Un-deen-iably Fantastic Things to do in Aberdeen

4 November 2021

You might know a thing or two about Aberdeen already, whether it’s the delicious Aberdeen Angus beef or its abundance of beautiful, sparkling granite buildings.  

But what you might not know is all the great attractions dotted about this fantastic seaside city.  

From beautiful coasts to ancient streets and gorgeous gardens, Aberdeen is brimming with picturesque locations, and this itinerary will show you why it’s definitely worth a visit. 

Aberdeen Beach and Promenade

Perhaps the most iconic part of Aberdeen is its beach, which is always open and free to the public. 

The beach stretches all the way from the nature reserve at Donmouth, where you‘ll spot many different species of seabirds and even seals, to the old fishing village of Footdee (known as Fittie to the locals!). 

This long stretch of sandy shoreline is just a short trip away from the bustling city centre, and the promenade that runs alongside it is home to some quaint  cafés  and restaurants.  

You’ll even come across a cinema, a swimming pool and a theme park! 

But there’s nothing quite like sitting on the beach here, listening to the sounds of flitting birds and breathing in the refreshing salty air as you gaze out over the vast North Sea.  

The Old Town and Aberdeen University 

The city’s Old Town is quite simply spectacular. Cobbled medieval streets wind around like a maze, taking you to places like the fascinating zoology museum, the striking Sir Duncan Rice library, and of course, Aberdeen University. 

Once known as King’s College Chapel, this is one of the oldest universities in the world, having been first opened in 1495. 

Yet despite its age, the campus is still vast and impressive today, with grand, mossy buildings that look more like temples than lecture halls! 

It’s a fairly hidden part of town, and here you’ll also find plenty of beautiful historic landmarks like St Machar’s Cathedral and the Brig o’ Balgownie.  

And then there’s the ancient university itself.  

We’re sure you’ll be mesmerised at every turn as you walk around the Old Town. This little-known part of Aberdeen is so important to the city’s history, so be sure to venture around and learn all about it 

It’s a wonderful opportunity to get some great photos along the way! 

Shopping in Aberdeen

Perhaps you’ve always been a fan of hitting the sales? Aberdeen is a great place to go shopping. In the city centre, you’ll find the Bon Accord centre, the Trinity Centre and Union Square Shopping Centre all within a quick walk of one another.  

Each of these centres is bustling with shops of all kinds. Whether you’re after a new outfit, toys for the kids, or a delicious feast, there are options for everyone. 

And if you’re peckish after exploring them all for bargains, Union Square is also home to lots of delicious restaurants too.  

Duthie Park and the Winter Gardens

If you’re looking somewhere where you can get lots of fresh air and let the kids or dogs loose to run around and play, Duthie Park is ideal.  

This huge park is home to trails, playparks and football pitches, and is full of beautiful landmarks to discover - like an old-fashioned bandstand and some gorgeous stone sculptures. 

But the highlight of Duthie Park has to be the Winter Gardens. If you’re a nature lover, this place is truly special.  

It’s one of the biggest indoor collections of plants in Europe, with species ranging from many different climates and countries. And, just like the rest of the park, it’s completely free! 

As you venture around the Winter Gardens, you’ll pass some breath-taking buildings including the Victorian Corridor, the Japanese Garden and even an Arid House full of cacti and succulents. 

See if you can point out the koi fish swimming in the tranquil ponds among the aquatic plants, which is also the dwelling of a giant frog!  

Be sure to toss a coin to this tremendous toad when it emerges from the water, and it might even grant you a wish. 

Aberdeen’s amazing museums and galleries

If you’re looking to learn, Aberdeen has a huge variety of brilliant museums and galleries to pique your interest.  

Whether you’re an art buff, you’re interested in learning about Aberdeen’s steep history, or you just fancy seeing some fabulous exhibits about science or animals, you’re in the right place! 

For those who love art, be sure to check out Aberdeen Art Gallery. It’s one of the most magnificent buildings in the city with magnificent collections to match, created by many different Scottish artists whose work span across centuries. 

But if military history is more your thing, then the Gordon Highlanders Museum should be at the top of your list of things to do.  

This place tells the story of the Gordon Highlanders, ordinary men who would go on to become some of the finest soldiers in Scottish history. It also has an informative range of exhibits and displays. 

Yet perhaps the thing that has shaped Aberdeen’s history the most is the sea, and the Maritime Museum is all about the city’s rich nautical history.  

This museum will take you through the city’s humble beginnings in the early days of trading and fishing, to the booming modern-day oil and gas industry it is now well known for. 

And of course, there’s the Zoology Museum. It's astonishing collection of skeletons and anatomical models of animals both alive and extinct, or the Science Centre, with its amazing interactive exhibits about technology and science. 

We think it’s safe to say that there are many brilliant museums and galleries to discover in Aberdeen. The only question is, which ones will you choose to visit? 

A Great Day in the Granite City

By now, hopefully you’ll agree that there’s so much more to Aberdeen than just its signature beef and notable buildings. 

It’s a city with a rich history and culture, and it's simply bursting with things to do for everyone. 

So, when will you be making the trip to the northeast of Scotland and seeing it all for yourself?