No car? No problem. Forget planning a route or worrying about finding the perfect parking space - it is all taken care of aboard a bus or coach tour. You just have to sit back and watch the beautiful Scottish landscapes roll past.

Whether you want to take a week-long guided bus tour to the Highlands and islands, or perhaps just a day's escape to the countryside from Edinburgh or Glasgow, travelling by bus or coach is a fantastic way to make the most of your time in Scotland.

City bus tours  

An open-top City Sightseeing bus on Edinburgh's Royal Mile
Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Most of Scotland's cities have sightseeing guided bus trips which provide a whirlwind tour of the city's main attractions and must-see city sights. In some cities you can even join themed bus tours, which explore the city in relation to a given topic, such as royal connections or famous ghost stories.

Taking a city bus tour is an excellent way of finding your feet on the first day of your holiday or squeezing in a last burst sight-seeing at the end of your holiday before you leave! In larger cities, such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, there are a number of tours to choose from. Select a tour with a live guide on board to show you the sites and give you a view of the city from someone who lives here, or choose a pre-recorded tour which can be listened to in a variety of different languages. Either way, you’ll hop off knowing more then when you hopped on! 

Many tour buses are open top, so you can enjoy the view when the sun shines, but have covered seats too for when the weather isn’t so kind. Hop-on hop-off tours are popular because they provide both an informative guide to the city as well as the perfect transport solution to get you from one attraction or city location to another. Some tickets are valid for more than one day, so you can take your time and board the bus as many times as you like.

Coach tours

A man stands by a Rabbie's Trail Burners mini-coach and looks over Loch Lomond.
Loch Lomond, © Rabbie's Tours

Ranging from small private day trips and weekend minibus tours to longer coach excursions in more remote places, you can cover a lot of ground in Scotland by coach. It's a great way to meet fellow travellers and you can find trips to suit every budget and itinerary.

You might be looking for a short overview tour that will give you a taste of what Scotland has to offer and plenty of great views to enjoy along the way, or a longer destination coach tour that ticks off all the top attractions that you want to visit and photograph, with time to stop and take it all in.

Coach tour itineraries can be themed by specific interests – perhaps you’d like a tour geared around historic attractions or you’re keen to stop by as many distilleries as possible during your trip? Either way, you’ll find a tour to suit - or you can choose a tour company who’ll create a tailored trip just for you.

Accommodation options also vary depending on the tour you book, so if you want to bed down in a hostel dorm room to keep costs down, you can, and likewise if you want to be sure of having a luxurious en-suite hotel room to sleep in each night, there will be a coach tour that promises to deliver that too.