In the northeast of Great Britain, Aberdeen is the third largest city in Scotland. It is known to be the capital of offshore oil in the country. You may also heard “The Granite City” or “The Grey City” names. At first, a city with these nicknames may not be appealing, but Aberdeen is different. The town is regularly chosen as the best city to live in Great Britain. It has a beautiful heritage and a rich and preserved natural environment. It is a modern and vibrant city. Aberdeen takes full advantage of its port and industrial activities. Strange, original, or diverse, this city is definitely worth visiting.
The city has many touristic attractions. The city center has a lot of Victorian-era buildings which are dating from the Middle Ages. On the banks of the Don, Saint-Machar’s Cathedral and Saint-Nicholas Church are worth a visit, as is the university, one of the oldest in the world.
Places to Visit in Aberdeen with Family
Aberdeen has many places to visit as a family with kids. You can do many things for them, from a mini cultural and historical holiday to seeing natural beauties. Moreover, some places will attract their attention.
University of Aberdeen
University of Aberdeen is an essential place in the visit of Aberdeen. Here, knowledge has been researched, transmitted and exchanged for more than 5 centuries. It is one of the oldest in Europe and was founded in February 1495 by William Elphinstone, then Archbishop of Aberdeen. If you like mysterious atmospheres, do not miss a visit to the University of Aberdeen You can walk through its parks, survey its buildings and its many sports fields and finish your walk in the Botanical Garden of Old Aberdeen.
Duthie Park is another must-see place for families. On the banks of the River Dee, the park acts as a lung of the city. You can walk in a lush green place or have a family picnic during sunset. You can also have a coffee in the park’s coffee shop. The winter garden is also marvelous. There are several glasshouses with various exotic plants and trees inside them. Especially the banana trees are very attractive to kids.
Marischal College, founded in 1593, is Aberdeen’s second oldest university after King’s College. Both merged in 1860 and formed today’s University of Aberdeen. Its majestic building is the second largest granite structure in the world after El Escorial in Spain. The building occupies almost an entire quarter with its walls. It has a neo-Gothic façade with gray steel pinnacles. The College was founded by the Marshal of the fourth Earl, from which it takes its name. And the building is the most striking and characterizes the center of Aberdeen. From Union Street runs a whole neighborhood that overlooks the historic center.
Places to Stay in Aberdeen with Families
Aberdeen shares the same features as Scotland’s other two major cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh. The city has a rich history, breathtaking nature, and many castles. When this is the case, there are many places to visit as well as many places to stay. If you are looking for a place where to stay in Aberdeen with your family, here are some of the best.
Malmaison Aberdeen: Malmaison is one of the best places to stay in Aberdeen. The hotel has appealing, beautiful façade. Its spacious rooms and comfy beds are ideal for the families. The hotel also has a unique spa center which you can relax after an exhausting day in the city and enjoy with the kids.
Macdonald Norwood Hall Hotel: Macdonald Norwood Hall Hote is an another eye feasting hotel. With its beautiful Victorian-era architecture you’ll sink into as soon as view it. The building also preserve some Victorian features. You can have fine dine experience in the award-winning restaurant. Famous marine restaurant The Tapestry Restaurant always serve fresh seefoods provided from local ports. If you are a family in Aberdeen where to stay, Macdonald Norwood Hall Hotel is one of the best options.
The Craighaar Hotel: The Craighaar Hotel, is a budget-friendly hotel for families. If you are looking for where to stay in Aberdeen on a budget this is the right place. Its very close to the some of the most important tourist attractions like University of Aberdeen or Duthie Park. You can taste local foods from hotels restaurant. The most important part is the restaurant only serves meals produced form local sources. If you and your family looking for a warm place where to stay in Aberdeen you should give chance to The Craighaar Hotel.
See also: Where to stay in Edinburgh?
Places to Visit in Aberdeen for Couples
Aberdeen might be an industrial-centric port city, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have great places for couples. You can have a romantic vacation wrapped in a medieval castle, lush green parks, and immersive views. It might not be a Paris, but Aberdeen also has a couple of surprises of its own kind.
If you are lucky enough about the weather, you can visit Aberdeen’s huge sandy beach. It is located close to the city’s harbor. On weekends you can see many families walk by the sea and enjoy an ice cream. There are also a lot of restaurants that line the beach. If you are brave enough, you can also try swimming in the breezing waters of the North Sea. You can also observe pods of dolphins from Aberdeen beach or Torry Battery beach.
If you are a whiskey lover, you must visit the region’s distilleries. You can visit, learn more about this famous beverage typical of the area and do some tastings. Not far from Balmoral Castle, Royal Lochnagar is among the most popular. You should also visit the Strathisla distillery either. Located one hour from the airport, it is here that the famous Chivas is produced. You can also drive a few minutes and visit Glenfiddich, located in Dufftown, Speyside. It is the valley of the stags in Gaelic. The distillery is available to the public and can be visited. You’ll discover the stages necessary for manufacturing whisky: malting, kneading, fermentation, distillation, and maturation which lasts at least 12 years. The history of the distillery began in 1887 when William Grant founded the distillery in the valley of the Fiddich River. The first bottles of Glenfiddich whiskey were produced on the occasion of Christmas in 1887.
