Orkney and Shetland Islands Sights

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Orkney and Shetland Islands - browse our top choices for the top things to see during your stay.

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Fodor's Choice


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Kirkwall 8

The South Mainland 6

Lerwick 5

Stromness and the Neolithic Sites 5

Unst 3

Birsay 3

Brae 2

Scalloway 2

Yell 1

Weisdale 1

Scapa Flow Visitor Centre 1

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Archaeological Site/ Ruins 9

Arts/ Performance Venue 1

Beach–Sight 1

Castle/ Palace/ Chateau 3

Information Center 1

Island 1

Military Site 2

Museum/ Gallery 10

Nature Preserve/ Wildlife Refuge 4

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 3

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 1

Winery/ Brewery/ Distillery 1

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Family 6

Orkney and Shetland Islands Sights

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Scalloway Castle

  • Castle/Palace/Chateau

This waterfront fortress was built in 1600 by Patrick Stewart, earl of Orkney and Shetland. He was hanged in 1615 for his cruelty and...

Scalloway Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

This modern museum tells some fascinating stories about Scalloway and it's well-traveled locals. There is a section dedicated to the...

Scapa Flow Visitor Centre

  • Information Center

Military history buffs will appreciate the Scapa Flow Visitor Centre, which displays military vehicles and guns from both world wars.

Shetland Croft House Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

This 19th-century thatched house reveals the way of life of rural Shetlanders, which the traditionally attired attendant will be delighted...

Shetland Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

On the last remaining stretch of the old waterfront at the restored Hay's Dock, the striking Shetland Museum, with its sail-like tower,...

Skara Brae and Skaill House

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

After a fierce storm in 1850, the laird of Breckness, William Graham Watt, discovered this cluster of Neolithic houses at the bottom...

St. Magnus Cathedral

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Founded by the Norse earl Jarl Rognvald in 1137 and named for his uncle, this grand red and yellow sandstone cathedral was mostly finished...

St. Ninian's Isle

  • Island

It was on St. Ninian's Isle that a schoolboy helping archaeologists excavate the ruins of a 12th-century church discovered the St. Ninian...

Stromness Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

The enchanting Stromness Museum has the feel of some grand Victorian's private collection but has, in fact, been community owned since...

Unstan Chambered Tomb

  • Archaeological Site/Ruins

This intriguing burial chamber lies within a 5,000-year-old cairn. Access to the tomb can be awkward for those with mobility problems.