Aberdeen, otherwise known as Granite City, is the third biggest city in Scotland. Famous for its North Sea-related industries, Aberdeen City is a hotbed for fascinating history, the finest granite buildings and even interesting contemporary artworks.
Let’s take a look at some of the best free things to do in this fascinating city.
Free Things To Do: Aberdeen
Without further ado, let’s take a sneak peek at just some of the attractions you should visit on your trip to Aberdeen.
Aberdeen Maritime Museum
One great thing about Aberdeen City Centre is the amount of culture and museums it boasts. Aberdeen Maritime Museum is just one of them.
Refurbished back in the late 90s, the museum has an impressive five times the exhibition space that it once had. And it definitely needs it, given the sheer amount of timeframes it deals with.
The free-entry museum mainly revolves around Aberdeen’s intrinsic role in Scotland’s maritime activities. One of the major draws of the museum is its model of the world’s largest oil platform. It’s sure to be a win with little and big kids alike.
Aberdeen Art Gallery
If the weather is far from ideal on your trip to Scotland (which can often be the case!), take advantage of the Aberdeen Art Gallery.
The art gallery in Aberdeen has a collection that spans over 700 years. There’s a series of permanent displays as well as guest exhibitions, so it’s a great idea to check out the website before you go there. There are many interactive displays for the kids to keep them busy.
Aberdeen’s harbour is known as the driving force of the city’s thriving fishing industry at the start of the 20th century. Today, it makes for a beautiful, picturesque walk. What better way to spend a lazy Sunday morning on the north-east coast? There’s a host of ships and boats navigating their way through the harbour daily, which is an impressive spectacle.
The Tollbooth Museum gives a fascinating, if somewhat grim, look at old Aberdeen. In particular, how crime and punishment evolved over the centuries. The museum was once a functioning Gaol where inmates were subjected to harsh conditions in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Boasting what can only be described as a ‘unique’ atmosphere, you can gain in-depth insight into prison life and what it would take to land you a place in a cell here. As one of Aberdeen’s oldest buildings, it’s certainly somewhere you wouldn’t want to stay the night!
If a trip to the intimidating Tollbooth Museum won’t teach the kids a lesson in the importance of behaving, we don’t know what will!
Boasting beautiful landscaped gardens, Johnston Gardens is the perfect place to get an Instagram-worthy snap or two in stunning surroundings. The gardens were gifted to the people of Aberdeen in 1936, and ever since, it has been a meeting point for friends and families keen to see the bursts of colour from the array of flowers and heathers planted through the stunning gardens.
There’s also a group of mallards that call the park home, which is fun for the kids to watch – just don’t get too close in the Spring when the ducklings are ready to hatch!
Seaton sits on the north of the city, where you can catch a glimpse of ‘Old Aberdeen’ in the incredible architecture that abounds. The park boasts the famous Wallace Tower and a truly awe-inspiring mound that is believed to date back as far as the Bronze Age.
The park is also closeby to St Machar’s Cathedral. This ancient site is, today, only a cathedral by name, but it’s definitely a sight worth seeing if you are in the area.
Hazlehead Park is known to be one of Aberdeen’s oldest historic properties. There’s something for everyone in the park, including Pets Corner, a maze, two golf courses, an azalea garden, a heather and conifer garden and a large play area.
There are a set of two formal gardens, including a rose garden dedicated to the late Queen Mother, as well as a Memorial Rose Garden in memory of the victims of the Piper Alpha disaster. Both are certainly worth a look.
King’s College Chapel, Aberdeen University
Set in the heart of Aberdeen’s University is King’s College Chapel, which boasts incredible architecture and is the perfect location for reflection, tranquillity and a little bit of time away from the busy city.
The Crown Tower of the chapel is seen as the epicentre of the university. It is adorned with stunning icons and emblems reflecting the life of the uni, while the chapel below is a beautiful place to marvel at the surroundings.
A trip to Aberdeen would not be complete without a leisurely walk along the famous beach. Popular with locals and visitors alike, the beach boasts stunning views and is a bustling area, whatever the weather. Grabbing an ice cream and walking the prom is highly recommended if you have some spare change in your back pocket.
Have A Holiday To Remember With Best Scottish Cottages
Sitting in the north of Scotland, Aberdeen makes a perfect trip for all the family. And, after a busy day of sightseeing in the city, you’ll need a cosy and comfortable dwelling to call home for the night.
At Best Scottish Cottages, that’s exactly what we are known for!
We have a huge range of accommodations with all the modern amenities you could need to have a blissful stay in and around Aberdeen. So, why not check out what we have on offer on our website, so you can start planning the holiday of your dreams?
Why is Aberdeen worth visiting?
Aberdeen is one of the most popular hotspots in the whole of Scotland. With a huge variety of tourist attractions (many of which are free, as we have seen) coupled with the city’s history and beautiful surroundings, Aberdeen is most definitely a great place to spend a holiday.
What should I pack on a trip to Aberdeen?
Aberdeen can be cold and rainy, even in the summer months. We strongly recommend packing for all weathers. Yes, you read that correctly! While the city can be warm and sunny one minute, the next, there’s always the potential for a heavy downpour. Lots of warm clothes and waterproofs should be packed, alongside some lighter clothing are a good idea.
Is Aberdeen easily accessible?
Aberdeen is the most northerly city in Scotland. From Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, the journey by car is approximately 2.5 hours. There’s also a host of reliable bus services that you can take to travel to the city. Aberdeen also has its own airport.
You might be forgiven for assuming that Aberdeen hasn’t much to offer visitors, given its strong industrial backbone and close ties to the North Sea Oil industry. However, you’d be wrong!
Aberdeen truly is a city where there’s something for everyone. Thanks to its long and fascinating history, there’s lots to learn and see throughout the various historic sites dotted over the city centre and further out.