Scotland’s cities are worth visiting for more than just a day or two. Why not spend a whole week getting to know a new haunt? Behind each of these ancient cities, you’ll find the places to be for food, fun and culture.
Pick a neighbourhood and start calling yourself a local!
1. Finnieston, Glasgow
A visit to Finnieston is always a great shout on a night out to Glasgow, but wouldn’t it be nice to stay in the area for a bit longer? It is found on the north bank of the River Clyde, sandwiched between the city centre and the West End.
- Finnieston is now one of Glasgow’s trendiest spots. It mixes bohemian chic with gothic architecture, charming cobbles and shops. Try Hidden Lane and De Courcy’s Arcade for some unique finds.
- It’s known for the excellent foodie offering. Be sure to spend a lot of time checking out restaurants in the area.
- From this part of town, you can head to the cultural highlights of the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum.
Eat: Alchemilla, Ox and Finch, Six by Nico and Partick Duck Club
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2. Old Aberdeen
Up in Aberdeen, the Old Town dates back even as far as the Picts, with beautiful cathedrals and university buildings framing the north, and the easterly harbour looking out to the North Sea.
- During your stay, catch the sunrise at Aberdeen Harbour, a spot known for dolphin spotting in the summer months.
- Wander Aberdeen’s ancient streets and see what delights the local businesses have on offer. On Holburn Street, check out Rosemary Planet for eco-friendly finds and locally sourced products. Grab a coffee and a cake at Almondine on Thistle Street.
- A stroll through Old Aberdeen will lead you to several unique buildings, including St Machar Cathedral, King’s College and the Brig o’ Balgownie which dates to the 13th century. Wind up at Seaton Park, the perfect place to relax!
- Aberdeen is brimming with culture too. The Aberdeen Art Gallery is a fascinating place to while away the hours and delve into the story of this seafaring town, or spend a few hours learning more about the nautical heritage of Aberdeen at the Aberdeen Maritime Museum.
Eat: Silver Darling, Angus & Ale, Food Story Café and Moon Fish Café
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3. Stockbridge, Edinburgh
Stockbridge is just north west of Princes Street and is one of the loveliest neighbourhoods in Edinburgh. It’s easy to reach from the city centre but the area has a small village atmosphere that you’ll absolutely adore.
- Begin your lazy Stockbridge days waking up to artisan coffee from one of the Raeburn Place cafés. Stroll past the independent shops and boutiques or take a good book to Inverleith Park.
- Continue exploring the West End by taking the Water of Leith pathway to the National Gallery of Modern Art.
- Book a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and admire the exotic plants. There’s always something colourful to admire at any time of year.
- The Stockbridge Market is on every Sunday throughout the year so you can pick up treats and products from lots of local businesses.
Eat: Scran & Scallie, Good Brothers Wine Bar, Hector’s and Hamilton’s
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4. Old Town, Stirling
Staying in a smaller city is a smart choice if you want to enjoy a stress-free type of city break. For one thing, it’ll only take two minutes for you to get your bearings! In Stirling, enjoy views of the mighty hilltop castle, wander cobbled streets and gaze out to legendary landscapes. This is the old stomping grounds of Rob Roy and William Wallace – if they liked it, maybe you will too?
- Take a walking tour and get to know the oldest part of the city. Stroll down ancient streets, admire buildings with years of history, like the Church of Holy Rude, and learn all the facts about Stirling’s rich and colourful past.
- Pick up a wee pressie for yourself from Contempo on King Street, a cute little shop offering unique handcrafted gifts from Scottish artists.
- Explore the dark and fascinating history of the Stirling Old Town Jail before enjoying some of the best vistas in the city from the Observation Tower.
- Stirling is a great base for lots of other adventures too, including the hills, lochs and Munros of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.
Eat: Darnley’s Coffee House, The Portcullis, Brea, Fletcher’s, Friend of Mine and The Birds and Bees
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5. City centre, Dundee
Cool and creative, Dundee has always been full of bright ideas. After all, the easterly city is famous for inventing marmalade, The Beano and Grand Theft Auto.
In the old days, shipbuilding and jute production were the major industries here. Nowadays, Dundee has lots of other interests: design, contemporary art, medicine, to name just a few. You can discover them all from wherever you stay in this compact city on the River Tay.
- Catch a moment of peace and quiet in the gorgeous University of Dundee’s Botanic Gardens to the west of the city.
- Spend a day at Foxlake Dundee and try a new adventure activity, such as cable wakeboarding!
- Shop until your musical heart is content at Le Freak Records on Perth Road and Assai Records on Union Street.
- Shop the trendiest designer eye wear at Spex Pistols. It’s a fun shop to visit, even if you don’t need to wear glasses!
- Catch a must-see exhibition or enjoy a delicious lunch at V&A Dundee.
- Learn all about the history of the jute-making industry in Dundee at the Verdant Works.
Eat: Bird & Bear, Draffens, Abandon Ship and Blue Room
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6. City Centre, Perth
The ‘Fair City’ of Perth is centuries old, but in fact, it is Scotland’s newest city. You’ll find two green spaces and a picturesque city centre filled with attractions, restaurants and historical stories weaved throughout. It’s easy to feel right at home in the city centre, with everything you want to do within easy walking distance.
- The highest of five hills to the east of Perth, Kinnoull Hill is perfect for photographers and sunset seekers alike.
- Shop for vintage finds at Underneath the Arches on Princes Street. Take home some new interior decor pieces from the contemporary homeware shop, Boo Vake.
- For a dose of culture, keep up-to-date with the happenings at the Perth Museum & Art Gallery and Fergusson Gallery.
- For shows, music and evening entertainments, check out the programmes for Perth Theatre and Perth Concert Hall.
- Admire the sculptures along the River Tay Public Art Trail which meanders across the city.
Eat: 63 Tay Street, Breizh, Paco’s and The Bothy
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7. Dalneigh, Inverness
Located just across the River Ness from the city centre, Dalneigh is a fabulous base for an Inverness adventure. This is the perfect spot for exploring city centre attractions and for venturing out into the Highlands for day trips.
- Discover a tranquil paradise inside the Inverness Botanical Gardens. Ideal for some peace and quiet, explore leafy pathways and the Tropical House – the ‘hottest spot in the Highlands’.
- Head to Leakey’s Bookshop and find a fabulous second-hand read for your holiday.
- Get away from everything with a climb to the top of the Tomnahurich Cemetery Hill. Laced with history and folklore, it’s also known as the ‘Fairy Hill of Inverness’ and has amazing city views.
- Delve into the fascinating history of the Highlands at the Highland Archive Centre. There are records here dating from the 14th century.
- Keep an eye on the Eden Court Theatre for evening entertainment and shows returning to this gem of a theatre.
Eat: The Mustard Seed, Rocpool, Scotch & Rye and Velocity Café
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Have you taken a city break recently in Scotland? Share your #OnlyInScotland memories with us!
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