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Visitor's Guide to Aberdeen

Visitor's Guide to Aberdeen Surrounded by sparkling rivers, the North Sea and the breathtaking Grampian Highlands, Aberdeen lies on the north east coast of Scotland, about 130 miles from Edinburgh.

Along with the glistening granite buildings, such as Marischal College [map], for which it won the name the 'Granite City', Aberdeen is also famous for its relationship with North Sea oil.

And you can discover how it won its title, the 'Oil Capital of Europe', at the Aberdeen Maritime Museum [map], which tells the story of the city's long relationship with the sea, and houses a unique collection covering shipbuilding, fast sailing ships, fishing and port history.

The city has a wide range of other attractions to tempt sightseers, including His Majesty's Theatre [map], Aberdeen Art Gallery [map], the Tolbooth [map], the Music Hall [map], the Lemon Tree [map], the Cathedral Church of St Andrew [map] and the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre [map].

In addition to all this, Aberdeen's famous Granite Mile [map] – Union Street – gives access to more than 800 shops, restaurants and bars, while the city’s golden sands cater for those looking for a beach holiday and the Duthie Park Winter Gardens [map] keeps flower-lovers busy for a day.

Aberdeen also makes an ideal base for exploring the Grampian Highlands’ beautiful castles, of which there are more than 350 to choose from, including Dunnottar Castle [map], a dramatic ruin where the 1990 film version of Hamlet, starring Mel Gibson, was filmed.

You could also visit one of the many whisky distilleries on the Whisky Trail, take part in snow sports at the Garthee Sports and Alpine Adventure Park [map], or catch some Scottish Premier League football action at Pittodrie stadium, home to Aberdeen FC [map].

Add to all this an array of chic bars and nightclubs, including Beluga [map], a wide selection of restaurants, such as the hugely popular Stage Door Restaurant [map], and of course the 70 golf courses in and around Aberdeen, and you’ll find the Granite City has all you need for a day, week, or month-long break to remember.

And don't forget, if you want to comment on our choices or recommend somewhere yourself, why not use our What You Recommend form to let us know.

Youth Festivals

Culture Guide

Festivals in Aberdeen Now well into its third decade, the Aberdeen International Youth Festival is one of the most important events on the city’s social calendar. Click here to learn more about this world famous festival...   Aberdeen Culture Guide With historic castles on its doorstep, museums and art galleries in the city centre, and its famous granite architecture, it’s fair to say that Aberdeen is a city bursting with culture...

Aberdeen History

GO Granite City

History of Aberdeen From its origins as a fishing settlement in the 8th century, Aberdeen has grown into one of Scotland’s most important cities with a huge role in the British oil industry...   Aberdeening in Aberdeen Aberdeen is known globally as the Granite City because the majority of its buildings are made from pale grey granite that makes them glisten in the sunshine. Click here for more about Scotland’s Silver City...

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