We have gathered some useful information to help you plan and best prepare for your next adventure to Scotland! Browse through the information below or visit our travel bonanza for more stories and tips!
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Emergency care at a public hospital or at a GP surgery is free for everyone. EU / EEA citizens are entitled to necessary care under the EHIC scheme, further the UK has special arrangements with other countries outside the EU / EEA.
Pharmacies are generally open between 9am and 6pm, though opening hours may vary depending on the location and some might close over lunchtime. Opening hours tend to be longer in the larger cities and more pharmacies are also open on Saturdays and Sundays with slightly reduced opening hours. In the more rural areas, after hours and weekend services are provided on a community basis with only one or two pharmacies open after hours which are covering a certain area.
From October 11 2021, all EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals will need a valid passport upon entering Scotland, which needs to be valid until after the day you plan on leaving the country again.
People traveling from outside the block might need a visa before entering Scotland, please check with your foreign department if you are unsure.
You can find up-to-date health and travel advice in relation to the ongoing COVID19 pandemic and traveling to and in Scotland on the official pages of the Scottish Government.
MONEY AND PRICE LEVEL
Scotland's currency is the British pound and the Royal Bank of Scotland also still issues their own notes. These can sometimes be difficult to be changed, especially outside of Scotland, so make sure to spend them before leaving Scotland. Opening hours of banks are roughly from Monday to Friday from between 9 and 9:45am to 4 to 4:45pm. In rural areas, banks might close for lunch for an hour. ATMs are widely available and you can find at least one in even the smallest village. If there is no ATM available, you can also get some “cash back” from the local shop or hotel.
Credit and debit cards can be used nearly everywhere, but some B&Bs might only accept cash. VISA and Mastercard are most
common while American Express is only accepted by major chains. You will mostly need your pin for card payments.
As a rule of thumb, for a decent service in a restaurant, a standard tip is around 10% and 15% in a more expensive place. Service charge is sometimes automatically added to the bill. Tipping in pubs is usually not expected unless for table service.
A dinner at a mid-range restaurant costs around £30 per person including a starter, main and dessert. A pint of beer comes at around £4,50 while a soft drink in a pub or restaurant is around £1,50 and a small bottle of water is around £1.
Generally shops open between 9am and 6pm Monday to Saturday. In many cities, towns and villages Sunday opening has become more and more popular with many shops opening in the later morning and closing in the early evening. Larger supermarkets are open for longer hours, some of them even have 24 hours opening. In the smaller towns and villages, many shops might close for one afternoon a week, generally Wednesday or Thursday.
Main post offices are open between 9am and 5:30pm from Monday to Friday and between 9am and 12:30pm on Saturday.
220v is standard in Scotland. Plugs and sockets operate using three pros and plug adapters are widely available.
New Years Day
Friday before Easter
Monday after Easter
Freedom Day / Day of the Carnation Revolution
60 days after Easter Sunday
Assumption of Maria
Day of the Republic
All Saints Day
Restoration of Independence Day
FESTIVITIES & EVENTS
Furnas / Sao Miguel
Festa do Senhor dos Enfermos, flower decorations are brought up to celebrate the ill and those in need
Sunday after Easter
Velas / Sao Jorge
Semana Cultural, showcasing traditional and local arts, music and crafts
Horta / Faial
Peter Cafe Sport Triathlon, surf from Velas / Sao Jorge to Cais / Pico, mountain bike through the Pico mountains and kayak from Pico to Horta
Late April, ever two years
Ponta Delgada / Sao Miguel
Festa do Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres - people from Vila Franca do Campo move through the streets of Ponta Delgada in medieval robes
five weeks after Easter
Angra do Heroismo or Praia da Vitoria / Terceira (alternating each year)
San Joaninas - celebration of the Holy Joaninas with cultural programs and processions
Ribeira Seca and Ribeira Grande / Sao Miguel
Cavalhadas de Sao Pedro - processions with horses
Calheta / Sao Jorge
Festival do Julho - festival with music, exhibitions, sport events, entertainment for kids and bull hunt at the end
Horta / Faial
Semana do Mar - crafts, music, food and drink, water games and a sailing race between Horta and Pico
second weekend in August
Praia Formosa / Santa Mar
Festival Mare de Agosto - music festival
second half of August
Lajes do Pico / Pico
Semana dos Baleeiros - traditional festival dating back to 1883 to celebrate whalers, music, food and drink
last week in August
Faja do Santo Cristo / Sao Jorge
Romaria de Santo Cristo - pilgrimage to Faja do Santo Cristo
first Sunday in September
Visit our travel bonanza for holiday inspiration, stories and travel tips to Scotland.
Useful information scotland the small adventure company