Aberdeen: 13 things to see and do in the Granite City


Fun Beach

This glorious beach will take your breath away.

It’s where Aberdonians go to chill out after a hard day at work and it is wheelchair accessible too. The vast expanse of golden sand stretches from the city’s busy harbour right up to the mouth of the River Don.

You can walk for miles from here. Cyclists and skateboarders ride along its promenade and the sands are a magnet for kite surfers, joggers and the Granite Reef Surf School who make the most of the huge rollers.

Just steps away are a cinema, cafes, shops, restaurants and the Beach Leisure Centre whose fun pool and flumes are a wow with kids. The centre also has a gym and ice rink and golfers can enjoy the traditional 18-hole Kings Links course nearby.

Price: £

Where: Sea Beach, Aberdeen, AB24 5NR

Tel: 01224 507739


(Fiona Wilson / DC Thomson)
(Fiona Wilson / DC Thomson)

Codonas and the Boardwalk

Codonas funfair is on the beach front and offers everything from white knuckle rides to an aerial assault course and super dodgems.

Inside, at Sunset Boulevard, you’ll find the fabulous Smugglers’ Cove adventure play area with chutes, tunnels and bridges and a play street with a vet’s practice, supermarket, disco and fire station.

The Boardwalk House of Fun Family Amusement Arcade, owned by Noble Leisure, is conveniently right next door. With its fun Foam Factory, Laser Tag, Climb Zone and other attractions, it’ll be hard to tear yourself away.

Price: ££

Where: Beach Boulevard, Aberdeen, AB24 5ED

Tel: 01224 595910



(Kevin Emslie / Press & Journal)
(Kevin Emslie / Press & Journal)

Maritime Museum

You’ll be all at sea with a visit this museum. Learn the story of Aberdeen’s long relationship with the sea, from sailing ships and whalers right through to the North Sea oil industry.

Look up in the foyer and you’ll spot a 25ft scale model of the Murchiston oil platform. You can even park your own boat in the harbour using computer interactives! Admission is free.

Price: £

Where: Shiprow, Aberdeen, AB11 5BY

Tel: 01224 337700




Hayfield Equestrian Centre

Princess Anne and the race horse Desert Orchid both visited and loved this place.

The centre caters for novice and experienced horse riders. It offers hacks in beautiful parkland or on the city’s golden beach.

Winston Churchill apparently said that: “There is something about the outside of a horse which is good for the inside of a person”. The Hayfield is proof of that.

Price: ££

Where: Hazlehead Park, Countesswells Rd, Aberdeen, AB15 8BB

Tel: 01224 315703



(Paul Grundy)
(Paul Grundy)


Union Square

How would you like to shop ‘til you drop, followed by cocktails, dinner and a movie before collapsing on to a big soft bed in a chic hotel room – and all this without even stepping outside?

Then come to Union Square. Aberdeen’s latest shopping mall has everything you could wish for under one roof. There are more than 50 top fashion brands in its uber-chic and cavernous interior, along with 30 fabulous eateries and a hotel.

And it has a regular string of events from artisan markets to auditions for TV’s The X Factor. This place caters for all the family and for people with disabilities.

There’s even a baby grand piano for shoppers to try before uploading their masterpieces on the mall’s social media pages.

It is linked to rail and bus services into and out of the city.

Price: ££

Where: Guild Square, Aberdeen, AB11 5RG

Tel: 01224 254300



(Kevin Emslie / Press & Journal)
(Kevin Emslie / Press & Journal)

Duthie Park

Imagine a sun-dappled green, the sound of leather on willow and music from the bandstand drifting in the breeze. If you think we’re describing England’s Home Counties, think again.

Duthie Park is a glorious oasis of green in the heart of Aberdeen. It’s the perfect backdrop for cricket matches and other events, like Opera in the Park. And there are great play facilities for the kids.

If the weather’s bad step inside the balmy haven that is the David Welch Winter Garden. This fantastic glass house is home to an array of exotic plants. Admission is free.

