Explore the history of one of the British Army’s most celebrated regiments, the Gordon Highlanders Infantry, which was raised in the late 18th century. The museum features the finest of the regiment’s treasures, special exhibitions and the chance for children to dress up in a Gordon Highlanders uniform. The museum is surrounded by a beautiful and tranquil park, open to visitors and also hosts a shop and a tea room.
Duthir Park is one of the best loved parks in Aberdeen, housing one of the largest covered gardens in Europe. Exotic plants and flowers from both tropical and arid climates can be admired at the Winter Garden, including Britain's largest collection of cacti. Additionally, just outside the covered gardens there is a lovely Japanese garden that commemorates the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Travelers who have time to leave Aberdeen for a day trip should head out to Castle Fraser. A magnificent building dating back to 1575, featuring historic furnishings, paintings and embroidery, the impressive Great Hall, and a library filled with family books, as well as concert space, parks, woodland walks, a tea room and a children’s adventure playroom.
As one of Britain’s busiest harbours with a rich maritime heritage, a visit to the Maritime Museum with its splendid views of the harbour is a must when visiting Aberdeen. Find out what it is like to work on a North Sea oil rig or explore the hundreds of ship models and exhibits about shipbuilding, whaling, life and work at sea, and learn about Aberdeen’s special relationship with the sea.
There is evidence of there being some sort of church or chapel at this location as far back as the 6th century, though the building that stands there today dates back only as far as the XIV century. The cathedral's design is stunning,the highlights being the sandstone spires and painted wood ceiling.
Not far from the picturesque Seaton Park stands Brig o'Balgownie, Scotland's oldest bridge. This simple stone landmark has spanned the width of the River Don since the XIII century and was even referenced by Lord Byron, who briefly studied in the area, in his epic poem Don Juan.
The King's College building is emblematic of the University of Aberdeen, with its iconic 17th-century tower that features a stone replica of Charlemagne's crown at its top. Founded in the late 15th century, the historic university building is a major draw for tourists, and self-guided tours are available on the website.
Aberdeen Art Gallery has comprehensive collections with works from the 17th-20th centuries. Both Scottish and international artists are represented, including famous impressionists like Monet and Renoir, as well as local painters like George Jameson, William Dyce, John Philip and Charles Rennie MacKintosh.
Appropriately for the 'Granite City' of Aberdeen, Marischal College, which today houses the city's municipal offices, is the second largest granite building in the world, crowned by the 72-metre-tall Mitchell Tower. At night the side of the building is beautifully decorated with different light patterns.
This stunning church and the solemn graveyard that surround it date back to the XII century. Under the church there is an old crypt from the 1400's, which was used during the XVII century as a prison for women who were believed to be witches. Nowadays this membership boasts strong membership of both the Church of Scotland and the United Reformed Church.
Glenfiddich, which means 'Valley of the Deer' in Scottish Gaelic, is the world's best-selling and most awarded single-malt whisky, and about halfway between Aberdeen and Inverness lies the distillery, which can be visited and toured, and you can naturally sample and purchase delicious whisky.
Few places evoke the spirit of the Scottish highlands as poignantly as Dunnottar Castle, a ruined fortress perched atop rugged rocky cliffs overlooking the North Sea, just 3 kilometres away from the town of Stonehaven. The buildings that remain date from the 15th and 16th centuries, and the combination of ruins and setting make for a memorable feeling and experience.
For a truly unique dining experience, head to the Lodge of the Loch. They offer everything from bar suppers, to three-course dinners and a blend of traditional and modern dishes. All food is freshly prepared with local products. The restaurant is located in amazing surroundings, overlooking the splendour and beauty of Cairngorm National Park.
Named after the local term for herring, the Silver Darling offers a wide selection of the best the sea can offer, in a location with wonderful views of the fishing village of Footdea on one side and the harbour and beach on the other. It is absolutely the place to go if you want to take advantage of high quality food, a stunning view and a very kind staff.
Atlantis is a popular seafood restaurant with a broad menu offering haddock, herring, lobster, crab, prawns, trout, sea bass, halibut, lemon sole, mussels and oysters in a real seafaring atmosphere. The dining area is decorated with maritime antiques such as binnacles, a diver’s helmet and ships’ telegraphs. It has the distinction of winning the Grampian Bar Food Award in 2014.
This cosy restaurant is an established favourite in Aberdeen’s West End. It has been open for more than 25 years, with David Munro still in charge of the kitchen and his wife Carol running the front of the house. With a very extensive and varied menu featuring flavours from across the globe, you cannot go wrong at Dizzy's.
Described as a “wonderful little gem of a restaurant” by locals, this Hungarian eatery offers great value for money with a wide range of Hungarian specialities on the menu which will satisfy vegetarians, children and all the customers´ tastes. It is not the largest of restaurants in the city, so make sure to book a table in advance.
Believed by many to have the very best Fish and Chips in Great Britain, The Ashvale Fish Restaurant is an Aberdeen institution, receiving over 30,000 visitors each week. The speciality of the house is seafood, but the menu is actually quite varied and includes steak and vegetarian options, among many others.
Voted top restaurant in Aberdeen for food and service by the "Good Food Guide" in both 2001 and 2002, Blue Moon is a bright and colourful restaurant and a must for anyone with a taste for Indian food. The cosy atmosphere is perfect to enjoy your meas for a complete experience for all the senses.
In both food and setting, Granite Park is one of the foremost representatives of Aberdeen cuisine. The subdued greys and blacks of the decor are elegant, rather than dull, and the fantastic Scottish dishes are all expertly prepared and made from locally sourced ingredients, including Scottish fillet and sirloin, North Sea cod and Shetland salmon.
