nationals (except Irish citizens) will need a valid passport to enter the UK. Your travel document should not expire during your stay in the UK. At the border, officials might ask for proof that you are visiting the UK for tourism, such as a hotel reservation.
  • EU citizens can use their national ID card until then.
  • Irish citizens may continue to use their national ID card after 1 October 2021.
  • There are no changes in the rules for other foreign nationals.

Do I need a visa to visit Scotland?

  • EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can stay in the UK as a visitor for up to 6 months without a visa.
  • Irish citizens have no visa requirements and can travel to the UK as they did before Brexit.
  • Other foreign nationals might need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa.
  • You can check here if you need a UK visa.

What goods can I bring in to Scotland?

You can bring most everyday items with you when you visit, but there are some goods that you are not allowed to bring, such as firearms. There are other goods that have a limit to the amount you can bring in, such as alcohol and tobacco. 

The rules are different depending on where you are travelling from. You can find out more from the UK Government's advice on bringing in goods.

Can I bring in medicine?

  • Yes, you can bring in your own personal medicines and do not need to declare them to UK Customs if they are for yourself. However, in case there is an issue in the UK or abroad, it is a good idea to have a letter from your doctor confirming your need for the medication.
  • Always carry medicines in a correctly labelled container as issued by the pharmacist.
  • There may be restrictions on the amount of drugs that you can bring into the country.
  • Before you travel, seek advice about the requirements from HM Customs and Exercise.

How much currency can I bring into the UK?

You have to declare any amount over €10,000 when you enter the UK.

How should I bring my money?

  • There are lots of cash machines (ATMs) in Scottish cities and towns. Check with your bank to see if you can use your card in these.
  • If you are visiting the islands or remote areas, you may not be able to find as many cash machines, so think about taking some money with you. 
  • You can cash travellers' cheques at banks and bureaux de change. There is usually no charge for cashing sterling travellers' cheques.

Save money with tax-free shopping

  • Want to make your holiday money go further? You can reclaim the sales tax on your purchases. 
  • The sales tax - or value added tax (VAT) - is currently applied at 20%?to most goods and services except food, books and children's clothing. 

There are a number of steps to take during and after your visit, in order to reclaim the sales tax.