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5 Things You Have To Do In Aberdeen

VisitScotlandVisitScotland Administrator
edited February 2016 in Scotland's cities and towns

Aberdeen is well known for its oil and gas, but what else has the Granite city got to offer?

We’ve gathered a few of the best bits that Aberdeen has to offer:

Marischal College - the world’s second largest granite building looms over Aberdeen city centre with great stature. It houses Aberdeen City Council offices, and it’s well worth a visit to take in its magnificence.

Union Square - a shopper’s paradise, Union Square is the largest shopping centre in Aberdeen. It also has a Cineworld, a range of restaurants and a hotel.

Balmedie beach - one of the most scenic beaches Aberdeen has to offer, this one’s picture perfect.

Footdee - pronounced ‘Fittie’, Footdee is a small fishing village at the end of Aberdeen Harbour. A walk around here will take you back in time and make you feel like you’ve stepped out of the city. Well worth a visit

Duthie Park Winter Gardens - one of Europe’s largest winter gardens and includes the largest cacti collection in Britain. A great place to take the family!

Have you visited Aberdeen or do you live there? Share its hidden gems with the community!


  • VisitScotlandJulieVisitScotlandJulie Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Just beside the Duthie Park, there is a stretch of the River Dee which is lovely to walk along, or just to sit around and contemplate B) . Head towards the George VI Bridge on Riverside Drive. A nice wee piece of Deeside in the heart of the city.
  • VisitScotlandHeatherVisitScotlandHeather Member ✭✭✭
    Codona's is a must if you like rides and it has indoor and outdoor entertainment which is good for all weather.  Plus, it's right next to the beach for a nice coastal walk after.

    If you've got the time, I don't think you can go up to Aberdeen without visiting at least one castle in Aberdeenshire - there are just so many!  Dunnottar is particularly spectacular and a great one for fans of Brave.  Slains Castle is also thought to have given inspiration for Count Dracula's castle!
  • KenMKenM Member ✭✭
    @VisitScotlandHeather before you head off down the beautiful coast, the RSPB are running 'Dolpinwatch' between Thursdays and Sundays until August 14th.  From the elevated vantage point of Torry Battery you've got a good chance of seeing the dolphins splashing around at the harbour entrance. Full details are on the RSPB website.
  • VisitScotlandHeatherVisitScotlandHeather Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2016
    Thanks @KenM! I'm going up to Aberdeen in a few weekends time so will definitely go dolphin spotting!! 

  • ejfraser94ejfraser94 Member ✭✭
    In Aberdeen, there are several interesting places of interest I like to separate to different sections, here's what I usually recommend.

    Museums: Tolbooth is a 17th century jail focusing on the crime and punishment in the city, Maritime Museum focuses on the Oil & Gas, Fishing Industries but tells you a lot of Aberdeen and has a lovely view of the harbour. Both of them are free entry. We also have King's Museum at the university and the Gordon Highlanders Museum outside of the city centre.
    Beach: Footdee is a gorgeous old fisherman's village with really quirky houses plus the Beach Esplanade is a lovely stretch of beach to walk down. 
    Parks: Aberdeen has a lot of parks, Seaton Park near the university, Hazlehead Park outside of the city. Would recommend Duthie Park along the River Dee with their Winter Gardens, greenhouses filled with brightly coloured plants.
    Nature: Torry Battery is a RSPB reserve where it's a lovely viewpoint to find dolphins, during the summer we have it's dolphin watch. 
    Architecture: Marischal College is the 2nd biggest Granite building in the world and is home to the city council offices, there is a courtyard that's open Monday to Friday to the public, Old Aberdeen has lots of lovely architecture, cobbled streets, St Machar's Cathedral is a beautiful cathedral which is open to the public. 
    Culture: We also get a wide range of shows, musicals, theatre productions, concerts. His Majesty's Theatre is a lovely theatre that holds shows in the city.

    That's for Aberdeen City itself, Aberdeenshire has it's coastal trail, castle trail, whisky distilleries and more to explore. :smile:

  • FrauothemearnsFrauothemearns Member ✭✭
    A hidden gem I recently discovered is Cruickshank Botanical Gardens behind the University Zoology Building! It's like a little paradise tucked away in the middle of Old Aberdeen. The zoology museum itself is also worth a look, especially with kids as they have whale and crocodile skeletons and the like. 
  • ScathachScathach Member ✭✭
    Old Aberdeen!
    It's a little paradise. I love walking around there (and unfortunately I don't do it very often!)
    My favourite corner is the Wright's and Coopers lane. It has some lovely wee cottages and at the end there is a small pond with some benches. It's very peaceful. 
    Also, if you are uni the old town go to the new library. At the main desk ask fro a visitor's pass, this will allow you to go to the 7th floor of the library and have some amazing views over the city.

    If you can't do that there's another place that offers some great views. Right behind the Beach ballroom and the Leisure centre there is a small hill. I love to go up there and soak up the view. The whole bay appears in front of you and if the day is clear enough you can see the northern part of the coast. 
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