Inverness is situated at the mouth of the River Ness (which flows from nearby Loch Ness) and at the south-western extremity of the Moray Firth. The city lies at the end of the Great Glen with Loch Ness, Loch Ashie and Loch Duntelchaig to the west. Inverness is a city in the Scottish Highlands. It is the administrative centre for The Highland Council and is regarded as the capital of the Highlands. Historically it served as the county town of the county of Inverness-shire. It is the northernmost city in the United Kingdom and lies within the Great Glen at its north-eastern extremity where the River Ness enters the Beauly Firth. Inverness and Inverness-shire are closely linked to the Clan MacKenzie. The Greater Inverness area includes Culloden and Westhill.
Most of the traditional industries such as distilling have been replaced by high-tech businesses, such as the design and manufacture of diabetes diagnostic kits. Highlands and Islands Enterprise has principally funded the Centre for Health Science to attract more businesses in the medical and medical devices business to the area. Inverness is home to Scottish Natural Heritage following that body's relocation from Edinburgh under the auspices of the Scottish Government's decentralisation strategy. SNH provides a large number of jobs in the area.
Inverness City Centre lies on the east bank of the river and is linked to the west side of the town by three road bridges – Ness Bridge, Friars Bridge and the Black (or Waterloo) Bridge – and by one of the town's suspension foot bridges, the Greig Street Bridge. The traditional city centre was a triangle bounded by High Street, Church Street and Academy Street, within which Union Street and Queensgate are cross streets parallel to High Street. Between Union Street and Queensgate is the Victorian Market, which contains a large number of small shops. The main Inverness railway station is almost directly opposite the Academy Street entrance to the Market. The Eastgate Shopping Centre is situated to the east of High Street.
The Port of Inverness is located at the mouth of the River Ness. It has four quays and receives over 300 vessels a year. Inverness Airport is located 13 km (8.1 mi) north-east of the city and has scheduled flights to airports across the UK including London, Manchester, Belfast and the islands to the north and west of Scotland, as well as a number of flights to Europe. Loganair operate routes to Benbecula, Dublin, Kirkwall, Stornoway and Sumburgh. EasyJet operate Airbus aircraft to London Gatwick three times per day, Luton twice a day and Bristol. British Airways operates a daily service to London Heathrow, and KLM operate a daily service to Amsterdam.