Planning a trip to the cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands? Well, I hope you’re ready to see the famous Loch Ness monster and hear stories about bonnie Prince Charlie and the battle of Culloden!
The City Centre is the best area where to stay in Inverness. There you’ll find the top attractions and the best Inverness hotels. However if you’re not a fan of touristy locations don’t worry, because I’ve added 3 more areas perfect for families, nature lovers or people traveling on a budget; Dalneigh, Merkinch, Ballifeary.
And, because Inverness is such a special place, I’ve decided to also add a bonus with unique hotels in Inverness. Dreamy and historical accommodations where you can hear the best legends on the famous lake and its fearful monster.
If I were you I would definitely try to book an accommodation super fast. This town on the North coast of Scotland is a popular base to explore the Highlands and go on day trip tours on Loch Ness. Most likely all the good Inverness hotels will sell out fast so don’t miss your chance.
I hope you’re ready to drink lots of whiskey! Let’s go!
If you are in a hurry
Looking for a super short summary of the post? Then check out this list, it has the hotels in Inverness City Centre:
River View Apartment
An Airbnb with amazing reviews
Best affordable accommodation in the center
Inverness may not be such a big city but still, it’s easy to confuse all the areas. So here’s a map of all the neighborhoods where to stay in Inverness:
1. City Centre – where to stay in Inverness for the first time
Welcome to one of my favorite Scottish towns! Inverness is a historic place and the gateway to the Scottish Highlands.
If you’re coming here on your first visit then I’d definitely recommend staying in the City Centre, especially if you’re taking the train from Edinburgh or Glasgow, since the train station is within walking distance from the hotels and attractions.
And since we’re on the things to do in the Inverness chapter you should know that this town is absolutely packed with historical attractions, including the beautiful River Ness that goes through the whole town.
Expect to see a lot of old houses with unique architecture in the City Centre, good restaurants, and of course the famous Inverness Castle, which surely deserves a visit while you’re here.
Fun Fact: The Inverness Castle has been featured on the £50 notes issued by the Bank of Scotland since 2005
Remember, since Inverness is known as the cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands, it can get pretty busy around here as many tourists set their base here to explore the Highlands. That’s why I recommend booking your hotels in advance, especially in Central Inverness.
Start your morning with a good breakfast at this dog-friendly hotel that has a central location. The accommodation is set a 20 min car-drive away from Inverness airport and it features elegant rooms with free Wi-Fi, a comfy bed, and a free parking for all guests.
Other accommodation options in City Centre
A lovely guest house that offers comfortable rooms, free parking and an outdoor terrace
Enjoy the views of Ness River from this affordable hostel that has modern rooms, free Wi-Fi and a shared kitchen
A spacious place set on the banks of Loch Ness, that has a lot of space, a kitchen and free Wi-Fi
The City Centre is the most popular area where to stay in Inverness, which means that most likely all the hotels here will sell out super fast (and especially the good ones). That’s why I decided to offer 3 more options to help you out in case the ones above are already sold out:
Luxury: River Ness Hotel – This super modern hotel is close to Inverness Castle and has a great restaurant. The accommodation also comes with spacious rooms, a bar and a fitness center.
Mid Range: Ardross Glencairn – This Victorian guest house is perfect for your holiday! It’s equipped with all the facilities you need including free Wi-Fi and rooms with coffee making facilities.
Budget: Haste Ye Back – Enjoy the Scottish hospitality while staying at this great hotel near River Ness that has rooms with a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom.
Things to do in City Centre
- Enjoy the River Ness views from Inverness Castle
- Visit the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
- Admire the architecture of the Inverness Cathedral
- Shop for souvenirs in Leakey’s Bookstore, a small shop
- Go for a walk on the scenic John o’ Groats Trail
- Take a day trip to the Isle of Skye
2. Dalneigh – best place to stay in Inverness for families
Set between Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal, this residential area is perfect for anyone who’s traveling with their families!
