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16 Things Aberdeen is Famous For

16 Things Aberdeen is Famous For

Aberdeen has a lot more to offer than you might think! This charming Scottish city of ours, often overlooked on the usual Edinburgh-Glasgow tourist trail, has a heap of cool things for which it’s famous.

Intrigued? You should be! So, read on because we’re about to dive into the top things that make Aberdeen famous.

Being the “Granite City”

Let’s kick things off with a cool chat about why Aberdeen has bagged itself the nickname of the “Granite City.” You see, the place is literally built from the stuff!

The shiny grey granite quarried nearby gives the city a sparkle when the sun touches it—a sight you definitely don’t want to miss. Not just a cool factor, this granite facade tells stories of the city’s past when Aberdeen was a prosperous Victorian town.

Being the “Oil Capital of Europe”

Aberdeen’s alias as the “Oil Capital of Europe” might sound like there’s little more than just rigs and drills, but that’s far from the truth. The city’s oil industry history is fascinating and has helped shape the landscape, both physically and culturally.

Aberdeen has seen a vast transformation because of the oil, and it’s pretty interesting to see how it all plays out. Walking through the city, you’ll notice the blend of society’s classes – a result of lucrative jobs in the oil industry.

Aberdeen Harbour (Dolphin Spotting)


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

Contact details: +44 1224 597000

Operating hours: 

  • Open 24 hours

Now, onto Aberdeen Harbor, where dolphin spotting is a regular delight! Yeah, you heard me right—dolphins! The harbour is one of the best places in Europe to see these playful creatures up close.

It’s a ridiculously exciting spectacle and one that Aberdeen is super famous for. Plus, seeing the boats go by while you’re waiting for a dolphin to show up creates this nice, chill harbour vibe, you know?

University of Aberdeen


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

Contact details: +44 1224 272000

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Friday – 9 AM to 5 PM

Home to the University of Aberdeen, one of the oldest in the English-speaking world, this city takes its academia seriously. This place has subjects like medicine, international relations, and even the study of witches and folklore for centuries!

The campus itself is a beauty, with, you guessed it, granite buildings that are nothing short of architectural masterpieces. The stunning New King’s building and the modern Sir Duncan Rice Library, in particular, are serious jaw-droppers.

Fishing and Seafood

Aberdeen and the surrounding area have been all about fishing forever. I mean, the city is located right on the North Sea coast, after all.

Thanks to this, Aberdeen’s got a fantastic seafood scene that’s hard to beat. When you’re in the city, you can’t help but notice the delicious smell of fresh seafood wafting around in the breeze (okay, maybe not always, but you get the idea).

Aberdeen International Youth Festival


Now let’s talk about an event that has been drawing visitors and performers from around the world: the Aberdeen International Youth Festival (AIYF). This annual extravaganza of music, dance, and theatre lasts about ten days.

Don’t worry if you’re not into performing; you’ll have an absolute blast attending the wide variety of events spread across the city. From classical music concerts to pop-up theatre shows, there’s never a dull moment during the AIYF.

Duthie Park


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

Contact details: +44 1224 585310

Operating hours: 

  • Open 24 hours

Duthie Park is over 40 acres of green paradise, perfect for a stroll, a picnic, or simply catching some rays. One of the park’s highlights is undoubtedly the David Welch Winter Gardens, a massive indoor conservatory housing exotic plants.

Exploring Duthie Park is a wonderful way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. And while you’re there, don’t miss the boating pond; you can rent a rowboat or a pedal boat and have a bit of fun on the water.

Aberdeen Angus Beef


When you hear “Aberdeen,” there’s a good chance one of the first things that pops up in your mind is Aberdeen Angus Beef. Yeah, it’s that famous!

Aberdeen Angus is a breed of small beef cattle that originated in Scotland, and they’re known for their succulent, tender, and incredibly flavourful cuts. If you fancy yourself a bit of a steak connoisseur, knocking this off your foodie bucket list should be a priority.

Marischal College


Address: Broad St, Aberdeen AB10 1AB, United Kingdom

Contact details: +44 300 020 0292

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Friday – 9 AM to 5 PM

There’s something remarkably charming about old buildings, and Marischal College is no exception. Considered one of the iconic symbols of Aberdeen, it’s got history written all over it.

