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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!


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.


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.


January 1

New Years Day

Friday before Easter

Good Friday

Monday after Easter

Easter Sunday

April 25

Freedom Day / Day of the Carnation Revolution

May 1

Labour Day

60 days after Easter Sunday

Corpus Cristi

June 10

Portugal Day

August 15

Assumption of Maria

October 5

Day of the Republic

November 1

All Saints Day

December 1

Restoration of Independence Day

December 8

Immaculate Conception

December 25

Christmas Day


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

Mid April

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

June 24

Ribeira Seca and Ribeira Grande / Sao Miguel

Cavalhadas de Sao Pedro - processions with horses

June 29

Calheta / Sao Jorge

Festival do Julho - festival with music, exhibitions, sport events, entertainment for kids and bull hunt at the end

mid July

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.

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From our own experience, no two holidays are the same. Talk to us and we will create your own individual holiday just for you.

Useful information scotland the small adventure company

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