The Most Beautiful City in Scotland: An Enchanting Scottish Gem

Choose the city you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:17 (Updated on Dec 7, 2023 05:37)
Welcome to StrawPoll's quest to crown the most beautiful city in Scotland! With its enchanting landscapes, rich history, and captivating architecture, Scotland is a treasure trove of breathtaking cities waiting to be explored. We've gathered the top contenders, from the enchanting capital of Edinburgh to the vibrant city of Glasgow, and many more hidden gems in between. Now, it's up to you, dear traveler and admirer of Scottish beauty, to cast your vote and help us determine the ultimate winner. Will it be the charming coastal city of St Andrews or the picturesque Inverness nestled in the Scottish Highlands? Or perhaps you have a secret Scottish haven that deserves the spotlight? Dive into our ranking, make your choice, or suggest a missing option, and let the journey to discovering Scotland's most beautiful city begin!

What Is the Most Beautiful City in Scotland?

  1. 1
    The capital of Scotland is an iconic city with stunning architecture, historic castles, museums, and beautiful parks.
    Edinburgh is a stunning city located in Scotland, although it is often mistaken as part of England. It is known for its captivating mix of medieval and Georgian architecture, picturesque landscape, and rich history. The city offers a vibrant cosmopolitan atmosphere while still retaining a sense of Scottish tradition and heritage. From the magnificent Edinburgh Castle perched on a volcanic rock to the charming cobbled streets of the Old Town, the city is a treasure trove of beauty, culture, and natural wonders.
    • Edinburgh Castle: A historic fortress that dominates the city skyline and offers breathtaking views.
    • Royal Mile: A famous street that connects the castle with the Palace of Holyroodhouse, lined with shops, pubs, and notable landmarks.
    • Arthur's Seat: An ancient dormant volcano and one of the most iconic natural landmarks in the city, providing panoramic views of Edinburgh.
    • The Royal Yacht Britannia: A former royal yacht now permanently docked in Leith, offering a glimpse into the extravagant lives of the British monarchy.
    • Holyrood Palace: The official residence of the monarch in Scotland, surrounded by stunning gardens and located at the end of the Royal Mile.
  2. 2
    Known for its vibrant nightlife, Glasgow offers a mix of modern and traditional architecture, world-class museums, and beautiful green spaces.
    Glasgow is a vibrant and culturally rich city located in Scotland. It is known for its stunning architecture, thriving art scene, and friendly locals. The city offers a perfect blend of history, modernity, and natural beauty.
    • Population: Approximately 633,120
    • Area: Approximately 68 square miles
    • River: River Clyde
    • Famous Landmark: Glasgow Cathedral
    • Universities: Several prestigious universities and colleges
  3. 3
    A charming coastal town with beautiful beaches, historic ruins, and the world-renowned St Andrews Links golf course.
    St Andrews is a picturesque coastal town located in the northeast of Fife, Scotland. Known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and prestigious university, St Andrews is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Scotland. The town is nestled on the east coast, offering breathtaking views of golden sandy beaches and the North Sea. Its charming medieval architecture, cobbled streets, and historic landmarks create a romantic and timeless atmosphere. St Andrews is also famous for its globally renowned golf courses, attracting professionals and enthusiasts from around the world.
    • Location: Northeast Fife, Scotland
    • Natural Beauty: Stunning coastal views, golden sandy beaches
    • History: Rich medieval history
    • University: Home to the prestigious University of St Andrews
    • Architecture: Charming medieval architecture, cobbled streets
  4. 4
    The gateway to the Scottish Highlands, Inverness has a stunning riverside location, historic castles, and plenty of outdoor activities.
  5. 5
    A cultural hub with world-class museums, contemporary art galleries, and a revitalized waterfront.
    Dundee is a vibrant city located on the east coast of Scotland. It is known for its stunning natural landscapes, historical landmarks, and vibrant cultural scene. With a perfect mix of old and new, Dundee offers something for everyone, whether it's exploring its rich history or enjoying its modern attractions.
    • Population: Approximately 150,000
    • Geography: Situated on the northern bank of the River Tay
    • Landmarks: Notable landmarks include Dundee Law, The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum, and Dundee Repertory Theatre
    • Waterfront: The city's waterfront area offers a vibrant atmosphere with cafes, restaurants, and stunning views
    • Education: Home to prestigious universities including the University of Dundee and Abertay University
  6. 6
    A vibrant city with a mix of historic and modern architecture, beautiful parks, and stunning coastline.
    Aberdeen is a captivating city located in the northeast of Scotland. Known for its breathtaking natural beauty and rich history, it offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity. The city is nestled between the picturesque Dee and Don rivers, with stunning coastal views adding to its allure. Aberdeen seamlessly combines striking architecture, vibrant cultural scene, and warm hospitality, making it a favorite destination for visitors from around the world.
    • Old Aberdeen: Preservation of historic medieval streets and buildings.
    • Granite City: Famous for its sparkling granite buildings and landmarks.
    • Beachfront and Coastal Attractions: Stunning sandy beaches, scenic promenades, and the dramatic North Sea coastline.
    • Marischal College: One of the largest granite buildings in the world, housing an impressive university.
    • Vibrant Cultural Scene: Theatres, museums, art galleries, and festivals showcasing local talent.
  7. 7
    A picturesque town located on the banks of the River Tay, with historic buildings, parks, and gardens.
    Perth is the capital city of the state of Western Australia. Situated on the banks of the Swan River, it is known for its beautiful weather, stunning beaches, and vibrant city life. The city offers a unique blend of urban culture and natural beauty, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
    • Population: Approximately 2.04 million
    • Area: Approximately 5,386 square kilometers
    • Climate: Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters
    • Attractions: Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Swan River, Perth Zoo, Scarborough Beach
    • Cultural Events: Perth Festival, Fringe World Festival, Perth Royal Show
  8. 8
    A coastal town with stunning sea views, historic castles, and award-winning seafood restaurants.
    Oban is a charming coastal town located in the Argyll and Bute council area of Scotland. It is often referred to as the 'Gateway to the Isles' due to its strategic location on the west coast. This picturesque town is nestled between the hills and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes and the clear waters of the Oban Bay. Oban is known for its vibrant harbor, historical buildings, and its reputation as a hub for outdoor activities and wildlife spotting.
    • Location: Argyll and Bute, Scotland
    • Nicknames: Gateway to the Isles
    • Coastline: Oban Bay
    • Surroundings: Hills
    • Harbor: Vibrant
  9. 9
    Fort William
    Dbx54 at English Wikipedia · Public domain
    A scenic town located in the Scottish Highlands, with breathtaking mountain views, historic castles, and outdoor activities.
    Fort William is a picturesque town located in the Scottish Highlands. It is often considered one of the most beautiful cities in Scotland, known for its stunning natural surroundings and historical sites. With its strategic location at the southern end of the Great Glen, Fort William offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, including the iconic Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the British Isles.
    • Location: Scottish Highlands
    • Surroundings: Mountainous landscape, Great Glen
    • View: Breathtaking views of Ben Nevis and other mountains
    • Historical sites: Old Inverlochy Castle ruins, Commando Memorial
    • Outdoor activities: Hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, fishing
    Fort William in other rankings
  10. 10
    A stunning island in the Inner Hebrides, with beautiful landscapes, historic castles, and picturesque fishing villages.
    The Isle of Skye is a breathtakingly beautiful island located on the west coast of Scotland. Known for its dramatic landscapes, rugged mountains, stunning lochs, and picturesque coastline, it is often referred to as one of the most beautiful areas in the country. The island is rich in history, culture, and wildlife, making it a popular destination for both nature enthusiasts and those seeking tranquility in stunning surroundings.
    • Location: West coast of Scotland
    • Landscapes: Dramatic and stunning
    • Mountains: Rugged and picturesque
    • Lochs: Beautiful and serene
    • Coastline: Scenic and breathtaking
    Isle of Skye in other rankings