Dalneigh is a quiet area where you can really experience that Scottish small town life! At the same time you’d be just a 20 min walk away from the City Centre where you will find the bus and train stations.
The area’s name actually comes from the Gaelic word Dail an Eich, which means Field of the horse.
Since most of the attractions are located in the City Centre, you won’t find much to do around here other than exploring the streets and admiring the views. But since there are more guest houses in Dalneigh you can definitely find a cheaper stay with more space, which is perfect if you’re bringing the whole crew.
This is a super cozy guest house that has comfortable rooms with tea and coffee makers. Start your morning with a yummy Scottish breakfast to get you ready for a day full of activities, then head to the lounge area to enjoy a cup of tea before heading off!
Other accommodation options in Dalneigh
Feel right at home in this lovely guest house that has private rooms with free wif-fi and free parking
The perfect budget hotel for a family holiday! The house has spacious rooms with a tv and free Wi-Fi
A modern and well-equipped apartment near the City Centre that has 2 rooms, a flat-screen tv and a kitchen
Things to do in Dalneigh
- Enjoy the views of the Caledonian Canal
- Head to the City Centre to visit Inverness Castle
- Take a family day trip on Loch Ness to Urquhart Castle
- Go on a fun walk to the spooky Tomnahurich Cemetery Hill
3. Merkinch – where to stay in Inverness for nature lovers
If you’re coming to Inverness you’re probably thinking of touring the Scottish Highlands, which are basically heaven for all nature and outdoors lovers. But if you want to enjoy that fresh air and amazing views while you’re staying in Inverness as well, then check out this area.
Merkinch is one of the oldest areas in town and it’s located in the city’s north-west, bordered by the Caledonian Canal to its west and River Ness to its east.
Offering easy access to a nature reserve and a stunning Loch view, Merkinch is the perfect spot to relax in nature in between your many day trip tours.
The City Centre is only a 20 min walk away, which gives you the perfect opportunity to explore the town a bit more but of course there is also a bus service (in case the weather turns for the worst).
This lovely holiday home offers the most amazing views of the Moray Firth, and it has lots of space! Perfect for a family or group of friends, the accommodation has a kitchen, a patio with garden views and some fun board games for the rainy days when you can’t be bothered to leave the room.
Other accommodation options in Merkinch
A modern hotel in Inverness that offers spacious rooms, a fitness center and a buffet breakfast
Enjoy your stay in Inverness at this cozy guest house that has rooms with coffee and tea facilities
Perfect villa for 4 guests that has contemporary touches, a small kitchen, free Wi-Fi and a balcony
Things to do in Merkinch
- Explore the Merkinch Local Nature Reserve
- Snap some pics at Carnarc Point
- Learn about the Culloden battle on a highland tour
- Enjoy a cup of tea at Jammy Piece
- Take the kids to the Infinity Trampoline Park Inverness
4. Ballifeary – best place to stay in Inverness for budget
If you’re looking for a nice place to stay near the City Centre but a bit more affordable, then come along because I’ve found something super cool!
Ballifeary is a relatively small area set just only a 15 min walk away from the City Centre. Meaning you don’t even need to waste money on the bus as it’s a super short walk there.
This is a residential area, which means that it’s also pretty tranquil. And guess what, you’re also pretty close to another major attraction which isn’t set in the City Centre. More specifically the Inverness Botanic Gardens and the Kings Golf Club, both are around a 20 min walk from Ballifeary.
Now let’s check out the awesome hotels in Inverness, Ballifeary!
I’m loving the super large windows in the rooms which have an elegant decor and a desk area at this hotel! Set in a green area, the hotel also offers a fabulous restaurant where you can enjoy breakfast and tea, and a bar. Sign me up!
