Aberdeen is Scotland’s third biggest city and the centre of Europe’s oil industry due to it’s proximity to the North Sea. Aberdeen is regarded as being one of the most liveable cities in Europe. Recently the city was voted the second best city in the UK for quality of life and the happiest city in the all of Britain. While Aberdeen does not attract as many visitors as nearby Glasgow and Edinburgh there’s still much to see in the city and surrounding areas which have long been the summer holiday destination of choice for the British Royal Family. The Aberdeen region should definitely been included on any trip to Scotland.
English and Doric. Doric a local dialect of Scots used in many areas of the city and shire, although all Doric speakers speak English people will often initially speak Doric until they realise that you are not local. In addition, Doric words and pronunciation have had an impact on the local variety of English.
No UTC/GMT offset
The British Standards 1363 plug
International country code: + 44 (United Kingdom)
Area code: 1224
How to get there
Aberdeen has Britain’s busiest airport in terms of flights per hour. Flights connect to various cities in Europe including London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and even as far afield as Baku in Azerbaijan. There are road and rail links to all major cities in the UK. In addition, Aberdeen can be reached by ferry from the Orkney and Shetland islands.
Food & dining
- Budget: A cheap meal can be found at a pub or take-away in the city centre for around £5-£10. Many of these establishments can be found on and around Belmont Street with connects Union Street to the city’s Art Gallery. The Triple Kirks Pub, located opposite the Art Gallery, offers good quality and very cheap food for those on a budget.
- Family Dining: There are various family friendly restaurants located around Union Street, the main commercial area in Aberdeen. The modern Union Square shopping centre located next to the Railway Station houses many restaurants suitable for family dining.
- Luxury dining: Such restaurants can be found around Union Street and in the West End of the City, for example the Simpson’s Hotel restaurant on Queen’s Road.
- The Castles: The North East of Scotland is home to the biggest concentration of castles in Scotland. These include the summer residence of the Royal Family (Balmoral Castle) and the scenic coastal ruins of Dunnottar Castle near Stonehaven. A full list of castles can be found here: http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/visit/castles.asp.
- Aberdeen City Centre: Aberdeen’s central district centres on Union Street, known as the Granite Mile the street is home to various shops, pubs and club, cafés and restaurants a historical sites. At the East End of Union Street lies Castlegate (the city square) and Aberdeen’s grandest building, the Marischal College. Other places of interest in the city centre include the Art Gallery, the Maritime Museum, the Cathedral and Provost Skene’s House.
- Whisky Distilleries: Aberdeenshire is famous as a whisky producing region. Details of distilleries can be found here: http://www.welcometoscotland.com/things-to-do/attractions/distilleries/aberdeen-grampian
- Old Aberdeen: Centred around the High Street, Old Aberdeen is the oldest part of Aberdeen and is home to University of Aberdeen making it popular with students. Many of the university buildings are over 500 years old and should be included on any itinerary. St. Machar’s Cathedral is also worth seeing, founded in 580 but rebuilt in the 1300s it is one of the oldest buildings in Aberdeen. Interestingly, remains of William Wallace are burred in the church. In addition, Aberdeen University has recently opened museum (the King’s Museum) on the High Street.
- Recommended Hotels: There are various hotels in the city centre and the west end. Reviewers on Trip Advisor rate the various Skene House hotels and the Hilton Garden Inn highly. Cheaper hotels and guesthouses are found in abundance on Great Western Road.
- Recommended Hostels: There’s only one hostel in town, the Aberdeen Youth Hostel on Queen’s Road. Room’s cost just under £20.
Transport & getting around
Aberdeen is a small city and most places of interest are within walking distance of each other. Transport in the city is extremely expensive with an all day bus pass costing around up to £4.80. For short journeys, taxis are often cheap when in a group of 3 or more.
There are plenty of clubs, bars and live music venues on or around Union Street. Cinemas are also plentiful in the city centre, specifically on Shiprow and in Union Square.
Footdee (pronounced Fitty) is an old fishing village that has been swallowed up by the city. Footdee is a good place to see traditional building many of which are decorated in a quirky manor.
Try to avoid public transport and keep in mind that taxis are often the cheaper option. Look out for cheap deals when out eating or drinking, these are always advertised visibly.
Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Cairngorms National Park.