Aberdeen ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ

Aberdeen, located on the North East coast of Scotland is known as ‘the Granite City’, the oil capital of Europe and is one of the UK’s luckiest cities. While you are visiting, treat yourself to a lottery ticket or a scratch card!

While visiting Scotland, don’t miss out on a chance to visit the Granite City!

Here are a few things to keep you busy!

1. Old Aberdeen

The cobbled streets and beautiful old architecture gives you a feeling of going back in time, but seeing modern day cars parked at the road side reminds you that you’re in the 21st century!

Powis Gates

Walk straight down College Bounds road and you can’t miss Powis Gates, 2 towers built in 1833 and topped with Turkish style minarets, complete with parapets near the top. Powis House used to be owned by the Leslie family and when slavery was abolished the towers were built to commemorate the freeing of the slaves that the owned in Jamaica with a shield on the gate.

Top Tip: Visit late afternoon for good light

Aberdeen Powis Gate

King’s College

Straight across the road is King’s College, founded in 1495 as an independent university with its chapel design based on King Solomon’s Temple. It was the 1st university in Aberdeen, the 3rd in Scotland, the 6th in then British Isles and is now it is part of the University of Aberdeen, adding to its beautiful architecture.

Inside the chapel, the choir stalls and rood screen date back to 1509, making it the most complete medieval church interior in Scotland.

Aberdeen King's College
King's College

Brig o’ Balgownie

Take a stroll through Seaton Park to find Scotland’s oldest medieval bridge that was completed in 1320. It is also where graduates from the University of Aberdeen celebrate the completion of their courses by jumping from the bridge and into the River Don below.

Legend has it that if an only son ever crossed the bridge on a horse that was also an only foal then the bridge would collapse!

Top Tip: Visit during the warmer months as the path by the river can become slippery and dangerous

Aberdeen Bridge

St. Machar’s Cathedral

This is no longer technically a cathedral as the Bishop left in in 1690 but it still looks very impressive, including some parts that have fallen into ruins.

Top tip: A good place to start when exploring Old Aberdeen

2. The Tolbooth Museum

This 17th century former jail opened as a museum in 1995 and has exhibits of prison cells, law and order items and the evolution of crime and punishment through the centuries. Pop along, its very interesting learning about prisoners and Jacobite rebels from times gone by!

Top Tip: Check opening times as temporarily closed

3. Rainbow Steps

If you’re looking for something to brighten up your instagram feed, then head over to the rainbow steps leading up to the St. Nicholas Centre.

Aberdeen Rainbow Steps

4. Slains Castle

Are you looking for somewhere different to have a drink? Somewhere that isn’t just a regular pub? If the answer is yes then go and check out Slains Castle, a Dracula themed pub that has been built on the site of a former church and graveyard!

Check out the decaying skeletons, alchemist experiments, suits of armour and hidden doors!

The original Slains Castle inspired Bram Stoker to write Dracula, published in 1897 and became the start of a whole genre of literature and films.

The atmosphere is good, the decor fun and the cocktails amazing! A perfect venue for Halloween!

Top Tip: Book a table! For useful apps to book things, have a look at my Handy Travel Apps page

Aberdeen Slains Castle
Slains Castle
Slains Castle
Slains Castle

5. Dunnottar Castle and Stonehaven village

This has now fallen into beautiful ruins and is in a gorgeous position, atop a cliff looking out at the North Sea. It reminds me of a picture from a fairytale! Located just south of the village of Stonehaven, it is an easy bus ride from Aberdeen and then a short walk to it and there is plenty of parking if you are driving.

In the 9th century Dunnottar was invaded by the Vikings who subsequently destroyed it having defeated King Donald II who did his best to protect it.

Top Tip: Visit on a clear day and be prepared for windy weather!

Once you have finished taking in this beautiful sight (or had enough of the wind!) start walking down the hill to the beautiful village of Stonehaven and stop for an ice cream before heading back to Aberdeen!

Dunnottar Castle
Stonehaven

Aberdeen Art Gallery

Located just down from Slains Castle, the art gallery, founded in 1884 and designed by Alexander Marshall Mackenzie is the main space in the city for a visual arts exhibition. If you have an interest in art, I would definitely recommend popping along! There is a beautiful collection to browse through including maritime history, East Asian art, cinema and theatre, toys and games, wedding dresses and many more! Take a look at the website to see what’s on during your visit.

Top Tip: Open 7 days a week and entry is free!

Aberdeen Art Gallery

Mercat Cross

This is the name for the market cross which is found in Scottish settlements where permission to hold a regular market had been granted by the monarch, a bishop or a baron.

Aberdeen’s also shows the traditional heart of the burgh from 1686. A burgh is a Scottish urban settlement, which had trading privileges in medieval times and were able to manage their own business. Burghs were only recently abolished in 1975.

Aberdeen Mercat Cross

Aberdeen Harbour and the Torry Battery

Aberdeen Harbour is an internationally renowned harbour that handles about 6500 vessels and 4 million tonnes of cargo. Its also nice to walk alongside, view the old lighthouse and to blow away those cobwebs!

Walk up to the Torry Battery, which in addition to being an artillery battery that was constructed for 9 guns and a defensible barracks is also a great place to go dolphin watching! See if you can spot the pod that is about 20 dolphins strong, sometimes even 50 are present!

Did you know that Scotland has the largest bottle nosed dolphins in the world?!

Top Tip: Best time to dolphin spot is from April to August

Aberdeen dolphins

Aberdeen Beach

In 2013, Aberdeen won the Resort Seaside Award, so how about a walk along the beach to see why it won the award? Check out the arcade, the family funfair, the ice rink, the cinema and the shops and cafes. Spoilt for choice! While you’re there, treat yourself to an ice cream!

Aberdeen Beach

C.King

Brit girl on a bummel. A solo female traveller accompanied by her camera, aiming to see as much of the world as possible and sharing what she's learnt along the way!

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