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54 Must-Visit Places in Aberdeen

54 Must-Visit Places in Aberdeen

The third-biggest city in Scotland, Aberdeen is a city rich in historical architecture, home to the nation’s oldest bridge, and even has a reputation for being quite lucky.

So, whether you’re looking to explore Aberdeen’s sights or try out your luck, we’ve listed our top must-visit attractions, from Aberdeen’s oldest home to the city’s first gin distillery! 

Without further ado, let’s dive right in! 

Food and Beverages

1. City of Aberdeen Distillery

City of Aberdeen Distillery

Image: City of Aberdeen Distillery


Address: City of Aberdeen Distillery, Arch 10, Palmerston Road, AB11 5RE, United Kingdom

Contact Information: 01224 589 645; [email protected]

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 12 PM – 5:30 PM


  • Discovery Tour – £29
  • Gin Tasting Masterclass – £49
  • Gin School Experience – £120
  • Tour Voucher – starting at £25
  • Shop Items – starting at £0.99

What’s a visit to Scotland without an alcoholic drink, right? The City of Aberdeen Distillery is actually the city’s oldest, tucked behind a historic railway arch for the last 80 years.

They offer a 45-minute Discovery Tour for £29 (adult rate) and Gin Tasting Masterclass for £49 (adult rate). 

To make things even more exciting, they’re also the city’s first ever school for gin. So if you’re the type who loves to concoct your own alcoholic beverages, we think you’ll have loads of fun here.

They also have a quaint shop where you can purchase their Aberdeen gins, gift boxes, Christmas hampers, and personalised gifts, to name a few. These are perfect souvenirs to take home to your family and friends.

We do have to warn you though that their distillery is incredibly popular as they only have limited slots available daily. Hence, we highly encourage you to book your tickets in advance, especially for group bookings. 

2. Silver Darling

Silver Darling

Image: SquareMeal


Address: Pocra Quay, Aberdeen AB11 5DQ, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 576229; [email protected]

Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday: 12 PM – 2 PM; 5 PM – 9PM

Friday: 12 PM – 2:30 PM; 5 PM – 9 PM

Saturday: 12 PM – 9 PM

Sunday: 12:30 PM – 9 PM

What’s unique about the Silver Darling is that they offer a one-of-a-kind coastal dining experience alongside the Pocra Quay.

In fact, the restaurant only uses the finest local produce along with fresh fish and meat to curate their renowned dishes.

On top of a scenic oceanside view, the restaurant offers a variety of European-style seafood dishes. These include the likes of langoustine bisque “espresso”, cullen skink, and seared Shetland scallops, among others.

On top of that, several of their dishes are vegetarian and vegan. It’s great that they offer a gluten-free menu, too.

Many rave about their beverages menu filled with a variety of wines, champagnes, beers, and cocktails to pair with their meals.

Unfortunately, their facilities aren’t equipped to cater to individuals with mobility difficulties. 

However, visitors can simply phone in and the staff can make arrangements to accommodate your party at the Captain’s Table (downstairs private dining room).

3. Angus & Ale

Angus & Ale

Image: Angus & Ale


Address: 504 Union St, Aberdeen AB10 1TT, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 626720

Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday: 4 PM – 12 AM

Friday: 4 PM – 1 AM

Saturday: 12 PM – 1 AM

Sunday: 12 PM – 12 AM

If you’re on the hunt for ginormous, juicy, and mouth-watering burgers then look no further! Angus & Ale are well-known for 100% angus beef that has been dry aged for no less than 28 days.

Their renowned angus burgers start at £10.5 and are topped with a pickled gherkin wedge. To accompany that, diners can choose from several slides such as onion rings and side salads.

Though if you’re not into burgers, they also have fillet at £30 for a 7oz cut and sirloin steaks at £25 for a 8oz cut, which are just as delicious. 

To add to the fun, they also serve a handful of drinks, from a selection of draught beers to different kinds of wines. Apart from that, they offer softs for non-alcoholic drinkers.

If you’ve got little ones with you, they also have a kids’ menu famous for their wee burgers. These come with a side of rosemary salted chips.

4. Books and Beans

Books and Beans

Image: Vivere Senza Glutine


Address: 22 Belmont St, Aberdeen AB10 1JH, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 646438

Opening Hours: Daily: 9:30 AM – 4 PM

Books and Beans is many things – a second-hand bookstore, library, café, and coffee shop all wrapped in one. Hence, this quirky place is a frequented spot by bookworms and coffee lovers alike.

They’re actually a popular workspace, too, since they provide copying and printing services along with free WiFi. They also have a tasty menu, to boot. 

They offer breakfast meals, home-made soups, salads, and even a variety of cakes. It’s also worth mentioning that they also offer vegan, vegetarian, and vegan-free options, too.

As a second-hand bookstore and library, they have over 12,000 books from different authors and genres under their roof. Since they have several seating areas, visitors can spend hours on end browsing through their wide selection.

Uniquely, they also host events, such as an open mic, every now and then. These are typically free, so all you have to do is show up and have fun.

5. Ma Cameron’s

Ma Cameron's

Image: FANZO


Address: Little Belmont St, Aberdeen AB10 1JG, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 644487

Opening Hours: Daily: 11 AM – 12 AM

Ma Cameron’s, or simply referred to as Ma’s, is considered a landmark considering that it’s Aberdeen’s oldest pub. This city-center pub has been in business for the last 300 years, serving hearty meals and refreshing drinks.

What makes it unique and cosy is that there are a ton of adjoining rooms that give guests enough privacy. The pub even has several of its original decor and ornaments dating back to the 1900s.

A fan favorite is their rooftop beer garden, which is spacious enough to host live bands, football watch parties, and regular parties.

Their menu serves several tasty British classics such as haggis fritters, sausage and mash, and beer-battered onion rings, among others.

They even have a kids’ menu for your wee ones, serving the likes of nuggets, hand-battered fish, and tomato pasta.

Apart from that, they have a separate menu with gluten-free options for main dishes, sides, and desserts. 

6. 8848 Restaurant

8848 Restaurant

Image: Aberdeen Inspired


Address: 347 Union St, Aberdeen AB11 6BT, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 595588; [email protected]

Opening Hours: Daily: 2 PM – 10 PM

What better way to immerse yourself in Indian and Nepalese culture than with food that’s bursting with flavor?

8848 Restaurant serves inarguably delicious and authentic Indian and Nepalese cuisine that ‘ll make you feel like you’re not even in Aberdeen.

These include mouth-watering curries, biryanis, and kebabs to name a few. It’s also worth highlighting that they’ve won several awards for their highly acclaimed food.

In fact, they’re well-known for locally sourcing their ingredients, ensuring that they’re always fresh and of great quality.

Many guests opt for their set dinner menu at £25 per person, which is quite reasonable for the various dishes you’ll be served. This even comes with a welcome drink and dessert for good measure.

For parties with over 16 guests, you can opt to book their private dining area instead. While you’re at it, you can even order online to speed things up.

7. Buchanan’s Bistro

Buchanan's Bistro

Image: Buchanan Bistro


Address: Woodend Barn, Burn O’Bennie Rd, Banchory AB31 5QA, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1330 826530

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 10 AM – 4 PM

Sustainability and ethics are at the heart of Buchanan Bistro. They’re known for locally sourcing their ingredients and preparing all of their organically-made dishes in house.

Unique to this restaurant is that their cooks are all self-taught, which is downright impressive. They can cook up an array of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, too.

They even take the importance of their dishes’ nutritional value to a whole other level. In fact, they ferment their own yogurt, bake their own bread, and brew their own beer, among others.

