5 Best Things to Do in St Andrews Scotland (with map)

Updated: October 20, 2021 | Has affiliate links

St Salvator's Chapel is one of the beautiful places to see in St. Andrews
St. Andrews is a historical place with a beautiful location in the Scottish coast. Made famous as a movie location and the official birthplace of golf, St Andrews was a pleasant destination for us. Come along with me as we explore the best things to do in St Andrews Scotland.


St. Andrews was a great stop for us later in the afternoon. The kids were able to take a nap in the car which helped be ready to walk “again” and reduced their crankiness. So, let’s take a walking tour together and explore the best things to do in St Andrews Scotland.

What to Expect When Visiting St Andrews Scotland?

Exploring the Rugged coastline is one of the best things to do in St Andrews Scotland
Exploring the Rugged coastline is one of the best things to do in St Andrews Scotland
See my photos from St Andrews

We arrived in St Andrews after visiting the quaint fishing villages in Fife. Comparatively, St Andrews is huge, but in reality it is a small city with a nice historical old town town and a very old university. We enjoyed the rugged coast with the old castle ruins as well as the movie famous West Sands Beach. Let’s explore it together as we take a walking tour of Saint Andrews.

My Favorite Things to Do in St Andrews Scotland

The best place to start exploring St Andrews is to walk on the coastal pathway St Andrews Cathedral past St Andrews Castle.  In addition,  walk in the historical center of town on North and Market Streets.

  1. St Andrews Cathedral – impressive ruins with beautiful views of the sea.
  2. St Andrews Castle – small ruins right by the sea
  3. The Links Golf Course – the oldest golf course in the world
  4. West Sands – Chariots of Fire was filmed here

St. Andrews walking tour map
St. Andrews walking tour map
Legend: Circle-start, Red-see, Green-walk
See my photos from St Andrews

With our map in hand and list of places to see we started exploring St Andrews. So, come along with me as we visit the best places to see in St Andrews.

1. Visit St Andrews Cathedral

St Andrews Cathedral is usually the first stop on any walking tour of St Andrews, Scotland.
Dark clouds gathering over St Andrews Cathedral ruins
See my photos from St Andrews

Known as the largest church in Scotland, St Andrews Cathedral fell into disuse during the Scottish Reformation movement during the 16th century when the Catholic mass was outlawed in Scotland. The large complex of impressive ruins is free to visit. However, For a small fee you can visit the small St Andrews Cathedral museum on premises and climb in the 100 ft (33m) tower for amazing views of the St Andrews coastline and town. Visiting the ruins of St Andrews Cathedral easily tops my list of best things to do in St Andrews Scotland.

2. Explore the Rugged Coastline at St Andrews Castle

St Andrews, Scotland - The ruins of St Andrews Castle on the coast
The ruins of St Andrews Castle on the coast
See my photos from St Andrews

The rugged coastline in St Andrews is beautiful and it comes very high on my list of things to do in St Andrews Scotland. Most tourists walk from the ruins of St Andrews Cathedral on the coastal pathway to reach the ruins of St Andrews Castle. You can also continue walking from the ruins of St Andrews Castle all the way to the St Andrews Aquarium and get beautiful views of nature and history at the same time.

3. Play a Round of Golf at the The Links

St Andrews, Scotland - The famous Swilcan Bridge in St Andrews Links golf course is over 700 years old.
A visit to The Links golf course should definitely make your list of things to do in St Andrews Scotland. The famous Swilcan Bridge in St Andrews Links golf course is over 700 years old.
See my photos from St Andrews

Even if you are not a golf fanatic, The Links golf course is a rare piece of history. As the official birthplace of the modern day sport of golf, St Andrews is a jewel for golf lovers. If you are into golfing you will find the British Golf Museum very appealing to visit.

We entered the wrong direction on the only road that has access to the golf course. After getting many frustrated looks and finger pointing us in the right direction, we ended up driving through the middle of this beautiful golf course, right by the 700 years old Swilcan Bridge.

4. Walk on the West Sands Beach

The Hollywood famous West Sands beach where parts of the movie Chariots of Fire was filmed.
The Hollywood famous West Sands Beach where parts of the movie Chariots of Fire was filmed.
See my photos from St Andrews

After crossing The Links golf course we found ourselves right on the doorsteps of the famous White Sands Beach. As one of the movie locations for Chariots of Fire movie, White Sands is another world famous spot in St Andrews.

Even though we arrived on a sunny summer day, it was windy and cold. This did not stop us from taking a long walk on this famous beach and we will always remember our stroll on the West Sands Beach, overlooking the old town, as one of the best things to do in St Andrews Scotland.

5. Stroll Through St Andrews Historic Center

St Andrews, Scotland - The Bute Medical Buildings part of the school of medicine at University of Saint Andrews.
The Bute Medical Buildings part of the school of medicine at University of St Andrews.
See my photos from St Andrews

The University of St Andrews is one of the oldest universities in England and its historical buildings are spread through the old city center. Taking a stroll on The Scores and North streets was also fun for us as we took in the feeling of the old university buildings and churches. Even though it was late during the day and we were tired, strolling through the older streets proved to be one of our favorite things to do in St Andrews Scotland.

Plan Your Trip to St Andrews Scotland

Is it Worth Visiting St Andrews?

We didn’t allocate much time to visiting St Andrews because we arrived about midday in the city. The walks by the coast, near the St Andrews Castle ruins are simply gorgeous. If you love golf then visiting St Andrews and its amazing golf related attractions are a must for you. We loved the pretty streets and old churches and the White Sands Beach provided a nice view of the coastline and city itself.

5 Best Things to Do in St Andrews Scotland is part of my 4 days in Edinburgh series.

  1. Walking tour of Edinburgh
  2. 5 beautiful fishing villages in Fife
  3. Walking tour of Saint Andrews
  4. Walking tour of Stirling
  5. Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park
  6. 8 beautiful castles near Edinburgh
  7. 6 day trips from Edinburgh
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