Destination guide

Travel guide: Scotland


Are you headed out on one of our Scotland tours? Wondering what you should pack? What food you should try? Or how much money you should bring with you? We’ve got you covered!

The Basics

Weather: Fall – 46-57° F | Winter – 34-43° F | Spring -45-55° F | Summer – 59-63° F

Language(s): English

Currency: Pound £

Cash or card: Card

Exchange Rate: $1 = £.75

What that really means: $20 = £15

£1 will buy you: a deep fried mars bar

£ to bring per day: £25


Spring/Summer Packing List: light jacket/windbreaker, umbrella, waterproof shoes, layers/light sweater, jeans, t-shirts

We wish we packed: BUG SPRAY. Midges are intense.

We wish we left behind: Shorts. No matter how hopeful you are, it just really doesn’t get that warm in Scotland.

Fall/Winter Packing List: Rain boots/waterproof shoes, raincoat, umbrella, scarf, thick socks, layers, jeans, leggings

We wish we packed: More clothes I could layer, the weather changes at least 3 times a day, so it would have been nice to take things off as needed

We wish we left behind: Heavy sweaters–it didn’t end up being as cold as I thought and they took up a lot of room I could have used for souvenirs.

Packing tips: Don’t pack too far in advance. The week before your trip, check what the weather is looking like and pack accordingly. It ended up being unseasonably warm when I traveled and I wish I had packed differently.

Jeremy Keith/ via Flickr

The Food

Average cost of lunch: £5-£15

Tipping: 10-15% should be fine if you order a sit-down meal.

Atmosphere: Eating in pubs is common, which means meals can get pretty loud–especially if there’s a game on. You aren’t rushed to leave, but long, multi-course meals aren’t common.

The best place to have lunch: Delis are a great and inexpensive place to grab a quick lunch while touring. A great sit-down restaurant is the Mussel Inn in Edinburgh.

You HAVE to try: Haggis, Scottish Ice cream, tablets, and all of these.

Advice: Just try the haggis. It tastes great and you’ll be glad you can say you’ve tried it.


via Julia Karam

Everything Else

Total spend on souvenirs: £50-£100

Coolest thing you bought: Candy. Scotland is huge on candy stores and they have really unique stuff. Tablets and fudge made great gifts, and I kept some for myself. I also bought a plaid scarf for pretty much everyone I’ve ever met.

Free time: Shopping on the Royal Mile is a great way to spend free time, but if you have an hour+, Holyroodhouse Palace is definitely worth the entry price. Not only is this the official residence of Queen Elizabeth in Scotland, the artifacts in Mary Queen of Scots’ former apartment are amazing.

Best cheap/free thing to do: If you have a little bit of time, go to high tea! Eteaket in Edinburgh is super cheap and won’t take up all your free time! If you have a lot of time, climb Arthur’s seat! The hike is totally worth the amazing views.

Best Part: Glencoe and Loch Ness are the most beautiful places I have ever seen, which you can read more about here.

Julia Karam

Julia traveled with EF in 2015 and started in a content marketing co-op at EF Tours while in college. She has since studied abroad in Florence, Italy, traveled to 10+ countries, and now works as a Tour Consultant with EF Tours.

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