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Unofficial capital of the Highlands, Inverness is in a prime location for spectacular scenery. It sits right on the banks of the River Ness, at the northern end of the Great Glen. There are lush, green views in almost every direction except when you look toward the city centre, which is crowned by a crenelated castle. The best places to stay in Inverness are ideally located to make the most of both town and countryside.
Although the area which is now Inverness has been inhabited since the 6th Century, it's had a pretty bloody and tumultuous past, which not many early buildings have survived. A lot of the 'old town' now actually dates from the 19th Century - post construction of the Caledonian Canal. Inverness's oldest buildings are along Church Street, near the Inverness Museum, where you can hear some of this city's dramatic stories.
What Not To Miss
- Explore the Highlands' bloody past at Fort George, described as the mightiest artillery fort in Britain with many artefacts and collections providing a fascinating insight into 18th Century warfare.
- In summer you'll be joined by Nessie hunters, but picturesque Loch Ness is a big place, with plenty of quiet bank to stroll along. And some of the Nessie hunters are fun folk to be around.
- Take a spectacular tour of the rest of the Highlands and Islands with one of the many tour companies, or do it yourself with many visitors completing the North Coast 500 scenic drive, taking in the best that the route has to offer.
- Learn about one of Scotland's most popular exports, whisky, at the Tomatin Distillery - situated 16 miles from Inverness. Visitors can participate in both tours and tastings of this globally-recognised brand.
As the largest city in the Highlands, Inverness has plenty of cafes, restaurants and shopping. But the pleasures of this place are more about the location. There's impressive fishing off the Ness Islands, magnificent views off Craig Phadrig, there are wonderful walking routes in almost every direction, there's cruising on the river and the loch, and golf. With all these options, it's not surprising that the best places to stay in Inverness are in high demand.
Best places to stay in Inverness
For a modern city centre pad
If you'd like to be in the centre of town, the Rocpool Reserve is one of the most talked about hotels in Inverness. This townhouse hotel is known for being modern and luxurious, and its restaurant, Chez Roux, is highly recommended.
For loch side luxury
- If you're looking for peace and quiet, the Loch Ness Lodge is the place to book. With just seven rooms and suites, a sumptuous spa and therapy area and wonderful loch views this is the perfect spot for Highland relaxation.
For an apartment or holiday cottage
- If you think that you'd prefer your own space, don't hesitate to visit our online partners Booking.com for a wide range of apartments and holiday homes both in the city, and the surrounding countryside
- Fly to Inverness Airport situated a mere 15km (9.4 miles) from the city centre, providing connections to the rest of the UK and Europe
- By rail, Inverness is well connected to the rest of Scotland, and visitors can even get the overnight Caledonian Sleeper the length of the country to London
- Inverness is an ideal base for exploring the rest of the Highlands. For visitors looking to rent a car, we recommend our online partner Holiday Autos
- Best time to visit - whilst the summer months of June-September provide the warmest weather for exploring the dramatic Highland scenery, the Winter from December-February can offer visitors a different experience including snowsports near to Inverness
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Inverness
Loch Ness Lodge 7 rooms from $228Inverness (Loch Ness-side)
An elegant and intimate hotel in the heart of the Scottish Highlands overlooking the beautiful Loch Ness. Wonderfully warm service. Elegant rooms with antique furniture. Hearty breakfasts designed for a day outdoors. The perfect rural abode.Active Holiday - Active guests can try their hand at deer stalking, archery, quad biking, shooting, 4x4 off-road driving and husky sledding.Country Escape - A spectacular part of rural Scotland with dramatic views over across the water to a string of craggy mountains beyond.Kayaking - Book a two hour kayak trip to explore the lake from the hotel's private stretch of Loch Ness shoreline.Fishing - Anglers can book a fishing trip through the lodge, to catch trout and salmon further along the shores.Recommended by - I Escape, Good Hotel Guide, Johansens
Glenmoriston Town House Hotel 30 rooms from $72Inverness
With a picturesque positioning on the banks of the river Ness, Glenmoriston Town House Hotel is a stylish hotel. Featuring comfortable rooms, an excellent restaurant and an atmospheric piano bar, it's a great low cost option for staying in Inverness.Local exploring - Ideal launchpad for exploring Inverness.Sights nearby - Ten minutes walk from Inverness Castle. Only 5 miles to Culloden.
Rocpool Reserve 11 rooms from $241Inverness
Chic, modern townhouse hotel overlooking the river. Slick rooms with all mod-cons and an award-winning restaurant.Private Hot Tub - Two rooms feature private outdoor hot tubsSights nearby - Well located for major sights.Recommended by - Good Hotel Guide, Johansens
Culloden House 28 rooms from $384Inverness (Balloch)
Set amidst beautiful rolling grounds, Culloden House is a superb hotel on the Moray Firth. Each of the 28 rooms carries its own unique character with antique furnishings and tasteful artwork. Perfect for a relaxing weekend away.Sights nearby - Visit nearby Culloden Battlefield, the site of one of Scotland's most significant battles.Great walks - Set amidst 40 acres of private land that has beautiful walking trails.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.Romantic - Good for couples.