By Jessica Russo
Ready for an adventure through Scotland's spectacular Highlands? Filled with vibrant culture and fascinating history, Inverness makes an ideal home base. Here's a list of free things to do in and around Inverness, so you can spend less on sightseeing and more on whisky and haggis.
Photo by Instagram user @sorrowful.frog
1. Loch Ness
Do you believe in Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster? Go see for yourself! Just minutes south of Inverness, feast your eyes on the one and only Loch Ness. Grab lunch in the cute lakeside town of Fort Augustus, then gawk at the 16th-century ruins of Urquhart Castle.
Photo by Instagram user @ditzyali
2. Culloden Battlefield
Just a 15-minute drive east of Inverness lies Culloden Battlefield - the site of the brutal 1746 final Jacobite Rising. Today, Culloden stands as a memorial and exhibition center where locals, as well as tourists from all around the world, can learn about this harrowing, yet country-changing history.
Photo by Instagram user @edinburghtourguides
3. Inverness Cathedral
Known also as the Cathedral Church of St. Andrew, this gorgeous church is a work of art. Whether you're religious or just a lover of architecture, pay a visit to this colossal cathedral, nestled right on the River Ness.
Photo by Instagram user @trudilou36
4. Glen Ord Distillery
Just a gorgeous 25-minute drive from Inverness, Glen Ord Distillery is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Walk around beautiful grounds, ask for a free tasting, and do some souvenir shopping. For only 3 Euro, you can take a tour of the distillery and have, you guessed it, another tasting!
Photo by Instagram user @ckwaters
5. Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
Right next to Inverness Castle and the River Ness, you'll find the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery. This contemporary museum blends fine art with history, geology, and archaelogy. Let's face it, in Scotland, you will probably come across at least one rainy day. Perfect day for a free museum!
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6. Browse around the Victorian Market
This indoor market houses local vendors selling traditional Scottish tartans, kilts, and yummy treats. Walk around this charming, village-like shopping area and either stick to window-shopping, grab a bite to eat, or snag some souvenirs!
Photo by Instagram user @lumluk_wp
7. See Traditional Scottish Music
Okay, so you may have to purchase a beer or a whisky to sit in a pub and listen to music, but it will be well worth it. Tap your feet and clap along to bagpipes, fiddles, and traditional folk music! Try our favorite spot in Inverness: Hootananny pub on Church Street.
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8. Sift through titles at Leakey's Bookshop
Consider yourself a bookworm? Feel immersed in this eye-widening shop, stocked floor to ceiling with new and old books! Browse around this unique shop for souvenirs and admire its beautiful charm. You never know what you may find!