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Why This Breathtakingly Beautiful European Country Is Soaring In Popularity Right Now 

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Dreaming of a European getaway?

Paris, London, Rome, and Barcelona may be the most iconic cities in Europe but that doesn’t mean you should go with the obvious choice.

This epic country may not be an obvious choice for a beach vacation, but it boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Colorful town in Scotland

It is also home to remarkable landscapes, fascinating cities, and a unique culture that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.  

Here’s why the breathtakingly beautiful Scotland is soaring in popularity right now:  

Incredible Attractions  

Scotland’s attractions received more visitors in 2023 than they have ever received before.  

Edinburgh Castle is the most popular paid attraction in Scotland, and an incredible 41.5% more people visited in 2023 than in 2022.  

Scotland is known for its beautiful castles, and the further you head into the highlands, the more you will find.

Dunnottar Castle is considered one of the most beautiful.  

Medieval fortress Dunnottar Castle

Other record-breaking attractions include The National Museum of Scotland (the country’s most visited free attraction) as well as St Giles Cathedral, Stirling Castle, and The National Galleries of Scotland. Modern art fans will be thrilled with the wide selection available at Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art. 

Whether you’re looking for historical or modern attractions, architectural wonders or award-winning wildlife attractions you really are spoilt for choice here.

And with so many of these available for free it’s also a great spot for budget travelers too.  

A Place For Nature  

Scotland is home to some of the most striking landscapes not only in the UK but in the world. It’s almost overwhelming how versatile the nature here is, particularly given how compact the country is.  

The ruins of Kilchurn castle on Loch Awe, the longest fresh water loch in Scotland

You can explore pristine beaches, rugged mountains, and rolling green hill after rolling green hill. Scotland boasts a sprinkling of everything.  

The best way to see it all is to hire a car and start driving.

Many of the best scenic drives in the world can be found in Scotland.  

Try the NC500 which is a 516-mile scenic route around the north coast of Scotland, starting and ending at Inverness Castle. It is one of the best ways to see the most beautiful aspects of the north Highlands.  

Looking across the Flow Country in northern Scotland

Animal lovers should explore the Flow Country which is a rare blanket bog teaming with wildlife.

The Flow Country is in the running to become the UK’s next natural UNESCO World Heritage site, and when you see it you’ll understand why.  

It’s Uniquely Scottish 

It should go without saying but there is nowhere quite like the heartland of Scotland to find experiences that are uniquely Scottish.  

Scottish history and tradition are rich and ancient: after all, there’s a reason the country is home to so many castles! And although everyone in Scotland speaks English (which is great news for American travelers) Scotland also has its own national language, Gaelic, which is at the heart of Scottish identity.   

A bagpipe band in the highland games, Scotland

Ceilidhs, bagpipes, kilts, and whisky can be experienced in the country year-round.

However, if you really want to immerse yourself in the heart of what it means to be Scottish, visit during spring and summer, when you can attend the Highland Games.  

This isn’t just one event but a season full of game days which begin in May and end in September. There are over 30 events each month though July and August.

At the games you can see pipers, Scottish athletes, and highland dancing. They are a great place to enjoy Scottish hospitality at its best and to befriend the local residents.  

Special Cities 

Although the beautiful highlands and islands of Scotland are well worth attention and should definitely be incorporated into your trip, Scotland's cities are also great places for tourists.

Scenic view of Edinburgh Castle and Ross Fountain, Scotland travel photo. Edinburgh Castle is historic center of the city and most popular tourist attraction

Bustling hives of urban activity, they’re packed full of things to see and do.  

The 4 Scottish cities most interesting to visiting tourists are Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, and Stirling, with Edinburgh by far the most popular and Inverness the most northerly.  

Inverness is known as the gateway to the highlands and is home to a beautiful castle and a fascinating highland museum.

Explore the Caledonian Canal or take a ride out to Loch Ness and see if you can spot the infamous monster.  

A tourist woman with a scottish pattern umbrella enjoys the view to the cityscape of Inverness, Scotland, during autumn time

Its international airport makes Edinburgh by far the most accessible Scottish city, and it is also the most beautiful.

Edinburgh boasts an incredible and lively nightlife scene, majestic buildings and gardens, warm and welcoming local people, and of course one of the world’s biggest and most famous cultural festivals.

This year the Edinburgh Festival will take place from 2 – 25 August. 

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.