Attractions to see in Aberdeen
March 21, 2012 2:50 AM   Subscribe

What are the must see attractions in Aberdeen?

I'm attending a conference in Aberdeen for work and whilst I'm there I have a free day. What attractions should I be sure to see with my limited time? Ideally I don't want to venture too far from my hotel so need something around the city centre.
posted by Emilybpd to Travel & Transportation around Aberdeen, Scotland (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My good friend from Aberdeen recommends a walk through the old part of Aberdeen and Aberdeen University to appreciate the architecture of the area. She also recommends a bus ride out to Crathes Castle (16th century) but it's about 14 miles out of Aberdeen. What interests you?
posted by travellingincognito at 3:41 AM on March 21, 2012

If "shopping" counts as an answer, then Union Square (next to the train station) is pretty awesome by local standards. If you're coming from a decent sized city then it's probably not great.

The Aberdeen Art Gallery is pretty great. It's at the top of Schoolhill, next to Robert Gordon's. The "From Van Gogh to Vettriano" exhibition is really neat.

His Majesty's Theatre is really nice (as is the Foyer attached), so depending on when you go, there might be some good shows worth checking out.

If the Marischal Museum is open again (not sure what's going on with that, with the relocation of the council offices to Marischal College), then that's definitely worth a look because it's awesome. Marischal College is a really pretty building (it's at the top of Broad Street), but the recent cleaning of the stones has left it looking a little...yellowed (you can see the dirtier, browner stone parts that haven't been cleaned look much prettier and less stained with yellow cleaning solution).

Provost Skene's House is also very nice - I think it's one of the oldest buildings in Aberdeen - and it's right in the city centre (just off Broad Street).

I agree that the architecture of Old Aberdeen is nice, and as an alumni of Aberdeen Uni, the campus is very pretty, with some really cool old buildings (and some really ugly 60s/70s buildings). The number 20 bus you can pick up in town (easiest stop to find from your hotel is probably at St Nicholas Kirk - the trip will take you maybe 10 - 30 minutes, depending on traffic) and if you get off at King's College, you can explore the campus & the surrounding area to your heart's content (but avoid Seaton Park if it's anywhere close to dark). The botanical gardens (cross at the traffic lights in front of the Old Town House and head up the Chanonry & the entrance is near St Machar's Cathedral) are really nice - I used to eat my bag lunch on a bench there almost every clear day of my undergrad.

Oh, and if botanical gardens are of interest, then you might like to see The Winter Gardens at Duthie Park (take the number 17 bus from Union Street, the trip will take about 20 minutes).

The Maritime Museum on Shiprow is great and worth a look if you have time/the interest.

The Tolbooth Museum in the city centre is really, really awesome, but it doesn't open until June 30th.

If you're looking for food/dinner/coffee recommendations (which you may well need, because having eaten at your hotel, the food sucked), then: if you want pub food, head to Belmont Street/Back Wynd for some great pubs - I recommend Ma Cameron's. For coffee, if you're wanting something other than Starbucks/Costa, check out Books & Beans on Belmont Street, and Kilau Coffee on Little Belmont Street. For proper restaurants, I can't really recommend anything because I don't eat at places like that often, but I hear Howies on Chapel Street is lovely. And you can't really go wrong with any of the chain restaurants in Union Square (Nando's is my favourite).

If you're thinking of a day trip out of the city, then I can recommend some stuff for that, too - any particular interests, like castles, or lochs, or anything like that?
posted by Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo at 4:07 AM on March 21, 2012

Seconding The Maritime Museum, tons of interesting exhibits (and a tiny model submarine you can drive).
posted by pickingupsticks at 6:16 AM on March 21, 2012

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