Food isn’t the only great thing here, but their ambiance is top notch as well. Guests can opt to eat indoors or enjoy the fresh air through an al fresco dining experience overlooking Scolty hill.

Apart from locally sourced ingredients, their live bands are also local Scottish artists. Guests can enjoy specially crafted menus during the bistro’s evening events accompanied by great local music.

8. Moonfish Cafe

Moonfish Cafe

Image: Moonfish Cafe


Address: 9 Correction Wynd, Aberdeen AB10 1HP, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 644166

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 12 PM – 9 PM

A Michelin star restaurant since 2018, the Moonfish Cafe is a well-loved restaurant tucked within Merchant Quarter that’s perfect if you’re in the mood for something fancy yet well-priced.

A culinary gem, they have an innovative menu that is centred on British cuisine. They change their menu items every so often to better incorporate seasonal ingredients into their lunch and dinner-focused menus.

Having said that, diners can expect dishes with vibrant flavors made with unique flavor combinations made of high quality produce. 

They also have an extensive gin and wine menu to match. Alternatively, if it’s too early for a drink you can couple your delicious food with coffee instead.

Apart from dishes bursting with flavour, their plating comes second to none, which definitely adds to the overall dining experience.

A fun fact is that the head chef, Brian Mcleish, was actually a finalist in the cooking show Masterchef in 2014.

9. Cocoa Ooze

Cocoa Ooze

Image: Cut Out + Keep


Address: New Jasmine House, East Tullos Industrial Estate, Aberdeen AB12 3BT, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 467212; [email protected]

Opening Hours: 

  • Tuesday to Friday: 9 AM – 4 PM
  • Saturday: 9 AM – 6 PM

You’ve heard of Charlie’s chocolate factory, but what about Cocoa Ooze? Established by Jamie Hutcheon in 2008, Cocoa Ooze has since grown into an award-winning luxury chocolate brand.

With a wealth of chocolate-making experience up her sleeves, Hutcheon and her team handcraft a wide variety of chocolate treats. These include buttons and truffles in different types of chocolate.

To make things extra special, some of her treats are infused with peanut butter, honeycomb, strawberries, and cream, among other tasty ingredients.

What folks are really after are her DIY chocolate-making kits, which has proved to be a hit among children and adults alike.

On top of that, they host workshops and tasting events, too, if you’d like to try your hand at being a chocolatier.

Given that each piece is made by hand, it’s best to head on to their store as early as possible to get first dibs on their treats as they’re known to sell out rather quickly.

10. Gourmet Cheese Co

Gourmet Cheese Co

Image: Gourmet Cheese Co


Address: 201 Rosemount Pl, Aberdeen AB25 2XP, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 467212; [email protected]

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 10 AM – 5 PM

Whether you’re looking for cheese made locally in Scotland or all the way in Greece, you can most likely find them at Gourmet Cheese Co.

A local favourite cheesemonger, Gourmet Cheese Co is run by Michael and Kathryn Figueiredo. They’re in close contact with several well-known cheese suppliers from all over Europe, ensuring the best quality for their customers.

Apart from tasty cheeses, they also have a wall of accompaniments, which are perfect for completing the ingredients for whatever dish you’re making. 

These include chutneys, preserves, breads, and biscuits, among others. They also have a great selection of meats for your charcuterie board needs.

If you’re not sure of what to get, the owners love helping out their customers and sharing a bit of cheese knowledge while they’re at it.

It’s also pretty convenient that you can phone in to place an order, which is handy for when you’re in a rush.

11. Royal Lochnagar Distillery

Royal Lochnagar Distillery

Image: The Single Malt Shop


Address: Royal Lochnagar Distillery, Balmoral, Crathie, Ballater, Aberdeenshire, AB35 5TB, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1339 742700; [email protected]

Opening Hours: 

  • January to February | Tuesday to Saturday: 10 AM – 4 PM
  • March to October | Monday to Sunday: 10 AM – 5 PM
  • October to December | Monday to Saturday: 10 AM – 5 PM


  • Royal Lochnagar Expressions – £20
  • Royal Lochnagar Warehouse Tasting – £40

After the royal visit, what was previously known as New Lochnagar has since changed its name to the Royal Lochnagar Distillery. 

This historical facility still makes use of traditional pagoda kiln heads and techniques. Guided tours showcase the various processes used to create their renowned malt whiskey.

Their Royal Lochnagar Expressions gives guests an insightful introduction into the world of whiskey making along with a tour of the various facilities. To top things off, visitors will get to experience a tutored tasting session.

Meanwhile, the guests of the Royal Lochnagar Warehouse Tasting will get to enjoy a tutored tasting experience of four of their whiskeys from the Duty Paid Warehouse.

Given their meticulous operations, the distillery has a small production capacity. Even so, this is also what makes their whiskeys incredibly sought after.

If you’re planning a visit during Christmas, the distillery offers free tours and tastings in celebration of the city’s Christmas Faye Festivities.

12. Mackie’s 19.2

Mackie’s 19.2

Image: Alamy


Address: 7, Marischal Square, Broad Street, Aberdeen AB10 1BL, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 518252

Opening Hours: Daily: 12 PM – 9 PM

Mackie’s 19.2 is one of, if not the oldest, ice cream parlor in Aberdeen. Mackie’s is the name of the ice cream parlor while ‘19.2’ refers to the distance between the parlor and the dairy farm which they’ve been managing since 1912.

Striving to be the greenest company in all of the UK, Mackie’s 19.2 has a 1,600-acre farm that houses about 330 milking cows which provide the company with all of the dairy they need to produce many of their well-loved flavours.

Speaking of, their lineup of ice cream flavours has been on the market since 1986. They also have an array of cones and toppings to add to your ice cream. 

To make things even more fun, they also offer make-your-own milkshakes, which is a hit among kids and adults alike.  

They’ve also ventured into creating potato crisps in 2009 along with the Taylor family. These are made with completely natural ingredients, so you won’t have to worry about finishing an entire packet yourself.

Museums, Centres, and Galleries

1. Tolbooth Museum

Tolbooth Museum

Image: Trip Advisor


Address: The Tolbooth Museum, Castle Street, Aberdeen, AB11 5BB, United Kingdom

Contact Information: 01224 589 645; [email protected]

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 12 PM – 5:30 PM

Prices: Free entrance

Originally the city’s wardhouse and prison, the Tolbooth Museum is a popular attraction among locals and tourists for its historic yet spookily captivating environment. 

This is thanks to its well-preserved 17th-century gaol cells, guillotine, and heavily barred windows, which, admittedly, did give us shivers. 

Visitors interested in Aberdeen’s criminal history can enjoy a 45-minute self-guided tour of the exhibit and read about the many interesting stories of the prison’s many residents, escapes, and jail life.

Don’t worry, there are several staff members nearby who are all ready to answer any queries you may have.

Unfortunately, due to the building’s historic nature, the stone stairs are rather steep and rooms are quite tight, which make them rather difficult to navigate. These may pose some issues to visitors with children, mobility concerns, or who are claustrophobic.

Unfortunately, the Tolbooth Museum is closed to the public as of writing as a comprehensive survey is currently being done.

Aberdeen Art Gallery

Image: Museums Association


Address: Art Gallery, Schoolhill, Aberdeen AB10 1FQ, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 300 020 0293

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday: 10 AM – 5 PM; Sunday: 11 AM – 4 PM

Prices: Free entrance

Having first opened in 1883, the Aberdeen Art Gallery has been refining its collection for the past 700 years. 

