Things to Do near the Uni(Versity of Aberdeen)

Marloes Krabbe University of Aberdeen, Scotland


December 5, 2019
Currently Studying at: University of Aberdeen, Scotland
Homeschool: The College of Wooster

Aberdeen is a northern city in Scotland of just over 200,000 people. While it is the third-largest city in Scotland, it lacks the same infrastructure and transportation of both Glasgow and Edinburgh. These differences can sometimes make it seem like there is not a lot to do in Aberdeen or the nearby area. Personally, I think Aberdeen is the perfect place to study abroad. It has the amenities, and some of the activities of a larger city, but lacks the plethora of distractions, thereby making it easier to focus on schoolwork while you are the University. Nonetheless, there is still plenty to do and, in an effort to provide someone with the information I wish I had when I arrived, here is a list of things to do around Aberdeen.


  • Dunnottar Castle is a thirty-minute bus ride (X7), followed by a thirteen-minute walk from downtown Aberdeen. In addition to the castle, there is the beautiful town of Stonehaven where you can have award-winning fish and chips (chickpea fritters for vegetarians) at the Bay. 
  • New Slains Castle is an hour bus ride (Line 63), followed by a fourteen-minute walk from Aberdeen. More remote than Dunnottar, New Slains Castle is a gorgeous ruined castle in Cruden Bay. The views are absolutely stunning.

(Important piece of advice: when looking at how to get to castles do not use Google maps as an accurate representation of the time it will take. Rome2Rio will be your best resource.)


  • Aberdeen Art Gallery is the local art museum. Recently reopened, it is gorgeous, interactive, and a good place to spend the afternoon.
  • Tolbooth Museum is a small museum that used to be a jail in the seventeenth-century. It is one of the oldest buildings in Aberdeen and takes about an hour to look through. 
  • Provost Skene’s House was under construction during my time in Aberdeen but would have been a place I gladly visited.


  • Newburgh Seals Beach is a forty-minute bus ride (Line 63) from Aberdeen. It is a nature preserve with lots of, you guessed it, seals.


  • Melt is a cheese-lover’s paradise and a lactose-intolerant person’s nightmare (although it does have vegan options). The toasties and the brownies are reasonably priced and delicious. 
  • Food Story is a must for anyone who likes brunch even a little bit. There is not a set menu available online, but you should go there early in the day to grab pancakes.
  • The Coffee House is a cute place to study with larger tables than one can find at Starbucks or Caffe Nero.
  • Slains Castle Bar is a perfect representation of Scotland as a church converted into a pub. While the food is not the best you will ever eat, it is a fun place to go purely for the atmosphere.