things to do in aberdeen

Last Updated on: 16th July 2024, 05:18 am

If you are looking for a fun and exciting destination in the UK, look no further than Aberdeen, Scotland! Whether you are travelling solo, with family or friends, Aberdeen has plenty of activities to suit all ages and interests. From exploring historic landmarks to enjoying the vibrant cultural scene, and from immersing yourself in natural beauty to enjoying the bustling nightlife, Aberdeen has it all.

With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that Aberdeen is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. So, whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, there are plenty of fun things to do in Aberdeen, Scotland. Let me be your guide as we explore some of the top attractions in this exciting city.

Things to do in Aberdeen

1. Explore Aberdeen’s Historic Sites

Aberdeen has a rich history that is proudly showcased through its many historic landmarks and sites. One of the most iconic landmarks is the Marischal College, which is the second-largest granite building in the world and houses the University of Aberdeen.

For history buffs, the must-visit site is the medieval ruin of Dunnottar Castle. The castle is perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the North Sea and is steeped in history dating back to the 14th century. It’s easy to imagine oneself back in a bygone era as you explore the grounds and take in the stunning views.

Historic Sites in Aberdeen Scotland: Table

Landmark Description
Marischal College The second-largest granite building in the world, now part of the University of Aberdeen
Dunnottar Castle Medieval castle ruins overlooking the North Sea with ties to Scottish history dating back to the 14th century
Provost Skene’s House A well-preserved example of 16th-century burgh architecture in the heart of Aberdeen’s old town
St. Machar’s Cathedral A stunningly preserved medieval cathedral with an ancient stone woodwork, located in Old Aberdeen

Marischal College

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These are just a few of the many historic sites waiting to be discovered in Aberdeen. Each landmark or building tells a unique story of the city’s past and will leave a lasting impression on visitors.

2. Immerse Yourself in Aberdeen’s Vibrant Culture

When it comes to cultural activities and the arts scene in Aberdeen, Scotland, the city does not disappoint. The Aberdeen Art Gallery is a must-visit for art enthusiasts, home to one of the best collections of art in the country. The gallery showcases a combination of fine art and applied arts, featuring works by renowned artists like Francis Bacon, Barbara Hepworth, and Samuel Peploe.

If you’re interested in learning more about the city’s seafaring history, the Aberdeen Maritime Museum is a great visit. The museum features exhibits on shipbuilding, fishing, and offshore oil and gas. You can also find models of boats and ships, paintings, and photographs highlighting the city’s maritime culture.

For theatergoers, the historic His Majesty’s Theatre is a must-visit. Having been in operation since 1906, the theater has brought a range of productions to the Aberdeen stage, from classic Shakespearean plays to modern productions like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The theater itself is a piece of art, having undergone renovations over the years to maintain its original charm while still offering high-quality productions.

Aberdeen cultural activities

Art lovers will also appreciate the city’s thriving arts scene. The Aberdeen Art Centre is a hub for performing arts, offering workshops, classes, and shows throughout the year. The Lemon Tree is another popular venue for theater and music performances.

When considering Aberdeen cultural activities, it’s clear that the city is a true mecca for anyone looking to immerse themselves in rich arts and history. With so much to see and do, you’re sure to leave Aberdeen feeling inspired and culturally enriched.

3. Experience Aberdeen’s Natural Beauty

If you’re a nature enthusiast, Aberdeen has a variety of scenic spots to explore and appreciate.

First, head to Aberdeen Beach for a picturesque stroll along its long sandy shore. The fresh sea breeze and stunning horizon views will provide you with an unforgettable experience.

Duthie Park is another excellent destination, offering vast green spaces, manicured gardens, and a beautiful boating pond for picnic lovers. Bring your loved ones, and enjoy the serene ambiance while basking in the sun or indulging in a sweet treat.

Cairngorms National Park

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If you’re an adventure seeker, venture to Cairngorms National Park, located nearby Aberdeen city. This park is home to some of Scotland’s most breathtaking landscapes, wildlife, and outdoor recreational activities. From hiking trails to wildlife spotting to skiing, the Cairngorms National Park offers an unforgettable nature experience.

Aberdeen Natural Beauty Spots

Location Activity What to expect
Aberdeen Beach Stroll Long sandy shore, stunning horizon views, and fresh sea breeze
Duthie Park Picnic and Relaxation Vast green spaces, manicured gardens, and beautiful boating pond
Cairngorms National Park Hiking, wildlife spotting, skiing, and recreational activities Breathtaking landscapes, abundant wildlife, and spectacular outdoor recreation activities

4. Unwind in Aberdeen’s Parks and Gardens

After exploring the historic sites, immersing in the local culture, and enjoying Aberdeen’s natural beauty, take some time to unwind in the city’s lovely parks and gardens.

