Aberdeen is the third largest city in the country of Scotland. Known as the Granite City, everything from buildings to the cobblestone streets are made of the rock. And it just so happens that it’s the perfect place for a quick weekend getaway.
We had such a nice time meandering about and found plenty to do to keep us busy the entire time we were there. In fact, we could have used another day or two.
Below are some of my favorite highlights of Aberdeen, Scotland.
Although much of Old Aberdeen area is utilized by the University of Aberdeen and King’s College, there is an abundance of things to do even for those who don’t attend the school.
It was fun just to walk around and see the tiny, narrow alleys and pathways leading to secret houses
and university libraries!
The old buildings and cobblestone streets are a fantastic way to catch a glimpse of the past
while being firmly rooted in the present.
The Cathedral Church of St. Machar
The property that The Cathedral Church of St. Machar sits on has long been a site of worship, dating all the way back to 580 AD. The building dates back to 1350 although it had been added to and was finally completed in 1530.
The ceiling is particularly interesting as it is boasts 48 heraldic shields representing kings throughout Europe, the Pope and other members of the of Scottish clergy as well as the King of Scots in the year 1520.
Cruikshank Botanic Garden
The Cruikshank Botanic Garden was founded in 1898 by Anne Cruikshank. Situated over 11 acres, the garden is a quiet place to explore over 2,500 plants.
Or even just to sit and be alone with your thoughts.
See that stripey building in the background? That’s the University of Aberdeen Library. I thought it was interesting to learn that the building is meant to look like what granite looks like under a microscope.
King’s College was founded in 1495 and is a part of the University of Aberdeen, the third university that was established in Scotland.
The campus has beautiful grounds for lingering around especially when classes aren’t in session. The changing colors of the Virginia Creeper growing on this building was a lovely visual reminder that autumn is not all that far off, now.
The oldest and most recognized building of the campus is the King’s College Chapel. The Crown Tower is one of the most iconic sites of the university.
Aberdeen Maritime Museum
The Aberdeen Maritime Museum highlights the city’s deep connection with the water. Aberdeen harbor has been recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest business in Britain.
Aberdeen Science Center
To be honest, the Aberdeen Science Center will probably be more appealing to those with children, but I have to say that we were very impressed by this science center.
Although not very large in size it had items in it that we never saw in larger centers that we’ve visited in other cities. I would highly recommend a visit if you have children.
Footdee is a small fishing village that dates back to 1398. It’s filled with charming old houses and buildings that make for a pretty walk.
This little green shack was my favorite out of all the buildings. Green is my favorite color so maybe that’s why.
I will admit that the beach is small and full of stones but it was still fun to walk to the shore and dip our feet into the bracing North Sea water. Heavy emphasis on the word bracing. Even in August.
Three Places To Eat In Aberdeen
There are plenty of places to eat (and drink!) in Aberdeen ranging from fast food to fine dining but these were my favorite.
The Cat In The Window – Cat Café
This was a lucky find on my part. I was actually looking around to take photos when I stumbled upon The Cat In The Window Café.
We even made some new friends!
This guy was especially friendly because he loves scones and cream and we just happened to have both! But unfortunately he’s lactose intolerant so we couldn’t share any with him. He did make a valiant effort to try and nick some cream by attempting to stick his paw into my hot chocolate.
I’m so glad we stopped in because the women who work there couldn’t be nicer and the cats couldn’t be more adorable. It’s a fun and unique activity that combines two of my favorite things…cats and food!
Books and Beans
Books and Beans is just the place for a quick morning coffee and breakfast.
The sweet waffles served with bacon were particularly nice.
There is also a second hand book shop on site, as well. This place would be perfect on a cold, rainy day.
The Silver Darling
The seafood served at The Silver Darling is caught daily by local fisherman so it’s sometimes hard to know what will be available but the whatever they do have you can be assured that it will be fresh and delicious. And for those who don’t eat seafood, they have plenty of other options, as well.
We started with some grilled oysters, from both Ireland and Scotland. I was surprised to find that I could actually tell the difference between the two. As it turns out, I liked the oysters from Ireland better.
Both the monk cheek and pancetta linguine as well as the grilled fillet of cod were delicious. There was also a cheeseburger involved but I didn’t get a picture of it. I am told it was really nice, too.
Have you ever been to Aberdeen? I would definitely recommend it. We really enjoyed our visit. Overall, Scotland has really grabbed our hearts. I’d like to get back to see more of it. Any recommendations? Leave your suggestions in the comments area below.
Thanks for reading! Cheers!