Visiting Aberdeen

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Situated between the Cairngorm Mountains and Scotland’s idyllic east coastline, Aberdeen is a beautiful city with its own unique character. The dominance of the granite buildings throughout the city gives the region its own appearance and architectural identity, and a surrounding countryside filled with castles makes this an area to truly fall in love with.

Aberdeen’s affinity with the coast has fed its economy for centuries, the city once being dominated by its port and fishing, and now for its North Sea oil reserves. Further inland the city ranks amongst the UK’s finest for shopping, culture and entertainment, and whatever your reasons for visiting, you’ll find much to delight in Scotland’s third largest city.

Below you’ll find everything you need to know to make the most of your stay in Aberdeen, however long or short your visit.

Jump to:

  • Hotels
  • Things to see
  • Shopping
  • Nightlife
  • Restaurants
  • Beyond Aberdeen

Hotels

Flybe works in partnership with Booking.com so it’s easier than ever to find the perfect hotel in Aberdeen for your visit. Whether you’re just in need of a place to rest your head or after a little luxury, there is accommodation in Aberdeen to suit all needs and preferences.

Have a browse through some of the best Aberdeen hotels on Booking.com and find the perfect accommodation for you to unwind after your Flybe flight.

Things to see

Those planning a trip to Aberdeen will find much to see and do. The city itself brims over with galleries, museums and culture, and in Union Street – famously known as the ‘Granite Mile’ – it has one of the best shopping experiences in the UK. Where else can one find a host of high street names alongside independent boutiques, in granite buildings reflecting the light like silver?

The area is steeped in history, having over 300 castles in the country alone, including Balmoral, the royal family’s summer retreat. And the proximity of the city to the coastline lends just as much character to the region as the granite used in much of its architecture. Aberdeen and its coastline are inseparable, the sea, its harbours and the city all living and breathing as one, and its port and offshore oil supplies still dominate the local economy.

Further inland there is a rich golfing heritage and abundance of opportunities for outdoor pursuits. The surrounding heathland and farmland also provide the area with a rich tradition of whisky making and some of the most distinctive malts available in Scotland, and those seeking adventure will find many of the UK’s highest mountains in the nearby Cairngorms National Park. Whatever you’re looking for to fill your time, you’ll find plenty to do in Aberdeen.

If you need assistance on reaching Aberdeen from the airport, browse our Aberdeen airport arrivals page for all the information you need.

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Nightlife

Aberdeen’s nightlife is a treat, catering for locals, students and visitors to the city alike. Those new to the area will find a host of bars around Union Street, where the three-floored Espionage nightclub also resides – a place with a friendly, mixed crowd and plenty space to cut some rug. Don’t miss the exquisite Prince of Wales pub on Nicholas Lane – the Victorian interior makes for a delightful setting and the local ale merits a visit all by itself!

Anyone wanting to unwind to some live music will find much to love at the Lemon Tree, which also shows comedy events and theatre, as well as music from a host of different genres. Cocktail lovers are well catered for in Soul Bar, a former church that now houses a modern interior and DJ booth in what used to be a pulpit.

Her Majesty’s Theatre brings many of London’s premier West End shows to the north alongside contemporary dance, family shows and independent productions. It’s also good for a pre-show bite of something tasty. The Music Hall is Aberdeen’s premier venue for classical music, and it’s ideally situated in the heart of the city. Given the daylight can last until 11pm in summertime, the city is a delight to simply stroll around in after hours, and the sunsets found on the coast are worth the trip out alone to see.

Shopping

Aberdeen is a shopper’s delight, with a host of familiar high street names rubbing shoulders with independent boutiques, and Union Street’s granite mile of shops a memorable haven for browsing. Look out for Union Square if the weather turns sour – or even if it doesn’t; with over 50 stores and eateries the area provides some serious retail therapy. Every quarter you’ll find the International Street Market, with over 70 stalls selling everything from food to art and fashion, and the Academy arcade is an ideal way to shop with bars, cafes and restaurants to hand should you need a little refuelling.

Those looking for a unique souvenir of the area will find much to delight in Teasel & Tweed, a shop selling art, gifts and accessories, all of which has been made in Scotland – it even has a fabulous café in its basement. Books and Beans offers the pungent elixir of coffee, food and books in a beautifully relaxed bohemian atmosphere. Wherever you tread in Aberdeen, you’ll find the city’s memorable streets to have much in store.

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Peter Burnett


Restaurants

Aberdeen’s position between countryside and coastline makes the city a foodie’s delight. The Adelphi Kitchen perfectly reflects the region you are dining in with a menu full of locally-sourced seafood and beef dishes, cooked over charcoal for an unmistakable taste. Fusion offers local food and local dishes with international twists, making it an international treat for the senses.

It’s not just local classics that fill an Aberdeen adventurer’s tummy though. Yatai Izakaya features Japanese food par excellence, and lovers of Indian cuisine will be well sated inside Shri Bheema’s excellent curry house. Union Square’s Thaikhun offers Thai street food and cocktails. whilst diners at Café Andaluz will find excellent tapas in a friendly, relaxed setting. Anyone who tries The Food Story on Thistle Street will never forget it – the interior is warm and homely and the food local and organic, with a range of vegetarian options to rival many a dedicated restaurant.

Beyond Aberdeen

The surrounding county of Aberdeenshire is a feast for the senses. The Cairngorms National Park is just an hour’s drive away, housing five of Scotland’s six highest mountains, ancient woodland and abundant wildlife. Travel east and you’ll find over 100 miles of golden sands, a bustling port and even see dolphins swimming happily off-shore.

Boasting no less than 14 distilleries, Aberdeenshire makes some of the greatest whisky on earth. Many of the distilleries offer tours, others will require an appointment and some only take visitors on a seasonal basis so do check before travelling. Take your pick from hundreds of castles in the vicinity – all have their own attraction and you can find one close to wherever you are in the county. As a starting point, Craithes Castle is a good one to visit first, being just 15 miles from the city.

For more information on flights to Aberdeen with Flybe, see our dedicated Aberdeen airport page, as well as Getting to Aberdeen airport for advice and how best to reach the airport for your flight.

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