Hence, visiting the museum would be any artist’s dream because it houses one of the most extensive contemporary art and artifact collections in the entire UK.

These include work from the likes of nationally and internationally renowned artists, designers, and makers, among others. This makes the museum highly worth visiting if you’re a fan of Claude Monet, James Cromar Watt, and Henry Raeburn.

Apart from that, they even have a café, which is perfect for taking a short break and enjoying a hot cup of coffee with some cake.

The museum also hosts many art-related events for visitors of all ages each month As of writing, they’ll soon host the Baby Boogie!, which is a disco event for parents and children and the Tea Green Festive Market to showcase crafts from independent businesses.

3. Aberdeen Science Center

Aberdeen Science Center

Image: Urban Realm


Address:  179 Constitution St, Aberdeen AB24 5TU, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 640340; [email protected]

Opening Hours: Daily: 10 AM – 4:30 PM


  • Children under 3 – Free
  • Children 3 to 17 – £7
  • Adults – £11
  • Concessions / Students – £8.50
  • Family Ticket – £30

*2 adults/2 children or 1 adult/3 children

  • STEM Passport Holder – Free
  • Groups – from £

*Please contact the museum for organised group bookings

The Aberdeen Science Center is the perfect place to bring your curious kiddos! Spanning 6 zones, the museum has over 60 uniquely interactive yet educational exhibits and hands-on activities for your children to play around in.

From learning about the wonders of our solar system to imaginative building zones, the museum is great for keeping your children busy learning. It’s also worth appreciating that they have a zone dedicated to children under 6. 

It’s great that they even host several daily shows and workshops, which are included in your ticket price.

There are also a ton of enthusiastic staff around to entertain your little one’s questions. There are also a ton of enthusiastic staff around to entertain your little one’s questions. 

To boot, they have an indoor café where you can enjoy a tasty meal after a full day of play and learning.

Though, since they’re often quite full, they strongly advise visitors to pre-book their tickets to secure entry.

4. The Gordon Highlanders Museum

The Gordon Highlanders Museum

Image: Francis Mridha on Gordon Highlanders Museum


Address:  St. Luke’s, Viewfield Rd, Aberdeen AB15 7XH, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 311200; [email protected]

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 10 AM – 4:30 PM


  • Adult Ticket – £10
  • Child Ticket – £5
  • Concession Ticket – £7
  • Family Ticket – £21

*2 adults with max. 3 children / 1 adult plus 2 or 3 children

Located at a well-preserved 19-th century home, the Gordon Highlands Museum is dedicated to the 200-year long story of the Gordon Highlanders regiment. 

It has a jaw-dropping collection of historical artifacts and memorabilia such as a full-size WW1  replica trench, armory full of edged-weapons and guns, as well as various medals.

They even have a mock-up of the Regimental Officers’ Mess along with several limited-time exhibitions on display.

They even have an audio tour available in 9 different languages, which is perfect for those who prefer to explore at their own pace. 

For those intending to visit with their families, the tour is fitting for children above 5 as they offer an enjoyable mini-figure hunt and comics. 

The museum also accepts group and educational visits, which you’ll have to coordinate with their staff in advance to book an appointment.

Outside, they have a quaint café for a relaxing cup of coffee along with some sandwiches, soup, or cake by their well-kept Victorian-walled garden.

5. Aberdeen Maritime Museum

Aberdeen Maritime Museum

Image: Aberdeen City Council


Address: Shiprow, Aberdeen AB11 5BY, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 300 020 0293

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday: 10 AM – 5 PM; Sunday: 11 AM – 4 PM


  • Adult Ticket – £14.50
  • Family Ticket – £33
  • One Adult Family Ticket – £27.50
  • Concession – £11
  • Young Scot – £1

The Aberdeen Maritime Museum is the perfect place for visitors curious to learn about Aberdeen’s long and rich relationship with the sea.

The museum boasts several floors, each with its own maritime themes. The museum also has a handful of paintings and photographs that details the city’s maritime industry developments over the centuries.

From historical artifacts to ship models, the fully-accessible museum has some of the rarest well-preserved maritime treasures. These include whaler’s harpoons, medieval imported goods, and historic steamers, among others.

One of the museum’s most notable displays is that of the 9-metre Murchison oil platform which is suspended-mid air. It’s large enough that visitors can view it from different angles depending on what floor level they’re at. 

There are also a couple interactive displays and hands-on exhibits such as a remote-controlled submersible ROV model.

In line with the theme, the museum also offers a striking view of the harbour. They also have a quaint café to grab a quick snack and a gift shop to purchase some souvenirs.

6. Aberdeenshire Farming Museum

Aberdeenshire Farming Museum

Image: Live Life Aberdeenshire


Address: North East Scotland Agricultural Heritage Center, Aden Country, Mintlaw, Old Deer, Peterhead AB42 5FQ, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1771 624590; [email protected]

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 10 AM – 4 PM

Price: Free entrance

Situated in the Old Deer near Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, the Aberdeenshire Farming Museum is a working farm from the 1800s that doubles as a museum with three themes.

First off, The Aden Estate Story, which tells the story of the estate’s residents, land, and buildings. Visitors will see what life was like in the 1800s for the estate’s labourers, gardeners, and tenants, among other occupants.

Next, The Horseman’s House, which tells the story of Jimmy Thomson and his family, the estate’s horseman in the 1920s. 

Translating to ‘well worked ground’, the last exhibit is the the Weel Wrocht Grun’, which is the exhibit’s main attraction. 

Here lies detailed and captivating exhibits, artifacts, and models on display that showcase Aberdeen’s colourful farming agricultural history.

Visitors will learn about the various tools, mechanisms, and harvest processes used in the 18th century as well as how they’ve developed to what is commonly practised today.

On top of guided tours, the museum also changes their exhibits and programmes every now and then. 

7. University of Aberdeen Zoology Museum

University of Aberdeen Zoology Museum

Image: University of Aberdeen


Address: University of Aberdeen, King’s College, Aberdeen AB24 3FX, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 272000; [email protected]

Opening Hours: Thursday to Sunday: 11  AM – 3:30 PM

Price: Free entrance

Located inside the University of Aberdeen’s Zoology Building is their Zoology Museum which is home to a ton of taxidermy, well-preserved specimens, and skeletal material.

The museum has several exhibitions on display and boasts over 75,000 specimens. In fact, their collection spans 200 years of research activities from the university’s staff, students, and colleagues.

For avid fans, it’s also worth highlighting that they have models made from renowned 19th century makers. These include the likes of Osterloh, Auzox, and Brendel.

One of the museum’s most notable displays is a 40 uniquely created glass models of marine invertebrates made by Blaschka.

Hence, it’s a great place for visitors of all ages to learn more about the animal kingdom. Though keep in mind that group visitations will require prior arrangements via email. 

The museum recently received funding from the Museum Recognition Capital Fund which will greatly improve their current set-up and preservation efforts. 

With that said, those interested to visit can expect more accessible displays, better lighting, and similar enhancements soon.

8. The Grampian Transport Museum

The Grampian Transport Museum

Image: Trip Advisor


Address: Montgarrie Rd, Alford AB33 8AE, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1975 562292

Opening Hours: Daily: 10 AM – 4 PM


  • Adult (16+) – £12
  • Concession (60+) – £10
  • Child (3-15) – £5
  • Student – £10

*Presentation of student ID is required

  • Family (2 adults & up to 2 children) – £25

The Grampian Transport Museum came into fruition when local transport enthusiasts and collectors sought to preserve and display historical transport artifacts in the 1970s.

