Top 10 things to see and do in aberdeen
Top 10 things to see and do in aberdeen
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The Dee and Don Rivers meet the North Sea in Aberdeen, a port city historically known for its fishing and shipping industries. But it’s much more than its industries, with a vibrant cultural scene, from museums to festivals. We point out that you won’t miss the sights and attractions in town.
Go to the Aberdeen Maritime Museum.
This award-winning museum is interesting and highly educational, providing insight into Aberdeen’s historical relationship with the sea, from the oil and petroleum industry to shipbuilding and beyond. Interactive aspects that include hands-on activities for all ages, a collection of maritime artifacts and paintings for viewing, and touch-screen computers bring the material to life.
Maritime Museum, Ship, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, +44 1224 337700
Departure to St. Machar’s Cathedral
Unlike some historic cathedrals, the 12th-century Church of Scotland church is still a place of worship today. Notably, St. Machar is believed to be the resting place of the left hand of dissident William Wallace, whose body was cut up and sent as a warning to various parts of Scotland after his execution in 1305.
St. Machar’s Cathedral, The Channory, Old Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, +44 1224 485988
GlenDronach Distillery Tour
This picturesque distillery, located in Aberdeenshire between Huntley and Portsa, makes a perfect tour. The distillery has been producing its signature whiskeys for more than 200 years, and visitors can choose from the featured tours to learn about the manufacturing process and sample the products.
GlenDronarch Distillery, Forge by Huntly, Huntly, Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom, +44 1466 730202
Get your culture on at the Aberdeen Art Gallery
Housed in a building built in 1884, it’s the city’s premier fine art museum and features works by British artists dating back to the 18th century. The granite columns in the central hall are native to Aberdeen, having been built from granite from local quarries. After taking in the art, don’t miss the war memorial at the west end of the museum.
Aberdeen Art Gallery, School Hill, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, +44 1224 523700
Immerse yourself in history at Dunnottar Castle
A short drive or bus ride from the city is Dunnottar Castle, a medieval fortress that was an integral part of the Jacobite uplands defences and a haven for the Scottish honour, the Crown Jewels of Scotland, when Oliver Cromwell’s army invaded Scotland in the 1600s. Dunnottar Castle makes a striking silhouette on a rocky promontory, and the ruins consist of several buildings, including a tower and a palace.
Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, UK, +44 1569 762173
Enjoy local seafood at Tolbooth Seafood
Near the Stonehaven Hotel, place your order at this highly regarded restaurant. From local salmon salads served with mashed cauliflower, to cocktail crab served in a cocktail glass, to Scottish lobster supplies, the menu at this elegant but unpretentious restaurant is the perfect way to enjoy local seafood.
Tolbooth Seafood Restaurant, Old Pier, Stonehaven Harbour, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, AB39 2JU +44 1569 762287
Experience the waters at Aberdeen’s Aquatic Pool (Core94)
Adventurous types enjoy the opportunity to try scuba diving here; beginners can take lessons in the indoor heated facility pool, while more experienced types can put on dry suits and go on open-water dives in the North Sea, either on their own or as part of a guided dive.
Core94, 35 Waterloo Quay, The Harbor, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, +44 1224 581313
Catch a concert at the Music Hall
Aberdeen’s main concert hall is housed in a building that formerly served as the city’s assemblies, designed by Archibald Simpson in 1822. It is a regular host to the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the annual Aberdeen International Youth Festival, as well as a frequent host to popular musicians.
Music Hall, Union St, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, +44 1224 641122
The University and King’s College of Aberdeen was founded in 1494 with a charter from King James IV. Walk the grounds to see the tower built in 1633, the dome with a replica of Charlemagne’s crown on top and the university chapel, whose walls are decorated with carved wooden portraits of the Stuart monarchy.
University of Aberdeen, King’s College, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, +44 1224 272000
See the gardens at Balmoral Castle.
One of the official residences of the British royal family, this Scottish baronial castle is an A building and the property is a working estate with animals and farmland. The lush gardens and grounds are open to the public daily from April through July (when the queen arrives to stay on the estate), and it’s worth a wander.
Balmoral Castle, Balmoral Estates, Ballater, Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom, +44 1339 742534