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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. 

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Escape the real world for a couple of hours and explore a virtual one at Aberdeen's latest computer gaming spot, Engage Gaming. Boasting the latest consoles and equipment, Engage Gaming caters for everyone from casual players to hardcore gamers, and you can even reserve an area for a private party. Boasting a fantastic diner menu and a liscensed bar, this is the perfect place for gamers to get away from it all. www.engagegaming.gg


Bringing together the finest chocolates from across the UK and Europe, the newly-opened Hardy's Chocolates is nestled on the character-filled Rosemount Viaduct. Alongside traditional flavours, unusual combinations like mango, ginger and chilli and strawberry and pepper are on offer for the more-adventurous chocolate lover. With free samples always on offer, and friendly staff who will create a bespoke selection just for you, you'll be hard pressed to find a bigger selection of sweet treats in the city. www.hardyschocolates.com


Jewellery, gifts and homeware await in this quirky shop nestled on the bustling Belmont Street. Whether you're looking for a Scottish themed gift to bring home, or the perfect necklace for your loved one, you'll find something unique in this popular Aberdeen store. If you're visiting a distillery while in the area, consider buying a stunning set of Glencairn glasses set in a holder crafted from a genuine vintage whisky barrel. www.juniperaberdeen.co.uk


It's undeniable: vinyl is making a huge comeback. Music lovers across the country are choosing to lose the downloads, and are dusting off their turntables for an analogue listening experience. Having recently moved into the city from a small store in Aberdeenshire, Maidinvinyl has quickly become the must-visit record store in town. Whether you're after a super rare record or just a copy of one of David Bowie's classics, they've got what you're looking for with a great mix of second-hand and new vinyl on sale. www.maidinvinyl.co.uk

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Are you ready to exercise your chuckle muscles? The Aberdeen Comedy Festival returns to the north east from 5-15 October, boasting some of the country's biggest comedy names in over 50 shows. Britain's Got Talent 2017 finalist Daliso Chaponda joins the likes of John Hegley, Fred MacAulay, Andrew Maxwell and Gary Delaney in a line-up which also features showings of classic comedies at the Belmon Filmhouse. Budding comedians can also sign up to one of two workshops to hone their craft and learn the tricks of the trade. www.aberdeencomedyfestival.com


True North, Aberdeen's festival of music and song, takes place from 7-10 September. Although at the time of writing the programme hasn't been announced yet, last year's festival included stunning gigs from the likes of Laura Mvula, Honeyblood, King Creosote and Richard Hawley. Always a highlight is the annual tribute concert, which in the past has seen a collective of top Scottish musicians take on the work of iconic artists like Kate Bush and Neil Young. Gigs will be held in His Majesty's Theatre, The Lemon Tree and the Tivoli Theatre, as well as more unusual venues like the Maritime Museum and the Anatomy Rooms. www.aberdeenperformingarts.com/truenorth


Look Again, Aberdeen's festival of visual art and design, is held from 27 April-1 May. Bringing together visual art, design and architecture, it allows locals to become tourists in their own city and visitors to discover hidden intricacies in the Granite City. Showcasing work from acclaimed Scottish and international artists, the festival will take over the city centre with a thought-provoking series of exhibitions and installations. www.aberdeenfestivals.com/our-festivals/lookagain


In 2016, Aberdeen's Tolbooth, a historic prison, celebrates its 400th anniversary. As well as tours of the building which detail its history and infamous prisoners, a special exhibition entitled ‘Tales from the Tolbooth' from January 25 onwards will reveal some of the rarer details about the city-centre attraction. Admission is free and more information can be found at www.visitabdn.com/whats-on/calendar/tales-from-the-tolbooth

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