One Day In Inverness: 5 Great Things To Do!

Cazzy Magennis
Written By:
Cazzy Magennis
Last Updated:
August 3, 2021
Only got one day to spend in Inverness? Don't worry, that's still a great amount of time to get a feel for the city. Our guide inspires you on what to do..
one day in inverness

Our trip to Inverness was short and sweet, one day to be exact, but it was enough to make me want to share the beauty of this small city with you!

It quickly entered the list as one of my personal favourite places to visit in Scotland!

If you’ve only a few hours to explore the beauty of the city, then I’ll take you through some sights you definitely need to see with only one day in Inverness! 

Inverness is known as the “capital” of the Highlands in Scotland and this is due to the fact it’s the most modern/busy city in the whole area, plus it has an airport which you can fly into. 

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How to get to Inverness 

places to visit in inverness

As I mentioned above, Inverness has an airport, so it’s convenient to get here via most cities in the UK and further afield. 

You can check Skyscanner for flights.

Inverness is the perfect starting point to start off an adventure in the Scottish Highlands and even take on the NC500 road trip. 

You can also get the train to Inverness from most big cities across Scotland, and you can probably get a train from England too, but perhaps may need to switch trains at some point. 

It’ll be a very long train journey! 

Another option is to drive to Inverness. I recommend this above all else, as it gives you the chance to take day trips outside the city and experience what's on offer.

We were actually visiting Inverness as part of a wider Scottish road trip adventure in our campervan which we self converted! 

If you're driving from England, then it'll probably take you a couple of days to get to Inverness, but if you've landed in Glasgow or Edinburgh it'll take around 3-3 and a half hours to get to Inverness.

When is the best time to visit Inverness? 

inverness sightseeing

We visited at the start of winter during November when the days were getting darker and colder.

It was fairly quiet when we visited, but the Christmas lights were on lighting up the charming city of Inverness. 

When we were there, snow was forecasted for the next week, so we just missed it, but I imagine this place is absolutely magical when there is a layer of snow too! Plus, they do Christmas markets, so it’s a great place for a Christmas city break in Scotland. 

Either way, Inverness is a pretty popular place to visit all year round, and different seasons will give you different things but do expect it to be very busy during the summer months thanks to everyone taking on the famous NC500 road trip

inverness tourist attractions

Things to do in Inverness in one day

1. Visit the Victoria Market 

victoria market

This is a pretty cute and cool indoor market that offers stalls from independent small businesses offering a whole host of unique gifts and gadgets.

If you’re looking for a gift for your family or friends, then this is a great place to find them.

You can find out more about opening hours on their website.

2. Check out Leakey's Bookshop

Leakey's Bookshop

This is one of the coolest bookshops I’ve ever been to. But this is actually Scotland’s largest second-hand book shop.

This bookshop was established in 1979 and has been housed for the last 20 years in the old Gaelic Church that dates back to 1793.  

There are over 100,000 selected volumes and inside there is a cozy wood-burning fire that heats the shop.

It’s the perfect place to escape the cold when visiting Inverness in winter, and a great place to find a great read! 

Leakey's Bookshop inverness

3. Visit Inverness Castle 

inverness castle scotland

I loved Inverness Castle, it’s very picturesque! It sits on a cliff overlooking the River Ness.

The red sandstone castle now on the site was built in 1836 by architect William Burn. It’s not actually open to the public, but it houses the Inverness Sheriff Court. There is also an exhibition of the history of the castle in The Drum Tower and is open daily in the summer season. 

When we visited, nothing was open at the Castle, so we just admired it at sunset, which was truly beautiful.

4. Wander around the city and across the bridges 

things to do in inverness

As I mentioned before Inverness is very picturesque and it’s a beautiful place to walk around in the evening. You can wander over the bridges, visit different cathedrals and churches, and just enjoy the romantic atmosphere.

There is even a shop where you can get a handmade kilt! (although it’s a lot cheaper to rent one than buy one!) 

inverness attractions

5. Grab a bite to eat 

Inverness, Scotland

There are lots of restaurants to try out in Inverness, and I am almost ashamed to say that Bradley and I just went to the local Wetherspoons, but in our defence, we like their beyond meat burgers, and it was the only vegan option we wanted at the time! Haha 

But there are Mexican restaurants, Italian restaurants serving traditional Scottish cuisine, such as Haggis! Basically, anything you’re craving, you can find it in Inverness. 

There are also lots of really cool bars, but unfortunately when we visited it was during Covid so none of this was open! But, in the future, we would love to go back to Inverness for a city break and try some of the bars then. 

Parking in Inverness 

If you’re in a campervan or car-like Brad and I, then a good idea is to park at the Morrisons in Inverness and walk to the city centre from there. It’s actually only a 4-minute walk before you get into the city centre and all the best sights are within walking distance! 

Where to stay in Inverness? 

One of the things I really loved about Inverness is how affordable it is! There are lots of really cool hotels in the city centre for only around £40 a night! That’s pretty good for its location. You can check out all the hotels in Inverness right here.  

If you’re on a Scotland road trip, like Bradley and I, then there are a few wild camping spots located just outside of Inverness. 

We recommend the Park4Night app for finding wild camping spots in Inverness.

Alternatively, check out my guide on the most romantic hotels in Scotland, where one of the Inverness hotels makes the list!

Final thoughts

So there we have it, my guide to one day in Inverness!

Even if you’ve only got a small amount of time to visit Inverness, it’s still definitely worth visiting.

If you have any questions or suggestions, then drop a comment below. 

Disclaimer: Fully research your destination prior to travel, or any products prior to purchase. We can accept no responsibility for anything you experience as a result of the information found on this website. Some posts may contain affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission for some purchases, at no additional expense to you. Read more here
Some images courtesy of Deposit Photos.
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