Scotland is the U.K.’s northernmost country, a land of mountain wildernesses such as the Cairngorms and Northwest Highlands, with glacial glens (valleys) and lochs (lakes). Scotland, the home of the kilt, William Wallace and known for its whiskey is a hardcore country. Braveheart and ancient historical buildings and architecture fills the city with a grand charm. Aberdeen is the city I toured in Scotland as well as aberdeenshire and the country castles. Aberdeen is called the Silver City by the golden sands.
How to get from Aberdeen Airport to City Center
The airport is only 7 miles from the city center making it a quick 15-30 minute trip depending on transportation. The taxi is 15 minutes for £16. The taxis can be caught outside the arrivals exit. Information for booking taxis here.
First Aberdeen and Stagecoach Bluebird run buses between the airport and city centre. The trip is about 30 minutes. Less buses run on weekends and at night. All bus routes and other options available here.
This route goes from Aberdeen city centre to Aberdeen Airport via Great Northern Road and ABZ Business Park (Dyce). The trip from city center to airport is 40 minutes. There is room for luggage, USB charging ports and wifi. You can buy your ticket on the bus! This is how I got into the city center and it was quick, easy and comfortable. The driver needs cash to buy a ticket.
Up to every 10 minutes Monday to Friday and every 30 minutes Saturday/Sunday.
All day travel for only £3.70!
Aberdeen zone 1: £3.40 single, £5.00 period return, £12.50 7 day megarider
Running 7 days a week this service starts at 03:30 Monday – Saturday and 05:00 on Sundays. The last bus leaves the airport at 00:00 Monday – Saturday and 23:00 on Sundays.
The nearest rail station, Dyce, is a short taxi ride from the airport. Trains from Dyce get to Aberdeen in about ten minutes and a standard single ticket costs £2.20. All train information and schedule here.
Things to Do
Visit Crathes Castle
Explore Drum’s Castle
See the most epic castle in Scotland, Dunnottar
This is the most epic castle on the cliff penninsula ocean coastline in the small city of StoneHaven.
Have Coffee & Read at Books and Beans
This is the best spot for coffee lovers and readers in the city. The quirky coffee shop filled with used books on sale and comfy leather chairs is open Mon-Sat 7:45am-4:30pm and on Sunday 9:45am-4pm. They serve all day breakfast and lunch with homemade soups and panini sandwiches. A bowl of soup is 3.70 silver pounds and sandwiches are between 4-6 silver pounds. A latte or cappachino are 2.79 silver pounds. You can find out more about them and their menu here.
Have a drink at a old gothic church converted to a pub (Slain’s Castle Bar)
This is a Pub in former Gothic church with original carved wood panelling in a low-lit, Dracula-themed interior. There is lots of dark wood and is a unique experience to be found in downtown Aberdeen. Pub culture is a huge part of the downtown experience and culture in Scotland and in Aberdeen city. There are several old churches converted pubs but this is one of the best known and is rated the best pub in Aberdeen on Trip Advisor. The live music starts nightly at 9pm for an awesome local musician experience. Their pricing is known to be reasonable with 5 starts for under £11 and not small portions. The burgers, mac and cheese and lentil pies are favorites. This is known to be a quirky experience only available here and has themed cool cocktails for the environment and dressed up staff. Open 11am-12am daily. Reserve a table or a party here.
Tour Old Aberdeen on foot
Old Aberdeen is part of the city of Aberdeen in Scotland. Old Aberdeen was a separate burgh, that was made into a burgh of barony on 26 December 1489. It was included into nearby Aberdeen by an Act of Parliament in 1891. This is an older historic area 20 minutes outside modern day Aberdeen city center. This is near the King’s University and St. Machar’s Cathedral which are nice to tour all at once in this area. In old Aberdeen is Powis Gate shown above. In this same area the oldest bridge of Aberdeen can be seen as well called Brig O Balgownie. The cathedral, and university campus with its historical sites and buildings are all technically a part of this magical part of Old Aberdeen.
Brig o Balgownie
This is Scotland’s oldest bridge that is set off in the countryside outside of the city center in lush green surrounding and water. This bridge reflects in the River Don. This is the bridge to cross over to get to Machar’s Cathedral and Old Aberdeen.
St. Machar’s cathedral
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This is a 12th-century Presbyterian cathedral with stained glass windows, heraldic ceiling and a John Barbour memorial. This Cathedral is on the edge of Seaton Park in Aberdeen which is a huge green beautiful park to take walks. This area outside of the city center is a beautiful area to explore in nature.
This is an old university including Powis Gate shown above on campus as a historial site. King’s College is now part of the Old Aberdeen campus and is still used as a sports pavilion, remaining the symbolic centre of the ever-growing University campus. It still has an educational purpose with Divinity/Theology, History of Art and Religious Studies all taught here.
