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30 issues to do in Aberdeen


If you happen to’re in search of issues to do in Aberdeen you then’re in for a deal with as a result of this distinctive metropolis has a lot to supply! Listed here are 30 of my favorite issues to do in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Aberdeen is Scotland’s third-largest metropolis (after Glasgow and the town of Edinburgh) and shouldn’t be missed for those who’re visiting Scotland. It’s additionally a unbelievable alternative for a metropolis break as a result of there are such a lot of wonderful issues to do in Aberdeen on account of its historic cultural heritage and younger, adventurous residents.

I visited not too long ago with Jurys Inn nevertheless it was my third time to Aberdeen! My first journey was a weekend break a few years in the past and my second was a fast cease earlier than catching a ferry to the Orkney Islands. I used to be excited to get again and see if something had modified and uncover some new websites within the metropolis!

30 things to do in Aberdeen

For many individuals exterior of Scotland, Aberdeen is named the ‘off-shore oil’ metropolis the place tons of of 1000’s of oil staff descend on Aberdeen Airport yearly to fly by helicopter out to the North Sea. And for others, Aberdeen is merely a gateway metropolis to the Scottish highlands as a result of it’s located to date up Scotland’s rugged Northeast coast. However to the locals and everybody who’s had the pleasure of already visiting Aberdeen, they’ll know the town has a lot extra to supply.

Whether or not you like medieval castles, wild seashores and lengthy stretches of shoreline, museums and galleries, eclectic consuming and ingesting choices and unimaginable structure that you could spend hours and hours strolling round and admiring, Aberdeen has all of this and extra. You’ll marvel why different cities in Scotland are visited many times when Aberdeen is simply a few hours additional north by prepare. Listed here are all the perfect issues to do in Aberdeen and my mini information to Aberdeen.

How one can get to Aberdeen

Attending to Aberdeen wants its personal part on this information as a result of, for many of us, Aberdeen is a great distance away however fortunately it’s very simply accessed. Listed here are your choices:

Automobile – This can most likely be the most cost effective possibility for those who’re travelling in a small group. So if affordability is an important factor then it’s time for a street journey. However for those who don’t fancy a protracted drive then there are different choices which I personally want.

Fly – It’s not fairly often we Brits get the possibility to fly inside the UK because it’s such a small nation it often makes extra sense to drive or take the prepare. However Aberdeen is an exception and flying is the most suitable choice for many of the UK. Flights are very reasonably priced, significantly when booked prematurely, they usually’re fast and straightforward. The draw back is that you’ve baggage restrictions, airport stress and for those who don’t reside near an airport it might be a problem (or value quite a bit to get there/park there). When you arrive at Aberdeen Airport although it’s very simple to get into the town centre both by bus or taxi.

Prepare – I caught the prepare throughout this go to to Aberdeen as I truly love a protracted, sluggish, stress-free prepare journey. I wouldn’t have completed this if I have been travelling with my youngsters although because it took 8 hours every approach and price over £120. As a solo traveller with a lot to maintain me occupied through the lengthy journey (aka – work!) it was good, however for many individuals the associated fee and time concerned isn’t sensible.

The place to remain in Aberdeen

Whereas I used to be in Aberdeen I stayed at Jurys Inn Aberdeen and I can’t suggest this lodge sufficient!

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As you already know, I’m a large fan of Jurys Inn Motels because of the benefit and reliability of all of them. They’re at all times cozy, clear, trendy and spacious with nice meals and wonderful employees, however the actual promoting level throughout a metropolis break is that they at all times have nice places and Jurys Inn Aberdeen was the perfect location I’ve come throughout but – particularly for those who’re getting the prepare to Aberdeen.

Aberdeen prepare station is related to Union Sq. Purchasing Centre, a big purchasing centre with all of your normal excessive avenue manufacturers downstairs. Upstairs is all the trendy eateries you’d anticipate on the excessive avenue, the marginally nicer ones like Prezzo, Las Iguanas, Zizzi, Yo Sushi, Wagamama, Bar Burrito and Coast to Coast and so on. And tucked away on this high nook is Jurys Inn Aberdeen! It couldn’t be extra good.

The double doorways of the lodge slide open and also you step right into a quiet, calm lodge reception, away from the noise and bustle of the purchasing centre. And there’s that scent. Jurys Inn have a signature air freshener in all their inns and it smells unimaginable as you stroll by the doorways! The scent and the environment and the very fact there are a great deal of employees (so no queues!) make all of the Jurys Inn inns really feel actually tranquil, you’d by no means guess there are 203 spacious rooms on this lodge!  I used to be greeted by tremendous pleasant employees who jogged my memory simply how pretty Scottish individuals are earlier than I made my approach as much as my room which might be my residence from residence for the subsequent two days.

