Scotland, home to just over 5 million people, lives in England's proverbial shadow when it comes to the opinions of tourists. Few choose to opt for Scotland over England, presuming, often incorrectly so, that the latter has more to see and do. While England is bigger than Scotland – there's no doubting that – that doesn't mean the small northern country doesn't have its charms.
The Cities of ScotlandGlasgow
The largest city in Scotland is Glasgow. This port city, which can be found in the country's Lowlands, has its own distinct architecture that separates it from every other city on earth. The buildings have been designed to a Victorian standard, and really can be a pleasure to look at. So much so, in fact, that Glasgow is often a setting for Hollywood movies. There are plenty of bars, shops, pubs, restaurants, and museums in Glasgow, so there will be no getting bored. There's also a prominent sports scene. Glasgow Rangers and Glasgow Celtic have been footballing rivals for the best part of a century.Edinburgh
While Glasgow has the roughness and readiness you'd expect from a port city, Edinburgh is more laid back. This medieval old town, and Scotland's capital city, is as charming and as visually pleasant as any on earth. Edinburgh Castle is the heart of the city, and can be seen looking down proudly on it from Castle Rock.Aberdeen
Aberdeen is Scotland's third biggest city. While it lacks the vibrancy of Glasgow and the charm of Edinburgh, that doesn't mean it's not worth a visit. Aberdeen was built for functionality, rather than tourism. Situated in the North West (right by the North Sea), this city is famed for its harbour and its fishing. There's also a Maritime Museum to enjoy, as well as seafood restaurants aplenty.
Places to Visit in Scotland
Outside of the country's largest cities, there are a wealth of places to enjoy. It's here that you really get a feel for Scotland's natural beauty. The Highlands is arguably Scotland's biggest attraction outside of its cities. Its breath-taking beauty and overwhelming size make it a wonderful getaway from the stresses of urban life. With many little cottages to stay in while venturing through the Highlands, it's possible to turn a trip there into a full-blown vacation. If you love golf, one fantastic place to visit is St. Andrews. While there's plenty of greenery here, it's the golf courses that really excite people. Touted as some of the most difficult in the world, these golf courses attract people from the across the globe, each excited to test their skills against the elements.
Believing in Scotland
While most people head south of the border to England for their vacations, the canny head to Scotland. The country's intimate nature and wonderful cities make it a place worthy of any vacation. But don't just believe the guide books. Explore Scotland for yourself to get a feel for its charm. The sights, the atmosphere, and the friendly locals will all make you glad you did!