Our top tips for touring Scotland on a budget

Christmas is over and the new year is officially here. It’s safe to say our bank balances look a little low, or as we say here in Scotland: we’re skint! There’s no better time to share our money saving tips if you’re feeling the same way but want to experience the very best of Scotland while on a shoestring budget. Find out our top tips for touring Scotland on a budget below.


Fortunately, there are many forms of transport in Scotland that allow you to travel to and from places fairly easy. We’ve got trains, trams, buses, subways, ferries and even small planes to transport you to the islands, and none of these need to be expensive when you have some knowledge of these handy money saving tips.

Use travel passes

Travel passes are usually available with all forms of public transport. For a fixed price and within a certain amount of days, these allow you to travel as many times as you like. Top-up cards are also available, allowing you to add money on to it and use as you please.

Car hire

It’s often thought that hiring private-driver cars or self-drive car are costly, but most of the time they really aren’t. In fact, hiring a private-driver or self-drive car could work out the same price as it would be to spend money on public transport or taxis. When you have your own vehicle, you have much more freedom too! Find out the benefits of choosing a private driver here.

Consider your travel times

If you really want to save money through travel, be wary of the times you’re travelling at. Public transport travel prices can vary at different times of the day. You may notice that prices are considerably higher during peak times, like just before 9am and after 5pm, and during weekends.

Sightseeing and events

Sightseeing attractions and events certainly don’t have to break the bank! In fact, most of Scotland best attractions are free.

Book things in advance

For popular attractions like Edinburgh Castle, tickets must be booked well in advance. First and foremost, if you leave booking too late you may not get tickets at all, and secondly, tickets tend to be cheaper if they are purchased in advance.

Research free events

Whoever says you have to pay double digits to do or see things in Scotland? If you are visiting Scotland during Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival, take note! Did you know that there are just as many free shows as there are priced ones? Yes, this is one of the largest arts festivals in the world we are talking about! Don’t forget to research free events prior to your visit. You can do things through sites like Visit Scotland.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival hosts lots of free shows every Summer

Eating and drinking

Unsurprisingly, we often spend most of our money on food and drink when we are abroad because, firstly, we need to eat and drink, and secondly, some of us simply enjoy the finer side of life and indulging in a good meal! But if eating like a total king or queen is one thing you’re not too fussed about, you can save yourself a tonne of money.


If you’re staying in self-catering accommodation, make use of the facilities you have available and buy shopping in to prepare your own meals.

Use reusable water bottles and coffee cups

We are so lucky to have tap water that is safe to drink all over Scotland, so there’s really no need for you to buy new bottles of water every day. And, if you bring your own reusable coffee cup, many coffee shops now offer discounts for using one!

Budget restaurants

Yes, it can difficult resisting the many luxurious restaurants here, but do not fret, there are so many budget restaurants that are just as tasty. Your money will go far if you eat in the likes of Sugo Pasta Kitchen in Glasgow City Centre, where you’ll get a huge bowl of pasta for as little as £5, or if you fancy yourself some classic Mexican dishes or street food, Topolabamba also in Glasgow and in Edinburgh offers some excellent lunch and dinner deals, and you can never really go wrong in any of the Wetherspoons restaurants that are available all across the country.

If you plan on touring scotland on a budget, be sure to eat in budget restaurants


Finding somewhere to rest your head is probably the most important aspect of planning a trip away, but you never really need anywhere too extravagant. You’ll mostly be out and about, after-all.


Many hostels in Scotland offer private rooms with private bathroom facilities which are ideal if you’re travelling in a group. These are often still cheaper than B&Bs, and nowadays, most include self-catering facilities and breakfast too!


You can find yourself some great apartments through Airbnb in prime locations for a reasonable price. Sometimes longer stays are cheaper than short ones too. Airbnbs are mostly self-catering too which means you can also save money by using the facilities already there.


When the weather is good, Scotland makes the perfect camping destination. While there are many amazing campsites that charge just a small fee to pitch up your tent and use facilities, there’s an uncountable list of spots where you can pitch up your tent for no cost what-so-ever!

Camping makes touring scotland on a budget that little bit easier

At Best of Scotland Holidays, we offer excellent value for money and sightseeing opportunities.

Do you want to experience the finer side of Scotland on a shoestring budget? Talk to us!

Our Scotland on a Budget package provides proof that you can still experience the very best of Scotland without having to splash the cash!

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