Cairngroms National Park
The Cairngorms mountains are at the heart of Britain’s largest national park. It extends over an area of more than 3800 km², which is almost a tenth of Scottish territory. From north to south, it stretches from Grantown-on-Spey to the valleys of Angus Glen. From east to west, it runs from Ballater to Laggan and Dalwhinnie. Large lakes and swamps complete this exceptional natural ground. The roar of the deer and the flight of the royal eagle bring an additional touch of magic to the area. It is why hikers and other nature lovers will find their happiness here. If you are lucky enough, you will manage to see otters wading through the waterways.
Where to Stay in Aberdeen with Couples
There’s nothing like having a romantic vacation in a hotel away from everything and everyone. Luckily, there are many alternatives in Aberdeen. While enjoying your holiday, you can treat yourself with the services offered by luxury hotels. Here it is the best places to stay in Aberdeen for couples.
Atholl Hotel: With its eye feasting architecture Atholl Hotel is like jump out from the fairy tales. It is located on one of the city’s main roads thus it is easy to walk anywhere. You can taste different local meals while having a romantic dinner in the hotel’s famous restaurant. If you are looking for a cozy yet beautiful hotel Atholl Hotel where is the best place to stay in Aberdeen.
Residence Inn Marriott: Residence Inn Marriott gives more than what is expected of itself. It takes couples’ holiday pleasure to the next level with its famous restaurant, perfect location, and luxurious rooms. Residence Inn Marriott ranks high among the best hotels Aberdeen for an exclusive romantic getaway.
Ardoe House Hotel & Spa: It is even hard to think more than a romantic think than staying in a Victorian-era mansion. Ardoe House Hotel & Spa has everything for couples. It is a little bit away from the city center but it makes hotel a quiet, and beautiful den. It is also close to the Castle Trail. This makes it is the best area to stay in Aberdeen. You can have a memorable dinner and unwind in the spa center.
Must-See Places to Visit in Aberdeen
Compared to other cities in Scotland, Aberdeen may be a little more industrial city. But that doesn’t make it insignificant. Thanks to the city’s deep-rooted history, there are many places to see. If you think where should i go in Aberdeen here are the best of them.
Aberdeen Maritime Museum
The Aberdeen Maritime Museum is a great place to visit in Aberdeen. The entrance is completely free, and it is close to the port; the museum is divided into two parts. You will start at the Provost Ross’s House, where you will learn about the history of North Sea craft. Then, you will explore a more recent part that is mainly interested in oil exploitation between Scotland and Norway. You can’t miss the replica of an oil rig almost eight meters high. It is a fun and exciting museum to visit.
A famous ruined site in Scotland, Dunnottar Castle, sits on the edge of a cliff surrounded by the North Sea. Its exceptional and spectacular location makes it one of the finest ruined castles in Scotland. It is impossible not to fall in love with this breathtaking landscape. Indeed while walking around between the spectacular view of the sea and the beauty of the stones, you will not know where to turn. Visiting Dunnottar Castle is fascinating as history blends with the romantic charm of the ruins while shedding light on the past grandeur of Scottish heritage.
Union Street is undoubtedly the main street of the city. If you consider its size, it’s an avenue more than a street. There is everything in the street like bars, shopping malls, and restaurants. You can also access to the city’s most essential attractions like cathedrals or other historical monuments. Union Street leads to the city port, which is the most important port in Scotland. Union Street is also like a bridge between Old and New Aberdeen.
Where to Stay in Aberdeen
Since it is both a touristic and industrial city, there are many hotels to stay in Aberdeen. Whether you come to the town for an important job interview or are a traveler exploring the city, it is possible to find the most suitable hotel for you. If you think where to stay in Aberdeen for one night or couple of nights these are the top choices for you.
Hilton Aberdeen TECA: Hilton Aberdeen TECA is located on the city’s new exhibition center. Thus it is a little bit far away from the city center. If you think where to stay in Aberdeen city centre you should look elsewhere. Besides its location Hilton Aberdeen TECA offers an immersive experience.
BrewDog Kennels: In the heart of the city, BrewDog Kennels have an exceptional location. If you think where should i stay in Aberdeen very close to pretty everywhere you are in the right place. You can walk to most important places like St. Nicholas, Aberdeen Music Hall or harbour. Well decorated modern rooms offers great place to rest after a busy Aberdeen day.
The Dutch Mill Hotel: The Dutch Mill Hotel is one of the budget-friendly places to stay in Aberdeen. But yet you can have a great experience. The hotel is close to city center thus you can visit many tourist attraction by walking. You can also sit back and relax at the hotel’s terrace and bar.
See also: Where to stay in Glasgow?