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Aberdeen is a port city in the northeast of Scotland, and the country’s third most populous town. Fuelled by the oil industry, and famous for its granite buildings, it’s a wealthy city, home to luxury hotels, top-of-the-line restaurants and a prestigious university. It’s also an excellent starting point for visits to nearby attractions such as Drum Castle and has its own international airport, making it an incredibly easy city to get in and out of.
Aberdeen Airport is located in Dyce, around six miles from the city centre. It offers flights to and from a range of UK and European destinations, including Orkney, Shetland, London, Manchester, Dublin, Paris, and Oslo. The airport operates flights from a range of budget airlines including easyJet, Wizz Air and Flybe, alongside more upscale airlines such as British Airways and Eastern Airways (both of which have private departure lounges within the airport).
Once you have arrived at Aberdeen Airport, you have a number of options for getting into town. If you wish to hire a car, rest assured that this can be done very easily at the airport where there are several car rental shops to choose from. If you'd rather book in advance you can do so with Expedia's search tool. Without traffic, the centre of Aberdeen is around a 15-minute drive from the airport. If you do not wish to rent a car, you can take a taxi into town – prices for this will vary, but as the journey is short you shouldn’t expect to pay too much. Alternatively, there are also buses and trains that can take you into the centre of the city. You may find the buses more convenient, as they leave from outside the airport, while trains have to be caught from Dyce Station.
There is plenty to see and do in Aberdeen and the surrounding area, but many visitors like to start with the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, which overlooks the harbour. Nearby, you’ll find the Mercat Cross, the Kirk of St Nicholas and the medieval, turreted Provost Skene’s House. The Aberdeen Art Gallery is home to artworks by some famous Scottish painters, while the Satrosphere Science Centre offers interactive exhibits that are perfect for curious young kids. In the spring and summer, the long sandy beach front provides the perfect setting for walks, picnics and – if you’re feeling very daring – swimming. The city is also bursting with shops, restaurants and hotels, and is the perfect base for day trips to nearby attractions such as the Loch of Skene, Castle Fraser and Drum Castle.
If you’re intending to travel to Orkney or Shetland, starting your trip in Aberdeen can be a wise idea. The city offers ferry services to both island groups, but you can also take flights to Kirkwall (Orkney) and Sumburgh (Shetland) from Aberdeen Airport. Prices and timings will vary depending on the time of year, so it’s well worth researching all your travel options before you make a booking.