As at all times, the lodge had the scrumptious and unique DREAM beds that are simply divine and through this journey I actually made the many of the room service obtainable! I used to be 27 weeks pregnant throughout this journey to Aberdeen so I used to be beginning to really feel fairly drained and I cherished my evenings in my room watching Netflix (oh sure, there’s tremendous quick and environment friendly WiFi too) and dealing my approach by the room service menu. As a busy mum, I very hardly ever get the possibility to order meals to my mattress and spend a night watching trashy TV earlier than having an enormous bubble bathtub! I do know it’s not precisely the adventurous blogger factor to do nevertheless it was bliss!

Issues to do in Aberdeen

There’s heaps to maintain you busy, listed here are a few of my favorite issues to do in Aberdeen based mostly on my three journeys to the town.

Things to do in Aberdeen

You may’t go to Aberdeen with out making the trouble to see Dunnottar Citadel which is only a quick journey down the coast from Aberdeen in Stonehaven. Dunnottar Citadel’s historical past begins 440 million years in the past when the rock that Dunnottar Citadel sits on was fashioned at an imposing place away from the shoreline.

Because the 4th Century when the primary iteration of the fort was constructed, its well-known guests are mainly the who’s who of Scottish historical past: William Wallace captured the fort and Mary Queen of Scots and her son James VI visited to call just a few. The fort was saved from wreck in 1925 when it was purchased and restored by the Pearson household. 

Dunnottar Citadel is a vital relic of Scotland’s historical past and it’s lower than a 30-minute drive from Aberdeen. Or, you’ll be able to catch a bus from Aberdeen’s Union Sq. which is able to take you straight to the fort (use Google Maps to navigate the general public transport system).


Things to do in Aberdeen

If you happen to want your castles much less ‘historic ruins’ and extra ‘Disney princess’ then you’ll be able to afford to be choosy in Aberdeen as a result of the Craigievar Citadel can be proper up your avenue. It’s a Seventeenth-century pink (sure, pink!) fort which has been owned by the identical household for the final 350 years. 

The fort is simply open from April-September so for those who actually wish to go to Craigievar Citadel throughout your journey to Aberdeen then that’s the time of yr to go to. Additionally, to protect the fort’s interiors and due to the modest dimension (you understand, for a fort!), visits contained in the fort are by guided tour solely. Simply a few issues to bear in mind as chances are you’ll wish to e book prematurely or present up earlier within the day. 


30 things to do in Aberdeen

Citadel-spotting is indubitably probably the greatest issues to do in Aberdeen. Due to Aberdeen’s proximity to the North Sea, Scotland’s Northeast coast is a main location to defend. Slains Citadel is likely one of the most well-known fort ruins in Scotland and it’s probably the greatest issues to do in Aberdeen for literature obsessives!

In 1895, the creator Bram Stoker stayed in a cottage in Cruden Bay and should have visited the fort. It’s very broadly believed that Slains fort was the inspiration for Dracula’s fort. Slains Citadel was first constructed within the sixteenth century and has undergone a number of renovations since then and is presently ready on additional renovations. However because it stands at this time, Slains Citadel continues to be a particular must-visit in Aberdeen and is located on a lovely a part of the Aberdeenshire shoreline. 


30 things to do in Aberdeen

If you happen to reside within the UK, you’ve most likely heard of BrewDog. They’re one of the vital profitable and in style craft beer breweries within the UK they usually have been based in Aberdeenshire, the place their headquarters are nonetheless based mostly. If you happen to’re keen on a beer or two then visiting BrewDog’s foremost brewery in Ellon is likely one of the high issues to do in Aberdeen for you.

They’ve an onsite taproom known as DogTap which serves a few of the freshest BrewDog beer in existence (contemplating it’s brewed solely metres away) and the DogWalk Brewery Tour is a strolling tour round their brewing services. Excursions are solely obtainable a few occasions a day so undoubtedly e book forward to keep away from disappointment and also you’ll be happy to know the excursions embrace tastings!


30 things to do in Aberdeen

Newburgh Seaside is probably one of many best-loved seashores in Scotland and an absolute must-visit for animal lovers. Not solely does this seashore have epic surroundings with the encircling sand dunes, however the Forvie Nationwide Nature Reserve on the seashore is residence to eider geese, diving terns and oystercatchers. Oh, and a seal colony made up of roughly 400 seals additionally calls Newburgh Seaside residence.