Aberdeen is home to several picturesque parks where you can relax and rejuvenate. Among the most popular ones is Hazlehead Park. With its tranquil ambiance, charming rose gardens, and a variety of woodland trails, Hazlehead Park offers a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Speaking of charming gardens, the Aberdeen Botanic Garden is a must-visit. Set in the stunning surroundings of Cruickshank Botanic Garden, the Aberdeen Botanic Garden is a peaceful oasis that houses a selection of exotic plants, trees, and vibrant flowers.

If you’re planning a picnic or want to take the kids for some outdoor playtime, Duthie Park should be on your list. With its beautiful gardens, boating pond, and children’s play area, Duthie Park is a popular spot for families and groups of friends.

parks in Aberdeen Scotland

Don’t miss the chance to visit these lovely parks and gardens while in Aberdeen. They offer a relaxing and rejuvenating experience that is good for the soul.

5. Discover Aberdeen’s Food and Drink Scene

If you’re a food lover, Aberdeen won’t disappoint. The city has a diverse range of dining options that cater to all tastes and preferences. Whether you’re craving traditional Scottish fare or international cuisines, you’re sure to find something delicious in one of Aberdeen’s many eateries and pubs.

Local Cuisine in Aberdeen

For a taste of local cuisine, head to the bustling fish market where you can sample freshly-caught seafood such as salmon, haddock, and mussels. If you’re looking for something heartier, try the famous haggis, neeps, and tatties at a traditional Scottish restaurant like The Esslemont Bar & Restaurant.

Aberdeen Restaurants

The Silver Darling

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If you’re in the mood for fine dining, Aberdeen has plenty of upscale restaurants that offer exquisite dishes, superb service, and elegant decor. For example, The Silver Darling situated on the Pocra Quay boasts stunning views of the bay and is known for its impeccable seafood and wine selection.

Aberdeen Pubs

For a cozy and relaxed atmosphere, grab a pint at one of Aberdeen’s many pubs. The Grill is a local favorite that has been operating for over 125 years, serving a variety of beers, whiskies, and classic pub grub such as burgers and fish and chips.

“Aberdeen’s food and drink scene is one of my favorites in the UK. The city has such a vibrant food culture, with a diverse range of dining options that cater to all tastes and budgets. Whether you’re a foodie, a beer lover, or just looking for a cozy spot to relax, Aberdeen has got you covered.”

6. Shop ’til You Drop in Aberdeen

If you’re looking for retail therapy, Aberdeen won’t disappoint. Union Street, the main thoroughfare in the city center, is lined with a mix of high street brands and independent boutiques, offering an eclectic shopping experience. Don’t forget to stop by the charming Belmont Street, which boasts vintage stores, art galleries, and quaint cafes.

For a more extensive shopping experience, head to the Union Square Shopping Centre or Bon Accord Aberdeen, two of the largest shopping centers in Scotland. Union Square houses over 70 brands, a cinema, and a wide selection of restaurants and cafes. Bon Accord Aberdeen, on the other hand, features over 65 stores and restaurants, including popular names like Zara, Topshop, and John Lewis.

shopping in Aberdeen Scotland

Want to grab a souvenir or something unique to the region? Visit the Aberdeen Market, located in the historical city center, to find local crafts, food, and drinks.

7. Have Fun with Family-Friendly Activities in Aberdeen

As a family destination, Aberdeen offers a wealth of activities that guarantee fun for everyone. There’s something magical about exploring and learning new things with your loved ones, and Aberdeen has many exciting options to offer!

One activity that’s bound to be a hit with the kids is a visit to the Aberdeen Science Centre on Constitution Street, Aberdeen. The centre is filled with interactive exhibits that are both fun and educational, allowing kids to learn about science and technology in a fun and creative way. From exploring the human body to discovering the secrets of space, there’s something for everyone at the Aberdeen Science Centre.

Aberdeen Science Centre

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Activity Description
Codonas Amusement Park Treat the whole family to a day of fun at Codonas Amusement Park with its thrilling rides, arcade games, and delicious snacks.
Satrosphere Science Centre Satrosphere Science Centre is an interactive museum that offers engaging and educational experiences for youngsters interested in science and technology.

The Codonas Amusement Park on Beach Boulevard is another popular family destination that guarantees a fun-filled day. With thrilling rides, arcade games, and delicious treats, Codonas is perfect for a day of family bonding. The kids will love the fun and exhilarating rides, and you’ll love the opportunity to unwind and enjoy the park’s festive atmosphere.

Finally, head over to the Satrosphere Science Centre on The Tramsheds to learn about science and technology in an interactive and hands-on environment. The museum’s exhibits cover a wide range of subjects, from health and energy to the natural world and space, so there’s something for every inquisitive mind. Kids will love exploring the world in a playful and interactive manner, and you’ll love seeing their excitement and curiosity.

As you can see, Aberdeen is a fantastic destination for families, offering a wide range of activities that cater to all tastes and preferences. So, come on over with your family and make some unforgettable memories!

