Aberdeen is a nice little Scottish seaport in the North Sea that has long had close ties to Norway due to its location and the oil industry. It is a surprisingly clean and manageable city, with large greenery, despite the fact that Aberdeen mainly lives by heavy industry. Aberdeen is world famous for its parks and botanical gardens.
One of the city’s nicknames is the Granite City, and very many of the houses in the city center are properly built of gray granite stone. Aberdeen has significantly fewer tourists than the capital Edinburgh, but if you come to Scotland to visit old castles, visit whiskey distilleries and play golf, then Aberdeen is probably an equally good and affordable option.
As Scotland and Aberdeen lose in the form of weather-beaten climates, they take up numerous times in pleasant atmosphere and popular culture.
Get to know Aberdeen
Aberdeen is the third largest city in Scotland with just over 200,000 inhabitants, and is located on the northeastern coast, almost as close to Norway that it is possible to get on the British mainland.
Aberdeen gained city status in 1319, and has been Scotland’s foremost university city since the 1400s. Aberdeen has long had maritime traditions. Today, the oil and gas sector has taken over much of the traditional shipping industry. Since oil was found in the North Sea, Aberdeen’s economy has seen strong growth and the entire city is benefiting economically.
Old Aberdeen (Old Aberdeen)
Northwest of the city center, about 20 minutes by bus, lies the suburb of Old Aberdeen. Old Aberdeen has a very special atmosphere. You almost feel like time has stood still where Old Aberdeen is wrapped around St Machar’s cathedral. The cathedral dates back to 500 AD, but today’s magnificent church was completed in the 1400s.
Next to the church you will find a botanical garden called Cruickshank. There is free entrance. The garden is open year-round, but closes on weekends during winter, ie the period October to April. North of the cathedral you will find Seaton Park. Aberdeen is a truly green city with many excursion opportunities. If you continue north from the park you will pass Scotland’s oldest Gothic bridge, Brig o ‘Balgownie, from the 1300s. If you are a golf enthusiast you should know that the city’s two most beautiful golf courses are located in the area. The courses are called the Royal Aberdeen and Murcar.
If you love architecture, don’t miss King’s College and the beautiful 16th century chapel located in Old Aberdeen. Both the spiral and the interior arouse fascination.
Aberdeen’s main street is Union Street, several miles long, and built on pillars. This street is a mix of modern and old buildings all around. There is usually a buzzing crowd and lots of traffic. At the east end of Union Street you will find Aberdeen’s oldest downtown area, Castlegate. The Castlegate area dates back to the 13th century. The dominant place in today’s Castlegate is the Mercat Cross which dates from the 17th century. It witnesses the city’s ancient glory as a trading town. On the other side, at Union Street and King Street, you will find the town hall and, not least, the 13th-century toll booths. Here they once collected customs and taxes and kept the city’s lawless.
A little further west on Union Street you will find Broad Street with the city’s tourist office. Across the street from the tourist office is the impressive Marischal College, the world’s second largest granite building. Originally, the city had both a Catholic and a Protestant University, but in 1860 these were merged into one and the same university under the name of Marichal College.
You must also visit the Art Gallery which is Aberdeen’s pride. Walk Broad Street north from Union street until you reach Upperkirkgate and St Nicholas Shopping Center. Follow Upkirkgate west and continue up Schoolhill. Here you will find the Art Gallery which houses in its elegant building a number of beautiful art objects. Open daily from 1000 to 1700, but Sundays from 1400. The museum is free. West of the Art Gallery you will find Union Terrace Gardens, which is a great place to visit when you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The area around Justice Mill Lane, not far west of Union Street, and about a mile from Schoolhill, is the city’s nightlife street. Here are plenty of bars and pubs to keep you active until late at night. In this area you will also find a technology center called Satrosphere which is a popular destination for the whole family.
The beach area
Between the outlets of the Don and Dee rivers, not far from Union Street, you will find the beach area. Here are miles of beautiful sandy beach. However, the climate in Aberdeen suggests that it is not often you get the chance to soak up the sun on the beach.
The area also houses a large leisure complex with swimming pools, cinemas and, not least, the home of the city’s pride, the Aberdeen FC football club which was once coached by Alex Ferguson himself (now Manchester United ). The home course is called Pittodrie Park.
The port area
If you cross Shipleg Street from Castlegate and down to the harbor you will pass Aberdeen’s new maritime museum. Aberdeen has a proud maritime history. The harbor area is popular with tourists, and the central street down at the harbor is called Market Street. Here it is sometimes quite hectic with buying and selling, and unloading on and off boats. You will definitely visit the fish market at the harbor. Trade in fish has been going on here since the 13th century. The best time to come here to get a good impression of the activities, it is early in the morning, preferably before at 0800.
Do you go to the south end of Market Street, you are on your way to huge Duthie Park. Take a bus as it can be a bit far to walk. Duthie Park is a wonderfully beautiful park with conservatory, tropical plants and many bird species. It is referred to by many as the largest garden of its kind in Europe.
Facts about Aberdeen
Aberdeen is the “oil capital” in Scotland and can be said to play the same role for the country Stavanger has in Norway. With just over 200,000 residents, Aberdeen is the country’s 3rd most populous city. Despite a very hectic harbor and adjacent industry, Aberdeen is known as the city of parks!
|Official languages||English and Gaelic|
|Religion||Aberdeen is Scotland’s least religious city, with 43% declaring non-believers. The majority of believers are Protestant (43%).|
|Time Difference||Scotland is one hour after Norwegian time|
|Currency||British pounds, equivalent to around £ 12. ATMs can be found almost everywhere, and the use of credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard and Diners is very widespread.|
|Tips||Some places include tips. If not, give 10-15%. The same goes for taxis. At the pub you don’t have to give tips.|
|Embassy||The Norwegian Embassy is located at 86 George Street, Edinburgh. Tel: +44 131 226 5701.|
|Tourist||St. Nicholas House, Broad Street.|
|Electricity||240v 50Hz. You need an adapter for a UK 3-pin outlet to use your own electrical items. These are normally available in stores.|
|Holidays and Holidays||January 1, January 2, first Monday in May, first Monday in August, November 30 (National Day)|
|Visa||Not required for Norwegian citizens. Passports must be brought.|
|Vaccinations||No vaccines are required.|
|Water||Do not drink from the tap.|
|Nearest major cities||Inverness, Peterhead, Dundee.|
|Safety||The level of preparedness in the UK has been raised following several terrorist attacks and bomb threats in recent years. Some fills and violence in the center on weekends. Also pay attention to pickpockets in crowds.|