What to do and see in Aberdeen, United Kingdom (UK): The Best Places and Tips

September 18, 2017 Jasper Kershner

Experience the richness of Aberdeen’s proud history and culture — from the sound of residents’ traditional Doric accent to the sights of glittering granite buildings lining the city’s streets. Explore the cobbled roads and historic university buildings of Old Aberdeen, then take a stroll along the nearby sandy beach and watch for dolphins in the busy harbour. Afterward, find your way to the quaint fishing quarter of Footdee, and lose yourself among its tiny cottages and colourful gardens.
Restaurants in Aberdeen

1. Johnston Gardens

Viewfield Road | Springfield, Aberdeen AB15 7XE, Scotland
Excellent
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4.5 based on 196 reviews

Johnston Gardens

Reviewed By Sandra M - Aberdeen, United Kingdom

I walk regularly around Johnston Gardens, it is so peaceful and quiet, you do not realise you are in the city suburbs. The pond life is pleasing to watch (mainly ducks) . The trees, bushes, plants etc., so many and seems something new pops up every season. Well worth a visit if you need some time to relax and think about things.

2. The Gordon Highlanders MuseumVisitScotland Tourism Organisation6 must-visit attractions in and around Aberdeen

St Luke's | Viewfield Road, Aberdeen AB15 7XH, Scotland +44 1224 311200
Excellent
72%
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4.5 based on 557 reviews

The Gordon Highlanders MuseumVisitScotland Tourism Organisation6 must-visit attractions in and around Aberdeen

"The Finest Regiment in the World" was how Sir Winston Churchill described The Gordon Highlanders in 1900. So why not come and see why? A wonderful day out and a fantastic welcome await you at The Gordon Highlanders Museum where we are committed to preserving and sharing the legacy of this world-famous Regiment. The Museum is a Visit Scotland 5* attraction (the only 5* military museum in Scotland). It is located at St Luke's, Viewfield Road, Aberdeen, in the beautiful former home of prominent Scottish artist, Sir George Reid. However the Gordon Highlanders Museum is more than just a museum - it has a wonderful tea room, a gift shop and beautiful Gardens all of which are staffed by volunteers and can offer conference and fine dining facilities as well. The Museum, in addition to displaying the permanent collection, has a full programme of events throughout the year, including a major annual exhibition (at present 'Shattered Hopes - The Gordon Highlanders in 1914'). It also provides an excellent learning and outreach programme to schools and community groups throughout the North East of Scotland, courtesy of our Education sponsors. The Gordon Highlanders Museum is an independent self-financed charity that receives no public subsidy. It is reliant upon visitors, donations and sponsorship to maintain its current range of activities. Opening Times: Early February - Late November Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 4:30pm

Reviewed By Drcord - Edinburgh, United Kingdom

First visit to the tea room and I think I have discovered a gem! Really delicious coffee and cake served by attentive staff. Good value. View over the Garden was delightful.

3. Linn O' DeeVisitScotland Tourism OrganisationExplore Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire’s royal connections

7 Miles Beyond Braemar | Past Inverey on the Linn O' Dee Road, Aberdeen AB35 5YB, Scotland +44 1339 720164
Excellent
75%
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4.5 based on 222 reviews

Linn O' DeeVisitScotland Tourism OrganisationExplore Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire’s royal connections

The Linn O' Dee gives unrivalled access to some fine examples of classic features of a Highland landscape: remnants of the ancient Caledonian pine forest, heather moorland and parts of the high Cairngorm plateau. Fifteen of the Cairngorms eighteen Munros can be found on Mar Lodge estate. The less adventurous can enjoy the short walk to the stunning gorge under the Linn O' Dee Bridge or explore one of our all abilities trails. The car park also hosts a seasonal information hut and toilet facilities. In accordance with our wild land policy trails are not way marked but you can download a trail booklet from our website or pick one up from the rangers office in the old estate stables.

Reviewed By Douglas E - Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Scottish scenery at its best. Worth a visit if your a walker or a sightseer. There is enough here to suit all with the bonus of no retail, just natural wonders. For the walker this is the starting point for many an adventure, as it...MoreHi Douglas E, Thank you for your wonderful review, we are glad that you enjoyed your visit. We hope to see you back again soon to explore more that this area has to offer. The Mar Lodge Ranger Team.

4. Duthie Park Winter GardensVisitScotland Tourism Organisation6 must-visit attractions in and around Aberdeen

Duthie Park Polmuir Road, Aberdeen AB11 7TH, Scotland +44 1224 583155
Excellent
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4.5 based on 843 reviews

Duthie Park Winter GardensVisitScotland Tourism Organisation6 must-visit attractions in and around Aberdeen

Reviewed By MForbez - Aberdeen, United Kingdom

I've been here a few times recently. Once with the girlfriend, again with her parents and again with my nephew.
Everyone loved this place and the fact it's free (donation boxes are available) is just icing on the cake.
Really recommended. The Cacti in the Arid House are amazing

5. Aberdeen Maritime MuseumVisitScotland Tourism Organisation6 must-visit attractions in and around Aberdeen

52-56 Shiprow | Provost Ross House, Aberdeen AB11 5BY, Scotland +44 1224 337700
Excellent
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4.5 based on 1 reviews

Aberdeen Maritime MuseumVisitScotland Tourism Organisation6 must-visit attractions in and around Aberdeen

Aberdeen has long prospered off of sea-based industries, from the boom of the city's fishing industry in the early 20th century to its oil industry today; this museum explores the historic developments behind the city's maritime industries.