Due to lack of funding, it wasn’t until 1981 when the European Economic Community (E.E.C.) and the Grampian Regional Council (G.R.C.) covered the construction costs through grants.

The museum formally opened its doors to the public two years later and received an extraordinary welcome recording 25,000 visitors. 

Visitors will never get tired of dropping by since the museum refreshes about a third of its exhibits. This year, their theme was “Kings’ Cars” which showcased several vehicles owned by the royal family.

The museum tries its best to be as interactive with some of their other vehicle displays. In fact, guests can sit inside and tinker with the windows and gears of several of their exhibitions. 

To make things more exciting, they even have a free junior driving school for kids ages 4 to 8. Your little one will enjoy a 15-minute lesson and earn their first ‘driver’s licence’.

9. King’s Museum

King’s Museum

Image: WhichMuseum


Address: Town House, University of Aberdeen Old, High St, Aberdeen AB24 3EN, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 274330; [email protected]

Opening Hours: 

  • Monday to Friday 10 AM – 4 PM (Tuesday until 19:30) 
  • Saturday: 11 AM – 4 PM

Price: Free entrance

Founded in 2011, the King’s Museum is run by and located within the University of Aberdeen. Despite being a fairly young museum, it holds the largest collection of historical artifacts from the King’s College in 1727.

An undeniable focal point within the area thanks to its Scottish architecture, the museum resides in the Old Town House which was built in the 1780s.

The Aberdeen Old Town House used to operate as the city’s prison, council chamber, and library, among others. 

Given their museum’s extensive collection, Museum Galleries Scotland bestowed the museum the status of a ‘Recognised Collection of National Significance’.

To have each of their artifacts on display, the museum rotates their exhibitions. This ensures that visitors will be able to see something new every month.

With that many items on display, it could take visitors around 2 to 3 hours to view them all. Nevertheless, it’s a popular museum among students, tourists, and locals.

10. Peterhead Prison Museum

Peterhead Prison Museum

Image: Adventures Around Scotland


Address: South Rd, Peterhead AB42 2ZX, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1779 581060; [email protected]

Opening Hours: 

  • April to October (Summer Period): Daily: 10 AM – 4:30 PM
  • November to March (Winter Period): Daily: 10 AM – 4 PM


  • Family (2 Adults & 2 Children) –  £25
  • Adult (Aged 16-64) – £10
  • Senior (Aged 65+) – £7.50

If you’re curious to see what prison life was like at ‘Scotland’s toughest jail’, then a visit to the Peterhead Museum should be on your to-do list.

The prison first opened in 1888 and housed some of Scotland’s most notorious prisoners, from serial killers to gangsters. However, the prison closed down in 2013.

Now, visitors can tour the facilities which housed over 100 years worth of prisoners, from the Victorian Era up until the 21st century.

Whilst exploring, guests will see the well-preserved sleeping areas, shower blocks, laundry rooms, and even the solitary confinement area.

The museum’s self-guided audio tour will give you a detailed rundown on what the prison has been through as well as share tales of its most infamous prisoners.

It can take anywhere from 90 to 120 minutes depending on your pace. So visitors are free to take their time exploring.

It’s important to note that part of the tour will take you outside and the building isn’t heated, so ensure to dress accordingly. 

11. Peacock Visual Arts

Peacock Visual Arts

Image: Trip Advisor


Address: 21 Castle St, Aberdeen AB11 5BQ, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 639539; [email protected]

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday: 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM


  • Full Price | Full Day – £18
  • Full Price | Half Day – £9
  • Concession (Students, OAPs, Unemployed) | Full Day – £13.50
  • Concession (Students, OAPs, Unemployed) | Half Day – £6.75

Established in 1974, the Peacock Visual Arts is a local charity that’s supported by the Aberdeen City Council & Creative Scotland. 

They’re known to have provided immense support to many of the city’s local artists, from work revolving around photography to performances.

They also have art installations every now and then showcasing the work of Aberdeen’s artists.

Apart from that, they’re an open access studio for artists of all ages and skill levels to use their in-house materials. They also have technicians who are available around the clock to provide assistance.

They also offer one-to-one teaching sessions for several creative activities. These include letterpress, screenprinting, and relief printing, among others.

If you’d like to have a class with friends or family, the centre also provides group workshops for up to 6 people.

The center also provides seasonal courses on an array of topics such as cyanotype printing, scream-printing, and CMYK printing, to name a few. 

Historical Sites

1. Brig O’ Balgownie

Brig O’ Balgownie

Image:  Lifejourney4two

Address: 259 Don St, Old Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 1XP, United Kingdom

Opening Hours: Daily: 24 hours

Price: Free entrance

Scotland’s oldest medieval bridge, the Brig O’ Balgownie is a 12-metre long monument that was completed in 1320 at the request of King Robert the Bruce. 

The bridge is made out of silvery gray granite, which Aberdeen is known for.

It was once called the ‘Bridge of Don’ since it was the primary trade route between Aberdeen and the River Don. 

This was up until the new Bridge of Don was built in 1831 downstream to be the city’s brand new major route. 

Nevertheless, the Brig O’ Balgownie was an important asset to Scottish history. Today, it stands tall and proud, majestically surrounded by an abundance of wildlife.

In fact, if you’re lucky enough, you’ll be able to spot several kinds of water birds, seals, otters, and even grazing deers along the riverbank of Black Neuk.

This is the perfect oasis for a relaxing picnic, quiet reflection, or if you’re up for it, forest bathing.

2. Mercat Cross

Mercat Cross

Image: Thrillophilia


Address: Mercat Cross, Castle St, Aberdeen AB11 5HP, United Kingdom

Opening Hours: Daily: 24 hours

Price: Free entrance

At 18 feet high, the Mercat Cross was designed and built from sandstone by John Montgomerey in 1686 at the center of what was once the Aberdeen marketplace. 

The Mercat Cross was the town’s symbolic right to trading, which is still applicable to date.

The highly decorated hexagonal structure displays the portrait medallions of the 10 Stuart monarchs. These include the likes of Mary Queen of Scots, King James I, and James the VII. 

Visitors will be able to see the intricate ancient symbols and animal gargoyles. Meanwhile, at the very top of the structure stands a white marble unicorn with a gilded horn, which at the time, was symbolic of Christ.

While only a fraction of the original monument stands, it has strongly stood the test of time with its designs embodying a time wherein Aberdeen was once a Burgh of Barony (a kind of Scottish town) in the late 15th century. 

3. Provost Skene’s House

Provost Skene's House

Image: BBC


Address: Marischal Square, Guestrow, Aberdeen AB10 1AS, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 300 020 0293

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday: 10 AM – 5 PM; Sunday: 11 AM – 4 PM

Price: Free entrance

Built in around 1545, the Provost Skene’s House is the oldest house in Aberdeen. It has quite a history, once having been used by troops and a hotel for the homeless, among others.

Today, it stands as an interactive museum proudly telling the stories and major accomplishments of many notable Aberdeen locals.

The museum celebrates the pioneers that have made significant contributions to what the city of Aberdeen is today.

These include the individuals of various professions and statuses in life, such as writers, musicians, and philosophers, to name a few.

Visiting the home will be like traveling back in time through its several period room settings, highlighting the distinct architecture and design of earlier times.

After having been majorly refurbished in 2019, the Provost Skene’s House became open to the public once again in late 2021.

However, due to the building’s historic nature, the upper floors cannot be accessed via wheelchair or buggy.

