How to Spend A Day in St. Andrews

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

When most people think of Scotland, perhaps Glasgow or the capital city of Edinburgh are the first cities that come to mind.

Their equally interesting northern neighbor, St. Andrews, is also worthy of a visit, if only for a day.


Founded in 1140, St. Andrews is one of the oldest towns in the United Kingdom. The rural, coastal town is best known as the "home of golf", and houses the prestigious University of St. Andrews (alma mater of Prince William). With a population of just over 14,000 (9,000 being university students!), it's definitely a town where everyone knows everyone.

Getting there

If a day trip to St. Andrews interests you, you can reach it easily by car or bus in 90 minutes from either Edinburgh or Glasgow. The ride is scenic, and if your driver is as cheery as the average Scot, you will get a lesson on each village you pass. There is also an underground train that makes the trip in one hour.


St. Andrews Castle 

St. Andrews castle is the main attraction of this town. Open from 09:00-16:00 on weekdays, you can get up close and personal with the ruins and the underground tunnels that once served the Archbishops of St. Andrews. The coastal views are magnificent, and it's an easy walk from the center of town. Cost is £6 for entry.

views from the entrance

views of the town, from the castle

St. Andrews Cathedral

Just up the road from the castle is St. Andrews cathedral. Built in 1158, it became the centre of the Medieval Catholic Church in Scotland as the seat of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and the Bishops and Archbishops of St Andrews. 


As the self-proclaimed home of golf, St. Andrews sees numerous visitors to their famed courses annually. It doesn't hurt that most of the golf courses are near the beach. Visit the British Golf Museum before or after a few rounds.

Source: wiki

North Point Cafe

As the sign on the window reads, this popular breakfast spot is where Prince William met Kate Middleton, while they were students at the University of St. Andrews. Pop in for some hot cocoa with whip on the way to one of the ruins.


Full disclosure: Culinary isn't one of Scotland's strong suits. However, if you search real hard, you can find a good place or two that make decent fare, usually international. 

Some Scottish cuisine. I did try, again. Fail, again.

When all else fails (and I documented SEVERAL fails on Instagram stories!), seek Italian. Even if it goes wrong, it should be edible.


I ate here twice during my three days stay. The Italian restaurant has a wide variety of dishes, and even some vegan and gluten-free options. The drinks are the real winner here. Be sure to try one of their signature cocktails: my personal faves were the Rum 'n Ginger and the Twisted Rossini.

A nice bolognese from Zizzi

Twisted Rossini, a nice cocktail with a prosecco base


If you intend to stay overnight before setting back to your main base, then I highly recommend the Macdonald Rusacks hotel near the West Sand Beach. The amenities are fabulous, and it's walking distance to pretty much everywhere. Each room has stunning views, and the beach and golf course are right in your backyard.

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