Aberdeen

Sparkling under endless summer days and shimmering beneath the Northern Lights in winter...

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... Aberdeen’s silvery granite heart merges centuries of history and a modern vibe. The oil capital of the UK, its rocking city nightlife is just a stone’s throw from bottlenose dolphins in the harbour. As the locals say, it’s braw.

Arriving at Aberdeen Airport 

Step off your flight, collect your bags and you could be strolling down Union Street and chatting with the locals in Doric faster than you can say ‘fit like’.

The best way to reach the town is by bus. Services are regular, cheap and you’ll be in town in around 30 minutes.

Stagecoach Bluebird’s Jet Service 727 stops outside the terminal building, bound for Aberdeen Union Square bus station. There’s one every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 20 minutes at weekends. Buy a single ticket on board, or a dayrider ticket for unlimited all-day travel.

First Bus runs a regular service to central Aberdeen and accepts contactless payment.

Taxis are a good option if you’re in a hurry. They’re right outside the front of the terminal and can get you to town in around 25 minutes. Expect to pay around £15 for your trip – all depends on the traffic, of course.

Want to let the train take the strain? The closest railway station is at Dyce, around two miles (3km) from the terminal. Aberdeen's main station is a 10-minute journey, while Inverness is two hours away. Beware, there can be a gap between services and they’re even less frequent at weekends.

If you’re planning to get behind the wheel, book your car hire in advance.

Festivals and events

Aberdeen’s festivals take their lead from the distinctive surroundings; the rich Doric dialect, the long dark winter nights when you make your own light entertainment and the endless summer days when the sun seems to refuse to set.

Rooted in tradition and entwined in stories of the sea, the hills and the culture, they couldn’t really be held anywhere else.

Festival season kicks off with the Fire Festival in nearby Stonehaven, when the streets blaze with fiery light. The theme continues at SPECTRA, Aberdeen’s award-winning festival of light, which brightens up the dark February nights.

It’s only right to take in a Highland games during your visit. Most villages and towns will put on a show, but the big one is the Braemar Gathering when the Queen takes her seat to watch large men throw even larger logs of wood called cabers. Kilts, sword-dancing and whisky. What could possibly go wrong?

True North is Aberdeen’s big music festival, a September treat that celebrates the north east’s strong tradition of song and merges it with the pick of modern artists.

Love a grisly story? Granite Noir brings together writers and fans from Aberdeen and beyond for a celebration of crime fiction every February.