Many travellers to Inverness seek it out only as a ‘base camp’ for nearby adventures, like Loch Ness or Culloden Moor, and spend little to no time enjoying the city. Worthy pursuits, but Inverness has its own delights worth uncovering. Come and soak up the atmosphere at 10 of the best pubs and bars this Scottish city has to offer.
Bar One Inverness
This lively and unpretentious spot prides itself on being Inverness’ ‘original cocktail bar’. Serving up delicious cocktails alongside high-energy tunes and a bustling atmosphere, it’s clear Bar One has gotten the formula for success right. Keen learners can also sign up to take cocktail-making classes from the helpful bar staff.
Bar One Inverness, 1 Academy St, Inverness, United Kingdom, +44 1463 714471
Nicky Tam’s Restaurant & Bar
The on-site restaurant and bar for the upscale Glen Mhor Hotel, Nicky Tam’s is located on the banks of the river, opposite the prime attractions of the Eden Court Theatre and the cathedral. With a huge selection of malt whisky and an extensive wine list, as well as a cosy ambiance, this is the perfect place for a relaxing evening.
This is the ideal location to enjoy some Scottish music in the capital of the Highlands, and the best place to go is Johnny Foxes, which has live entertainment every night, ranging from trad to popular tunes to the occasional karaoke night. Order some pub food and a pint, and sit back and listen.
Johnny Foxes, 26 Bank St, Inverness, United Kingdom, +44 1463 236577
Come to Number 27 with an appetite, because the food is as worthwhile as the drinks. Try the Highland chicken, wrapped in bacon and served atop a bed of haggis with black pudding mash — and on Mondays, don’t miss the steak dinner special. And of course, grab a glass of vino to accompany it.
Number 27, 27 Castle St, Inverness, United Kingdom, +44 1463 241999
For a classic Highland pub experience, look no further than Gellions Bar. Dating back to 1841, this pub has live music every night, a ceilidh, or traditional Scottish dance, on Saturdays, and a menu of quintessential food and drink.
The Gellions Bar, 14 Bridge St, Inverness, United Kingdom, +44 1463 233648
Originally opening its doors in 1860, this pub is one of the oldest bars in Inverness. The bar houses multiple darts, dominoes and pool teams, as well as serving as a meeting ground for avid fans of Caley Thistle, or the Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club, making it a lively and energetic place. Stop by to watch the sporty proceedings and enjoy a drink along with classic pub fare like battered haddock or a steak and ale pie.
Innes Bar, 61 Innes St, Inverness, United Kingdom, +44 1463 232387
The Snow Goose
This charming country pub offers a delightfully quaint atmosphere and rustic seasonal cooking amidst beautiful surroundings, located on land originally a part of Stoneyfield House, a holding on the Raigmore Estate built around 1780. With a handpicked wine list of nearly 40 offerings, as well as craft ales and other beverages, there is something for everyone.
The Snow Goose, Stoneyfield, Inverness, United Kingdom, +44 1463 701921
The Castle Tavern
In good weather, head over to this traditional tavern to make use of its beer garden, which is full of bright red picnic tables. An award-winning Real Ale pub, The Castle Tavern affords views of the castle and is a friendly, inviting place for a drink with friends.
The Castle Tavern, 1 View Pl, Inverness, United Kingdom, +44 1463 718178
This welcoming Church St pub is well known for its live Scottish music. Order up some traditional food and drinks from the menu, find a table and take in the sounds of whatever talented musical act is at the helm that night.
Hootananny, 67 Church St, Inverness, United Kingdom, +44 1463 233651
Bustling with locals, with a cheerful staff and laid-back vibe, The Waterfront is a scenic pub which offers filling meals and tasty drinks for reasonable prices — try the cocktail of the week for £5. This place gets busy, so book a table beforehand, particularly on Thursdays when the pub plays host to live music.
The Waterfront, 70 Huntly St, Inverness, United Kingdom, +44 1463 233870