Aberdeen City Guide

Aberdeen is Scotland’s third largest city and one of the most prosperous urban communities in the UK. It owes its success over the past few decades to strong links with the North Sea oil and gas industry as well as fishing, farming, finance and property. It's also an ancient city, home to Scotland’s third oldest university and a favourite of Scottish and British Royalty for centuries. Affectionately known as the ‘Granite City’ after its many impressive examples of granite architecture, Aberdeen holds the record for most wins in the prestigious Britain in Bloom gardening competition. With beautiful parks, coastal views, celebrated golf courses and The Cairngorms National Park just a short journey away, Aberdeen is an inspired city break destination.

Aberdeen Landmarks

Aberdeen is at the heart of ‘Scotland’s Castle Country’. Visit the ruined clifftop stronghold of Dunnottar Castle or the majestic Haddo House – and don’t miss Balmoral Castle, the holiday residence of the British Royal Family since the 19th century. This is also an area famous for its whiskey production with Glenfiddich and Balvenie among the famous distilleries nearby. Explore Old Aberdeen in the area known locally as The Green; the mix of architecture here is a reminder of the city’s journey from medieval marketplace to Victorian metropolis and beyond. Delve into the city’s maritime heritage in the Aberdeen harbour area. Wander along the beachfront to the Footdee area which retains a traditional fishing village atmosphere.

Aberdeen Museums and Galleries

Aberdeen Art Gallery is the city’s main gallery and a major attraction for art aficionados and casual observers alike. But it's not just the big one people come for, Aberdeen is scattered with some fascinating museums and smaller galleries, showcasing fascinating local and international art and artefacts. See selections from the city’s art collection at Drum Castle and Aberdeen Maritime Museum. The Maritime Museum also holds a number of traditional boats, clothing, paintings and ephemera from the city’s busy nautical past. For modern history pay a visit to the Satrosphere Science Centre where hands-on exhibits and science shows will guarantee a fun day out.

Aberdeen Shopping, Restaurants and Nightlife

Aberdeen’s city centre is a great place to look for bargains as well as no-expenses-spared treats. The Bon Accord and St Nicholas centre and the renowned Union Square Shopping Centre both offer a mix of designer names and local boutiques. Go off the beaten track in the west end of the city centre where you’ll find trendy tea rooms and coffee shops, vintage clothes emporiums and independent craft outlets. Hungry? Head to Stonehaven for fish and chips or dine in one of central Aberdeen’s many fine restaurants. Specialities include Aberdeen Angus Beef and locally caught shellfish. Perhaps owing to its vibrant student population, Aberdeen also has a lively nightlife. Take it easy in the pub or head to the city centre nightclubs to really let your hair down.

The Cairngorms National Park

Escape the bustle of the city on a day trip to The Cairngorms National Park. Enjoy outdoor activities like hillwalking, rock-climbing, gorge-walking and skiing in truly spectacular surroundings. The Cairngorms constitute one of Europe’s last great wildernesses so remember your camera!

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