4. Torry Battery

Torry Battery

Image: Walkhighlands


Address: Torry Battery, Aberdeen AB11 9DA, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 597000

Opening Hours: Daily: 24 hours

Price: Free entrance

First opened in 1859, the Torry Battery is one of Aberdeen’s most pivotal historical landmarks. Back in the day, the fortified artillery battery could hold weaponry as heavy as over 65 pounds.

It sat overlooking the harbor which handled the arrival of about 6,500 vessels and four million tonnes of cargo. This was needed to protect Aberdeen from various raiders as the city was a popular target from as early as the 1400s.

Visitors will see various ancient monuments used in WWII. These include the Girdleness Lighthouse which was built by Robert Stevenson back in 1833.

Standing at 37 metres high, the lighthouse was used to signal to mariners that they were close to approaching Aberdeen. 

Given its historical relevance, a documentary was even made by the BBC called “The Harbor”. Here they showcased the deeply inspiring stories of the many pioneers that took a part in the success of the Torry Battery.

5. Balmoral Castle

Balmoral Castle

Image: Britannica


Address: Balmoral, Ballater Aberdeenshire, AB35 5TB, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 13397 42534; [email protected]

Opening Hours: Daily: 10 AM – 4 PM 

*Opening hours may vary each month. Kindly visit their website for their Opening Dates.

Price: Free entrance

If you’re a royal aficionado, there’s no way you should miss visiting one of the residences of the British royal family. 

While having been built in 1390, it wasn’t until 1852 that the estate was bought by Prince Albert. It was a gift to his wife, Queen Victoria, who, like Queen Elizabeth II, adored the Scottish countryside.

Balmoral Castle is arguably where Queen Elizabeth II was the happiest and where she had spent her last moments. It’s been noted that she’d spend several multiple week-long holidays at the castle, especially during the summertime. 

The Queen was often spotted walking her many beloved dogs, on horseback, and enjoying lovely picnics with her family. Meanwhile, Prince Philip enjoyed manning the grill on these occasions. 

As of writing, tours and visitations to the castle itself have been postponed until further notice as a sign of respect to the late queen and her family.

Nevertheless, visitors may explore the grounds and gardens. You may also leave flowers (without cellophane wrapping) at several designated areas.

Once everything returns to normal operations, the estate is likely to bring back their several guided tours. For a truly magical experience, visitors can also book accommodations within the property. 

6. Craigievar Castle

Craigievar Castle

Image: National Trust for Scotland


Address: Craigievar, Alford AB33 8JF, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1339 883635

Opening Hours: Friday to Monday: 10:30 AM – 4 PM


  • Adult Ticket – £14.50
  • Concession Ticket – £11
  • Family Ticket – £33
  • One Adult Family Ticket – £27.50
  • Young Scot Ticket – £1

Among the best preserved castles in all of Scotland is the Craigievar Castle, a family home which began construction in around 1576 and finished by about 1626. 

Today, it’s cared for by the National Trust for Scotland. Following the wishes of its previous owner, there is no artificial light on the second storey of the castle. 

This means that all of the castle’s paintings, artifacts, furniture, and the like have only seen natural sunlight, just like how it was centuries ago.

Speaking of, the castle is home to an extensive collection of rare historical pieces. This includes armor, the renowned Jacobean woodwork along with portraits from Raeburns and Jamesones. 

Many of the castle’s facilities remain untouched, such as its Victorian kitchen garden. They even have a woodland trail where many have spotted red squirrels and pine martens.

Given the castle’s beautifully pink exterior, it’s widely believed to have been the inspiration behind the castle of Walt Disney’s Cinderella.

7. Footdee or ‘Fittie’

Footdee or ‘Fittie’

Image: NorthLink Ferries


Address: Footdee, Aberdeen, AB10 5DX, United Kingdom

Footdee, or most commonly referred to as ‘Fittie’ by the locals, is known as one of the UK’s most unique communities. It’s a historic fishing village located just at the east end of Aberdeen Harbor.

The village is also widely considered a hidden gem since it’s rare that you’ll find it on any tourist’s agenda. 

Walking through the sleepy village, visitors will see an orderly number of 19th century homes organised into little squares. These were used to relocate fishermen with poor living conditions.

These were designed by John Smith, a local architect who’s also known for his alterations to the famous Balmoral Castle.

Due to the demand for housing, what was once just a cozy 56-home village expanded to about 80 quirky homes.

It’s important to note that Footdee remains a residential village. Hence, here’s a gentle reminder to behave accordingly and to respect the privacy of its residents.

Today, the quiet village of Footdee has been classified as a conservation area.

8. Drum Castle, Garnde, and Estate

Drum Castle, Garnde, and Estate

Image: Visit Aberdeenshire


Address: Drumoak, Banchory AB31 5EY, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1330 700334

Opening Hours: Thursday to Monday: 10:30 AM – 4 PM


  • Adult – £14.50
  • Family – £33
  • One adult family – £27.50
  • Concession – £11
  • Young Scot – £1

The Drum Castle, Garden, and Estate is deeply rooted in Scottish history having been around for over 700 years. 

King Robert the Bruce granted the castle to William de Irwyn in 1323 and remained with the Irwyn family up until 1975. 

Within this period, the estate has seen several additions such as a Jacobean mansion house, chapel, and a library, to name a few.

Since then, the medieval castle’s responsibility was bestowed to the National Trust of Scotland. 

Visitors can explore the castle and its various historical artifacts, which include memorabilia from the Irwyn family and Georgian furniture, among others.

The nearby woodlands called the Old Wood of Drum is home to oak trees dating as far back as the 1700s. Visitors have reported sightings of several kinds of woodland creatures such as the rare red squirrels. 

Apart from that, the Garden of Historic Roses also has roses cultivated from as early as the 17th century. 

9. Crathes Castle, Garden, and Estate

Crathes Castle, Garden, and Estate

Image: Candide


Address: Crathes, Banchory AB31 5QJ, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1330 844525

Opening Hours: Thursday to Monday: 10 AM – 4PM


  • Adult Ticket – £14.50
  • Family Ticket – £33
  • One Adult Family Ticket – £27.50
  • Concession – £11
  • Young Scot – £1

After King Robert the Bruce granted the Burnett family nearby land in 1323, Andrew Burnett had the Crathes Castle built in the 16th century.

To this day, many of the castle’s original pieces such as its turrets, antique furniture, and family portraits remain in exhibition today for public viewing.

In a way, it would be as if you’re seeing the Crathes Castle just as it was at the time the Burnette family had lived there.

The garden, on the other hand, boasts 8 sections of delicately sculpted topiary, exotic blooms, and intricate mazes. In fact, it’s believed that it was as early as 1702 that the hedges were planted.

Since the estate encompasses over 500 acres, you’ll notice an abundance of woodland creatures such as squirrels, woodpeckers, and herons, among others.

There are also various trails that are perfect for walking as well as a café that can comfortably seat 80 guests

10. Aberdeen Harbour

Aberdeen Harbour

Image: DanoAberdeen on Flickr


Address: N Pier, Aberdeen AB11 5HB, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 597000; [email protected]

Dating back to as early as the 12th century, the Aberdeen Harbour is one of the oldest existing places for business in the entire UK. 

Despite having been rebranded in 2022 to ‘Port of Aberdeen’, it still remains a busy place for business and trade, receiving about 5 million tons of cargo. The harbor also sees around 8,000 ferries, ships, and boats, among other maritime vessels.

Economics aside, the Aberdeen Harbour is also a great place to watch dolphins and other sea creatures within the harbour area if you’re lucky. 

