We currently have 5 nights booked in Edinburgh and 5 nights in Glasgow. We will be flying out of Glasgow to the US. We plan on taking day trips/tours out of both cities. We will be using public transportation. I did not realize how close the two cities where. I definitely want to spend the time allocated in Edinburgh, but wondering now if we should add some visit to a place in northern Scotland for a few nights and less in Glasgow. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We will be traveling late July 2022.
The two cities are completely different and also give access to different types of scenery for day trips. This is a decision only you can make...
Whisper it, but I prefer Glasgow to Edinburgh. It’s a better launch pad for the Highlands for starters. As you are using public transport look up Rabbie’s Tours to see what is available from them for two-three day trips further north. It should be added that there are other providers who do a similar sort of thing to Rabbie’s. However, I’ve never used any of them as usually I’m driving myself up there, or if in a minibus, part of a private group on a specific trip to somewhere in the Highlands.
That said, there’s lots to see and do in Glasgow. But prepare yourself for the local dialect by binge watching several ‘Rab C Nesbitt’ and ‘Still Game’ videos! Or as some comic once had it “The Glasgow accent - where everything sounds like a threat!”
I've taken numerous tours with Rabbies. They have different departures from Edingburgh and Glasgow. I've enjoyed every one.
What ianandjulie said, although we are probably a minority opinion.
I vote with Glasgow, too! The architecture was just more appealing to me, it's much less touristy and lodging is usually a lot less expensive. But both cities have interesting museums, and of course Edinburgh has the castle.
With ten days I would not want to spend all my nights in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Transportation to and within the highlands and islands isn't particularly fast, so trying to see a lot of Scotland by day-tripping from those two cities will doom you to spending a great deal of time inside vehicles.
Okay, someone has to come in here for Edinburgh! I have been to Glasgow as well, but if are interested in Scottish history at all you need to spend sometime in Edinburgh. I like the city as well it is very walkable. You do not have to stay on the Royal Mile! You can if you want to, but there is very affordable day pass for the buses. So, I've stayed out by the Royal Botanic Gardens and ridden the bus up in the morning, but walked down hill in the afternoon. You can also take the bus to Leith and see the Royal Yacht Britannia which is great fun and interesting besides.
I love the west coast, but Perthshire and Cairngorms and north are lovely as well. You can take the train north from Edinburgh to Birnam/Dunkeld and enjoy some easy beautiful walks in the area. There are some nice hotels and usually there is traditional music playing somewhere. The first time I went to Dunkeld I stayed at the Bridge B&B and they were kind enough to meet me at the train station and bring over the Tay to Dunkeld. Further up the train line is Pitlochry,. The Explorer's Garden is fascinating to visit. You learn how all those beautiful flowers came to British Gardens! There is the Blair Athol Distillery in town and the Festival Theatre may have an interesting show on for you. Further up the train line is Blair Castle. It's a great castle to visit. Further up the line is Kingussie where the Open Air Folk Museum is. Keep going and you get to Aviemore where you ride the Strathspey Steam train or do some walking. Further up the line is Inverness. From here you can do all sorts of day trips. You can keep going up this line all the way to Thurso where you can catch a ferry to Orkney!
Wow, thanks for all the insightful and thorough responses. We like to explore cities and friends have directed us towards Edinburgh, but have not received any real feedback on Glasgow so appreciate the insight on it. We are golfers and plan on spending a day or two exploring St. Andrews. A lot to think about and more research for me to do before any final decisions. Again most helpful
If you can change, I would recommend it. Glasgow and Edinburgh are 70 km apart, they are in each other's commuter belts as I can attest.
Regarding St Andrews, you probably already know there's a lottery system to get a tee time, and you have to have a certain level of handicap to be allowed to play any of the courses.
But anyone can play the Himalayas putting course during the hours it's open to the public. Be aware it has no lockers or other facility to hold your belongings; I ended up playing wearing my backpack. You don't have to wear golf shoes, just no high heels or spike heels.
The "walking tour" of the Old Course is a real thrill for those who follow professional golf. It consists mainly of standing around (not so much walking) on the 1st / 18th hole, hearing about what this or that famous golfer did in so-and-so tournament to make so-and-so shot, all delivered in a priceless Scottish accent. Don't get me wrong, it's great, but if you don't follow pro golf a lot of the information will go over your head. If you're lucky your guide will let you have a photo op on the iconic Swilcan Bridge.
For any of this, of course, dress for the weather. If you find yourselves wanting to be indoors, the British Golf Museum has fascinating exhibits for golfers and the general public alike. Their upstairs cafeteria has a huge picture window overlooking the Old Course.
To get to St Andrews, see https://www.standrews.com/Getting-Here