Reviewed By westlothianpete - West Lothian, United Kingdom

A brilliant museum, full of unexpected insights into the history of Aberdeen and its relationship with the sea. The oil industry has a large place in this, as might be expected, and there are large parts dedicated to the fishing industry. But I hadn't realised...MoreThanks for your review, glad you enjoyed your visit!

6. Bullers of BuchanVisitScotland Tourism Organisation10 fantastic things to do on the Aberdeenshire coast

Off the A975 just north of Cruden Bay and about 25 miles north of Aberdeen in northeast Scotland, Aberdeen, Scotland
Excellent
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4.5 based on 163 reviews

Bullers of BuchanVisitScotland Tourism Organisation10 fantastic things to do on the Aberdeenshire coast

An awe-inspiring gorge that sharply drops nearly 200 feet.

Reviewed By nutwood_wanderer - Nottingham, United Kingdom

It's hard to pinpoint which part of this coastline counts as Bullers of Buchan and where it stops. The 'boiling pot' collapsed cave is very close to the car park, but the coast keeps going in either direction and you can walk for ages in both directions from the car park. Many of the photos shown on TripAdvisor are from much further away.
The scenery is amazing- bay after bay of rugged rocky cliffs. The boiling pot was not boiling on the very calm day we visited- it would be interesting to see it when its rough seas.
Walking to the left from the village by the car park you see the boiling pot and then jagged coastline, from a thin path - overgrown in places - long trousers and sturdy shoes recommended.
In my opinion the best of the walk is to the right from the village signposted to Cruden Bay. This direction you see a bigger arch (after about 5-10 mins) and a giant hole in the rock with masses of sea birds nesting (after about 30-45 mins). Then Slains castle appears in the distance. Every corner brings another gift of a view.
At the start it's a little hard going and overgrown. It's very windy (as in it winds round bends, not blowy!) The terrain is uneven most of the way, very peaty. I'd say it took about 1h45mins (lone adult pace) to get to Cruden Bay (one way) from the car park, with a few stops for admiring the views and maybe 10 minutes at the castle (it deserved more time - worth a stop on its own.) It was probably about 20-30 minutes from the castle to Cruden Bay and this part is mostly paved and suitable for buggies. (There's a muddy bit in the middle and it's hilly, so maybe not for wheelchairs.)
A good short walk if you're not a long walker would be to park at Slains Castle (free) and walk towards the Bullers - you'd get to the circle in the rock - the most exciting feature - in about 10-15 minutes.
This is not an attraction for very young children. The cliffs are dangerous and there are no barriers. I'd also be cautious on a very windy day. Common sense needed not to go too close to the edge and stick to the path.
All in all a great attraction but be prepared to have a walk for the best of the coastline.

7. Balmedie BeachVisitScotland Tourism Organisation10 fantastic things to do on the Aberdeenshire coast

Balmedie, Aberdeen, Scotland +44 1358 742396
Excellent
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4.5 based on 548 reviews

Balmedie BeachVisitScotland Tourism Organisation10 fantastic things to do on the Aberdeenshire coast

A stretch of sandy beach north of the city.

Reviewed By OssianLtd - Bonnie Scotland

Dragged the children (kicking and screaming) and the dogs (happy as larry) to Balmedie Beach for a good long walk, and I (and the mutts) enjoyed it. Check the tide first as there are places where high water comes right up to the dunes.

8. St Machar's Cathedral

Chanonry | Old Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 1RQ, Scotland +44 1224 485988
Excellent
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4.5 based on 284 reviews

St Machar's Cathedral

Reviewed By Wendy V - Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada

We walked to St. Machar's Cathedral in the pouring rain in early June, through old Aberdeen along the beautiful cobblestone and granite walled streets. The rain brought out incredible colours in the granite and we walked past the history and magnificent architecture of Aberdeen University and King's College. St. Machar's itself was just finishing a service, so it was good to see it being used. There is an incredible sense of history here and the inside of the Cathedral was beautiful, with wood ceiling containing heraldry, and a beautiful organ. The stonework inside is impressive. We were there because our ancestors worshipped there, although none were buried in the cemetery surrounding the Cathedral. It is truly a beautiful setting and the spire of the church can be seen rising into the mist as you approach.

9. Pitmedden Garden & Museum of Farming LifeVisitScotland Tourism Organisation5 hidden gems not to miss in Aberdeen

Pitmedden Garden | Pitmedden, Aberdeen AB41 7PD, Scotland +44 1651 842352
Excellent
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4.5 based on 172 reviews

Pitmedden Garden & Museum of Farming LifeVisitScotland Tourism Organisation5 hidden gems not to miss in Aberdeen

Reviewed By Alastair W - Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Visited as Haddo House was closed. Surprised at the recreated 17th C Gardens all beautifully maintained and tended. On top of the magnificent Gardens, the museum of farming life was fascinating with quite a lot to see including recreated rooms and workshop areas.
Sadly the original house was burned out in 1807 so what is left is a Victorian House with some older parts included.
Well worth a visit.

10. Footdee (Fittie)

Pocra Quay | Beach Esplanade, Aberdeen AB11 5DQ, Scotland
Excellent
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4.5 based on 842 reviews

Footdee (Fittie)

Reviewed By Bill H - Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Footdee (pronounced Fittie) was established as a planned fishing village at the mouth of the River Dee when Aberdeen harbour was being expanded in the early 19th Century. It is now one of Aberdeen's most distinctive and attractive districts. The 'squares' (common areas where fishing nets were repaired and dried) are car free and the terraced cottages and their associated 'tarry sheds' are decorated with quirky details. A great place for a relaxing stroll without having to worry about traffic.

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