Missing your favorite city?


Ranking factors for beautiful city

  1. Natural beauty
    The surrounding landscapes, such as mountains, coastline, forests, and parks, which enhance the beauty of the city.
  2. Architecture
    The historical and contemporary architectural styles present in the city, including iconic buildings, cathedrals, castles, and bridges.
  3. Urban planning and layout
    The design and organization of the streets, squares, and public spaces, as well as the integration of green spaces within the city.
  4. Culture and heritage
    The presence of museums, galleries, theaters, and other cultural institutions, as well as the city's historical significance and its role in shaping Scottish identity.
  5. Cleanliness and environment
    The cleanliness of the streets, the availability of public amenities, and the city's commitment to environmental sustainability.
  6. Vibrancy and atmosphere
    The overall feel of the city, including the friendliness of its inhabitants, the quality of its restaurants and bars, and the diversity and richness of its cultural events and festivals.
  7. Accessibility and public transportation
    The ease of getting around the city, including the availability of public transportation, bike lanes, and pedestrian-friendly streets.
  8. Safety and security
    The general safety of the city, including low crime rates and a sense of community among residents.
  9. Climate
    The weather and climate of the city and how this affects its overall attractiveness and livability.
  10. Quality of life
    Factors such as healthcare, education, and job opportunities that contribute to a city's desirability as a place to live and visit.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful city in Scotland. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or city is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 168 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each city once every 24 hours. The rank of each city is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most beautiful city in scotland

Scotland is a country known for its captivating landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. From its charming small towns to its bustling cities, Scotland is home to some of the most beautiful places in the world. When it comes to stunning cities, Scotland has no shortage of options. From the iconic Edinburgh to the bustling Glasgow, each city has its unique charm and appeal. But which city in Scotland is the most beautiful? That's the question we're exploring in this poll. Whether you're a local or a visitor, we want to know which city in Scotland takes your breath away with its stunning architecture, picturesque scenery, and rich cultural heritage. So, let's dive in and find out which city takes the crown as the most beautiful in Scotland.

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