And whereas different seashores solely expertise fleeting seal sightings relying on the season, you could be stunned at simply what number of seals you’ll be able to see on the shoreline. Because the quite a few opinions on Tripadvisor recommend, individuals are astounded at seeing so many seals up shut of their pure habitat! Positively an expertise you received’t neglect in a rush.


If you happen to’d moderately go to a seashore that won’t have any seals however is a superb place to take the youngsters and has just a few bars and cafes within the space and a promenade you’ll be able to stroll alongside, then Balmedie Seaside is the seashore for you.

Relying on the climate, Balmedia Seaside presents hikers and walkers paths over the imposing sand dunes and an enormous stretch of coast for sunbathers and sandcastle builders. The promenade is ideal for a sunny winter stroll if it’s a bit too chilly for a bikini and in summer time there’s even a funfair! Among the best issues to do in Aberdeen that’s enjoyable for the entire household. 


30 things to do in Aberdeen

Outdated Aberdeen isn’t simply your common ‘previous city’ or historic metropolis centre that you simply would possibly discover in different European cities, it’s obtained a barely totally different again story. Outdated Aberdeen was based in 1489 and was initially separate from the Aberdeen that exists at this time. They solely turned a part of the identical metropolis in 1891 and it’s nonetheless very a lot its personal separate group.

As you’d anticipate, this is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Aberdeen for actually spectacular structure. It’s additionally residence to the previous College of Aberdeen buildings, Seaton Park and the River Don.


30 things to do in Aberdeen

Oxford and Cambridge aren’t the one college buildings within the UK value touring round. King’s Faculty on the College of Aberdeen has some fairly spectacular buildings value wandering round.

This self-guided tour of Aberdeen’s King’s Faculty takes you on a journey from 1495 (when the College of Aberdeen was solely King’s Faculty) proper as much as current day by way of memorial gardens, chapels and halls. This school continues to be the College’s beating coronary heart and the 600-year-old buildings have been fastidiously preserved on the centre of an ever-growing trendy campus.


Searching for out unbiased espresso retailers, e book retailers and little boutique companies is one thing we must always all be doing on our travels to help the locals who reside in these cities we love visiting. One place you shouldn’t miss in your journey to Aberdeen is Books and Beans, a restaurant proper within the centre of Aberdeen which additionally doubles up as a second-hand e book retailer!

Opening in 2003, Books and Beans are a very unbiased enterprise they usually serve an enormous vary of cold and hot drinks, sandwiches, soups and breakfast dishes. Depart some room in your suitcase to take residence just a few cut price books, too!


Actually simply throughout the street from Books and Beans is the Belmont Filmhouse, Aberdeen’s hottest unbiased cinema. They’ve three cinema screens exhibiting the newest in mainstream and unbiased cinema and infrequently display traditional movies too. The Belmont Filmhouse even have a small kiosk cafe and bar you’ll be able to loosen up in earlier than or after catching a movie.


Aberdeen has many alternative parks and inexperienced areas however probably the greatest is Hazlehead Park for the entire stunning gardens and services it gives. The land was first gifted to the town by none apart from King Robert the Bruce in 1319 making it certainly one of Aberdeen’s oldest historic properties. 

The big park has two rose gardens, a mini zoo, golf programs, a restaurant, a big youngsters’s playground and even a maze! So there’s sufficient at Hazlehead park to maintain the youngsters for a day not less than, and there are a number of nature trails too. 


One of the vital eclectic issues to do in Aberdeen is visiting this gorgeous little fishing neighbourhood (that appears like its personal tiny village!) by the ocean. Pronounced ‘fittie’ by the locals, that is precisely the place Popeye would reside if he moved to Scotland. 

The Footdee Mission Corridor, play space and warfare memorial are all highlights within the space. However the principle points of interest are the previous little cottages with brightly painted doorways and a few retailers have nautical trinkets and decorations like anchors, gentle rafts and different kitsch gildings like bunting and painted lighthouses. You’ll really feel such as you’re in a distinct world, not only a 30-minute stroll from Aberdeen prepare station.


Why go to a fishing neighbourhood with out sampling a few of the wonderful, native fish? The Silver Darling in Footdee is likely one of the high eating places within the space serving the perfect native seafood. The trendy restaurant overlooks the River Dee and throughout the water to a park on the opposite aspect. 

