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30 issues to do in Aberdeen

When you’re searching for issues to do in Aberdeen then you definately’re in for a deal with as a result of this distinctive metropolis has a lot to supply! Listed below are 30 of my favorite issues to do in Aberdeen, Scotland.

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

I visited not too long ago with Jurys Inn however 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 outdoors of Scotland, Aberdeen is called the ‘off-shore oil’ metropolis the place a whole bunch of hundreds of oil employees 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 up to now up Scotland’s rugged Northeast coast. However to the locals and everybody who’s had the pleasure of already visiting Aberdeen, they’ll know town has a lot extra to supply.

Whether or not you’re keen on medieval castles, wild seashores and lengthy stretches of shoreline, museums and galleries, eclectic consuming and ingesting choices and unbelievable 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 repeatedly when Aberdeen is simply a few hours additional north by prepare. Listed below are all the very best issues to do in Aberdeen and my mini information to Aberdeen.

Tips on how to get to Aberdeen

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

Automobile – This may in all probability be the most cost effective choice for those who’re travelling in a small group. So if affordability is a very powerful factor then it’s time for a street journey. However for those who don’t fancy an extended drive then there are different choices which I personally favor.

Fly – It’s not fairly often we Brits get the prospect 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 best choice for many of the UK. Flights are very inexpensive, significantly when booked prematurely, and so they’re fast and straightforward. The draw back is that you’ve got baggage restrictions, airport stress and for those who don’t stay near an airport it could possibly be a problem (or value loads to get there/park there). When you arrive at Aberdeen Airport although it’s very straightforward to get into town centre both by bus or taxi.

Prepare – I caught the prepare throughout this go to to Aberdeen as I really love an extended, sluggish, enjoyable prepare journey. I wouldn’t have accomplished this if I have been travelling with my children 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 excellent, however for many individuals the price 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 Lodges due to the convenience and reliability of all of them. They’re all the time comfortable, clear, fashionable and spacious with nice meals and beautiful employees, however the actual promoting level throughout a metropolis break is that they all the time have nice areas and Jurys Inn Aberdeen was the very best location I’ve come throughout but – particularly for those who’re getting the prepare to Aberdeen.

Aberdeen prepare station is related to Union Sq. Procuring Centre, a big buying centre with all of your normal excessive avenue manufacturers downstairs. Upstairs is all the fashionable eateries you’d count on 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 prime nook is Jurys Inn Aberdeen! It couldn’t be extra excellent.

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 buying centre. And there’s that scent. Jurys Inn have a signature air freshener in all their motels and it smells unbelievable as you stroll via the doorways! The scent and the ambiance and the very fact there are a great deal of employees (so no queues!) make all of the Jurys Inn motels 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 persons are earlier than I made my approach as much as my room which might be my house from house for the following two days.

As all the time, 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 accessible! 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 via the room service menu. As a busy mum, I very not often get the prospect 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 however it was bliss!

Issues to do in Aberdeen

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

Things to do in Aberdeen

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

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

Dunnottar Fort 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 can take you straight to the citadel (use Google Maps to navigate the general public transport system).

Things to do in Aberdeen

When you favor 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 Fort might be proper up your avenue. It’s a Seventeenth-century pink (sure, pink!) citadel which has been owned by the identical household for the final 350 years. 

The citadel is barely open from April-September so for those who actually wish to go to Craigievar Fort throughout your journey to Aberdeen then that’s the time of yr to go to. Additionally, to protect the citadel’s interiors and due to the modest measurement (you recognize, for a citadel!), visits contained in the citadel are by guided tour solely. Simply a few issues to remember as chances are you’ll wish to guide prematurely or present up earlier within the day. 

30 things to do in Aberdeen

Fort-spotting is definitely top-of-the-line 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 Fort is likely one of the most well-known citadel ruins in Scotland and it’s top-of-the-line issues to do in Aberdeen for literature obsessives!

In 1895, the writer Bram Stoker stayed in a cottage in Cruden Bay and will have visited the citadel. It’s very extensively believed that Slains citadel was the inspiration for Dracula’s citadel. Slains Fort 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 immediately, Slains Fort continues to be a particular must-visit in Aberdeen and is located on an attractive a part of the Aberdeenshire shoreline. 

30 things to do in Aberdeen

When you stay within the UK, you’ve in all probability heard of BrewDog. They’re one of the profitable and well-liked craft beer breweries within the UK and so they have been based in Aberdeenshire, the place their headquarters are nonetheless based mostly. When you’re keen on a beer or two then visiting BrewDog’s fundamental brewery in Ellon is likely one of the prime issues to do in Aberdeen for you.

They’ve an onsite taproom referred to as DogTap which serves a number 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 accessible a few occasions a day so undoubtedly guide 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 presumably one of many best-loved seashores in Scotland and an absolute must-visit for animal lovers. Not solely does this seaside have epic surroundings with the encircling sand dunes, however the Forvie Nationwide Nature Reserve on the seaside is house to eider geese, diving terns and oystercatchers. Oh, and a seal colony made up of roughly 400 seals additionally calls Newburgh Seaside house.

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

When you’d fairly go to a seaside that won’t have any seals however is a good place to take the children 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 seaside for you.

Relying on the climate, Balmedia Seaside gives 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! Top-of-the-line issues to do in Aberdeen that’s enjoyable for the entire household. 

30 things to do in Aberdeen

Previous Aberdeen isn’t simply your common ‘outdated city’ or historic metropolis centre that you simply may discover in different European cities, it’s received a barely completely different again story. Previous Aberdeen was based in 1489 and was initially separate from the Aberdeen that exists immediately. They solely grew to become a part of the identical metropolis in 1891 and it’s nonetheless very a lot its personal separate group.

