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Inverness  Inverness  United Kingdom

Perched along the River Ness on Scotland's northeast coast, Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands, is a compact, cosmopolitan city easily explored on foot. While many travelers pass through it only briefly on their way to Loch Ness and other nearby sights, there are plenty of reasons to spend time here. Start with a visit to the indoors Victorian Market, with more than 40 shops selling fun souvenirs as well as jewelry, kilts and tartans. Wander the grounds of the Victorian-era Inverness Castle, which overlooks the city. Other highlights include the small but impressive Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and boat trips to the Moray Firth. Once you've checked off the tourist sights, duck into one of the many pubs for a pint or a Highlands whiskey.