8. Enjoy Aberdeen’s Nightlife

As the day ends, Aberdeen’s fun starts! Experience its vibrant nightlife with numerous bars and clubs to choose from. Belmont Street is the ultimate destination for a great choice of Aberdeen bars and clubs. Enjoy a few drinks with friends and venture out to other venues dotted around the city. Some clubs feature live music and entertainment. For those who want to try their luck, Grosvenor Casino on Exchequer Row is the ideal destination, open 24/7 for gambling and late-night entertainment.

Explore the unique atmosphere and culture of Aberdeen’s nightlife with your friends and loved ones. Enjoy the DJ’s music with a glamorous crowd and the brilliant experience at this Scottish hotspot. Experience vibrant nightlife in a beautiful setting, with countless options for entertainment and dancing. You will not be disappointed!

nightlife in Aberdeen Scotland

“Aberdeen has a fantastic nightlife scene, packed with lively bars and clubs, lively entertainment, and fun gaming venues like Grosvenor Casino. Venture out with friends or spend your night enjoying live entertainment, music, and drinks- either way, it is the perfect place to escape and end the day. “

9. Attend Aberdeen’s Festivals and Events

When it comes to celebrations, Aberdeen is always ahead of the game. With numerous music, food, and cultural events, there’s always something exciting happening in town.

If you’re a music lover, then don’t miss the Aberdeen Jazz Festival, featuring world-class musicians and performances. For literary enthusiasts, there’s the May Festival, where you can meet your favorite authors and listen to inspiring talks.

Aberdeen Jazz Festival

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Art lovers, on the other hand, can enjoy the Look Again Festival, showcasing contemporary art in unique locations across the city. Moreover, the Aberdeen Highland Games, one of Scotland’s oldest traditional events, is held annually attracting thousands of visitors.

Ensure you check out Aberdeen Festivals website for more events happening throughout the year.

You can also enjoy free events throughout the year, such as the Christmas Village and Hogmanay Celebrations. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the unique celebrations and cultural events in Aberdeen Scotland.


In conclusion, I hope this guide has given you some great ideas for things to do in Aberdeen, Scotland. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, nature, food, or family-friendly activities, Aberdeen has it all.

During your visit, make sure to explore the city’s historic sites, immerse yourself in its vibrant culture, experience its natural beauty, and unwind in its parks and gardens.

Don’t forget to try the local cuisine, shop ’til you drop, have fun with family-friendly activities, enjoy the nightlife, and attend one of the many festivals and events that take place throughout the year.

With so much to see and do, Aberdeen is truly an unforgettable destination like Inverness in Scotland that you won’t want to miss. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!


What are some fun things to do in Aberdeen, Scotland?

There are plenty of fun activities to enjoy in Aberdeen, Scotland. You can explore the historic sites, immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, experience the city’s natural beauty, unwind in the parks and gardens, discover the food and drink scene, shop to your heart’s content, enjoy family-friendly activities, experience the nightlife, and attend the festivals and events.

What are some historic sites to visit in Aberdeen?

Aberdeen is home to several historic landmarks and sites. Some popular ones include Marischal College, Dunnottar Castle, Aberdeen Citadel, Provost Skene’s House, and Tolbooth Museum.

Are there any cultural activities in Aberdeen?

Yes, Aberdeen offers a vibrant arts scene with various cultural activities. You can visit the Aberdeen Art Gallery, enjoy performances at His Majesty’s Theatre, explore the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, and more.

What natural attractions can I visit in Aberdeen?

Aberdeen is known for its natural beauty. You can visit Aberdeen Beach, Duthie Park, and venture to the nearby Cairngorms National Park for stunning landscapes and outdoor activities.

Are there any parks and gardens in Aberdeen?

Yes, Aberdeen has picturesque parks and gardens for you to unwind. Hazlehead Park and the Aberdeen Botanic Garden are popular choices.

What is the food and drink scene like in Aberdeen?

Aberdeen offers a diverse range of dining options. You can try fresh seafood at the fish market, experience traditional Scottish cuisine, enjoy a pint at a cozy pub, or dine at the city’s renowned restaurants.

Where can I go shopping in Aberdeen?

Aberdeen has various shopping options. You can explore Union Street for a mix of high street brands and independent boutiques, or visit the Union Square Shopping Centre and Bon Accord Aberdeen for a wider range of shops and entertainment.

Are there family-friendly activities in Aberdeen?

Aberdeen is a fantastic destination for families. You can visit the Aberdeen Science Centre, Codonas Amusement Park, or the Satrosphere Science Centre for engaging and educational experiences.

What is the nightlife like in Aberdeen?

Aberdeen offers a vibrant nightlife scene. Belmont Street is known for its bars and clubs, and you can also enjoy live music or try your luck at the Grosvenor Casino.

Are there any festivals and events in Aberdeen?

Aberdeen hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. Don’t miss the Aberdeen International Youth Festival, the Spectra Light Festival, or the Aberdeen Comedy Festival for memorable cultural experiences.


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