As you’d count on, this is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Aberdeen for actually spectacular structure. It’s additionally house to the outdated 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 School on the College of Aberdeen has some fairly spectacular buildings value wandering round.

This self-guided tour of Aberdeen’s King’s School takes you on a journey from 1495 (when the College of Aberdeen was solely King’s School) proper as much as current day through 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 fashionable campus.

Searching for out unbiased espresso outlets, guide outlets and little boutique companies is one thing we must always all be doing on our travels to assist the locals who stay 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 guide retailer!

Opening in 2003, Books and Beans are a very unbiased enterprise and so they serve an enormous vary of cold and warm drinks, sandwiches, soups and breakfast dishes. Depart some room in your suitcase to take house just a few discount 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 displaying the most recent in mainstream and unbiased cinema and infrequently display screen 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 top-of-the-line is Hazlehead Park for all the lovely gardens and services it offers. The land was first gifted to 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 children for a day at the least, 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 stay if he moved to Scotland. 

The Footdee Mission Corridor, play space and struggle memorial are all highlights within the space. However the primary points of interest are the outdated little cottages with brightly painted doorways and a few outlets have nautical trinkets and decorations like anchors, mild rafts and different kitsch elaborations 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 number of the superb, native fish? The Silver Darling in Footdee is likely one of the prime eating places within the space serving the very best 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 however it’s removed from a stuffy posh restaurant. The Silver Darling is extra ‘relaxed fantastic eating’: they’ve a children’ menu and so they 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 were superbly restored fairly than crumbling to damage.

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 courses and group meditation. 

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

Due to Scotland’s predictably moist, windy or typically poor climate for many of the yr, the Winter Gardens will not be solely a well-liked place for guests but in addition for {couples} searching for the proper all-weather wedding ceremony venue. 

Stonehaven is a small harbour city to the north of Aberdeen and is house to the well-known Dunnottar Fort. Not like so many different small cities who’s fishing industries have diminished, Stonehaven’s working harbour continues to be thriving with crusing yachts. 

Other than Dunnottar Fort, different points of interest in Stonehaven embrace the Tolbooth Museum, the seaside, 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 repeatedly hosts occasions and encourages anybody to carry out and share their artwork.

Foodstory doesn’t simply have robust ethics however serves superb meals, too. For breakfast, lunch and dinner, Foodstory serves a wide range of vegan and gluten-free dishes similar to vegan lasagne, soups and hotpot. That is undoubtedly a incredible small enterprise to assist once 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 guide a free avenue artwork tour with a member of the workforce from the Nuart competition who might 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 Avenue in London, Buchanan Avenue in Glasgow… Each metropolis has a excessive avenue which turns into the heart beat of town centre and Aberdeen’s is unquestionably Union Avenue. But it surely’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) nearly bankrupted town within the early 1800s.

As we speak, you’ll discover all the large excessive avenue names in addition to galleries, museums and present outlets.

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

This neighbourhood can be house 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 website of town’s gallows and the Castlegate Properly. 

You don’t must journey removed from Aberdeen’s metropolis centre to discover a seaside. Although Aberdeen’s seaside is thought for being a tad windy many of the yr, there’s an extended 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 very best ice cream outlets after I journey to new locations. It doesn’t matter if it’s someplace like Aberdeen that isn’t ‘identified’ for ice cream, there may be all the time one actually nice ice cream store in each city and metropolis.

In Aberdeen, it’s received to be Mackies 19.2. They’ve a singular 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 School constructing is an icon of Aberdeen’s granite trade and an attractive, eye-catching piece of structure. I don’t know the way anybody might go to Aberdeen with out making a degree of visiting Marischal School and it’s received to be one of many prime issues to do in Aberdeen. It’s the second-largest granite constructing on the planet and shaped the College of Aberdeen in 1860 with King’s School.

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

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

Aberdeen is definitely top-of-the-line 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 (identified regionally and traditionally as Brig O’Balgownie). Located simply north of Previous 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 beneath was referred to 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 must be in your listing of issues to do in Aberdeen when you have main school-aged youngsters. The science centre gives interactive, hands-on displays and stay science exhibits. 

It’s all the time 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 in all probability think about, a metropolis like Aberdeen that’s located on the ocean in a outstanding location has a particularly necessary maritime historical past. When you’re in any respect concerned about studying extra about Aberdeen’s fishing trade and connection to the oil trade then it’s essential go to Aberdeen Maritime Museum.

The museum’s exhibitions cowl the early 1900s when Aberdeen’s fishing trade was thriving all the way in which as much as the current day. The museum is deceptively enormous inside so put apart a great 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 gives respite from the bustle of Union avenue. It’s a particularly outdated churchyard with inscriptions written in Latin and a few spectacular mausoleums. Due to its many benches, the cemetery has turn out to be a well-liked place for locals and workplace employees to eat their sandwiches on weekdays. 

Imagine 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 necessary for the native space’s historical past. 

On this case, the Gordon Highlanders have been a army regiment who fought properly 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 army historical past lives on within the Gordon Highlanders Museum.

I believe each child who grew up within the UK has fond recollections of enjoying in arcades playing away 2ps for hours on finish and Codona’s Amusement Park simply off the Aberdeen beachfront gives the identical thrills and far more. 

In addition to the standard 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 seaside.  You’ve additionally received Smuggler’s Cove (a pirate themed journey park) subsequent door and loads of family-friendly eating places alongside the esplanade, similar to Pizza Hut and Frankie and Bennies.

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

Pin these and save the publish on your journey to Aberdeen!

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

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