Price: £

Where: Polmuir Road, Aberdeen, AB11 7TH

Tel: 01224 583155



Peter Gabriel in concert at the AECC (Colin Rennie)
Peter Gabriel in concert at the AECC (Colin Rennie)


Aberdeen’s Exhibition and Conference Centre lays claim to being the biggest – and some would argue the best – in the north of Scotland.

Each year it attracts more than 600 events and welcomes around 300,000 visitors. And great transport links mean it can draw crowds from far and wide.

Aberdonians, though, love this massive venue for the A-list acts it routinely attracts. And there’s a sparkling line-up for 2017 including comedians John Bishop and Russell Howard and singing stars Olly Murs, Little Mix and Craig David.

Price: ££

Where: Bridge of Don, Aberdeen, AB23 8BL

Tel: 01224 824824



(Karen Murray)
(Karen Murray)

Gordon Highlanders Museum

This fabulous attraction tells the extraordinary 200-year story of what Winston Churchill once described as the “the finest regiment in the world”.

In this, the museum’s 20th anniversary year, you can follow the north east’s local heroes from the Napoleonic Wars to India, Afghanistan and South Africa, right through to both World Wars and on to the Cold War.

Price: £

Where: St. Luke’s, Viewfield Road, Aberdeen, AB15 7XH

Tel: 01224 311200



(Kami Thomson)
(Kami Thomson)

The Lemon Tree

Spend an evening at The Lemon Tree and we promise you’ll be talking about it for weeks to come.

Its programme celebrates the experimental and alternative in music, theatre, dance, performance art, and comedy.

Tomorrow’s legends are on show here today and you can be among the first to see them. This venue has two great bars too.

Price: ££

Where: 5 West North Street, Aberdeen, AB24 5AT

Tel: 01224 641122




(Michael Traill / AJL)
(Michael Traill / AJL)


His Majesty’s Theatre

There are only two His Majesty’s Theatres in the world – one is in Aberdeen and the other Australia.

With its glitzy, opulent interior and star-studded history – Charlton Heston and Vivien Leigh have played here – the Granite City’s theatre is a national treasure.

If it’s a West End or Broadway show you’re after and you don’t want to leave Scotland, then Aberdeen is the place for you.

Price: ££

Where: Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen, AB25 1GL

Tel: 01224 641122



(Ali Onder)
(Ali Onder)

Old Aberdeen Trail

Step on to the quaint cobbled streets of Old Aberdeen and you’ll travel back in time to the Middle Ages.

This is the only place in Scotland where you can take a leisurely stroll between a 12th Century cathedral, a medieval bridge and a late 15th Century college.

Old Aberdeen has a mix of architecture that will intrigue and enchant you. This heritage trail – one of a series of similar walks in the city – takes about two hours. Informative guides are available online from the city council, while the University of Aberdeen has come up with a great app to download for your phone.

Price: £

Where: VisitScotland, 23 Union Street, AB11 5BP

Tel: 01224 269180



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Science Centre

Have you ever met a real, live astronaut or had the chance to quiz a Nasa space scientist?
Well, that’s exactly what Aberdonians have been doing.

Aberdeen Science Centre this spring hosted Nasa’s Dr Sue Lederer and former astronaut Richard Heib.

The sell-out event was just part of its exciting 2017 interactive science programme which transports visitors into the heart of discovery.

Price: £

Where: 179 Constitution Street, Aberdeen, AB24 5TU

Tel: 01224 640340



(Norman Adams / Aberdeen City Council)
(Norman Adams / Aberdeen City Council)

Tolbooth Museum

Step inside one of Scotland’s most haunted buildings where staff and visitors are said to have experienced unexplained singing, clanking keys, white mists and ghostly fingers gripping their necks.

The museum is one of one of the best-preserved 17th Century gaols in Scotland. Its walls have witnessed many murders, executions and bloody tortures. Do visit… if you dare!

Price: £

Where: Castle Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1EX

Tel: 01224 621167



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