Other accommodation options in Ballifeary
Set in a Victorian building, this comfortable hotel has a free parking space and offers breakfast
A super affordable and cozy place in Inverness that offers breakfast, family rooms and free Wi-Fi
Perfect for 2 guests, this small place offers all the facilities you need including a kitchen and a tv
Things to do in Ballifeary
- Admire the Loch Ness views
- Visit the Inverness Botanic Gardens
- Explore the Ness Islands park
- Spend a day at the Kings Inverness Golf Club
- See the Jacobite Steam Train on a highlands day tour
|👑 Luxury price:||£120|
|💵 Mid Range:||£70|
|📍 Best area:||City Centre|
|🛎️ Best luxury hotel:||Heathmount Hotel|
|💵 Best mid-range hotel:||Ness House|
|👛 Best budget hotel:||Bazpackers|
BONUS: Unique hotels in Inverness
Inverness is one of the most unique places to stay in Northern Scotland. As the cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands, this place is absolutely filled with historical attractions and locations.
There are so many fabulous hotels and inns here that I’ve decided to add 3 unique ones, which have conquered the hearts of many tourists with their legendary stories and decorations.
All these places are luxury hotels with prices from £130 – £180:
- Culloden House Hotel – Fancy staying in a historic hotel where apparently Bonnie Prince Charlie lived? Culloden House Hotels is an award-winning Georgian country-house that has been voted one of the best hotels in the world and once you experience its charm you’ll get why. All rooms are beautifully-decorated with wood furnishings and some even have crystal chandeliers and marble fireplaces!
- Balvraid Lodge B&B – This mansion looks like a small castle from the outside! The accommodation features super comfortable rooms, wooden furnishings and a nice lounge area with a fireplace where you can enjoy your whiskey after a day of exploring the highlands!
- The Boat and Breakfast – If you want to spot the famous Loch Ness monster, then staying on this boat that’s located on the Caledonian Canal, near to Loch Ness may be your best chance at that. The accommodation offers cozy cabins and breakfast each morning.
- Kingsmills Hotel – This lovely family run hotel is set on 4 acres of beautiful gardens! The 18th-century mansion has such elegant decor plus a spa center where you can relax after a day of exploring Loch Ness. After that you can end your day with a yummy meal at their Conservatory Restaurant.
FAQs about hotels in Inverness
🤩 Is Inverness a nice place to stay?
Yes! Inverness is the cultural capital and gateway to the Scottish Highlands and it has so many historical attractions. It also offers great hotels like Heathmount Hotel.
📅 How many days should I spend in Inverness?
I would recommend spending between 3 to 4 days in Inverness. That way you’ll have time to explore the city and also go on day trips to the Scottish Highlands and see River Ness, the famous lake.
⛰️ Is Inverness a good base for the Highlands?
🏨 Which are the best Inverness hotels?
Who’s eager to find the famous Loch Ness monster? Some maybe more than others but don’t worry I feel like it’s already accustomed to all the tourists looking to see if it’ll make an appearance!
Well, I hope now you’re feeling more confident and know which area and hotels to pick. If anyone’s feeling a bit unsure let’s do a quick recap so you can quickly refresh your memory.
In this post I’ve added the best areas where to stay in Inverness, with a list of budget, mid range and luxury hotels. Plus I’ve also included a bonus section with unique hotels in town if you’re looking for something a little different.
Since we’ve got a lot of options (as always) I thought I’ll let you know which ones are my 2 favorite places. Maybe this will inspire you and help you decide:
- Heathmount Hotel – One of the best luxury hotels where to stay in Inverness that has a modern decor and a fancy restaurant
- Ness House – This cozy B&B is ready to receive you with open arms in its beautifully-decorated rooms with coffee makers
Once you’ve picked the one hotel that you absolutely love, make sure you book it in advance. As I said earlier, many tourists come here not only for the Loch Ness monster, Inverness is a gateway to the Scottish Highlands, which means that most hotels sell out fast.
Well, everyone, I think you’re going to have the adventure of a lifetime here. Have fun exploring River Ness, the mysterious highlands and eating yummy food!
If you’ve got any questions on this location you can always drop me a question in the comment section below and I’ll answer ASAP!
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