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Aberdeen is a rich city that entices tourists with a rich mix of culture, flowering gardens and pretty spectacular surrounding mountain scenery.  The ‘Flower of Scotland’ is one of the many terms that are used to describe Scotland’s third city Aberdeen. Known for its many outstanding parks and flowers that number into the millions, it wouldn’t be wrong to describe this city as one big scent-filled garden. And, while it might not be as famous as those two Scottish biggies Edinburgh and Glasgow, Aberdeen is still a class act that more than holds its own when it comes to entertaining its many visiting guests.

But the reason you’ll be visiting Aberdeen won’t be just because you like the smell of flowers now will it? You’ll be visiting Aberdeen because it is also the oil capital of Europe. The discovery of the black stuff in the North Sea in the 1970s transformed this city from a sleepy town into one of the richest cities in the UK. And all that oil money has been well spent creating a modern city that is rich in culture – just check out its many museums and galleries – it’s also overflowing with fantastic bars, restaurants and cafes.  As you’d expect from a city that has deep pockets, Aberdeen likes to party and has started to give good old Edinburgh a run for its money in the festival stakes.

From music and theatre events to military shows and folk celebrations, you’ll find every kind of festival in Aberdeen. 



To find a unique gift that you just can't buy anywhere else visit Cloudy Blue in the trendy Rosemount area of Aberdeen, just a short walk from the city centre. From stuffed dinosaurs for the wee ones to amazing art prints, there's something for everyone in this local Aladdin's cave of curiosities. www.facebook.com/cloudyblue.aberdeen

If the alternative scene appeals, then look no further than Seratique. The locally run clothing boutique is stocked with top men's and women's alternative clothing brands, and is also packed full of unique accessories and curios. facebook.com/seratiqueaberdeen

If you're looking for a luxurious gift for someone special (or even for yourself) then venture to the Peltoniemi Concept Store on Chattan Place. Bringing high-end design from London, Paris, Milan and New York to the Granite City, it's packed with incredible items that can't be found anywhere else (8 Chattan Place, AB10 6RD, tyttipeltoniemi.com).

Looking for a unique gift for someone special? The Aberdeen Antique Centre boasts a range of unusual items, from exquisite items of furniture to ancient books and everything in between. There really is something for everyone in this Aladdin's cave of historic delights (South College Street, AB11 6JX).

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One of Aberdeenshire's most famous exports, Cullen Skink is a hearty soup made with haddock, potatoes and milk. Celebrate the finest recipes for this iconic dish at the 4th annual Cullen Skink World Championships on 22 November. Held in the village of Cullen, chefs and home cooks will battle it out in two categories: Traditional, and Cullen Skink with a Twist. www.discovercullen.com/cullen-skink-world-championship.php

Overlooking the ferocious North Sea on three sides, Dunnottar Castle is a spectacular ruin perched atop a dramatic cliff. Explore the remains of the castle and the beaches and landscape that surround it. Plus, for movie buffs, Mel Gibson's Hamlet and the up-coming Victor Frankenstein, starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, were filmed on location here. dunnottarcastle.co.uk

The north east of Scotland's first ever gathering of comic book, film and TV fans takes place on 30 May. Granite City Comic Con will feature cast members from Star Wars and Thunderbirds, as well as heroes of the Scottish comic-book scene and a host of up-and-coming talent. Entry is free. granitecitycomiccon.co.uk

If you want to see some of the finest art in the region, look no further than Aberdeen Art Gallery. Featuring touring exhibitions alongside permanent displays, it proudly shows off the best in art and photography (Schoolhill, AB10 1FQ, aagm.co.uk).

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