I know what you’re thinking. Kilts, haggis, and whiskey. What else is there to see? While those are definitely parts of the culture, Scotland is actually an amazing place. It’s a country full of breathtaking scenery, hundreds of castles dating back to the 1100s, and the friendliest people I’ve ever met. I was lucky enough to study abroad there for a semester, but one thing I’ve heard multiple times from people who have visited is that they wished they had set aside more time to see it.
Luckily, Scotland caters a lot to young adults and students to encourage them to travel around the country and experience their rich culture. Whether it’s seeing historical sites, train fares, or buying a beer at a pub, chances are Scotland has a cheaper option for students.
One of my favorite experiences was Edinburgh Castle located right in the heart of Edinburgh. I consider it the Eiffel Tower of Scotland. If you’re there, you have to see it! But having to pay £16.50 (about $24) for admission did make me cringe. But I have some good news. If you’re into history like I am, you can get an Explorer Pass with your Student ID for £24 (about $36) that will you access to 77 historic locations. This is a 3-day pass valid for 5 days and is perfect if you are visiting for a week or even a long weekend!
Another great option for students is the 1-day guided Highland tours. There are many different tours offered by multiple companies to visit the part of the country north of Scotland’s major cities (Edinburgh and Glasgow). Even though Scotland isn’t huge, things are very spread out and you could easily lose your way — especially if you’re trying to drive on the left side of the road on the opposite side of your car. With your Student ID, you pay £35 (about $52) for a 12-hour tour of the country with a guide and no worries of getting lost. My favorite tour is the general Highland Tour which takes you to some of the most notable sites in the country including Glen Coe, Fort William, and Loch Ness. A Highland Tour is a perfect way to see the country if you don’t have a lot of time.
One small, but important, way to immerse yourself into the culture is to go to some of the local pubs. And you can save money doing it with, you guessed it, your Student ID! Multiple pubs around the city offer student menus with beers, ciders, and cocktails that are discounted as long as you present a valid student ID.
The list goes on of things that are marked down for college students and I can’t say enough good things to give this country justice. Scotland has something for everyone, no matter their price range, all while being a real life fairy tale.