Aberdeen – City Guide
“Aberdeen is a place for everyone. It’s the third largest city in Scotland and one of the most prosperous regions in the whole of the UK. Its cosmopolitan vibrancy crossed with its historic charm and creativeness makes Aberdeen one of the best places to study in Scotland.”
Things to do
Known as the Granite City, Aberdeen’s grey buildings provide endless opportunities for things to do.
- Union Square is a large shopping centre in the middle of the city housing many different retailers.
- However, Union Street is the place to go with over 800 shops, restaurants and bars.
With Aberdeen being situated on the coast, the beaches in the surrounding area are beautiful.
- Aberdeen Beach in particular is extremely popular with both locals and visitors. Here, you’ll find the Linx Ice Arena, various restaurants and a multiplex cinema.
- Additionally, Codonas Amusement Park is also situated on the seafront and will take you back to all your childhood memories with crazy golf courses, bowling, dodgems and plenty of bars. Students can also get great deals on food and drink.
- Balmedie beach is just outside of Aberdeen and is gorgeous flat, sandy beach with dunes and has been rated as one of the best beaches in Scotland
Want to escape the city buzz for a short while?
- Head over to Duthie Park – where you can go boating on the ponds.
- Aberdeen is also close to the Cairngorms National Park – home to some of the most beautiful lochs and mountains in the country as well as Balmoral Castle, the royal family’s holiday home which you can actually visit.
Arts & Culture
- Aberdeen Art Gallery is one of the city’s most visited destinations by locals and tourists alike. The gallery, is unfortunately under refurbishment until winter 2017, however, you can see some of the collection at the Aberdeen Maritime Museum.
- The Tollbooth Museum is set in one of Aberdeen’s oldest buildings and tell the history of crime and punishment in the city. It’s a really interesting place to visit and entry is completely free!
- For theatre lovers, His Majesty’s Theatre is a fantastic performing arts centre, with everything from ballet shows to pantomimes. Breakneck Comedy Club also sees many comedy shows on its stage throughout the year.
Music & Nightlife
The overwhelming majority of Aberdeen’s night-time points of interest are situated along Union Street, with only a few exceptions.
- Perhaps the most renowned example of student nightlife in Aberdeen is the Underground Klub, an eccentric little subterranean outlet that sends you immediately downstairs into a roaring pit of strobe lights, smoke machines and merriment. Loud, packed and tremendously faithful to its subway motif, Underground is definitely worth attending.
- Nox is a great club, again just off Union Street. Thursday’s MILK nights are one of their most popular amongst students.
- The Garage has student nights on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; with two different rooms, get ready for charts, house and dance music.
When it comes to bars and pubs, Aberdeen is inundated with choices.
- BrewDog’s flagship bar is here in the city, and well worth a visit.
- Paramount bar is just off Union Street, and another huge student favourite, Jam Jar, is next door with great cocktails and drinks at only 69p!
- Up by the university, there’s one bar that everyone should go to: The Bobbin. It’s great for a night out with friends, offering cheap drinks, pool tables and music by request. A trip to The Bobbin is undeniably considered a rite of passage.
Best Places To Eat
Home to a thriving hub of fine dining, foreign delicacies and fast food, Aberdeen offers a broad selection of choices to satisfy many a peckish customer. Whatever flavours you are craving, the men and women of the city’s service industry are always happy to quell your rumbling stomach. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see particular cafes or takeaways open into the early hours of the morning.
- On Union Street you will find all your mainstream McDonalds, KFC and Starbucks needs. There’s even a few stand-alone high-street choices, such as, the Jamie Oliver restaurant, The Filling Station, Amarone, and the hugely-underrated La Tasca.
- But if you truthfully believe this is all Aberdeen has to offer, you are sorely mistaken. Sprouting right off Union Street is Union Square, a shopping centre that plays host to a wide and thriving community of restaurants, including: Frankie and Benny’s, Chiquito, TGI Fridays, Pizza Hut, Carluccio’s and even Giraffe, a restaurant that has proven itself to be sensationally popular amongst the student community.
- If you want something a little more independent, I’d recommend Café 52, Food Story and Rustico.