Constructed almost entirely from granite, Aberdeen’s grey facade can seem bleak on first glance. However, on closer inspection, the impressive architecture literally sparkles when the sun does appear. Once visitors begin to explore this miniature metropolis, the Granite City starts to reveal its hidden gems.
The Rivers Dee and Don run through the city providing some scenic family walks and days out for picnics, weather permitting! The working harbour with its giant ships and maritime structures are wonderful for kids to see. A small independent cinema, fantastic live music venues and art galleries show off Aberdeen’s cultural side.
Home to the country’s largest national park, a dramatically imposing coastline and of course the city itself, there is much to explore in Aberdeen and its surroundings. A rich and inspiring history, a dynamic modern arts scene and a strong industrial and maritime heritage are just a few of the secrets waiting to be discovered.
Aberdeen’s mixture of gothic, neo-classical and baronial architecture is a striking sight. 500 year old Kings College with its beautiful domed tower, the Castlegate Citadel and gothic Marischal College are a definite must-see, while a visit to the Town House on Union Street can be combined with some excellent high street shopping. The city’s historic discovery of oil means that it has gone from one of Scotland’s poorest cities to one of its richest. This is reflected in the boutiques and fine dining establishments dotted around the city.
Golf fanatics can visit the controversial new 18 –hole course built by American billionaire Donald Trump, just on the outskirts of the city at the beautiful Menie Estate. Walkers and hikers will have a field day strolling the spectacular windswept beaches, climbing the undulating sand dunes or hiring a car and heading out to the magical landscapes of the Cairngorms National Park.
Aberdeen FC fans can visit one of Scotland’s best premier league football clubs while the little fishing villages and towns on the Moray Coast promise dolphins, castles and of course, a wee dram of Scotland’s most famous export; whisky.
The following information is correct as of October 2014 and is subject to change. Please check with the airline directly for complete accuracy.
Aberdeen Airport is located just seven miles north-west of the city centre and easily reached from the A96 Aberdeen-Inverness road by car. There are regular bus services from outside the airport into Aberdeen city centre, taking just 30 minutes. A Scotrail train service to Dyce also connects the city centre to the airport, with a small bus taking passengers from Dyce to the airport.
What you need to know
Currency: The Pound Sterling (£)
Visas: British and European Union citizens do not require a visa to enter Aberdeen. Other nationalities may require a visa to enter the UK. More information can be obtained from a local embassy or the Foreign Office website.
Laws: Smoking is banned on all public transport and all indoor public places throughout the UK. Only those over the age of 18 are legally allowed to purchase and consume alcohol unless in a pub in the company of an adult. No alcohol can be purchased before 10am on a Sunday
Best Time to Visit
Scotland is known for its rainy climate however, the spring and summer can often see some sunshine and warmer temperatures. Winter frequently brings snow which is ideal for anyone wanting to hit the slopes for a spot of skiing or snowboarding in the spectacular nearby Cairngorms. It also adds a festive feel to the Christmas markets and pantomimes that pop up around the city in December.
There are plenty of other exciting events for visitors in and around the Aberdeen area such as the Taste of Grampian, Peterhead Fish and Banchory Beer festivals. The Food and Fiddle festival in October combines music and delicious local produce. The Stonehaven Folk festival in July and Northern Lights music festival July cement the region’s reputation for fantastic live music while the Granite Festival in May celebrates the city’s wonderful architecture with walks and talks. In Stonehaven, the Fireball Festival flaming processions see in the New Year.
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