11. The Powis Gates

The Powis Gates

Image: DanoAberdeen on Flickr


Address: Crathes, Banchory AB31 5QJ, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1330 844525

Opening Hours: Daily: 24 hours

Price: Free entrance

Looking like towers straight out of a Disney movie, the Powis Gates are historical landmarks located within the property of the University of Aberdeen’s King’s College campus.

Made to serve as the grand entrance to the Powis House in 1802, these Turkish-style minarets were designed by Alexander Fraser for Hugh Fraser Leslie of Powis.

Visitors will notice the arms of Fraser Leslie which can be seen on the center arch. 

At the back, the arch also features a bust of three black men which was created to symbolise the commemoration of the abolishment of slavery in British colonies through the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833. 

The towers lead to the King’s College’s Crombie Johnston Halls and the postgraduates’ residence halls.

In an effort to repair and conserve the towers, the college was also responsible for repairs performed in 2007. These included removing cementitious mortars and masonry repairs,  to name a few.

12. Girdle Ness Lighthouse

Girdle Ness Lighthouse

Image: Lighthouse Accommodation


Address: Girdle Ness Lighthouse, Greyhope Rd, Aberdeen AB11 8QX, United Kingdom

The Girdle Ness Lighthouse was constructed in 1833 to warn approaching ships of the wave-cut platform. This was requested following the tragic wreck of The Oscar a couple of years prior wherein only 2 of the 45-man crew survived.

It was designed by Robert Stevenson and built by contractor James Gibb. The lighthouse stands  at 37 meters tall and operated with a double light system up until 1890.

During World War II, a mine washed up to the shore and exploded in 1944. Fortunately, only the windows and doors were damaged with no one hurt, luckily.

Since 1991, the lights have been fully automated. Hence, it is now remotely monitored from the Northern Lighthouse Board headquarters in Edinburgh.

Unfortunately, it’s strictly enforced that no one is allowed inside of the lighthouse as of writing. Nevertheless, visitors can continue to admire the 18th century lighthouse and take distant pictures from afar.

Religious and Sacred Sites

1. Blairs Museum

Blairs Museum

Image: Travalour


Address: The Blairs Museum South Deeside Road, Aberdeen AB12 5YQ, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 863767; [email protected]

Opening Hours: Saturday: 10 AM – 4 PM


  • Adult – £4
  • Concessions – £3
  • Family (2 adults + 2 children) – £8
  • Children (ages 8-15) – £1.50
  • Children (under 8) – Free

For anyone interested in Scotland’s Catholic history, it’s a must that you plot down the Blairs Museum into your itinerary.

Established in 1992, the Blairs Museum boasts an extensive collection of precious Catholic artifacts. Despite being quite small, this internationally acclaimed museum is home to the Scottish Catholic Heritage Collection.

Their collection includes exquisite paintings such as that of Mary Queen of Scots Memorial Portrait, Jacobite memorabilia, sacred silver, and church textiles, among others.

Some of the most unique items include embroidery work done by Mary Queen of Scots herself, with several pieces dating back to the 15th century.

Within the property lies the Blairs College which closed down in 1986. Nevertheless, several historical pieces from the college can be found in the museum.

There is also a nearby seminary chapel that still holds services to this day. Should you wish to take a look, simply inform your tour guide.

2. Kirk of St. Nicholas

Kirk of St. Nicholas

Image: Thousand Wonders


Address: New Vestry, Back Wynd, Aberdeen AB10 1JZ, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 643494

Opening Hours: 

  • Opening Arrangements | Monday to Friday: 12 PM – 4 PM or by appointment
  • Services | Sunday: 10 AM; Monday to Friday: 1:05 PM

Price: Free entrance

The Kirk of St. Nicholas, also referred to as Mither Kirkyard (or ‘Mother Churchyard’) from its medieval name, was once one of the largest historic churches in medieval Scotland dating back to the 12th century. 

Given its age, the church has survived a handful of devastating events. In fact, it was even used to imprison accused witches in the late 1590s before they were burned at the stake. 

It has even housed several iconic relics such as the St Nicholas relic up until the Reformation in the 16th century. 

Afterwards, the church separated into two parishes – East Kirk and West Kirk – and was united by the St John’s Chapel of the North Sea Oil Industry.

Its steeple boasts the largest carillon in Great Britain at 48 bells. The church is also home to several organs with the oldest dating back to as early as 1825.

The surrounding graveyard remains the final resting place of several notable individuals. Visitors can freely roam around to walk around the serene property.

3. St. Andrew’s Cathedral

St. Andrew’s Cathedral

Image: The Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney


Address: 28 King St, Aberdeen AB24 5AX, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 640119

Opening Hours: Daily: 8 AM – 10 AM; 12 PM – 2 PM; 5 PM – 6 PM

Price: Free entrance

Designed by Archibald Simpson and established in 1817, St. Andrew’s Cathedral was once known as St. Andrew’s Chapel before it achieved Cathedral status in 1914.

Since then, the church has been given several additions such as roof decorations, installing galleries, putting in choir stalls, and building a small apse, among other enhancements. 

Today, it stands as the mother church of the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney. Hence, you can expect it to be the main location for the organisation’s congregations.

Apart from that, the church also hosts several events for regular churchgoers. These include the Sung Eucharist every Sunday at 10:45 AM, Choral Evensong on the First Sunday of the month at 6:30 PM, and midweek Holy Communion every Thursday at 10 AM, among others.

Having said that, if you’re eyeing to catch one of their prayer gathering sessions or bible studies, you can check out their worship schedule or the homepage of their Facebook page or website.

4. Crathie Kirk

Crathie Kirk

Image: Woman & Home


Address: The Manse, Crathie, Ballater, Aberdeenshire, AB35 5UL , United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 01339 742208

Opening Hours: Daily: 24 hours

Price: Free entrance

Tucked away in the village of Crathie is the Crathie Kirk, which is believed to have been dedicated to St Monire. Historical ties have dated far back as to the 9th century, when Christianity was first introduced to the Highlands.

Whilst the majority of the original church was demolished in the 18th century, it was rebuilt soon after and was able to seat over 800 people. 

In fact, Queen Victoria is the first known royal to have worshiped within the church whenever they visited the Balmoral Castle. This began the tradition of the royal family visiting Crathie Kirk whenever they were at Aberdeen.

The 19th century gothic design of the church was done by architect Alexander Marshall Mackenzie in 1893. Queen Victoria even laid the church’s foundation stone that same year.

Funding for the project was completed through gifts from local parishioners and the public. Queen Victoria’s two daughters even raised money through a bazaar held at the Balmoral Castle.

5. King’s College Chapel

King's College Chapel

Image: Visit Scotland


Address: College Bounds, Aberdeen AB24 3FX, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 272137

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 9 AM – 3:30 PM

Price: Free entrance

Just a 15-minute walk from the city centre will bring you to the enormous King’s College whose undeniable focal point being their chapel, which dates back to the late 14th century. 

The construction of the King’s College Chapel began in 1498 and was built to serve the college’s attendees. It wasn’t until 1509 that the chapel was consecrated and the college opened.

The King’s College Church is also the oldest building surviving within the property. Despite being known for its striking crown spire, the original was destroyed after a destructive storm struck in the 17th century. 

Nevertheless, the chapel is still in use today to hold regular services and acts as a quiet and tranquil place for reflection. The church also still uses 52 medieval choir stalls and screens from the 15th century.

In 1928, an antechapel was later added to commemorate the lives of the students lost in both world wars.

