A gateway to the Scottish Highlands, this city is filled with ancient architecture, modern museums and blooming gardens.
Visit Aberdeen, often referred to as Scotland’s Silver City because of its granite buildings that shimmer in the sunshine. Spend time here to appreciate the historic city’s abounding culture and fascinating past. From museums to gardens and historic buildings, Aberdeen is a delightful destination in its own right, as well as a jumping-off point to the wilds of the highlands.
Start your explorations by walking around the city and studying its distinctive architecture. The 12th-century St Machar’s Cathedral is a highlight, with stained-glass windows and striking towers, while the King's College Chapel, part of the University of Aberdeen, dates back to the 15th century. Enjoy a self-guided walking tour of the university and stop at the fascinating University of Aberdeen Zoology Museum.
Aberdeen has numerous world-class museums. Learn about the city’s ancient maritime traditions at the Aberdeen Maritime Museum and peruse the galleries of the Aberdeen Art Gallery. Allow time to discover the Gordon Highlanders Museum, which brings to life the stories of the everyday men who formed one of the British Army’s most formidable regiments for over 200 years.
In the heart of the city, in a 17th-century building, The Tolbooth Museum has fascinating displays depicting crime and punishment over the centuries in Scotland.
Search for one of Scotland’s oldest bridges, the Brig o' Balgownie, which is believed to have been built on the orders of Robert the Bruce in 1320 and crosses the pretty River Don. Near the beautiful Duthie Park and David Welch Winter Gardens, the Brig o' Dee bridge with Doric columns is another worthy ancient bridge to discover.
Aberdeen International Airport receives flights from across Europe and beyond. The city is served by a network of buses and taxis. Rent a car to travel out into the highlands and explore lakes and castles. Aberdeen’s weather can be highly changeable, so come prepared for wind, rain and sunshine, sometimes all in one day.