Last updated: 7 January 2020
The UK is currently negotiating exit from the European Union - but that doesn't mean a trip to Scotland should be off the plans for EU visitors. Scotland is very much open to you, and a holiday here will be just as magical as ever.
Scotland has breath-taking landscapes, unique experiences and charming destinations, and our people are as friendly as always, ready to welcome you and show you around our fascinating country.
We've got all the practical information you need to plan a trip to Scotland in 2019, plus a few ideas that deserve to be on any itinerary, whether it's your first trip or your tenth you're planning!
Top tip: please ensure you check the most up-to-date information before you travel.
Before you travel
Do I need a visa to visit Scotland after Brexit?
The UK is due to withdraw on 31 January and will have a year to transition, so arrangements will be unlikely to change until December 2020. If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, what you need to enter Scotland will not change until 2021.
If the UK leaves without a deal, you will still be able to enter without a Visa if you're an Irish citizen, or from any other EU or EEA country, or Switzerland, but you may be limited to a visit of up to three months.
There is also advice available, if you do plan to stay in Scotland longer than three months.
What will I need to show to enter Scotland after the UK leaves the EU?
What you need to show at the UK border will not change, even if the UK leaves without a deal.
You'll need to show a valid passport or national identity card if you're a citizen of either:
- an EU country
- Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland
Other citizens will need to show a valid passport.
You can still enter the UK using a passport which expires in less than 6 months.
What about school groups visiting Scotland by coach?
The List of Travellers visa scheme will allow school children from EU or EFTA countries to travel to the UK until 31 December 2020, if there is a deal.
What you need to show at the border will not change either - pupils without their own travel documents must have photographic ID or a recent photograph attached to the List of Travellers form.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the List of Travellers scheme will not end immediately but may be phased out during 2020. More details will be provided shortly.
Can I bring a pet to Scotland with me?
Yes, right now there are no changes to the way in which pets can be brought to Scotland from the EU, or from countries outside of the EU.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the rules for bringing pets to and from the UK will change.
Please contact your vet at least 4 months before travelling to make sure your pet is able to travel from the UK to the EU after Brexit.
Check for updated information on travelling to the UK with pets.
What changes are there to what I can bring to Scotland?
You can find information on the changes to bringing horses, endangered plants, animals and their products to the UK after Brexit.
There are no changes to what food or plants you can bring, or what you can have in your hand luggage.
Find more information on what you can bring into the UK after Brexit.
Will my European Health Insurance Card still be recognised?
If there is a Brexit deal, yes. If there is no deal, no.
If there is no deal, make sure you take out extra travel insurance to cover yourself in the event of a medical emergency in the UK.
Find more information on travel to the UK in the events of no deal.
Travel to Scotland
Will travel to Scotland change at all?
Air, sea, road and rail passenger services between the UK and EU countries will continue as normal following Brexit, whether there is a deal or not.
If there is no deal, EU passengers will still have passenger rights as covered by EU regulations. If you book with an EU travel agent or tour operator you'll still be covered by EU law if they don't offer their services post-Brexit.
Make sure you have the correct travel insurance and check the terms and conditions before heading off.
While you're here
Can I bring my car and drive in Scotland?
The rules on driving in Scotland will not change after the UK's exit. Your EU driving license will remain valid regardless of a deal or no deal.
You will need to carry an insurance green card if all of the following apply:
- If your vehicle is insured in an EU or EEA country;
- The UK leaves either without a deal;
- Or without a specific agreement on green cards.
If your country is a member of the green card system, you will also need to carry a green card. If they are not a member, your vehicle will need UK vehicle insurance.
Please make sure to check with your insurance provider before you travel that you and your vehicle are insured in Scotland.
Find more information on driving in the UK after Brexit.
Will I be able to use my mobile phone in Scotland?
If the UK leaves the EU with a deal and you have a SIM card issued by a mobile phone network from an EU or EEA country, then you'll pay the same for calls, texts and mobile data in Scotland as you do in the EU.
If the UK leaves without a deal, how much you pay will depend on your mobile network provider so check with them directly for information on international roaming fees.
For the latest information, please see the UK Government advice for visiting the UK after Brexit.