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

Area

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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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Category

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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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Best For

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Family 6

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Orkney and Shetland Islands Sights

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Bishop's and Earl's Palaces

  • Castle/Palace/Chateau

The Bishop's Palace dates to the 12th century when St. Magnus Cathedral was built. In 1253 this was the site of King Hakon IV of Norway's...

Highland Park Distillery

  • Winery/Brewery/Distillery

Having come this far, you'll have earned a dram of the local single malt at Scotland's northernmost distillery. It was founded around...

Italian Chapel

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

During World War II, 550 Italian prisoners of war were captured in North Africa and sent to Orkney to assist with the building of the...

Orkney Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

With artifacts from the Picts, the Vikings, and other ancient peoples, this museum in Tankerness House (a former residence) has the entire...

Orkney Wireless Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

The lifetime collection of Jim MacDonald, a radio operator during World War II, tells the story of wartime communications at Scapa Flow,...

Orkneyinga Saga Centre

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

A good starting point for an exploration of Orkney's Norse heritage, the center examines the Orkneyinga Saga, an oral history first written...

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...

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.

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