6. St. Machar’s Cathedral

St. Machar’s Cathedral



Address: St. Machar’s Cathedral, The Chanonry, Aberdeen AB24 1RQ, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 485988; [email protected]

Opening Hours: 

  • Monday – Saturday: 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Sunday: 2 PM – 5 PM

Price: Free entrance

The St. Machar Cathedral or most commonly referred to as the Old Machar by locals, was named after none other than St Machar, a celtic saint and disciple of St Columba.

Located alongside the River Don, the grounds wherein the church stands became a place of worship as early as 580 AD.  

However, it was only in the 1130s that the church was formally established. Since then, the church has undergone extensive restorations. 

Nevertheless, visitors can view several of the church’s historical artifacts on display. These include a Celtic cross carved out of stone, an inarguable sign of the area’s rich Celtic history.

Today, the church stands tall with a tall, beautifully adorned ceiling featuring 48 coats of arms. There are also several Scottish and English-made stained glass windows.

The site is also the home of a handful of internal and external burials, acting as the final resting place of many of Aberdeen’s bishops and notable figures.

Aside from being open daily, they also host Sunday services. You can view the details of their service here.

Gardens, Parks and Nature Reserves

1. Johnston Gardens

Johnston Gardens

Image: Visit Aberdeenshire


Address: Johnston Gardens, Viewfield Rd, Aberdeen AB15 7XE, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 346421

Opening Hours: Daily: 24 hours

Price: Free entrance

What was once the private property of the Johnston House estate is now a charming  public garden since being gifted in 1936 to the city.

The heavenly landscaped garden boasts several streams, waterfalls, and rockeries. It also has a charming bridge that’s the perfect place for wedding photos.

The garden is also abundant in many different flowers of all shapes, colours, and sizes. The ponds are also rich in various aquatic plants. 

Visitors can also expect a sighting of ducks, squirrels, birds, and similar critters during their stay. All said, the park is a nature-lover’s dream.

In fact, the Johnston Garden has won the Britain in Bloom competition a handful of times, once even 9 times straight.

Within the garden, there also lies a memorial for the 16 lives lost in the 2009 Super Puma helicopter crash. The helicopter crashed in the North Sea, just a few miles north east of Peterhead.

2. Seaton Park

Seaton Park

Image: About Aberdeen


Address: Don St, Old Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 1XS, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 300 020 0292

Opening Hours: Daily: 24 hours

Price: Free entrance

Located at the northern suburbs of the Old Aberdeen area just alongside the banks of the River Don lies the Seaton Park, one of the city’s largest public parks. 

The park is well-known for having an abundance of different kinds of blooms, especially during the spring and summer months. In fact, it was even named the country’s favourite park among over 360 local parks.

Its large, grassy area makes it perfect for playing sports and running around. For those with little ones, they also have a children’s play area.

The centerpiece of the playground is Mr Therm, a retired 1940s steam engine built by Andrew Barclay for the Gas Works. Back in the day, Mr Therm was used to transport coal up until the gas plant closed down in the 1970s.

If you’re up for a scenic walk, there’s a 2.0-mile loop trail that extends to the city’s boundary. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to spot otters, red squirrels, and roe deer nearby.

3. David Welch Winter Gardens

David Welch Winter Gardens

Image: Haarkon


Address: Polmuir Road, Aberdeen AB11 7TH, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 346421

Opening Hours: Daily: 10:30 AM – 5 PM

Price: Free entrance

In 1880, the David Welch Winter Gardens was gifted to the city by Miss Elizabeth Crombie Duthie. According to Miss Duthie, the park was for the ‘wellbeing and recreation of Aberdeen inhabitants’. 

The park is actually one of the largest indoor gardens in all of Europe and one of Scotland’s most visited gardens. 

It’s frequented by locals and tourists alike because of its stunning restored Victorian features. These include a few fountains, boating ponds, and even a band stand.

Apart from that, it’s home to a collection of a wide variety of rare and exotic plants of all shapes, sizes, and colours from all over the world. 

They even have two children’s areas – one for smaller children and the other for playing more adventurous games.

Since it’s quite a large green space, the David Welch Winter Gardens is a perfect community area for taking dogs out on a walk, relaxing picnics, and riding bikes, among others.

4. Cruickshank Botanic Gardens

Cruickshank Botanic Gardens

Image: Scotland’s Gardens Scheme


Address: St Machar Dr, Aberdeen AB24 3UU, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 272000

Opening Hours: Daily: 9 AM – 4:30 PM

Price: Free entrance

The Cruickshank Botanic Garden was presented to the University of Aberdeen by Miss Anne Cruickshank in commemoration of her brother, Dr. Alexander Cruickshank.

Today, it’s owned, managed, and financed by both the university and the Cruickshank Botanic Gardens Trust.

The garden sits on 11 acres (4.5 hectares) of land and was built to promote the importance and appreciation of plants. So visitors can expect a diverse range of plants and wildlife.

Appreciated by many, the garden is a haven for botany students, teachers, and researchers. In fact, it’s extensively used for research and is even open to undergraduates looking to gain work experience. 

It’s important to note that while the park is located on the King’s College campus, the entrance is found on the west side of the property by the St Machar’s Cathedral.

While they’re open year-round, their opening hours change after a few months. Hence, it’s important to double-check their opening times before heading over.

5. Hazlehead Park

Hazlehead Park

Image: Walkhighlands


Address: Hazlehead Ave, Aberdeen AB15 8BE, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 346421

Opening Hours: Daily: 10 AM – 5:30 PM

Price: Free entrance

Originally part of a hunting forest outside the city, the land was turned into what’s known today as the Hazlehead Park after it was returned to the city of Aberdeen in 1920.

Encircling a large area of both countryside and city land, the park boasts a tonne of nature trails, gardens, and golf courses, among others.

The park even has its own cafe that sells a variety of food and refreshments, which is great for having a picnic.

As the centerpiece of the garden lies two formal rose gardens as a tribute to the Piper Alpha Production Platform victims.

Aside from that, they also have a pet corner that houses a couple of rabbits, ducks,pigs, and even horses. Though visitors will have to pay a small fine to enter.

All said, it’s frequented by many locals and tourists as there are a bunch of family-friendly activities to do here.

6. Victoria Park

Victoria Park

Image: Wikimedia Commons


Address: Watson St, Aberdeen AB25, United Kingdom

Opening Hours: Daily: 24 hours

Price: Free entrance

Named after none other than Queen Victoria herself, the Victoria Park was first opened to the public in 1871.

Spanning 13 acres (5 hectares), the park has a lovely shaded pathway perfect for taking a stroll. It also has open grassy areas and several seating areas for hosting picnics or sunbathing

The garden also boasts several well-tended flower beds and even a sensory garden. Called the ‘Sunny Valley’ Sensory Garden, it’s perfect for all ages and disabilities who’d prefer a more quiet area.

At the center of it all lies a beautiful ornamental fountain made from 14 kinds of granite from the city’s local quarries. Designed by Mr J.B. Bruce, the fountain was gifted by the Granite Polishers and Master Builders to the city in 1878. 

Now nearly 150 years old, visitors will be delighted to know that the fountain is now up and running after a hefty restoration.

7. Donmouth Local Nature Reserve

Donmouth Local Nature Reserve

Image: Let’s Go with the Children

Address: Bridge Of Don, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, AB23 8DR, United Kingdom

Opening Hours: Daily: 24 hours

Price: Free entrance

Given the title of Local Nature Reserve in 1992, the Donmouth Local Nature Reserve is a scenic and romantic beach site with an even more picturesque sight of both the sunset and sunrise.

