In many respects, Scotland is a place where time has stood still. Whether you are meandering down the ancient Royal Mile in Edinburgh, or traversing across the magical Scottish Highlands, you will see firsthand that this is a place that respects its past and honors its traditions.
It’s also a place where you are going to feel right at home — even if you have never been there before.
The Scots are a tough and hardy people, having persevered throughout the centuries in order to protect their culture and preserve their heritage. At the same, they are welcoming and full of heart, and they greet visitors with open arms.
A trip to Scotland might feel like a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and maybe it is for you. But it doesn’t have to be an experience that is out of reach. It’s easier than you think to create a budget for your upcoming trip.
Don’t worry — our travel experts have done the hard work for you and put together a guide so that you can prepare for your getaway to the land of bagpipes, whiskey and Highland coos.
Of course, the final costs will depend heavily on your personal travel preferences, but this guide will give you a foundation to work with. Let’s dive in!
Average Trip to Scotland Cost in 2023
The cost for a 7-day trip to Scotland in 2023 for two people is approximately $6,600:
- Average Accommodation Cost: $185 per night
- Average Flight Cost: $1,000 per person
- Food, Drink & Activities: $200 per person, per day
- Transportation: $500
- Total Cost: $6,600
Scotland is a destination that can be experienced in many different ways.
While some travelers may spend the bulk of their time in Edinburgh, jetting off to day trips to Aberdeen or St. Andrews, others may prefer to take a more in-depth tour into the Scottish Highlands to visit destinations such as Inverness or the Isle of Skye.
The itinerary that you select will have a significant impact on your pricing. Keep in mind that public transportation is quite efficient, affordable and safe in Scotland, so relying on their buses and trains can help lower your total costs.
You may also consider local accommodations or short-term rentals in order to maintain your budget as well as immerse yourself in the local culture.
Scotland Trip Cost: Average by Item
We will break down the cost of a trip to Scotland in 2023 by item, but remember, these costs will vary depending on the selections that you make for your trip.
The number of people you are traveling with, the length of your stay and the types of experiences you choose will ultimately determine your final costs.
Compared to other destinations in Europe and around the world, Scotland has a lot more to choose from when it comes to local accommodations.
From luxury hotels in cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh to tiny cottage rentals throughout the Highlands, you are sure to find a place to stay that suits your preferences and budget.
Champion Traveler notes that hotel rates in Scotland can range from $65 to $300 per night, depending on the hotel that you choose. In addition, in most major Scottish cities, you will find hostels.
These budget-friendly accommodations allow you to rent a bed for the night, rather than a room, and they are typically much cheaper than a hotel. According to Budget Your Trip, hostel prices in Edinburgh can range from $10 to $40 per night.
Bed-and-breakfasts are becoming increasingly popular in Scotland, allowing visitors to enjoy the hospitality that this country is known for while soaking up the charm of their accommodation.
Data from Visit Scotland suggests that bed and breakfast prices throughout Scotland can range from $65 to $115 per night. The accommodations that you choose in Scotland will have a direct impact on your experience.
Aim for locally-owned hotels, guesthouses and short-term vacation rentals, as these will give you a chance to experience Scotland in an intimate and memorable way.
Taking an overseas flight to Scotland from the United States is no small feat, and typically, flight prices are a bit higher for this international destination.
The cost of your flight to Scotland will depend on:
- The time of year you are flying
- Your departing destination
- The airport you are flying into in Scotland
- The number of layovers planned for your flight
- The seat that you choose for your flight
According to Transport Scotland, there are four main commercial hubs in Scotland: Aberdeen International Airport, Edinburgh Airport, Glasgow Airport and Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
The cheapest airport to fly into in Scotland is Glasgow Airport, according to Sky Scanner, and fall is the most affordable time to fly to Scotland.
For the most part, from destinations across the United States, a flight to Scotland for one person may range from $800 to $1,800, with the average price coming closer to $1,000 per person.
As a result of the flight prices, most people choose to spend a longer amount of time in Scotland. The typical itinerary spans from 7 to 10 days.
Food, Drink & Activity Costs
Scotland is the kind of destination that requires more than sightseeing — you truly need to sample the flavor of this destination. Most travel guides recommend that you plan to spend about $200 per person, per day on food, drink and activities while you are in Scotland.
