Sparkling under endless summer days and shimmering beneath the Northern Lights in winter...
... 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.
Food and drink
From the age-old art of whisky distilling to the forefront of the modern craft beer scene, freshly landed seafood to wild game and venison, Aberdeen’s menu is diverse and delicious.
Sample the freshest of seafood at the Silver Darling seafood restaurant (43 Pocra Quay). Tuck in to North Sea ‘posh’ haddock and chips and slurp back Carlingford rock oysters while admiring views of the working harbour. Or indulge in a hefty Aberdeen Angus steak at No.1 Bar & Grill (Queen’s Terrace).
Go to market
Aberdeen Country Fair brings 35 stallholders from around Scotland to Belmont Street, on the first and last Saturday of every month. Pick up fish landed from Aberdeen and Peterhead harbours, fresh butteries (local bread rolls) and slabs of Aberdeen Angus beef.
Keep your eyes peeled for local delicacies like creamy Cambus o May cheese, straight from dairy herds reared on Royal Deeside and locally smoked Aberdeen kippers.
Drink and learn
Aberdeen is awash with traditional pubs and modern bars where you’ll discover craft beers from local producers – the area is home to BrewDog, the brewery that kickstarted the craft movement in the UK. Sip a locally distilled Porter's Gin or take a whisky-tasting class at the Tippling House (Belmont Street). Take notes – it might be tricky to remember them all by the end of the night.