Combining history, culture, sports and industry, Aberdeen is one of the great cities of Scotland. It gets nowhere near the tourism that Glasgow and Edinburgh do, but that can be a good thing for travelers who want to get the full Scottish experience and see one of Scotland’s largest industrial and economic centers.
Aberdeen is the largest city in northern Scotland, and lies well north of both Glasgow and Edinburgh. It sits on the east coast, and between the mouths of the River Don and the River Dee. For more on the Aberdeen area, check out our city map of Aberdeen.
How to Get to Aberdeen
Aberdeen Airport (ABZ) is the city’s primary airport, and serves flights from within Britain as well as elsewhere in Europe. Travelers from North America and elsewhere in the world usually come into Britain through London, and take a domestic flight up to Aberdeen.
Aberdeen railway station is the main train station, and runs frequent trains to and from London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and other points around Britain.
There are also numerous motorways running from throughout the country to Aberdeen, the major highway hub of the eastern coast.
Climate and Temperature
As it is throughout Europe, as you go North, things have a tendency to get colder. Compared to Glasgow, Aberdeen tends to be about 1 degree Celsius colder, which doesn’t seem like much of a difference, but it can be the difference between rain and snow. Aberdeen’s place on the coast, though, does keep it a bit warmer than the inland areas of Scotland at the same latitude.
Jan: avg high 5C(42F), avg low 0C (32F)
July: avg high 17C(64F), avg low 10C(51F)
Things To Do
Aberdeen has a reputation as an industrial city, especially as a hub of North Sea oil. But there is so much more to Aberdeen, and here are a few of the highlights:
- Downtown architecture: Aberdeen is known as the “Granite City”, and tons of that gray rock still dominate the architecture of the city, in houses, churches and nearly everything else. It may not be colorful, but some of the buildings are beautiful in their own stark way.
- Pittodrie Stadium: Aberdeen Football Club is one of the most successful clubs in Scotland, and where world-famous Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson got his start. Come see the Reds play at Pittodrie, where the Scottish national team has also sometimes played friendly matches. Learn more at Aberdeen Offside
- His Majesty’s Theatre: Opened in 1906, Aberdeen’s most famous theatre was recently refurbished. Like the Louvre in Paris, the project matched an old stone and cement building with a new glass and steel expansion, winning a major award in 2006. A great cultural icon of Aberdeen, and Britain overall.
- Codonas Amusement Park: Scotland isn’t often considered one of the more “fun” locations for kids, but you can get your fill of the Scottish culture and landscape, and still keep the kids happy with Aberdeen’s largest amusement park. Included in the park is the Grampian Eye, a ferris wheel that gives a great view of the entire area on a clear day.
Where to Stay
Aberdeen has a number of accommodations to make your visit to the Granite City a memorable one. Every level of budget has its place, from a bed in a hostel to a luxury hotel room.
Look for Aberdeen hostels.
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You can also search our flight and hotel deals in Aberdeen, updated daily.