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The Best Scotland Itinerary includes 6 Must See Places in Oban

Oban (pronounced O bin) is known as the Seafood Capital of Scotland. So, if you love seafood, you're in the right spot. It's a beautiful little waterfront town on Scotland's northwest coast with a harbor in a sheltered bay. Because of its location, it also serves as a gateway to many of the Hebridean islands. Bubbly Tourist stayed two nights here but could have also done everything we wanted in one full day instead of two. Read on to discover the must see places and things to do in Oban as part of the best Scotland Itinerary.

Oban sunset in Scotland; bubbly tourist; things to do; places to see
The sun sets over the waters at Oban

Our Scotland itinerary includes these Must See Places to visit in Oban

1. Eat fresh seafood

Given it's the seafood capital of Scotland, this is an obvious thing to do. Situated right on the harbor, there is no shortage of restaurants serving fresh caught fish and seafood in Oban. One place that we'd recommend is the Oban Seafood Hut (Green Shack) right on the pier. It's a very casual place where you walk up to the outdoor counter and select which fresh seafood you'd like. We had the fresh oysters and sat at their outdoor picnic table shared with other guests. Or perhaps, you'd enjoy a pint while you sit and take in the beautiful view of the harbor? Markie Dans Pub is one of the many places where you can chill outside and take advantage of the views.

Markie Dans Pub in Oban, Scotland; seafood; views; things to do; places to see; bubbly tourist
A pint with a view over lunch at Markie Dans Pub

2. The Oban Distillery

The Oban Distillery, founded in 1794, is a must-do in Oban. It is one of the oldest single malt whisky distilleries in Scotland. The distillery was built before the town of Oban sprang up in the surrounding harbor. It is nestled right in the city center and provides two types of tastings: one that is a tasting of four whiskies and the other a tour of the facility plus a smaller tasting. We did the tasting only which included learning how to properly drink whisky ( yes, that is a thing!). That information in itself was worth the price in admission. It's a nice facility with a very busy store on ground level where you can pick up merchandise and (of course!) whisky. Highly recommend. Fun fact: Whisky can be from Scotland and Whiskey (with the "e") is from the US. For the purposes of our blog, we have adopted the Scottish spelling.

whisky tasting at the Oban Distillery in Oban, Scotland; Bubbly Tourist; things to do; places to see; must do
Oban Distillery whisky tasting

3. Walk along the harbor

With the city situated right on the harbor, it's an easy and short stroll from the pier up along the bay on the Promenade. There are historical markers with QR codes that help guide your tour. On the north end of the bay, there is also a trail that cuts through the woods for a short walk to the Dunollie Museum, Castle and Grounds. It's quiet and picturesque!

Oban Promenade in Scotland; Bubbly Tourist; things to do; places to see
A view of the harbor from the pier back into Oban and the Promenade where you can walk along the water

4. Scottish music and dancing

When in Scotland, you gotta get a dose of the bagpipes, so why not go someplace where you can listen to a band play some real Scottish music? We went to the View Oban to listen to Scottish music and watch the lads and lasses dance traditionally. This restaurant and bar is conveniently located right on the Promenade. Grab a spot out on the upstairs deck where you can also watch the sunset over the harbor with a drink in hand.

Scottish music and dancing at the View Oban; bubbly tourist; things to do; places to see; bagpipes
Scottish music and dancing at the View Oban

5. Buy some Argyll

If you like fine woolen argyll patterns on your clothes or bags there is a nice shop in town. And you won't have to go to the Isle of Harris - where Harris Tweed is made - to buy some. Bubbly Tourist picked up a very nice vest / waistcoat in town.

Argyll waistcoat in Scotland; bubbly tourist; things to do; places to see
Bubbly Tourist in an Argyll waistcoat in Scotland

6. Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel

The Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel is a ten minute drive out of Oban, but was worth it as we had a delightful walk along the castle grounds and saw the blue bells blooming in their glory. You can walk the grounds, woods and see the old ruined chapel for free. If you want to go into the castle, there is a fee. There are not many tourists, so it's quiet and peaceful. We saw several locals meeting there, so there must be something about its serenity that attracts!

Dunstaffnage Castle in Oban, Scotland; bubbly tourist; things to do; places to see
Dunstaffnage Castle

Where to Stay in Oban

Bubbly Tourist stayed at No17 The Promenade on Corran Esplanade which is in town but just a little north of downtown Oban making it still easily walkable to downtown. It's a perfect location because it's on the water, it has excellent TripAdvisor reviews, it has onsite parking, the rooms are large, cozy and comfortable, the restaurant is excellent for breakfasts and dinner, and it's away from all the busy traffic downtown. Highly Recommended!

No17 The Promenade hotel in Oban, Scotland; Bubbly Tourist; things to do; places to see
Bubbly Tourist eating breakfast at No17 The Promenade

Directions to Oban

Oban is 3 hours west from Edinburgh. Following our Best Scotland Itinerary, we stopped first at Stirling Castle coming out of Edinburgh, and then drove for 2 hours to arrive along the coast in Oban.


Stirling Castle

On the way to Oban, Bubbly Tourist stopped in the town of Stirling which is about an hours drive from Edinburgh. Whether it's part of your full journey around Scotland or a day trip from Edinburgh, this is a castle full of history that gives credence to the quote "He who holds Stirling, holds Scotland".

Stirling Castle in Scotland is a dat trip from Edinburgh; bubbly tourist; things to do; places to see
60 minutes out of Edinburgh is this amazing historic castle in the town of Stirling

At Stirling Castle, you'll learn about Scotland's amazing history and about the fighting amongst themselves and with the British. You'll also see the Royal Apartments and will learn about the crowning of Mary Queen of Scots and that she spent four years of her life here, effectively making it her childhood home. Stirling Castle gives you great 360° views of the surrounding countryside. It is geographically located where the lowlands meet the highlands. From the castle, one can see for miles and back in the day prepare for an encroaching troops. Stirling's key position as the lowest bridging point of the River Forth before it broadens towards the Firth of Forth made it a focal point for travel north or south. For this, Robert the Bruce quoted "He who holds Stirling holds Scotland". Bubbly Tip: Book in advance and get an excellent guided tour inside and out of the castle.



Best Scotland Itinerary Continued

Next Location: Scotland's Isle of Skye...


Bubbly Tourist's Best Scotland Itinerary details information on what to do and what places to see in Oban, Isle of Skye, the Northwest Highlands, Speyside Whisky Country and Edinburgh.


 

Other Scottish Itineraries

Hidden Gems that are Off the Beaten Path

Along the way of our voyage across Scotland, we discovered some hidden gems that are worth seeing where we go into more detail than our itinerary.


Scottish Castles

This beautiful country is full of castles. What makes these 8 castles of Scotland a must see?


Scottish Distilleries

If scotch is your thing and/or you'd like to learn more, then you won't want to miss out on these distilleries.


Tips for your travel across Scotland




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