Its gothic architecture, astonishing details, and being the world’s second-largest granite building are enough to leave anyone amazed. The college now hosts Aberdeen City Council, but you can still visit and immerse yourself in its rich history.

Aberdeen FC


Address: Aberdeen Football Club Ltd. Pittodrie Stadium, Pittodrie Street, Aberdeen AB24 5QH

Contact details: [email protected] 

Talk to anyone from Aberdeen about what makes them proud of their city, and you’ll likely hear “Aberdeen FC” at some point. Aberdeen FC has a ridiculously loyal fanbase that makes for an electrifying environment, whether you’re an avid football fan or not.

Scottish football is usually centred around the two Glasgow teams, but Aberdeen FC holds its own pretty well in the ‘big leagues’. They’ve had their share of sporting triumphs over the years.

The Buttery (Rowie)

For the uninitiated, a buttery (rowie) is a roll that’s similar to a croissant, but it’s heavier, and…well, have I mentioned it’s super buttery? It’s an Aberdeen delicacy that’s been a part of the city’s culinary tradition since—oh, forever.

You can even pair it with a cup of tea, slap some jam on it, or enjoy it as it is—there’s no wrong way to enjoy a buttery. These are often eaten for breakfast, but hey, nobody will judge if you sneak one in for lunch or dinner.

The Robert Gordon University


Address: Garthdee House, Garthdee Rd, Garthdee, Aberdeen AB10 7AQ, United Kingdom

Contact details: +44 1224 262000

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Friday – 7 AM to 5 PM

Robert Gordon University, or RGU, is an absolute gem when it comes to education in Aberdeen. With a perfect blend of top-notch education and some pretty good-looking buildings, RGU has been making its mark for ages now.

RGU has a vibrant student life that gives newcomers a taste of Aberdeen’s culture and history. Whether you’re visiting as a student or just want to bask in its glory, don’t miss out on taking a stroll around the campus.


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

Contact details: +44 300 020 0293

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Saturday – 10 AM to 5 PM
  • Sunday – 11 AM to 4 PM

Aberdeen’s art scene might be a bit underrated, but trust me, the Aberdeen Art Gallery will leave you speechless! From paintings and sculptures to photography and furniture, it’s the kind of place where you could easily spend hours (if not days).

This beautifully designed building is the perfect escape from Aberdeen’s drizzly weather, and the gallery provides a fantastic insight into the city’s history, culture, and creativity. What’s more great is that admission is free!

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club


Address: Links Rd, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen AB23 8AT, United Kingdom

Contact details:  +44 1224 702571

Operating hours: 

  • Monday and Tuesday, Friday – 8:30 AM to 8 PM
  • Wednesday and Thursday – 8 AM to 7:30 PM
  • Saturday and Sunday – 8 AM to 6 PM

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club is one of the oldest clubs in the world, and it does live up to its name. With sweeping views of the North Sea, it’s no wonder that this place has been a favourite since 1780.

Don’t be fooled, though; its picturesque setting doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park. The course offers a legitimate challenge, even for the most seasoned golfer.

Aberdeen Maritime Museum


Address: Shiprow, Aberdeen AB11 5BY, United Kingdom

Contact details: +44 300 020 0293

Operating hours: 

  • It is temporarily closed until spring 2024 for maintenance

Aberdeen Maritime Museum takes you through Aberdeen’s history from a whole new perspective—the sea. From shipbuilding to port history, it spills the beans on how the sea shaped the city of Aberdeen.

The museum also has an enormous amount of information on the North Sea oil industry. Oh, and did I mention the museum also offers a killer view of the harbour? 

Adventure Aberdeen Snowsports


Address: Aberdeen Snowsports Centre, Garthdee Rd, Aberdeen AB10 7BA, United Kingdom

Contact details: +44 1224 810215

Operating hours: 

  • Monday and Tuesday, Thursday – 2 PM to 9 PM
  • Wednesday and Friday – 9 AM to 9 PM
  • Saturday – 9 AM to 7 PM
  • Sunday – 9 AM to 5 PM

Adventure Aberdeen Snowsports has been making waves (or should I say snow trails?) as the go-to spot for outdoor adventure enthusiasts in Aberdeen. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a nervous newbie, this place has a slope that’s just right for you.

And the best part is that you don’t have to wait around for snowfall to have a good skiing or snowboarding session! They’ve got artificial snow sports slopes that are perfect for some year-round action, no matter the weather.

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