Travel

Things to do in Oban |The Comprehensive Guide

If you’re looking for a relaxed holiday destination in Scotland, Oban is the place for you. This is a great escape from the busy life of the city. Just time to sit back and relax.

Oban is filled with indoor and outdoor activities along with some amazing places to eat and it’s surprisingly affordable.

The perks of living in Scotland is having these breathtaking destinations on my doorstep.

I’ve created the only comprehensive guide that you’ll need for things to do in Oban.

Travel

I found Oban very accessible, and I didn’t struggle making travel arrangements from Glasgow.

Getting to Oban

If you’re driving, the views are amazing!

If you’re travelling from the south, the A82 is the quickest and easiest route.

To get from Glasgow to Oban, it takes two hours and twenty minutes.

If you’re lucky enough to be travelling on a clear day, get your camera at the ready for the beautiful scenic drive through Loch Lomond.

You can also travel by train as Oban has it’s own station on the pier. The train times vary from every ten minutes to every two hours, depending on your day of departure.

Travelling around Oban

If you’re staying in the centre, you won’t need your car for travelling around. Most of the city centre roads are one way, which can be difficult to drive in if you’re a tourist.

I would recommend parking the car up for the time you’re there.

Rockerfield Car Park charges £5 for twenty-four hours. This is the cheapest car park in Oban.

Other forms of transport you can use that would be more efficient:

  • Bus
  • Bike
  • Walk
  • Taxi

If you’re looking to hire bikes, there is a shop on the main street called Oban Cycles, they offer the best bikes with the best rate. For two days of hire for a hardtail bike, I was fifty-six pounds. The bike was in excellent condition and came with a repair kit.

My bike that I hired from Oban Cycles in Oban across from our apartment.

Accommodation

If you are looking to hire bikes, I would recommend hiring an apartment instead of a hotel as not all hotels will have the space to store the bikes overnight.

Air BnB is where I make all my apartment bookings as they are secure and have verified hosts.

Air Bnb offer a “Super Host” status to extraordinary hosts who go above and beyond for their customers.

The apartment I went for was a super host accommodation and was in the centre of Oban.

Our apartment in Oban, Scotland.
Our apartment in Oban

This included the main room and a bathroom, along with space for the two bikes. For two nights, it cost £150.

If you are looking for hotel accommodation, I’ve listed below the top 5 rated hotels in Oban:

*figures are based on two people for two nights.

The Royal Hotel £147*
Muthu Alexandra Hotel £118*
Oban Bay Hotel £208*
The Perle Oban Hotel & Spa£202*
Columba Hotel £112*

Food

Oban is known for fresh seafood as it’s located on the coast. Even if you’re not a fan of seafood, they do offer other options along with vegetarian and vegan options.

Breakfast

Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a sit-down lunch, I’ve created a list of the best cafes in Oban.

Best breakfast and lunch places in Oban.

For dinner, most places are seafood restaurants but there are some hidden gems in Oban.

My all-time favourite is Rio, which is situated right in the middle of Oban, next to the pier. This is a pizza parlour.

For dinner restaurants you have:

  • Etive Restaurant
  • Coast Restaurant
  • Poppies
  • Kerrera Tea Garden
  • The Waterfront Fish house
  • Oban Fish and Chip Shop
  • The Lorne Bar

All restaurants are reasonably priced. For 2 courses and a non-alcoholic drink, it would be no more than thirty pounds per head.

Weather

Sadly the downfall of holidaying in Scotland is the weather is very unpredictable.

The average hours of sunshine in November in Oban is 50 hours for the month. Totalling at 1.6 hours per day.

If the weather is rainy or snowy, there’s a good chance there will be no WI-FI. We experienced this when we travelled in September. The rain was so heavy we had no WI-FI for the first full day.

If you’re not prepared for the rainy weather, there are a number of clothes shops that offer waterproof clothing. I’ve listed these below.

Things to do in Oban

The thing I loved most about Oban was the endless list of things to do throughout the town.

All activities listed below are indoor activities:

If you’re looking for outdoor activities on the off chance it’s a good day, I’ve listed the following:

  • Atlantis Leisure Centre
  • Etive Boat trips
  • Pulpit Hill
  • Sea Kayak trips
  • Argyll Sea Tours
  • Cycling around Kerrera

Kerrera is a small Island situated next to Oban that we decided to cycle around.

The ferry only took 5 minutes to board and cross to the island. The boat was running every few minutes but I am sure that’s because it was busy, if you are looking to go to Kerrera, check the online time table first! 

Once we got over, we headed off straight away! I noticed pretty early on there was teapots situated throughout the journey.

Teapots that we found around the island of Kerrera, Oban.
Teapots around Kerrera

I stopped to get a few pictures! This was advertising the tea room that they have at the bottom of the island but sadly it’s only open at the weekend. 

The cycle in total was 8 miles around the bottom of the island.

*Tip – Cycling on Kerrera is hard. The bottom half is messy and rocky, we had to push our bikes through some of it as it was too dangerous to cycle.

Phone Service

I noticed throughout Oban, my phone signal was pretty bad.

More so with the terrible weather.

If you’re staying in Oban, be prepared for losing signal and you may not be reachable for a few hours.

Shopping

For such a small town, it has a lot of shops.

As my accommodation was pretty central, it made it easy to pop out to the shops.

I’ve listed the best clothes shops in central Oban.

Conclusion

Oban, Scotland is a beautiful place to visit and should definitely be a must on your list. It’s affordable, accessible and filled with great things to do.

Remember your waterproof jacket and wellies and you’ll be fine!

I can’t wait to plan my next cycling trip here!

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Things to do in Oban cover photo

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