Aperitivo strives to bring a slice of Italian life to Aberdeen, celebrating the spirit of the eponymous 'aperitivo', a chance to catch up with friends and unwind after a long day over a glass of wine and some home-made cooking. This restaurant offers a taste of southern Italy using only the very best local produce.
With unbeatable views of the 12th-century Kirk of St Nicholas, in the heart of Aberdeen's Merchant Quarter, Moonfish Cafe features an ever-evolving menu full of creative and innovative British dishes, all made with local and seasonal produce. Special attention is given to the selection of the restaurant's impressive gin list.
Books and Beans, the first independent fair trade coffee shop in Aberdeen, serves light meals and snacks, homemade soups, sandwiches, salads and panini, as well as a range of excellent fair trade coffee, tea and chocolate. The second floor houses a second-hand bookstore and internet cafe.
Both traditional and modern French cuisine with an innovative twist are showcased in this elegant and cosy restaurant and café, including confit de canard and white wine mussels. Visitors would also be wise to try the desserts, such as lemon-raspberry creme brûlée and profiteroles.
Foodstory Cafe believes in bringing people together. They take pride in providing not only a place to eat great, healthy food, but where people can feel like part of a community through art and music. The furniture that fills this cosy space was all donated or built from salvaged parts and is thus completely unique, and helps give the place its one-of-a-kind vibe.
The Coffee House is a spacious but cosy cafe that hosts all manner of great concerts and events. There is a live acoustic night every Friday, and there are plenty of other concerts and dance performances. Some nights even the audience gets involved with Latin dancing or open mic nights.
Contour Cafe is a young, independently-run Aberdeen business whose website says it all: "Good coffee. Awesome sandwiches. Nice folk." Their coffee is 100% fair trade Arabica beans from South America, and their sandwiches can be ordered just the way you want them: plain, spicy "or just downright weird".
With nearly a hundred different vodkas as well as cocktails, beer and other spirits on offer, Revolution is the perfect place to prepare for a night out or simply to just enjoy a drink. The music is house-orientated with a jazzy edge that normally gets the crowd moving. The place also offers food, and features a decked terrace overlooking the Union Terrace gardens.
One of Aberdeen’s oldest and most well-known pubs, the Grill was established as a restaurant in 1870, later converted into a pub, and has been left virtually unchanged since the 1920s. Not a choice for tired shoppers, as it is very much a standing pub because of its long bar counter.
The Stag is a traditional pub right in the heart of Aberdeen, a favourite meeting place and centre of nightlife in the city. It boasts a great selection of lagers, ales, fine wines and whiskies and offers hearty servings of homemade cooking prepared with local ingredients. The large TV screen sports events, thus gathering large crowds on game days.
Aberdeen is a culturally vibrant city, and His Majesty's Theatre is one of the major proponents. Seating over 1,400, the breathtaking auditorium regularly hosts performances of award-winning plays and musicals, as well as musical and other acts. Check the website to find out what's happening during your stay.
The Lemon Tree is one of the three foremost cultural performance venues in Aberdeen, together with His Majesty's Theatre and the Music Hall. It specialises in alternative entertainment and experimental music and theatrical, as well as comedy, spoken word and other performances.
BrewDog Aberdeen was the original flagship pub of a now huge international chain. They brew their own lines of fantastic craft beers, and the knowledgeable staff are happy to guide you through a tour of their many varieties. Come with your friends and with your dogs. Both are always welcome in BrewDog.
Teasel & Tweed sells charming and unique handcrafted souvenirs and decorative items for the home, including paintings, knick-knacks and even specially-commissioned products like whisky cask cabinets. It is a great alternative for home accessories and unusual gifts, and doubles as a small and adorable tea house.
For the best of Scotch whisky (not whiskey), be sure to check out The Aberdeen Whisky Shop. Besides the wonderful selection of only the choicest whiskys, they also occasionally host Aroma Academy, workshops that teach you to appreciate the subtleties of different varieties of whisky so that you know what to look for in the future.
Juniper is a charming independent, family-run business that offers a large variety of traditional and contemporary accessories and items, including jewellery, gifts, homeware, pictures and furniture. They specialise in Scottish and British products, though their ample selection includes international products, as well.
McCalls has been the region's leading supplier of highland formal wear since it began operation in 1887 due to their renowned craftsmanship, quality and attention to detail. They provide traditional highland attire for special occasions, such as weddings, for both sale and hire.
Though smaller than its close neighbour, the Union Square Shopping Centre, the Trinity Centre still offers a number of services and shops that will doubtlessly meet most shoppers' needs, including a large Argos, numerous restaurants and plenty of options for shopping, with everything from clothes, home-ware, accessories, and much more.
The Academy Shopping Centre, a favourite meeting point and hang-out among locals, is located in a beautiful converted Victorian school building in the heart of Aberdeen and boasts a quite unique and very pleasant open-air courtyard where visitors can enjoy a respite from shopping and alfresco dining.
Winner of the Best Independent Wool Store in Scotland, Wool for Ewe is a family store providing a wide range of wool and yarns of all colours. As the store is continuously updated with new textures and products, whenever you're in the city you'll find some new items to take home with you.
As as typical in Britain, the weather in Aberdeen is often changeable, which means that even a very sunny day could suddenly turn into a cloudy one. However, if you want to play it safest, the best period to visit this city is summer, particularly from June to August, when the temperatures are warmer and the risk of seeing the sun disappear is lower.
Aberdeen International Airport is located 7 miles from the city centre, and getting to/from the airport is easy thanks to a wide range of transport facilities. Regular city buses run regularly from the city centre, including Bluebird services 80, 727 and 747, as well as First Bus service 27. Additionally, the Aberdeen train service stops at the local station of Dyce, which is only a short distance from the airport.