Please note that in light of the Covid-19 emergency many venues are closed or operating under significant restrictions. We recommend that you confirm directly with venues before making any arrangements.
You won't be surprised to learn that we think that Oban's a great place. To see why, watch the video below (produced for Oban's community owned Phoenix Cinema) or see our list of things you must see and do:
If you are spending a couple of days in Oban here’s our Top 10 list of things you must see and do:
An energetic climb up the hill behind the hostel takes you to McCaig's imposing granite folly. You'll be rewarded with fantastic panoramic views over Oban bay and beyond.
The fresh seafood shack near the Ferry Terminal is FABULOUS. Or go to the Oban Fish and Chip Shop, two hundred metres from the hostel and use your Backpacker Plus discount card to get a reduction on their normal price. If you’re feeling rich, try out one of the delicious seafood or Scottish restaurants in Oban – there’s plenty of choice.
Visit Oban’s pubs by night. There’s Markie Dans – a lively bar with frequent live music gigs. Then there’s Aulay's Bar, The Lorne, Coasters – the list goes on. Each has it’s own mix of pub food, live music and good craic.
Head for The View for regular dances and traditional music gigs. It’s lots of fun – you'll soon pick up the dance steps - or invent your own! More details at . www.obanview.com/ceilidhs/.
Oban Distillery, established in 1794, is in the heart of Oban, a stone's throw away from the sea. Take the guided tour to see how Oban's 14 year old West Highland Malt whisky is made. Open all year round.
Take the wee ferry over to Kerrera – the island opposite Oban. Walk around the island, look out to sea from the ruined Gylen castle and munch homemade cakes at the island’s Tea Garden. A fun day out full of fresh air and stunning views!
Oban’s Dunollie castle stands guard over the entrance to Oban bay and nearby Dunstaffnage Castle is where Flora MacDonald was held captive in 1746. Soak up the history, breath in the sea air. Oh and take a few photos.
Try out an introduction to sea kayaking in Oban bay and spend an enjoyable day with Sea Kayak Oban based in the town. It's a great way to see the town from the sea. More info>
Backpackers Plus' Peter recently discovered Lismore - a ferry ride from Oban. What a find! The island is ten miles long and one mile wide, with two mediaeval castles, a well preserved iron age broch, a mediaeval church, abandoned lime workings, a lighthouse, a heritage centre and cafe and more besides.
With no really long or steep hills, it's the perfect place to take a bicycle for a day. Lismore Bike Hire will deliver anywhere on the island. Telephone: 01631 760 213 or email at email@example.com.
Read more about Lismore here>
The Sky Room on the top floor of the Old Church is designed for relaxation.....make use of it! Enjoy good company, meet fellow travellers, help yourself to tea and coffee, play giant Jenga or take on the hostel's famous pool challenge!
Please note that in light of the Covid-19 emergency most of the events listed below have been cancelled and most venues are closed or operating under significant restrictions. We recommend that you confirm directly with event organisers or venues before making any arrangements.
There's lots to do in and around Oban throughout the year - Highland shows, sporting events, stone skimming and live music and dances. In the winter, there are Bonfire Night events, Oban Winter Festival and Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) events to look forward to.
The View Oban is Oban's lively licensed venue with incredible views of the 'Gateway to the Isles'. The View is a live entertainment venue featuring regular live music nights, Ceilidhs/Scottish Shows with ceilidh dancing, top class bagpiping, accordion and highland dancing.
Throughout the summer, everyone at Backpackers Plus heads down to the Scottish ceilidh evenings at The View. Never ceilidh danced before? - no problem, you'll be shown what to do - it's great fun!
Oban's pubs have a great atmosphere - many have quiz nights, live music and karaoke at the weekends. Check out the pub quiz in Markie Dans on Sundays and in Coasters on Fridays. Plus there's folk music sessions in Grassroots Cafe on Sundays.
Check out the latest events listing here: obanwhatson.co.uk
Oban is the natural base from which to explore further afield in Argyll and the Isles.This is a glorious coastal region of glittering sea lochs, islands, hills, forests and glens just waiting to be explored. It’s divided into eight areas, each with a distinctive character and offering a unique experience. From surfing to kayaking, quad-biking to mountain biking, get off the beaten track and find your own adventure. See www.wildaboutargyll.co.uk
21 July: Inveraray Highland Games
23 July: Mull Highland Games
27 Aug: Argyllshire Gathering Oban
More here: www.shga.co.uk/events.php
28 March: Gin tasting events plus live music.See obanginfestival.co.uk
23 to 26 April: A weekend of music to be heard in hotels & bars in Tobermory. Line-up includes Peat & Diesel, Gunna Sound, Ho-Ro. See mull.co/mull-music-festival
30 April - 3 May: The 37th Highland & Islands Music and Dance Festival - with over 1100 participants, 125 competition classes in eleven disciplines. Entertainment for all the family to enjoy. See www.obanfestival.org.
22 - 30 May: A week long celebration of music, ceilidhs, Gaelic song and whisky. See www.islayfestival.com/
5 - 6 June: Gaelic language, music and cultural events.
10 - 12 July: A stunning festival location for a true island adventure.
3 to 5 July: See www.obansailingclub.org/events/round-mull-race/4566735366
1 to 7 August: See whyw.co.uk/
29 August: See www.obanseakayakrace.org/
27 September 2020: The annual event – world stone skimming championships on the stunning island of Easdale. Come and join in the fun and compete in tossing our slate stones across a disused quarry. There's T-shirts & hats for sale, a tombola, face painting, tea, coffee, eats, BBQ and more. More info: stoneskimming.com.
9 to 11 October: See mullrally.org/
Plan your journey to Oban by public transport at www.travelinescotland.com
From Glasgow: six times a day
Travel via Crianlarich/Tyndrum or via Inveraray.
Journey time: 3 hours.
From Edinburgh: six times a day
Two direct from Edinburgh, 4 via Glasgow.
Journey time: 3 hrs 45mins.
From Fort William: three times a day (not Sundays).
Journey time: 90mins.
From Inverness, Skye and Mallaig: regular services to Fort William, then connect to Oban services.
Local buses in the Oban area: www.westcoastmotors.co.uk
From Glasgow: 4 trains a day to Oban.
Journey time: 3 hours.
From Edinburgh: frequent service to Glasgow, then connect to Oban services as above.
Regular ferry sailings between Oban, Mull and other Hebridean islands:
Local ferry for day trips to picturesque Kerrera:
Fly to/from Oban Airport at North Connel. Regular flights to the Hebridean islands of Tiree, Coll and Colonsay. To book see www.hebrideanair.co.uk
We can provide transport to or from Oban for small groups, for example connecting to Glasgow or Inverness airports. Just give us a call on 01631 567 189 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss!
Weather: see MetOffice Oban forecast or news.bbc.co.uk/weather
Local tourist info: www.aboutoban.com and www.oban.org.uk
Online guide to Scotland: www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk
National tourist board: www.visitscotland.com