Our Hotels in Aberdeen
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What's the best way to get to Aberdeen?
The quickest and most convenient way to get to Aberdeen depends on where you're coming from. If it's not too far, driving is a great option which means you can be flexible with your plans when you arrive. Aberdeenshire is home to breathtaking remote castles and 165 miles of rugged Scottish coastline; all this and more is easiest to get to if you have your own car. Aberdeen railway station is an excellent option for getting to the city from various parts of the UK, with direct services linking with Edinburgh and Glasgow, where you can connect to the South.
How to spend a weekend in Aberdeen
The Granite City boasts many exciting attractions and events to keep everyone happy. Whether you're looking for fun family days out or a relaxing experience for you and your partner, Aberdeen has something for every traveller.
Whether it's raining or shining on your time in Aberdeen, head to Duthie Park for a walk or rest. The 44-acre green space sits by the banks of the River Dee, well-loved by locals and visitors since it opened its gates in 1883. Duthie Park was gifted to Aberdeen by Elizabeth Crombie Duthie for the well-being of the city's people – it certainly does the job! Beautifully restored Victorian features like the bandstand, fountains and bathing ponds add to the park's aesthetic appeal. At the same time, the astroturf area is perfect for ball games. Two play areas for different ages are perfect for keeping kids happy. The David Welch Winter Gardens, a vast botanical gardens in Duthie Park, boast Scotland's most visited public plant collections. The Winter Gardens are a tropical paradise year-round. They include the balmy temperate house, aptly-named Corridor of Perfumes and a Japanese garden. Not to mention the arid house, where you can see one of Britain's most extensive collections of cacti and succulents.
Aberdeen Maritime Museum
Fancy visiting a museum or two in Aberdeen? Start with the Aberdeen Maritime Museum on the city's famous central street, Shiprow, close to the bustling harbour. Explore the story of Aberdeen's relationship with the sea, learning about the port city's development from the days of fishing and trading to shipbuilding and the discovery of oil and gas in the North Sea. You can also learn about Aberdeen's modern-day role as a leader in the worldwide energy transition. Aberdeen's maritime history is told through a diverse collection of objects spread across four floors, including a modern building connected to the 16th-century Provost Ross's House. See models of ships from the 17th-century to the present day, whalers weapons, medieval imported goods, a lighthouse lens and a historic steamer ship deck. You can enjoy a spectacular view across Aberdeen Harbour from the museum's top floor!
Exploring Old Aberdeen
Old Aberdeen is a part of the city that's hung onto its history for all to see, including quaint cobbled roads, a 14th-century cathedral and King's College.
St. Machar's Cathedral
St. Machar's Cathedral, also sometimes called Old Machar, is a historic church north of Aberdeen's city centre. It's set on a high bank overlooking the River Don. It's the oldest building in active use in Aberdeen, a must-see for keen historians or architecture enthusiasts. Explore the ancient site, a fortified kirk that was the site of Christian worship for over 1,500 years. You can see the famous heraldic ceiling and stained glass, one of Scotland's beautiful treasures.
The University and King's College of Aberdeen, or King's College for short, is a once-independent university that's stood in Old Aberdeen since being founded in 1495. Today, the building is a significant part of the modern University of Aberdeen. The building is loved for its architecture and history, a symbol of the pursuit of knowledge in the city. The rear of King's College is used as a sports pavilion today. At the same time, the building is the symbolic centre of the University of Aberdeen. Theology, Art History and Religious Studies are all taught inside.
Cruickshank Botanic Garden
The Cruickshank Botanic Garden is an 11-acre garden in Old Aberdeen. It was designed to promote an appreciation of beauty and nature and the importance of plants' role in the natural world. Stroll around perfectly-maintained shrubs, rock and water gardens, a rose garden and an arboretum when visiting Cruickshank Botanic Garden. There are over 2,500 plants to see!
What to eat and drink in Aberdeen
Whether it's a traditional haggis and tatties, a plate of the freshest shellfish from the North Sea or a dram of Scotch whisky, there's no shortage of food and drink in Aberdeen.
Traditional Scottish foods to try
You can't visit Aberdeen without tasting some typical Scottish and regional dishes. Exploring the local food culture is one of the top things to do in Aberdeen – don't miss out! If you're only going to try one new dish, make it haggis. The traditional dish represents the best of the Scottish attitude towards cooking, using lesser-favoured animal parts. That means heart, liver and lungs, finely chopped and mixed with oats, suet and seasoning. The mixture is packed into a natural casing, usually sheep's intestines, and then boiled or baked. Haggis is traditionally served with neeps and tatties(mashed swede and potatoes!). Haggis isn't for everyone. If you don't love the traditional offal dish, good news! There are many more Scottish dishes you can try in Aberdeen:
- Cranachan (a dessert made with whisky, whipped cream, honey, oats and fresh raspberries)
- Fresh fish
- Cullen skink (soup made with smoked haddock, potatoes and leeks)
- Cock-a-leekie soup (made with chicken stock, leeks, prunes, rice or barley)
The best restaurants in Aberdeen
Want to book a restaurant for a special occasion or enjoy a delicious lunch during your weekend away? You'll find plenty of excellent options in Aberdeen.
- Rustico. A family-friendly trattoria with plenty of space to find a table; pick delicious pasta, meat and fish dishes to suit all tastes!
- Cafe 52. A locals' favourite spot serving fresh local ingredients, perfect for lunch or a casual dinner on the terrace
- The Ashvale. For some of the best fish and chips around, The Ashvale has been serving locals for over 30 years
- Buchanan's Bistro. A must for sampling the region's best-sourced ingredients, where self-taught chefs make every delicious dish from scratch
- Conservatory Restaurant. A refined dining haven set among 11 acres of grounds, perfect for special occasions