Many would say that the nature reserve is one of Aberdeen’s hidden gems given that it’s typically less crowded than the city’s main beach. 

Given that it’s usually undisturbed, it’s not uncommon to find a tonne of wildlife by the river and sea. You might even be able to spot some seals, otters, and sometimes even jumping dolphins if you’re lucky.

Having mentioned that, the reserve also has a bird hide, which is great for birdwatchers to discreetly observe the animals. A few commonly spotted birds include waders, skuas, and little stints, to name a few.

While there are paths designated for walking, they’re often covered in sand, which is important to take note of when traveling with companions with wheelchairs or mobility concerns.

8. Persley Walled Garden

Persley Walled Garden

Image: DanoAberdeen on Flickr

Address: Bridge Of Don, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, AB23 8DR, United Kingdom

Opening Hours: Daily: 24 hours

Price: Free entrance

The Persley Walled Garden first opened in 1997 to commemorate a century of the Scottish Trade Union Congress. 

The absolutely stunning Victorian garden features colourful herbaceous borders, well-trimmed hedges, and adorable shrubs, among many other plants.

The walled garden was reclaimed from the demolished Crombie Mills Estate. Thanks to these, there’s often minimal noise from the busy traffic and streets nearby. 

Hence, it’s a popular spot for tranquil meditations and relaxing walks, especially since there’s a nature trail adjoining the River Don.

The manicured grassy lawn also makes it the ideal location for hosting picnics and playing a multitude of sports. In fact, any visitor to the garden will notice that all the plants here, big and small, are extremely well-cared for.

Having said that, the paths are also wide and constantly kept clean. This makes the garden easily accessible for children’s trolleys, wheelchair users, and persons with mobility concerns.

9. Westburn Park

Westburn Park

Image: Visit Aberdeenshire

Address: Bridge Of Don, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, AB23 8DR, United Kingdom

Opening Hours: Daily: 24 hours

Price: Free entrance

Westburn Park is an iconic part of the city that anyone who grew up in Aberdeen would have visited at least once. 

Owned by the Aberdeen City Council, the 10-hectare park boasts an array of facilities. These include indoor and outdoor tennis courts, football pitches, and skate ramps, to name a few.

The park also has several miniature roads coupled with road signs that are perfect for teaching wee ones how to navigate roads. This is dedicated for children to safely ride their bicycles or scooters.

There is also a small playground that’s popular among the neighbourhood children to run around and play in.

The park is rather simple as it mainly comprises grassy lots and trees. Nevertheless, there are also large ponds and streams.

Given that the Westburn Park is one of the city’s largest parks, the open-spaced area is perfect for walking dogs, playing sports, or even sunbathing.

Zoos, Farms, and Animal Sanctuaries

1. North East Falconry Center

North East Falconry Center

Image: Day Out With The Kids


Address: Broadlands Cottages, Cairnie, Huntly AB54 4UU, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 7717 705994; [email protected]

Opening Hours: Daily: 10:30 AM – 4 PM


  • 1hr Hawkwalk – £50
  • 1hr Hawkwalk with Bird Handling – £60
  • Introduction to Falconry – £100
  • Photography Days – £100

Formally opening its doors in 2016, the North East Falconry Center provides visitors with a one-of-a-kind falconry experience.

They offer several private experiences to choose from. These include a Hawkwalk which is a relaxing walk through their woodland area along with an insightful talk from one of their falconers as hawks fly freely from above.

An extension of the Hawkwalk is their Bird Handling. Here, visitors will put on gloves to be able to gently handle their hawks and owls, among other birds.

Taking a more educational turn, they offer Introduction to Falconry, which provides learners with a unique insight of what it’s like to own and care for falcons through basic husbandry skills.

Another unique experience is their Photography Days, where they’ll let the birds fly freely around the ponds and trees for photographers to openly take photos. 

It’s great that nearly all of their experiences, aside from the Photography Days, are private. Hence, you enjoy the booking all to yourselves with family and friends.

2. VSA Easter Anguston Farm

VSA Easter Anguston Farm

Image: VSA


Address: Training Farm, Easter Anguston, Peterculter AB14 0PL, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 212021; [email protected]

Opening Hours: Daily: 10 AM – 3 PM


  • Free entrance
  • Educational Tour | Child without lunch box – £2.50
  • Educational Tour | Child with lunch box – £6
  • Educational Tour | Adults – Free

The VSA Easter Anguston Farm is actually a charity that provides services and supports a wide variety of people in need, from those suffering from mental health diagnoses to living in extreme poverty.

Apart from that, they welcome guests for free. With that said, rely on voluntary donations from kindhearted visitors to fund their operations.

Here, visitors of all ages can enjoy a full day of fun at their outdoor Tractor Play Park. From what we’ve heard, this is most popular among young kiddos. 

They can also say “Hi!” to a ton of the farm animals that live in the property. These include miniature donkeys, Shetland ponies, rabbits, and chickens, to name a few.

If you’re planning to book an educational tour for up to 40 kids, they do charge a small sum. It’s £2.50 per child or £6 per child with lunch boxes meanwhile adults are free. 

This includes a guided tour of the property, lessons on farming, exploring the woodlands and play areas, as well as meeting the animals. It’s worth highlighting that you can get in touch with them beforehand to tailor the guide according to your curriculum needs.

3. Doonies Rare Breeds Farm

Doonies Rare Breeds Farm

Image: Press and Journal


Address: Coast Rd, Aberdeen AB12 3LT, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 875879; [email protected] 

Opening Hours: Saturday to Wednesday: 10 AM – 4 PM


  • Adults – £4
  • Children – £4
  • Feed buckets – £1/each

Located at the southern side of the city, the Doonies Rare Breeds Farm is an enormous 134-acre lot. They’re dedicated to the preservation and care of several endangered and rare native farm animals. 

A member of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, they’re one of only two farms in the whole of Scotland to hold the title of “Approved Conservation Farm Park Status”. 

The farm offers an educational tour of the farm, sharing their preservation efforts, and meeting their resident animals. These include various rare breeds of pigs, sheeps, poultry, and horses, to name a few. 

They’re a popular and fun outdoor activity for families with children of all ages. You also don’t have to worry too much about getting down and dirty as the farm has handwashing facilities and disinfecting door mats.

They also have a cosy picnic area within the grounds for snack time. Speaking of, they also sell their own reared meats such as portland lamb, longhorn beef, and sausages, among others.

4. Willows Animal Sanctuary

Willows Animal Sanctuary

Image: Willows Animal Sanctuary


Address: Coast Rd, Aberdeen AB12 3LT, United Kingdom

Contact Information: +44 1224 875879; [email protected] 

Opening Hours: Sunday: 10:30 AM – 4 PM


  • Adults – £6
  • Children – £5
  • Concessions – £3

The Willows Animal Sanctuary is an ethically-managed rescue that has saved over 500 animals of all shapes and sizes in the last 22 years. Many of whom were abandoned, neglected, and even abused.

According to their books, they currently have over 100 resident horses, donkeys, and ponies, about 50 cats, dogs, and reptiles, along with more than 200 farm animals and birds.

They even have a cat hotel where visitors can chill out with their free roaming rescue cats. 

We do have to warn you though that you may be at risk of having your heart stolen by these lovable creatures. Hence, you may be at risk of adopting one of these adorable little guys. 

It’s great that they also have a cafe where visitors can enjoy a full lunch menu and dessert. Guests can head over to their souvenir shop afterwards which sells a variety of ethically sourced and donated trinkets.

While you’re there, you could also donate to the sanctuary to help fund their rescue operations, veterinary bills, and animal care.

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