Fast Facts: Scotland

Below are some of the most common questions from our travelers.

Do I need a passport? What is required for entry?

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid for the duration of your stay, though we strongly recommend it be valid for at least six months after your return date.

U.S. passport holders do not need a visa to enter the United Kingdom for stays up to 90 days. See the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

Booked on one of our packages with Scheduled Dates? If you do not hold a U.S. passport, you are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas and meeting all entry requirements. If a visa is required, we recommend using a fee-based visa service, such as our preferred provider VisaHQ.

More information about passports & visas.

What is the weather like?

The climate of Scotland is temperate and tends to be very changeable, but rarely extreme. It is warmed by the Gulf Stream from the Atlantic, and given its northerly latitude it is much warmer than areas on similar latitudes. Scotland occupies the cooler northern section of Great Britain, so temperatures are generally lower than in the rest of the UK. In general, the western coastal areas of Scotland are warmer than the east and inland areas, due to the influence of the Atlantic currents, and the colder surface temperatures of the North Sea. Rainfall totals vary widely across Scotland. The western highlands of Scotland are one of the wettest places in Europe with annual rainfall up to 180.2 in annually.

Check out the current weather conditions in Scotland.

Are there any health precautions I should take?

There are no health precautions or requirements to enter Scotland. Food and tap water are safe to consume.

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

What is the currency?

Scotland uses the Pound Sterling as its currency. Please review the current exchange rate for the Pound Serling.

ATMs are readily available, however, they are operated by Scottish banks and will usually dispense Scottish notes. ATMs run by English banks (e.g. NatWest, Barclays or HSBC) dispense Bank of England notes and are commonly found in the bigger cities.

What items should I shop for?

The classic tourist souvenir is a kilt and everything else involving the tartan. Note that a real kilt costs about £300-£400 and is made of heavy wool (so it will not reveal what you are wearing underneath even in strong winds), but most souvenir stores offer only unauthentic thin ones. If you really want a genuine kilt or full traditional outfit (kilt, sporran, jacket, shirt, and shoes) the best place to look is a clothing hire shop. These specialize in hiring suits and kilts for weddings and often sell stock at reduced prices. The traditional highland kilt is a section of cloth about 6 feet wide and 14 feet long. This is wrapped about the body then then brought up over the shoulder and pinned in place, a little like a toga. The modern short kilt was introduced during the industrial revolution to give more freedom of movement.

Whisky is also a common buy. There are huge differences in price and taste.

What are the voltage requirements?

240 volts. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit. View more information about electrical standards around the world.

Can I take my cell phone?

See our blog post on using your cell phone abroad.