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Scotland’s third city has never been as big on the tourist radar as Glasgow or Edinburgh, despite its long history and agreeable maritime air. The city owes its prosperity to fishing and shipbuilding, but the modern story of Aberdeen is written in oil — helicopters buzz day and night from Aberdeen heliport to the oilfields in the North Sea. But this is no grim industrial wasteland — the "Silver City" was constructed from local granite and the streets are lined with stately public buildings that gleam in the sunshine, or melt into the sky on gray winter days. Dotted around these unmistakably Scottish edifices are 16th-century churches, art ...

Scotland’s third city has never been as big on the tourist radar as Glasgow or Edinburgh, despite its long history and agreeable maritime air. The city owes its prosperity to fishing and shipbuilding, but the modern story of Aberdeen is written in oil — helicopters buzz day and night from Aberdeen heliport to the oilfields in the North Sea. But this is no grim industrial wasteland — the "Silver City" was constructed from local granite and the streets are lined with stately public buildings that gleam in the sunshine, or melt into the sky on gray winter days. Dotted around these unmistakably Scottish edifices are 16th-century churches, art galleries, grand parks and gardens and even a two-mile-long sandy beach. Visitors make a beeline for the Gothic grandeur of the University of Aberdeen and the Maritime Museum, but the surrounding countryside offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor rambles, and plenty of distilleries to tour on rainy days. However, oil money flows freely in Aberdeen, ensuring high prices for rooms and dinners.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Situated on the northeast coast of Scotland at the mouths of the Dee and Don rivers.
  • Language: English, Scots (Doric)
  • Currency: Pound Sterling
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    February to June and September to October, avoiding the chilly winter and summer showers.