Their meals meets very excessive requirements nevertheless it’s removed from a stuffy posh restaurant. The Silver Darling is extra ‘relaxed positive eating’: they’ve a youngsters’ menu they usually have their very own spin on a chippy favorite by serving jumbo battered haddock and chips alongside a spread of different seafood dishes.


Duthie Park isn’t simply any metropolis park, it’s a park with priceless Victorian options prefer it’s bandstand, fountains and boating ponds which have been fantastically restored moderately than crumbling to wreck.

Duthie Park can be well-known for its play areas: one for very younger youngsters and one other award-winning play space for older, adventurous youngsters. The park additionally hosts Tai Chi lessons and group meditation. 


The David Welch Winter Gardens present in Duthie Park deserves further recognition! The Winter Gardens are one of the vital visited indoor plant collections in Scotland for its sizeable assortment of native and unique vegetation all housed in what is actually an unlimited, fancy greenhouse. And what’s even higher is the Winter Gardens are fully free to go to! 

Due to Scotland’s predictably moist, windy or usually poor climate for many of the yr, the Winter Gardens are usually not solely a well-liked place for guests but additionally for {couples} in search of the proper all-weather marriage ceremony venue. 


Stonehaven is a small harbour city to the north of Aberdeen and is residence to the well-known Dunnottar Citadel. In contrast to so many different small cities who’s fishing industries have diminished, Stonehaven’s working harbour continues to be thriving with crusing yachts. 

Apart from Dunnottar Citadel, different points of interest in Stonehaven embrace the Tolbooth Museum, the seashore, and it’s Hogmanay (New Yr’s Eve) fireballs ceremony. 


Foodstory cafe is as unbiased as they arrive. Since their humble beginnings as a Kickstarter marketing campaign in 2013, they’ve put group spirit and inclusivity on the coronary heart of all the pieces they which incorporates welcoming all dietary necessities. Foodstory usually hosts occasions and encourages anybody to carry out and share their artwork.

Foodstory doesn’t simply have robust ethics however serves wonderful meals, too. For breakfast, lunch and dinner, Foodstory serves quite a lot of vegan and gluten-free dishes resembling vegan lasagne, soups and hotpot. That is undoubtedly a unbelievable small enterprise to help whenever you go to Aberdeen!


For the final couple of years, Nuart Aberdeen avenue artwork competition brings artists and artwork out of the studio and on the streets. Scottish and worldwide artists are invited to rejuvenate Aberdeen’s facades with numerous and eclectic city artwork.

The artwork is on the market for all to see however you’ll be able to e book a free avenue artwork tour with a member of the staff from the Nuart competition who can be extraordinarily educated concerning the artists and the intention behind the artwork. Or, you’ll be able to obtain the map of the Nuart murals right here and see what number of you handle to find as you wander round Aberdeen by yourself self-guided tour.


Oxford Road in London, Buchanan Road in Glasgow… Each metropolis has a excessive avenue which turns into the heartbeat of the town centre and Aberdeen’s is unquestionably Union Road. Nevertheless it’s a lot extra than simply excessive avenue shops. The locals name it the Granite mile and the development of Union avenue (constructed to take the stress off small, cramped aspect streets) virtually bankrupted the town within the early 1800s.

Right this moment, you’ll discover all the massive excessive avenue names in addition to galleries, museums and reward retailers.


Castlegate is a small neighbourhood located on the east finish of Union Road proper in Aberdeen’s metropolis centre. The world has many eating places and retailers but additionally has historic significance for the town of Aberdeen. Castlegate is known as after the medieval Aberdeen fort which was located the place The Salvation Military Citadel now stands. 

This neighbourhood can be residence to Aberdeen’s Mercat cross which was historically given to any city in Scotland with the correct to carry a market, which Aberdeen obtained in 1686. Castlegate can be the previous web site of the town’s gallows and the Castlegate Properly. 


You don’t must journey removed from Aberdeen’s metropolis centre to discover a seashore. Although Aberdeen’s seashore is thought for being a tad windy many of the yr, there’s a protracted promenade you’ll be able to stroll down and there are a number of cafes and eating places close by so you’ll be able to benefit from the view out to sea.


I don’t find out about you, however I like discovering the perfect ice cream retailers after I journey to new locations. It doesn’t matter if it’s someplace like Aberdeen that isn’t ‘recognized’ for ice cream, there may be at all times one actually nice ice cream store in each city and metropolis.

