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Cities

One Day in Aberdeen

Have a whirlwind day out in Aberdeen with our one-day sightseeing itinerary! This vibrant city offers lots to do in just a day, and it's easy to get around.

With its abundant grey granite buildings that sparkle in the sun, Aberdeen is the third largest city in Scotland, yet punches above its weight in terms of its importance to the Scottish economy. Home to the North Sea's oil and gas industry, the city has flourished due to its success.

Vervoer

Bus Wandeling

Dagen

1

Mijl

10

Route

Within Aberdeen

Hoogtepunten

Marischal College, Duthie Park, King's College, St Machar's Cathedral, His Majesty's Theatre

Gebieden

Aberdeen

Dag 1

Overzicht

Explore Aberdeen in a day

Absorb Aberdeen's incredible history and iconic buildings, from medieval times right up to modern day. Explore some of Scotland's best city parks, artwork collections, and an expansive beach-front. Discover the city's links to King Robert the Bruce and Sir William Wallace, take in a theatre show, and enjoy some of Scotland's delicious food and drink at a diverse range of fantastic restaurants. There's plenty of great shopping too!
  • Mijl

    10

  • Km

    16

  • Haltes

    8

  • Vervoer

    Bus Wandeling

ABERDEEN ART GALLERY

The beautiful granite Aberdeen Art Gallery was designed by A Marshall Mackenzie and opened in 1885. Its undoubtedly one of the loveliest Victorian galleries in the UK. The art collection has been greatly enhanced by generous gifts over the years, including that of Aberdeen granite merchant Alexander Macdonald's private collection which was gifted in 1900.

The gallery has recently undergone a multi-million pound redevelopment and re-opened in November 2019. Today, this nationally-recognised collection is regarded as one of the UK's finest, with work from Brueghel to Borland and Landseer to Lambie that spans across 700 years. Pay a visit to explore the fabulous collection - entry is free!

MARISHAL COLLEGE

Be sure to take a stroll past this incredible building, reminiscent of Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Owned by the University of Aberdeen and leased to Aberdeen City Council, it is the second largest granite building in the world, with its architecture style being predominantly Tudor-Gothic. Construction began in the 1830s but wasn't fully completed until 1906 due to the buildings' scale and complexity, with four architects having contributed to its design over that period.

There is no public access to Marishal College unfortunately, however it is a marvel to see from the outside, and you can still view the college's museum artefacts online, or visit the University of Aberdeen's other museums which are open to the public.

You could visit the nearby Tolbooth Museum, Maritime Museum, or the Gordon Highlanders Museum in the city's west end - all of which provide fascinating insights into local history.

DUTHIE PARK

Situated a short walk south of the city centre on the north bank of River Dee, Duthie Park is an iconic part of the city's heritage and identity. The park opened in 1883, and there are many features to enjoy, including a Victorian Bandstand, a boating pond, rose hill, the Hygeia Statue, and playpark areas.

The park is also home to the famous David Welch Winter Gardens, which are housed indoors in an extensive greenhouse building. With fountains, rockeries, a terrapin pond and bridges over an indoor river, these gardens really are an absolute must-see! There's also a park café to enjoy when you've finished wandering. Entry to the park and winter gardens building is free!

Alternatively, on the west side of the city, you'll find Hazlehead Park. It's one of Aberdeen's oldest historic properties, originally part of the great hunting forests of Stocket. The land was gifted to the city by King Robert the Bruce in 1319 in appreciation for the city's support at the Battle of Bannockburn. Enjoy formal gardens, woodlands walks, a petting zoo and much more! Entry is free.

KING'S COLLEGE

King's College is the original home to the University of Aberdeen, founded under a Papal Bull issued by Pope Alexander VI in 1495. The crown like structure that is incorporated into the architecture is thought to have been in support of the Scottish crown's claim to imperial authority within Scotland.

Today, the building forms part of the Old Aberdeen campus, and remains at the symbolic centre of the ever-growing university. It still has an important educational function, with Divinity/Theology, History of Art and Religious Studies all taught here, and its rear grounds are used as a sports pavilion.

To see the university's most spectacular modern building, also stop in at the Sir Duncan Rice Library. It was officially opened in 2012 by Her Majesty The Queen. Built of glass, and with a mesmerising asymmetrical central foyer, it was designed to pay homage to the ice and light of the north. It's open to the public, and entry is free.

First bus services 1 and 2 regularly run from the city centre to King's College.

ST MACHAR'S CATHEDRAL

North of King's College, still within Old Aberdeen, sits St Machar's Cathedral. Did you know you can trace its origins back to an ancient Celtic religious site? The cathedral was built by 1165 and has been added to over the many years. It is widely rumoured that Sir William Wallace's arm, which the English sent to Aberdeen after he was hung, drawn and quartered in 1305, was taken and buried within the cathedral.

The historic atmosphere of the building is palpable. Take in the cathedral's beautiful features, which include a heraldic ceiling, large stained-glass windows, incredible stone carvings, spires and tower heads. Entry is free!

ABERDEEN BEACH AND QUEEN'S LINKS

Aberdeen beach is a long stretch of golden sand running along the eastern periphery of the city, flanked by Aberdeen's harbour at the south end, and the River Don and Donmouth Local Nature Reserve at the north end. The beach's beautiful promenade and ballroom date back to the 1920s, when it became a popular seaside resort.

Today it offers a wide range of facilities with something for everyone - enjoy the Beach Leisure Centre with a swimming pool, flumes and a gym, an ice-skating rink, a family fun fair, cinema, and a range of cafes and restaurants too.

You can also visit the historic fishing village of Footdee, which sits at the far end of the beach and looks out onto the mouth of the harbour from its north side. The harbour itself is the oldest business in Britain, and it's a great spot for dolphin watching from Torry Battery on the south side.

SHOPPING AND DINING OUT

Shopping
Aberdeen is known for its easy shopping due to the close proximity of its 3 sizeable shopping malls. Union Square, which is attached to Aberdeen railway and bus station, has over 50 top high-street stores and 30 restaurants. There's also a 10-screen cinema with a 4DX experience! It is adjacent to the smaller Trinity Shopping Centre, which is just across the road and up via a covered stairwell. From there, you can head out onto Union Street and across the road to Belmont street. You'll find bars and cafes lining the cobbled Belmont Street, and the Bon Accord Centre at its far end - which has over 65 fashion, beauty and homeware stores.

Dining out
Aberdeen has a wonderful selection of cafes and restaurants to enjoy within the city centre and beyond. The region is world-famous for Aberdeen Angus beef, and also its seafood which is landed at nearby Peterhead harbour. But they also have plenty of fresh salmon and game from inland estates. The city and region have nine fabulous Michelin restaurants to discover if you'd like to splash out. There's also a lively bar and nightlife scene to be enjoyed too!

HIS MAJESTY'S THEATRE

A couple of buildings along from Aberdeen Art Gallery, His Majesty's Theatre is a distinguished venue boasting one of the most beautiful auditoriums in the UK. Designed by eminent theatre architect Frank Matcham and opened in 1906, the Edwardian venue quickly became a staple on the UK theatre circuit, and a prominent part of the Aberdeen skyline. In 2005, the theatre received a modern aspect to the Edwardian building with an £8 million glass extension.

Some of the best-known UK and international theatre troupes, ballets and music performances feature at the theatre throughout the year, so be sure to take in a show during your visit for a fantastic afternoon or evening to remember!

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