Attractions in Aberdeen
There are plenty of cultural touches in Aberdeen to keep you occupied throughout your vacation. And then we have not included sightseeing to the great, yes almost majestic schools (Universities) with which the city surrounds. Besides, as you now probably know, Aberdeen has a number of beautiful parks and gardens. A visit to one of these is something you absolutely must bring.
Aberdeen Maritime Museum
Located in Shiprow, this museum provides a good insight into Aberdeen’s maritime history from sailboats to modern oil and gas adventures. You will also find an over 8 meter high model of an oil platform.
The museum has free admission from 1000 to 1700 on Tuesday to Saturday, and from 1200 to 1500 on Sundays. Closed Mondays. Read more about the Aberdeen Maritime Museum
Dating back to 1881, this park is located on the north bank of the Dee River, at Polmuir Road in Ferryhill. Aberdeen is very well known for its wonderful gardens and parks and Duthie Parker a very good representative for this. Here are indoor conservatories, Japanese gardens, tennis courts and bowling alleys, fountains and statues.
For the children there is a playground and a lake where you can rent a rowing boat or feed swans. The park covers an area of approximately 180,000 square meters and is open all year.
Marischal Museum is the University Museum of Visual Arts, Scottish History and Archeology, including ancient Egypt. Here you will find about 80,000 objects. The Marischal Museum is perhaps the most important museum in the city of Aberdeen and opened as early as 1786. The museum is located in the beautiful Marischal College which is part of the University of Aberdeen.
Gordon Highlanders Museum
If you are interested in military history then you should not miss the Gordon Highlanders Museum on Viewfield Road. Take bus # 14 or 15 from Union Street. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 1000 to 1630 and Sundays from 1230 to 1630. Closed Mondays. The entrance fee costs about NOK 45 for adults and 25 for children. More information on the website.
St. Machar’s Cathadral
This is strictly not a cathedral, but a church, since it has not been the seat of any bishop since the Scottish Reformation in 1560. There has been a church here for over 1500 years, and today it is used both for concerts and services. Fans of the movie Braveheart may note that after the Scottish national hero William Wallace was executed in London in 1305, his body was split and his left leg sent to Aberdeen, where it was walled into the church walls.
The address is The Chanonry, Old Aberdeen, and the church is open from 0900 to 1700 from April to October, and from 1000 to 1600 in winter. Here you can read more about the church.
The William Wallace statue
Braveheart fans also can’t visit Aberdeen without seeing this statue of William Wallace, created in 1888. It stands in front of His Majesty’s Theater, at Union Terrace Gardens.
His Majesty’s Theater
His Majesty’s Theater is the largest theater in north-east Scotland, and seats over 1400 spectators. The theater had its 100th anniversary in 2006, and still houses the biggest performances in the country. The address is the Rosemount Viaduct.
This is a technology center where visitors can participate in experiments to increase their understanding and interest in science. The entrance fee costs about NOK 60 for adults and NOK 50 for children.
Satrosphere is open Tuesday through Sunday from 1000 to 1700. Satrosphere is a 10-minute walk from downtown, in The Tramsheds at 179 Constitution Street.
Codonas Amusement Park
If you visit Beach Boulevard at the harbor area you will find Scotland’s biggest amusement park. Here is everything from carousels, ferris wheels, timber gullies and joyous adventures. Open most days between Easter and October, from 1100 to 1800 on weekends and from 1200 to 1600 on weekdays. The full day ticket costs just over NOK 100.
All of Aberdeen’s pride is the Art Gallery which is located in a beautiful building on the street of Schoolhill. The museum houses a number of beautiful art objects. Here is everything from Scottish to international art, and you will see art that ranges from the classic to the modern. Here is more than visual art, also crafts and silver jewelry are on display.
The Art Gallery is open every day from 1000 to 1700 except Mondays, and Sundays it opens from 11.00 to 17.00. 1400. The museum is free.
Tourist in Aberdeen
Aberdeenhas a peculiar dialect called Doric, and even if you feel steadfast in English, you may end up standing as a question mark when an Aberdeen speaks to you. Even Englishmen and even other Scots may struggle to understand everything being said. But after a friendly “Sorry?” most residents will easily switch to a more traditional English, albeit with Scottish accents.
You should be aware that the British are generally much more polite than us Norwegians, and words like Please, Sorry and Excuse Me are frequently used. Are you standing in a pub just shouting “Two Beers!” to the bartender, as we are used to in Norway, you will be considered rude and possibly ignored. But with a Please in the end everything goes so much better. And if you ask for “The toilet”, in practice you ask for the toilet bowl itself. Use Mens Room or Ladies Room instead.
Sizzling nightlife in Aberdeen
There are hundreds of eateries in Aberdeen and, like everywhere else in Scotland, you will find both Indian, Chinese and Italian restaurants as well as traditional British restaurants. Although Scotland is not known for its cuisine, you might want to try Scottish specialties when you are here first? The restaurants are generally high quality, it is reasonably priced, and the service is usually friendly and popular.
You do not go to Aberdeen primarily for shopping, but you will find pretty much the same chain stores that you will find in all other UK cities on the one-and-a-half mile main street of Union Street. [See image first in article]
Aberdeen has one of Scotland’s best nightlife offerings, thanks to the many university students and a large number of oil workers on perms from the North Sea platforms. One of the city’s most popular nightlife streets is Justice Mile Lane, west of Union Street.
The cultural life of Aberdeen
Aberdeen also has enough museums, galleries and historic buildings to keep the more culturally interested for days. The Maritime Museum is more exciting than it sounds, and the city’s 120-year-old art gallery is among Aberdeen’s most visited attractions. In summer, the three-kilometer-long sandy beach north of town is popular with residents, and in the surrounding area there are plenty of whiskey distilleries such as Glenfiddich and Glenlivet that you can visit. Also the castles in Aberdeenshire are tourist magnets; The most famous is probably Balmoral Castle which is still a royal residence.
With over 45 parks and gardens, Aberdeen is one of the UK’s greenest cities. The British Tourist Office has hosted the national park competition Britain In Bloom for over 40 years, and after Aberdeen won a prize nine years in a row, they were banned for a period of time to give other British cities a realistic chance of winning.
Sightseeing in Aberdeen
You can join one of the double-decker sightseeing buses that will take you around the city with guide comments. These have eight permanent stops at all the major sights, where you can hop off wherever you want and continue whenever you want, within 24 hours. The price is NOK 90 for adults and NOK 50 for children up to 15 years. These buses operate only within the period mid-May to the end of September.
Otherwise, it’s amazing how much you can experience from Aberdeen with a pair of good walking shoes.