Local food is actually quite inexpensive, and the best way to keep your costs down is to choose family-owned restaurants and pubs that offer authentic Scottish fare.
Make sure you find a spot that is serving up homemade haggis — no trip to Scotland would be complete without it.
The activities that you choose to do in Scotland will vary depending on the destinations that you visit in this country. According to PlanetWare, the most popular tourist attractions in Scotland are:
- Touring Edinburgh Castle ($25 per person)
- Embarking on a Loch Ness Cruise ($25 per person)
- Golfing at St. Andrews ($350-$400 per person)
With about $200 per person, per day available, you should be able to customize a Scottish itinerary that allows you to fully experience the culture and customs of this destination.
Transportation costs will vary widely based on the type of itinerary that you choose to create for your trip. If you are planning to spend most of your week in just one city, such as Edinburgh or Glasgow, then your transportation costs will likely be more affordable.
You can primarily rely on public transportation and taxis to get from one destination to the next.
In fact, you may find yourself doing more walking than riding — it’s one of the best ways to discover Scotland’s hidden gems. A trip that embarks into the Highlands or extends into other areas of Scotland might cost more.
You may need to book ScotRail tickets in order to get from one city to the next. Fares may vary based on the date and destination, but you can expect a one-way ticket to cost about $35 to $60.
Assuming a 7-day trip to Scotland includes several different destinations, the transportation costs could be about $500, including trains, buses and taxi rides. However, that cost could be much lower depending on how you build your itinerary.
Things to Consider
If you are planning a trip to Scotland in 2023, these are a few things you will want to keep in mind:
- The Scottish currency is the Pound sterling, and with the current exchange rate, the Pound is slightly stronger than the U.S. Dollar.
- You should be able to use most major credit cards. Visa and Mastercard are accepted widely throughout Scotland.
- Many of the local speak Gaelic, so don’t be surprised to see Gaelic signs alongside their English counterparts.
- Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, and they follow the British driving laws. This means that if you choose to rent your own vehicle, you will be driving on the left-hand side of the road.
Frequently Asked Questions
How expensive is it to go to Scotland?
Taking an international trip always requires a financial investment, but Scotland is one destination in Europe that can be done on a budget. With many local accommodations and public transportation options, it is possible to take an affordable trip.
The average 7-day trip to Scotland for two people can cost around $6,600, but total trip costs can vary significantly from one travel party to the next.
What is a good month to visit Scotland?
Summer is the peak travel season in Scotland, not only because the temperatures are warmer during May, June and July, but also because there is ample daylight. In June, the sun doesn’t set until very late in the evening, giving you plenty of opportunity to explore the local area.
However, it is cheaper to go during the slow travel season, which is from October through March. The cheapest flights to Scotland are typically during the months of October and November, and you will also find lower costs for accommodations and tours during this time as well.
Is it worth it to go to Scotland?
Absolutely, Scotland is worth the investment of your time and money. This is a destination that is rich in natural beauty, offering some of the most incredible landscapes in Europe. Coupled with its legendary history and welcoming hospitality, this country is one of the best European destinations to visit.
How many days in Scotland are enough?
If you are traveling from overseas, you will likely want to stay for at least 7 days. This will give you enough time to explore one or two major cities, as well as add in a stop in the Scottish Highlands. Most travel experts recommend planning a trip that lasts for between 7 and 10 days.
What is Scotland popular for?
Scotland is famous for its colorful tartans, its iconic clans and its melodious bagpipes. Of course, you would be remiss to ignore the role that whiskey has long played in Scottish culture, and the castles that define the countryside. It is actually home to more than 1,500 castles, many of which are still occupied today!
So, What Is the Average Cost for a Trip to Scotland?
|🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost||$185 per night|
|✈️ Average Flight Cost||$1,000 per peson|
|🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities||$200 per person, per day|
|🚕 Transportation||$500 total|
|💲 Total Cost||$6,600|
The grand total for your week-long trip to Scotland could cost around $6,600, once you factor in accommodations, flight, food, activities and transportation.
It may be more than you would spend on a domestic destination, but the return on your investment dollars will be significant. You will leave feeling renewed and replenished, knowing that you have stepped into a land that borders on magical.
Don’t wait another moment to experience the mythical beauty of Scotland — book your trip today!