Inverness: Explore the Highlands’ capital

The Highlands are known for their rugged mountains and stunning lochs, but the ‘Highlands’ capital’ Inverness also provides, culture, fine dining and the chance for some retail therapy.

Here’s our guide to the best things to see and do in Inverness; the must-visit sights, the best streets for shopping and where you can enjoy a bite to eat and a drink at the end of a long day.

Inverness offers fine dining, shopping and museums to a backdrop of rugged Highland landscape and the dramatic Loch Ness.

Things to see and do in Inverness

To get a real insight into one of Scotland’s oldest cities, we recommend taking a stroll through Inverness with one of the Historic Trail Guides in hand. You’ll be guided through both the new and old towns, past sights such as Inverness Castle, the Town House, and Falcon Square.

No trip to Inverness would be complete without a trip to see Nessie at Loch Ness. You can cycle to the famous lake or it’s accessible via public transport. Don’t forget to take some binoculars for a spot of monster watching!

The Titanic Inverness Maritime Museum is also worth a visit during your trip to Inverness. This interactive exhibitionincludes a 1:10 scale model of the famous cruise liner, which people can actually go in and explore. Younger visitors will love being able to dress up as the ship’s captain, explore life rafts and hear the awesome roar of the Titanic’s fog horn. Entry is free.

Shopping in Inverness

If you’re looking for some retail therapy, Inverness city centre offers both high street favourites in the modern East Gate Shopping Centreand a large choice of independent retailers housed in the Old Town area.

The stunning Victorian Market is also worth a visit. It features a range of local businesses offering products and services you may struggle to find on a typical modern high street.  Even if you’re just window shopping, there’s plenty to see in the stunning building, including the Victorian Market Clock and the ornate cast iron and wooden roof.

Food and drink in Inverness

After a busy day, you’ll be ready for a bite to eat in one of Inverness’s many eateries.

For a taste of Italy north of the border why not head to Little Italy on Stephen’s Brae. Run by a team of Italians, this local gem offers authentic food in a friendly vibrant atmosphere. We particularly recommend visiting on a Saturday, when the famous singing waiter serenades diners.

If you enjoy a pint with your meal then the Castle Tavern at View Place is a must visit. The pub, which is featured in the CAMRA Real Ale Guide and has been voted Real Ale Pub of the Year twice, also serves decent pub grub in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

If you want a taste of traditional Scottish fare, The Riverside Restaurant on Bank Street is the place to get it. You can visit for high tea, lunch, or an evening meal, all of which are served up with stunning views of the River Ness.

Hidden Inverness

Why not try these spots the Inverness locals love.

Curl up with a good book and a warming beverage at Leakey’s Bookshop and Café. The menu is simple and delicious, consisting of sandwiches, soups, salads and of course cakes. Plus it won’t break the bank.

For something a bit more exotic, Jamaican eatery Kool Runnings on Church Street is popular with locals and visitorsalike. It claims to be Scotland’s only Jamaican restaurant and serves up traditional favourites including goat curry, jerk chicken and plantain. You can also take your own drinks.

Upcoming events in Inverness

Why not put a smile on your face by attending the Hayppyness Comedy Festival between 22 May and 25 May. Highlights include performances by Patrick Kielty, Jason Byrne and Sean Hughes.

The annual Highland Games will be hitting Inverness on 19 July, staged at the world’s oldest Highland Games Stadium, Northern Meeting Park. Attendees can expect to see world class competitors taking part in traditional heavy events such as the caber toss as well as Highland dancing.

Little ones will love seeing popular children’s character The Gruffalo come to life on stage at the Empire Theatre between 18 July and 20 July. Tickets for the show, which has come direct from the West End, cost £12.00.

Enjoy your trip to Inverness.