Sir Duncan Rice Library
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The Sir Duncan Rice Library at University of Aberdeen in UK was selected as one of five of the most striking university libraries in the world you will ever see. – source : Times Higher Education – World University Rangkings, 2014 – . . #sirduncanricelibrary #library #universitylibrary #universitylife #librarydesign #architecturephotography #architecturelovers
This is the gorgeous library architecture on campus of the King’s College and University as a part of Old Aberdeen. This library is every book lovers dream as well as artistic and gorgeous architecture. Spend some quiet reading time here.
Footdee, Fisherman’s Town
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A super cute spot in Aberdeen 😍 Footdee aka Fittie is a favourite of many who visit North-east Scotland! Is it one of your favourite bits of Aberdeen too? ⚓ #visitABDN #beautifulABDN #winterABDN #Aberdeen #VisitScotland #ScotlandIsNow #Scotspirit #Scotland #travelscotland #scotlandsbeauty #scotland_insta #scotland_greatshots #scotlandlover #madeinscotland #lovescotland #igscotland #lovegreatbritain #loveUK #globalcapture #tourtheplanet #passportpassion #photographer #picoftheday #winter . Reposted from @themodernleper – anzeige || #footdee – or fittie as it‘s pronounced by locals – is a charming former fishing community along the beach front of aberdeen. it really felt a bit like stepping back in time when we passed the little cottages. it had such a calm and unique vibe to it. _ @visitabdn #beautifulabdn #visitabdn #scotlandisnow || ad – #regrann
This is a gorgeous hitoric small fisherman town area of the city of Aberdeen. It is now known by locals as Fittie or tourists as footdee. The small area on the wharf is filled with seals as well as short and smaller stone houses that are distinct from other parts of the city. There is a small stone church as well and a memorial. This is such a cute and charming area to explore in the city to see the cute beachside cottages.
Go on a whiskey tour at a distillery
Scotland is known for its whiskey and has 7 distillery tours within reasonable distance from the city center. The average price for a whiskey tour depends on if it is a day trip outside the city with transportation or you get there yourself and range from $20-$80. There are half day adn full day tours with several locations or lots of tastings that will be more expensive depending. Fettercairn Distillery is south of Aberdeen under the Grampian foothills, Royal Lochnagar Distillery is near Balmoral castle if you are doing a day trip to that castle, GlenDronach Distillery is north of Aberdeen about an hour, Glen Garioch Distillery specializes in single malt whiskeys and is 20 miles outside Aberdeen, Glenglassaugh Distillery is near the picturesque Moray coastline with killer sea views, Ardmore Distillery is an hour northwest of Aberdeen city, 50 miles NW of Aberdeen there is a small village of Knock with Knockdhu Distillery.
Aberdeen is known to be the silver city near golden sands. There is a beach in Aberdeen and in warmer weather is a nice coast to enjoy the water. The most known and visited beach is called Esplanade. This is a large and windy stretch of sand along the coast with restaurants and activities nearby. This is a great place for a walk even on a cold day to see the coastline.
Union Terrace Gardens Walk
These public gardens that are a public park as well as art murals along the pathway are a great spot for an evening or mid way walk off of Union Main street in downtown Aberdeen City. This park is two blocks down from St. Nicholas Kirk church and a block down from Slain’s Castle Pub. There is a large staircase that is the entrance to the park and an overlook over the green and flowered oasis in the city.
The Kirk of St. Nicholas
The Kirk of St Nicholas has been at the heart of Aberdeen, providing spiritual worship and refuge, since the 12th century. It is both a holy building and one that also chronicles the history of this city. There are beautiful stained glass inside that are remarkable. There is a beautiful cemetery outside of the church on the church grounds creating a peaceful garden atmosphere with beautiful stone carved crosses and other grave markers.
St. Mary’s Cathedral
This is a Victorian cathedral serving the area’s Catholic population and organising regular community events. This is a beautiful church on a quaint street of off Union street in downtown Aberdeen.
St. Andrews Cathedral
This is an early-1800s Episcopal church built of sandstone & granite with a well-known choir & frequent events. This beautiful cathedral is on Union street in the main downtown historic area and is free to enter.
Tolbooth Museum & Union Historic Street Buildings
This is a preserved 17th-century jail-turned-museum with historical relics & information. This is one of the grand and famous historic buildings in the downtown area.
Booking a Hostel
This hotel and budget hostel is in a turreted granite townhouse in the trendy Merchant Quarter, this historic hotel is 2 minutes’ walk from Aberdeen bus and train stations, and 3 minutes’ walk from the shops of Union Street. Breakfast is free as well as wifi. There is a bistro-style restaurant with harbour views, as well as a hip wine bar. There’s stair access only.
$37USD/night, BOOK HERE