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The Best Hotels in Aberdeen

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Best Hotels in Aberdeen

Aberdeen isn’t just a granite city full of history and cutting-edge shops, it’s also a gateway to some of Scotland’s most fascinating attractions. Within its own bounds, this oil-rich playground has museums, theaters and galleries, and just beyond the city lies whisky, beaches and one of Queen Victoria’s favourite patches of the isles, Royal Deeside. From museums celebrating the city’s longstanding commercial relationship with the sea, to shopping centers where you can make some sound trading relationships of your own. Throw in fine-dining with local seafood and world cuisine, and you have a hotbed of fashion, culture and high-class luxury.

Things to see

Just a 2 minute walk from Aberdeen city center, Union Square Shopping Centre, the second largest shopping complex in Scotland, is the city’s fashion capital, where over 50 chain stores nestle together under one roof. It’s not just fashion you’ll find, either, with plenty of dining options and the city’s largest cinema also on hand. Around 7 miles north west of the city center lies Dyce, which overlooks the River Don and is home to one of the region’s most striking attractions, St Fergus Chapel which has a display of Pictish stones, some of which date back to the 7th Century. Another residential area just outside of the city, in this case 7 miles west of the center, Westhill is home to an array of international restaurants as well as a golf course and a number of other sports facilities such as a swimming pool and tennis courts.

Hotels in Aberdeen

Where there’s oil there’s money, and the North Sea has been good to Aberdeen. This means that it can punch above its weight when it comes to luxury, easily matching some of the better-known cities in the UK for high-end hotels. Hotels in Aberdeen can be found throughout the city center, and the higher end options will give you free WiFi and flat-screen televisions, tea and coffee making facilities and many will throw in free breakfasts too. Slightly further out, luxury spas can be found in breathtaking buildings, with the slight distance into town more than made up for by the pampering, pools and gardens.

Where to stay

Aberdeen is a charming place, and – thanks to the granite from which a great deal of its architecture is constructed – a uniquely glittering one. There are plenty of hotels in Aberdeen city center, or within short walking distance, so you’ll probably want to opt to remain in the heart of the action and experience the mix of commerce, galleries, museums and history that occurs there. If you head a little further out you can find everything from guesthouses to spas, and if you’re looking to go a little more self-catering there are plenty of high-quality apartments to be hired both in the center and the fringes.

How to get to

International visitors, and even many from within the UK, will probably arrive in Aberdeen from Aberdeen Airport. It’s in nearby Dyce, 7 miles out of the city center, and buses run regularly into the heart of Aberdeen taking around 30 minutes. Taxis are readily available also, and there’s also a train but you’ll need to catch a bus from the airport to the station. Travelling by rail to Aberdeen is straightforward, with Aberdeen Station located in the city center, and serving cities throughout the UK. Trains from London, Leeds and other Scottish cities are regular, but relatively slow and can be expensive unless booked in advance.

When are the best times to travel to Aberdeen?

The warm summer months are the best time to visit Aberdeen, especially if you’re going to explore the region’s outdoor attractions. Year-round, however, there are plenty of events to lure in visitors, from the Aberdeen International Youth and Aberdeen Jazz festivals, to the Aberdeen Alternative Festival. The hotels in Aberdeen are most in demand during September, when the city hosts the Offshore Europe Conference & Exhibition, a major oil event.

What are the top must-see attractions in Aberdeen?

A historic city awash with old granite architecture, Aberdeen certainly isn’t short on landmarks. The Kings College is the University of Aberdeen’s centrepiece, particularly its Chapel which features 15th-century architecture and centuries old choir stalls. The Duthie Park Winter Gardens boast a year-round trove of rare and exotic plants. Housed within large conservatories, its themed areas include a Victorian Corridor, a Corridor of Perfumes and a Japanese Garden. Linn O’Dee was one of Queen Victoria’s favourite beauty spots, with its peaceful woodland, dramatic gorge and quaint gothic bridge.

What are the best types of restaurants and food in Aberdeen?

Whether it’s haggis or a deep-fried mars bar, Scotland is brimming with unique eats – and Aberdeen is no exception. Must tries here include the Aberdeen sausage, and the Aberdeen buttery – a flaky treat somewhere between a croissant and a pancake. When it comes to eating out, the city has something for everyone, from budget-friendly takeaways to sophisticated Michelin-starred restaurants. You’ll find many British chain name favourites in Union Square, while the rest of the city centre is home to everything from Italian and Chinese, to Indian and Mexican.

What are the top things to do in Aberdeen?

Museums are at the top of most visitors’ itineraries, and Aberdeen has plenty. There’s the Gordon Highlanders Museum, which displays an arsenal of historic weaponry, and the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, which covers the city’s seafaring heritage. Outside the city, you’ll find the 17th-century Craigievar Castle, as well as Balmedie Beach, which boasts miles of sandy shoreline and a collection of World War II pillboxes. Come evening, Aberdeen offers numerous show and music venues for your entertainment fix, as well as stacks of pubs, bars and nightclubs to let loose in.

What are some fun facts about Aberdeen?

The city isn’t just known as Aberdeen – it’s often referred to as the “Granite City” or the “Silver City”. This is thanks to its silvery grey buildings, which were made from local mica-containing granite. “The Oil Capital of Europe” is another of the city’s nicknames. Its North Sea rigs are hugely important, drawing in millions and millions of pounds for the UK’s economy each year. It’s not all work, though – especially if you like a round of golf. The Aberdeenshire area is packed with scenic courses, with other 50 to choose from.

What kinds of public transport are there in Aberdeen?

If you’re opting for a hotel in Aberdeen’s city centre, then you can easily get around by foot thanks to the city’s compact size. What’s more, it’s a great way to take in the city’s spectacular architecture. Of course, there’s public transport in Aberdeen, too, in the form of the local bus. Routes weave throughout the city’s core, as well as further afield, and it won’t cost you a lot to travel. Drivers can provide you with standard tickets or day tickets, though you will need the correct change at hand.

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