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Inverness Travel Guide (including essential tips, itinerary & map)

Our Inverness Travel Guide includes recommended places to visit and things to do, accommodation options, tips and more for the beautiful Highland city. Everything you need to plan your visit and essential reading for any visitor to Inverness!

Plan your visit to Inverness

The Scottish city of Inverness is the perfect base to explore the Highlands of Scotland. If you enjoy road trips the North Coast 500 is recognised as one of the most spectacularly scenic drives around the world.

Inverness is one of our recommended top 19 attractions, sights and landmarks to see in Scotland.

Map of Inverness

Map of Inverness
Click for a Google map of Inverness

Inverness travel guide – Visiting Inverness FAQ’s

When is the best time of year to visit Inverness?

The best time to visit Inverness is during the late spring and summer. These are the busy times of the year with warmer weather and long light days.

If you prefer to avoid crowds aim for September and October. The weather can still be good during these months and you will find better deals on accommodation.

Make sure to pack for the weather – layers are always recommended (and waterproofs too) whatever time of year you plan to visit.

If you are visiting in winter note that the weather can be particularly brutal with low temperatures, snow and of course short dark days the norm.

Read more about the best time to visit the UK in my detailed guide.

View of city of Inverness

How many days do you need in Inverness?

Inverness is a fantastic base from which to explore the Highlands. Catch the train to Thurso and Wick or to the Kyle of Lochalsh for Skye and the Hebrides. Alternatively, pick up a tour to the Isle of Skye from Inverness.

The North Coast 500 begins in Inverness and follows a circular route through some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery. Plan to spend at least 5 days to make the most of this fantastic Scottish road trip.

What is the best way to explore Inverness?

  • Inverness is a compact, walkable city easy to get around.
  • There is a hop on hop off bus available as well as taxis and buses to get you around the city.
  • Hire a car from Inverness train station or Inverness airport. Alternatively, there are taxis available to transfer into the city or you can book a private transfer here.

🚗 There are a multitude of car rental companies to choose from in the UK. We recommend comparing prices and deals Discover Cars before making your booking.

Best of Britain Itinerary planners

What is the best way to travel to Inverness from London?

🚆 By train from London

For timetables and tickets, we recommend the trainline.

We recommend booking the Caledonian Sleeper service to Inverness from London. Leave London in the evening and arrive in Inverness the following morning.

This is a fabulous trip and although not cheap it is the perfect way to travel between the 2 cities by train.

Alternatively, take the East Coast Mainline from London to Edinburgh. Once in Edinburgh, you have 2 options – read more in our guide to the top 10 scenic train journeys in the UK.

Top 10 UK Train Journeys London Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverley 1
10 UK Train Journeys Edinburgh to Inverness via Stirling
10 UK Train Journeys Edinburgh to Inverness via Dundee and Aberdeen

🔀 Distance from London : 715 km (444 miles)

🕐 Time taken by sleeper train: 11 ½ hours

📍 Leave from: London Euston (Caledonian Sleeper)

TipIf this is your first time catching a train in the UK read our complete guide to UK train travel which includes all the information you need to know to make travelling around the UK by rail a relaxing and stress-free experience.

🚗 By car (road trip option)

If you are taking a road trip around the UK and plan to include Inverness in your itinerary make sure you book hotels & accommodation well ahead of time especially if you are visiting during the busy summer months.

I recommend checking car hire options through who compare the prices from a number of companies to secure the best deal for you.

✈️ Fly to Inverness Airport

If you want to fly directly to Inverness from London Gatwick, Luton or Heathrow. We recommend checking skyscanner for flights,

Click here for transfers from Inverness airport

Attractions and things to do in Inverness

Inverness 1


Accommodation in Inverness

There is a variety of accommodation options in Inverness to suit every budget. These are my choices of some of the best hotels in the city based on location and customer reviews.

Inverness Accommodation Quick Picks

Pentahotel Inverness


Located 100 m from the city’s train and bus stations


Ness House B&B

Located in the centre of Inverness, Ness House has free WiFi and free private parking.


Wee Ness Lodge

Boasting a patio with river views, a garden and a terrace


➡️ Area and accommodation guide to Inverness

Find more special stays in my Accommodation Guide for Scotland.

Inverness 3

Inverness Travel Guide -Tickets, tours & attractions

This is our selection of the best tours and attractions available in Inverness.

Click here for more tickets, tours and attractions for Inverness

Best day & multi-day trips from Inverness

I have handpicked the best tours available from Inverness through Get Your Guide (we book most of our day tours and organised activities through Get Your Guide due to their great customer service and cancellation policy) and Viator (another tour company we have used during our travels).

You will find even more options to choose from in our guide to the best day trips and multi-day tours from Inverness.

Best day trips from Inverness

Best multi-day tours from Inverness

Portree on Isle of Skye.
Village of Portree on Skye

Best pubs, cafes and restaurants in Inverness

There are so many fantastic places to eat in Inverness you are spoilt for choice. These are our top picks:

  • MacGregors Bar – local and seasonal dishes
  • Scotch and Rye – Gastropub with craft beers
  • The Grumpy Chef – Best brunch in town
  • The Mustard Seed – Beautiful food in a stunning setting
  • Castle Tavern – Terraced beer garden with castle views
  • Cafe 1 – locally sourced produce 
Haggis neeps and tatties 1 1
Haggis neeps and tatties

Books to read before visiting Inverness

For more Scottish literary inspiration check out my selection of 25 of the best books to read before you visit Scotland.

Enjoy your visit to Inverness

This guide will provide inspiration plus practical information to help plan your visit to Inverness. You will find more inspiration and ideas to help plan your travels around Scotland in these travel guides:

Best castle hotels in Scotland

Aberdeen Travel Guide

St Andrews Travel Guide

Glasgow Travel Guide

Edinburgh Travel Guide

Things to do in Edinburgh

10 virtual tours of famous landmarks in the UK

Northumberland Travel Guide (including tips, itinerary + map)

Find more inspiration for your travels in my Scotland Travel Guide which includes information about what to see, where to stay, how to get around, travel tips, recommended reading and more to make the most of your trip.