Reasons to visit Inverness

Last updated: Friday, 4 August 2023

It’s not just the call of Nessie that has visitors flocking to Inverness.

This beautiful Highland city, often referred to as The Capital of the Highlands, is steeped in history, has beautiful scenery and even has its own islands. Plus there's the great food and craft beers you'll find there too. If you’ve never visited, now is the time!

Inverness after dark

To get the best price on train tickets, be sure to book an Advance single ticket between eight to twelve weeks before you travel. It pays to be the early bird because you can get your hands on tickets that are up to 60% cheaper than an Anytime ticket.

Advance cheap tickets to Inverness are available for departures from various places across Scotland, including Edinburgh and Glasgow.

So why should you visit Inverness?

Here are a few reasons why:

Getting around on foot is easy

Once you arrive into the city by train, having enjoyed the spectacular views along the way, it’s a quick walk to the town centre. No hire cars needed here. It may be in the Highlands but Inverness is easy to walk around whatever your ability – it’s relatively flat and compact with lots of hotels, bars, restaurants, attractions and shops within short reach of the station. And if you do want to seek out Nessie or enjoy the history of Urquhart Castle, lots of organised tours run from the city.

A view of Inverness

Go island-hopping

You read that right, Inverness has its very own set of islands. And they are beautiful! Head upstream from the city centre and within a few minutes you’ll discover the Ness Islands. This group of islands, in the middle of the River Ness, are connected by suspension bridges and pathways, built in Victorian times. It's the best place to take a wander on a sunny day. Even on a not-so-sunny day, there's something rather enchanting about them.

The walk around the islands takes about one hour (it’s roughly three miles), but can be shortened by cutting across one of the bridges. It’s well worth taking the time to have a leisurely stroll to enjoy the views. There are plenty of benches and picnic places along the way to stop and watch the world go by. Be sure to take your camera with you.

You’ll never go thirsty

As you would expect given the tradition of Highland hospitality, Inverness isn’t short of a pub or two.

Some favourites are MacGregor’s award-winning bar and The Black Isle Bar . Both are great for a bit of a blether and refreshing craft beer, with a modern and contemporary twist on tradition. MacGregor's frequently hosts live music, so it's well worth checking their website to see what's on while you're in the city. The food is spectacular there too.

The Black Isle offers a wide range of craft beers, whiskies and wood-fired pizzas. Many of the beers are from their own brewery and organic farm just over the water. As they say themselves, a taste of brewery life right in the heart of the city.

Your belly will be full

Inverness has enjoyed a well-documented transformation in its culinary reputation in the last decade or so. Many of the best restaurants are located close to the River and include Rocpool , The Mustard Seed , The Kitchen and Café 1 .

Of course, if your culinary tastes are more “roll and sausage, and a cup of tea” then a visit to one of the cafes in the appropriately-named Victorian Market is a must. You’ll find it right across the road from the train station.

For days when the sun shines, and quite honestly, even when it’s not, a trip to Miele’s Gelateria should be on your list. Their gelato is incredible! Take our word for it, we’ve sampled a fair few different flavours… all in the name of research of course.

There's lots to see

Inverness Castle

Just on the edge of the city, a 15 minute walk from the station, you will find Inverness Castle . An imposing red sandstone building and the most prominent landmark in the city, it’s a great spot for a photo and enjoying fantastic views over the River Ness. The castle is currently closed while a big redevelopment takes place to turn it into The Inverness Castle experience, due to open in 2025.

At the foot of the castle, the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery is a great insight into local history with a range of artefacts and collections that celebrate Highland life and heritage. There’s a nice wee café in there too.

We hope we’ve enticed you to consider a visit to Inverness in the near future. Don’t forget, the earlier you book your Advance single ticket, the cheaper your ticket will be. Bookings open around twelve weeks prior.