With cathedrals, a historic old town dating back centuries, glorious parks and several high-profile arenas and sports stadiums, we’ve rounded up our favourite Aberdeen tourist attractions below.
Attractions in Aberdeen
Dating back to the dark ages, Aberdeen is a city packed with history and centuries-old buildings.
Start your adventure in Old Town, home to King’s College, St. Machar’s Cathedral and the Old Town House, a series of tight-knit cobbled streets that date back centuries. A religious hub for the north for hundreds of years, Aberdeen has several other impressive church buildings.
St. Andrew’s Cathedral is an imposing 18th-century church built from granite and sandstone. The cathedral is well known for its music, with a world-famous choir that tours the UK and internationally, and a stunning three-pipe organ, one of the finest in Scotland. Handily, it’s a two-minute walk from our City Centre hotel.
Even older still is the Kirk of St. Nicholas, which is nearly 900 years old and located near the Bon Accord & St. Nicholas Centre. A working church, much of the interior dates back to the medieval ages and includes several effigies and some impressive 17th-century woodworks.
For a taste of a slightly more modern Aberdeen, head to Footdee; a quaint, almost time-forgotten fishing village at the foot of the River Dee. Full of cute, distinctive buildings with primary colour schemes, it dates as far back as the 14th century and is a living example of history that’s been brilliantly preserved.
Overlooking the harbour, the Torry Battery is an 1860 military construction originally built with nine guns to defend the city from naval attacks. The battery saw operation during WWI, was decommissioned in 1956 and is now a striking monument.
Provost Skene’s House is another example of Aberdeen’s well-preserved history and is just a short walk from the Kirk of St. Nicholas. Originally built in 1545, the house is now a period museum and is furnished in traditional 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century style, including a selection of coins and religious paintings.
Standing on the site of the medieval Aberdeen Castle, the Salvation Army Citadel is a striking castle-like building that dates back to 1686. Head to the top for impressive views over the East End of Aberdeen, and stop for a coffee on the way down; it’s one of the cheapest and best cups you’re likely to find in the city.
Salvation Army Citadel
With the cold never far away in Aberdeen, especially during the near-Arctic winter months, Duthie Park is a beacon of warmth all year round, thanks to its temperature-controlled winter gardens full of cacti, a tropical house, Japanese gardens and more. One of the largest indoor gardens in Europe, it’s a great place to explore. And when the sun is shining, the main park is home to 44 acres of boating ponds, playgrounds and even a cricket pitch.
Home to the Aberdeen Highland Games, Hazlehead Park is a sprawling 180-hectare park that boasts everything from a maze, pets’ corner, golf courses, playgrounds, football pitches, running and cycle tracks and even a selection of sculptures and heritage pieces. The above-average Park Café is also on hand for all your lunch and snack needs, with our Anderson Drive hotel being less than a 10-minute drive away.
To the north of the city centre and a short drive from our North (Bridge of Don) hotel, Seaton Park is at the mouth of the River Don and is a large, open space with mature trees, well-looked-after gardens and disused railway wagons, which act as a centrepiece for the kids’ playground.
A popular pastime in Aberdeen, bowls is big business, especially amongst the city’s retired population, and Westburn Park has three of the best grass bowling greens in the city. There are also indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a well-kept pond and a small-flowing burn through the middle of the park with some neat man-made features.
A short walk from the Gordon Highlanders Museum, Johnston Gardens is one of the smallest city centre parks, but is also one of its finest thanks its collection of ancient trees, beautiful plants, bridges and streams. One of the most picturesque spots in Aberdeen, you’ll find ducks to feed and a small play park for the children.
Head to our dedicated page on the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre to find out more about one of the largest events spaces in Scotland.
The fourth-largest football stadium in the Scottish league, Pittodrie has been home to Aberdeen Football Club since 1903. A 21,000-capacity stadium, Pittodrie is a short walk from the beach and city centre. It’s been a trail-blazing stadium; Pittodrie was the first all-seater stadium in Britain and the first to incorporate team dugouts into the design.
The team is one of the most successful in Scotland, having won several league titles, over a dozen cups and even trophies in Europe in the 1980s under then manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Alongside Celtic and Rangers, Aberdeen are one of the most dominant Scottish teams and have never been relegated from the top division. The stadium has hosted 15 international matches during its history and several rugby union matches, while Sir Elton John and Sir Rod Stewart have both played live at the stadium.
There is limited car parking at the ground, but there are several park-and-ride services, while the stadium is a 10-minute walk along Park Street from our City Centre hotel.