The best things to do in Aberdeen, Scotland

Aktualisiert am: 28/03/2023

With so many illustrious big cities like Edinburgh, Liverpool or Glasgow, Aberdeen is a real underdog. Why a visit is still worthwhile, I tell you in this article! And at the same time show you the Aberdeen sights that you should definitely see.

Aberdeen: The Silver City

On the flight to Aberdeen, a passenger warned me: “Aberdeen is really a very special city. Everything is gray, the entire city. I bet you’ve never seen so much gray in one place in your life!” Ha. No way. As a Ruhrpottkind, I am well acquainted with gray cities and depressing environments. Not that I am misunderstood, the Ruhrpott I love to this day hot and hearty – but beautiful… beautiful is watt different. So I grew up in the middle of the gray and Aberdeen is supposed to be even grayer? But Aberdeen had more to offer than expected…

Tip: Cheap accommodation in Aberdeen can be found here*.

Welcome to my travel blog!

Hey, I’m Tatiana, a German-Brazilian living in Berlin & the author behind The Happy Jetlagger. I’ve been writing about my travels since 2014. In addition to my job as a flight attendant, this blog is my passion project!

Aberdeen Sights Scotland Castlegate The Salvation Army Citadel
Aberdeen Sights Scotland Castlegate The Salvation Army Citadel

Aberdeen Sights & Tips

It came as it had to come, our guest was actually right. Everything, but really everything was gray. Even the sky. Fifty shades of grey live, so to speak. Somehow, this high up in the north of Scotland, the sun doesn’t really come out in the fall. But it wasn’t bad at all, Aberdeen impresses as well.

aberdeen
Aberdeen’s Castlegate neighborhood is named after Aberdeen Castle, which once stood here. Today, the Salvation Army Citadel is located here.

Why is everything gray in Aberdeen?

All the gray that surrounds you in Aberdeen is actually not so pale gray. The vast majority of house facades are made of granite – if you get closer, you can see a slightly silvery shimmer, which becomes even more beautiful when the (admittedly rare) sun shines on it. Normally, you would never build such buildings with granite – it would be way too expensive! But near Aberdeen are large deposits of granite, which in the past provided much prosperity in the region.

Aberdeen Scotland sights grey houses
Predominant house color in Aberdeen, Scotland: gray.
Aberdeen Scotland left traffic street painting

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The Maritime Museum

No wonder Aberdeen has a huge maritime museum, the Aberdeen Maritime Museum. Besides granite, there’s also a lot of oil offshore in the area! And in the Maritime Museum you can learn a lot about ships, oil production and the history of Aberdeen.

Aberdeen attractions Scotland Aberdeen Maritime Museum
Visitor magnet in Aberdeen: The Aberdeen Maritime Museum.
Aberdeen attractions Scotland harbour port city
A port city through and through: Huge ships are moored in the port of Aberdeen, which lives particularly from oil production in the North Sea.

Cemetery walk at St. Nicholas Church

Okay, I’m not usually a big fan of cemeteries. But this one is really special. Everything in this cemetery is overgrown with bright green moss – the only colorful thing in all the Aberdeen gray all around. By the way, the church is located in the middle of Union Street, the big shopping street in the center of the city. So if you’re out shopping anyway, you can take a little stroll here.

Aberdeen Sights Scotland Cemetery St. Nicholas Church
Eerily beautiful: The moss-covered graveyard of St. Nicholas Church in the center of Aberdeen.
Aberdeen Sights Scotland Cemetery St. Nicholas Church

Shopping in Aberdeen

In England in general, yes, I love shopping for clothes – if you’re not a normal size, the wide selection of petite sizes in pretty much all stores is a real dream! (And don’t even get me started on the gourmet department at Marks&Spencer…. ) It’s all available in Aberdeen, too. And for fans of Jamie Oliver: This.

Aberdeen attractions Scotland Jamie Oliver restaurant
Aberdeen attractions Scotland Jamie Oliver restaurant bookstore

Aberdeen food tip: Tea time – the Five O’Clock Tea!

I am an absolute tea drinker, so of course an original teatime is part of it. Best still with scones, jam and clotted cream. Mmh.

Aberdeen Sights Scotland Afternoon Tea with Scones and Clotted Cream
Also a must in Aberdeen: Afternoon Tea with scones, clotted cream and jam.

Have you ever been to Aberdeen? Do you have any suggestions for my next Aberdeen overnight? Keep it coming. (And if there are any Berliners reading along… where on earth can I get clotted cream for a real British five o’clock tea)?

Aberdeen landmarks Scotland Silver City gray granite

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More to read:

For more about the Brits and their tea, check out Britblog.

A decent cup of tea not only writes about tea, but also knows Scotland really well: Scotland travel tips from an UK pro!

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All articles about Great Britain:

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