In Aberdeen, it’s obtained to be Mackies 19.2. They’ve a novel vary of scrumptious ice cream flavours (banana rainbow and black vanilla are my favorite names!) in addition to waffles, crepes and different decisions of dessert.


The Marischal Faculty constructing is an icon of Aberdeen’s granite business and a lovely, eye-catching piece of structure. I don’t know the way anybody might go to Aberdeen with out making a degree of visiting Marischal Faculty and it’s obtained to be one of many high issues to do in Aberdeen. It’s the second-largest granite constructing on the earth and fashioned the College of Aberdeen in 1860 with King’s Faculty.

Now, the constructing is leased from the College to Aberdeen Metropolis Council and although guests can’t actually go inside, the outside alone is value seeing and can make for some spectacular photographs.


Seals and different wildlife will be discovered at Newburgh Seaside, however bottlenose dolphins will be seen from Torry Battery in Aberdeen Harbour! Head there between April to August to search out volunteers readily available that can assist you with binoculars and telescopes to identify the dolphins within the harbour.

Aberdeen is definitely probably the greatest locations to identify the bottlenose dolphin so that you don’t miss out!


One other of Aberdeen’s picturesque inexperienced areas is the Donmouth Nature Reserve and the historic Bridge of Don (recognized regionally and traditionally as Brig O’Balgownie). Located simply north of Outdated Aberdeen, the bridge dates again to the 14th century with important restoration within the Seventeenth century. The bridge was important for locals to cross the ‘Black Neuk’ because the water under was known as from Aberdeen to different coastal cities to the North. 

The bridge was additionally featured in Lord Byron’s poem Don Juan and is a vital monument in Scottish historical past.


Aberdeen Science Centre was Scotland’s first science and discovery centre and needs to be in your checklist of issues to do in Aberdeen you probably have major school-aged youngsters. The science centre presents interactive, hands-on reveals and reside science reveals. 

It’s at all times value checking their web site earlier than you intend your go to as typically they provide free entrance on random days!


As you’ll be able to most likely think about, a metropolis like Aberdeen that’s located on the ocean in a outstanding location has an especially vital maritime historical past. If you happen to’re in any respect occupied with studying extra about Aberdeen’s fishing business and connection to the oil business then you could go to Aberdeen Maritime Museum.

The museum’s exhibitions cowl the early 1900s when Aberdeen’s fishing business was thriving all the way in which as much as the current day. The museum is deceptively large inside so put apart a very good couple of hours to make your approach round the entire exhibition!


Proper within the centre of Aberdeen, St. Nicholas’ Cemetery is an eerily calm place which presents respite from the bustle of Union avenue. It’s an especially previous churchyard with inscriptions written in Latin and a few spectacular mausoleums. Due to its many benches, the cemetery has grow to be a well-liked place for locals and workplace staff to eat their sandwiches on weekdays. 


Consider it or not, the primary attraction in Aberdeen on Tripadvisor is the Gordon Highlanders Museum. Personally, I like a museum that looks like it’s about an obscure topic however is definitely exceptionally vital for the native space’s historical past. 

On this case, the Gordon Highlanders have been a navy regiment who fought nicely in quite a few British battles since their inception in 1794 by the 4th Duke of Gordon which makes for a reasonably in depth and patriotic museum exhibit. These days, the Gordon Highlanders have merged with the Seaforth and Camerons to kind The Highlanders regiment however their spectacular navy historical past lives on within the Gordon Highlanders Museum.


I feel each child who grew up within the UK has fond reminiscences of taking part in in arcades playing away 2ps for hours on finish and Codona’s Amusement Park simply off the Aberdeen beachfront presents the identical thrills and way more. 

In addition to the same old arcade video games, Codona’s has a Ferris wheel, loopy golf, bowling and several other different funfair rides. It’s the proper factor to do in Aberdeen to spherical off a enjoyable afternoon on the seashore.  You’ve additionally obtained Smuggler’s Cove (a pirate themed journey park) subsequent door and loads of family-friendly eating places alongside the esplanade, resembling Pizza Hut and Frankie and Bennies.

And for those who’re visiting Aberdeen on a wet day then hold the youngsters entertained at Innoflate, it’s Scotland’s first indoor inflatable theme park and is the proper place to leap off some power! It’s simply subsequent to the amusement park and Smuggler’s Cove.

Pin these and save the put up to your journey to Aberdeen!

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Have you ever visited Aberdeen? Would you add something to this checklist of issues to do in Aberdeen?



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