Scotland, also known as Caledonia in Latin, is known as a stunning country – its lochs, glens and mountains have won it many admirers and it’s been named the world’s most beautiful nation several times by many different travel publications.
But it’s also a trendy place too – with world-class museums and galleries, a rich culture that encompasses ground-breaking literature, fashion, music and visual art, and an eclectic range of brilliant bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
If you want to experience cool Caledonia, here are a few of its funkiest cities.
Dundee is situated in Scotland’s north east between Edinburgh and Aberdeen, and it’s fast becoming a must-visit location on any European travel itinerary.
The biggest symbol of its recent regeneration is the V&A design museum which sits on the banks of the River Tay like an alien mothership, juxtaposed with the antique splendor of the nearby SS Discovery, which once took Captain Scott and his comrades on Arctic expeditions.
While you’re in town, try cracking kiwi food at the Bach at Meadowside, grab a cool skin fade at Hard Grind barbers in Exchange Street, and enjoy beer and live music at The George Orwell pub on Perth Road.
Tip: The Ship Inn and Waterfront Restaurant is a great place to grab a pint and sample superb seafood.
Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city and warm, quirky and intelligent locals make it one of the friendliest places in the world.
Buchanan Street is the best place for a spot of retail therapy and in the plush Princes Square shopping centre you’ll find chic boutiques like hip Danish furniture store BoConcept, iconic fashion brand Vivienne Westwood and famous hair salon Sassoon.
Meanwhile, Nice N Sleazy in Sauchiehall Street is a superb place for music and drinks, and you can throw some shapes until the wee small hours at the Sub Club night club in Jamaica Street.
Tip: grab a vehicle from UK car hire company Enjoy Travel and roll out for highland road trips from Glasgow.
With a Fringe Festival that’s the world’s largest arts gathering, elegant Edinburgh is known to culture vultures the world over.
But it’s a buzzing place to visit at any time of year – for example, the Bongo Club in the Cowgate is one of its longest-lasting music venues and you’ll find regular electronic and disco evenings, as well as the monthly Messenger Sound System session – a bass-heavy dub and reggae night that’s fantastic fun.
If you want to shop ‘til you drop, pretty Princes Street is packed with all manner of shops, but Harvey Nichols at St Andrews Square is where you’ll pick up high end designer labels and there’s a top floor coffee shop offering terrific city views.
Tip: Hendersons Salad Table Restaurant in Hanover Street offers legendary vegan and vegetarian meals.
Whether you want to eat, drink, shop or socialize, there’s something special on offer in each of these dynamic Scottish cities –be sure to visit them the next time you’re north of the border!
What’s your favorite Scottish city? Let us know in the comments section.