This chilly and industrious city has a Pictish name, meaning ‘mouth of the river Don’ in reference to the Celtic river goddess Devona. Residing on the northeast coast of Scotland, Aberdeen has transitioned from being a hub of fishing, shipbuilding and textile production to becoming the centre of British oil trade. The city’s architecture was built primarily with granite giving it a silver sheen to onlookers. Aberdeen is a city that shines both literally and with economic prosperity.
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 999
- Language: English
- Currency: Scottish Pound
- Country Code: GB
- Travel Visa: None required
- Population: 227,560
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
- Travel Tip: Aberdeen is surrounded by the Scottish countryside which is vast and hilly. Its probably a good idea to travel via car/rent one whilst you're there. There are plenty of attractions outside of the city limits so having a car at the ready would be a huge benefit for you. Don't forget to pack some car sickness cures just in case though.
- Aberdeen is a coastal city upon the North Sea. This means that the wind chill will be exceptionally cold at times. Don't forget to wrap up warm, bring hats and scarves on your trip just in case.
For the Emergency services just dial 999 from any phone, for not so serious situations please dial 101.
Aberdeen Visitor Information Centre: Tourist information centres | Aberdeen City Council
Aberdeen has both an international airport and a train station. The airport fly’s to most of upper western Europe and the trainlines run across all of Britain. There are direct trains to London and the longest train journey in Britain spans from Aberdeen to Penzance. The heliport, used for rescue services and the oil industry, is one of the busiest in the world.
Aberdeen Airport: Aberdeen International Airport | Aberdeen Airport
Aberdeen Train Station: Aberdeen Station | ScotRail
What’s the weather like?
Aberdeen is a north-easterly coastal city and, therefore, will be quite chilly and windy most of the time. Its proximity to the sea also increases humidity. It rains often, especially in October and November.
The average summer temperature is 14.2 °C whilst the average winter temperature is 3.4 °C.
For the most reasonable weather, visit in late spring and summer.
Dress and plan accordingly.
Are there areas I should avoid?
There are a some places in the more northerly parts of Aberdeen that are considered slightly more dangerous than the rest and these are Tillydrone, Northfield, Manor Avenue and Seaton.
Overall, Aberdeen is quite a safe city.
What are some useful safety top tips?
The biggest issue for tourists is the risk of being pickpocketed whilst exploring the city. When visiting landmarks and other typically touristy areas or simply crowded places (such as the airport, the train station and public transportation in general) be aware of your surroundings and of your valuable items.
Where can I get my news?
Every culture has its customs and traditions, they have been handed down the generations and are always held in high regards by the local residents.
A farmers and craft market that takes place on the last Saturday of each month on Belmot Street. It is one of the largest markets in Scotland and can bring an impressive 30,000 people per event. A chance for famers to showcase their locally produced goods, a typical market can include Aberdeen Angus Beef, fish from Aberdeen and Peterhead harbours, local fruit and vegetables, cheeses, confectionary and whisky.
Other outdoor markets in Aberdeen include the international and Christmas markets. They are less regularly organised and usually take place on Union Terrace.
Tartan Day is a celebration of Scottish culture and heritage on April 6th. This day was originally created by Scottish immigrants in North America as a way of remembering their homeland. In modern times, this day warrants a parade in American cities, such as New York, with Scottish cities commencing similar celebrations in tandem to show the unity of Scottish people (even if they are across the Atlantic ocean).
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
Every year in early August, Aberdeen hosts one of the world’s biggest celebrations of youth arts. Young people from around the world come perform a range of dance, theatre, opera and world music. It is an international cultural event, with performances showcased at venues around the city.
This event covers a series of concerts by various jazz musicians and bands across the city. Throughout the month of March, both cutting edge and classic jazz will be performed by music lovers for music lovers.
How can I learn more about about Aberdeen?
If you really want to get a feel for Aberdeen and learn about how the city became what it is today, go to the Aberdeen Art Gallery. Begin you’re journey in Sculpture Court and discover the many facets of Aberdeen’s culture and history through the various mediums of art. There are fascinating exhibits that explore the changes in social and maritime history of Aberdeen. The gallery covers very broad and different topics, including pieces relating to the aspects of science, technology and industry that were central to the development of the city as well as the fine art exhibit. The city really is celebrated by these collections.
Where can I get some proper Scottish food?
It’s a cliché to declare a certain food or restaurant to be ‘the taste of Scotland’ but Howie’s really does meet that mark. It features locally and ethically sourced ingredients with Scottish beef, fish and lamb to choose from. There is a range of dishes that are all authentically Scottish but the menu also doesn’t shy away from including more diverse options, like curry and even vegetarian haggis (shocking stuff, I know!), so don’t worry there is something for everyone. This place has a cosy atmosphere with walls painted in warm tones and antlers on the wall to say “Hey, this is the best of Scotland so relax and eat your meal.”
What’s close to the city that’s worth exploring?
Aberdeenshire is filled with the best whiskey distilleries in the world, namely Glendronach Distillery which is been in production for nearly 200 years. Most Scottish distilleries are situated out in the beautiful moors to accommodate for their size, thankfully Glendronach Distillery is only an hours car journey away from Aberdeen city centre. Pop on up the road, see the exceptional views and take a tasting tutorial to become an expert on good whiskey.
It kind of goes without saying but you must be 18+ to participate.
Fraser Castle isn’t too far from the city for a nice day trip. It has one of the largest tower houses in Scotland and just gives off that old Scottish vibe that people go looking for when visiting. You can feel the history in the walls and it truly is surprising to see so much material history in one place, makes you wish that you were a Fraser too! You can pay for a guided tour or just have a wander yourself- either way you’ll be impressed by the end of it.
For a relaxing day out, head here! It is only 30 minutes away by car! The area is home to a Renaissance-style walled garden, filled with interesting and unique plant life, and the Museum of Farming Life, which brings the agricultural history of the local land to life. You can have a gentle walk around either of these attractions or you can take to the trail and explore the woodlands around the garden. Whichever you decide, there’s a charming little gift shop/café so you can get some cake and coffee afterwards. Thanks to the garden’s 200 fruit trees, you can buy freshly harvested fruit if you visit in the autumn!
What should I do on an evening?
Breakneck Comedy Club-a cosy comedy club that puts a focus on local talent. Time for a good night out- that doesn’t have to be a night out– with its relaxed atmosphere and a well-stocked bar. Be regaled with laughter as a comedian fills you evening with stories that probably shouldn’t be further detailed on this website.