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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. 



Those with a sweet tooth must visit Humbug, a charming old-fashioned sweet shop just a short walk from the city centre. Jars of retro sugary treats line every wall in sight, bringing back memories of days gone by. Be sure to try a Lucky Tattie, a traditional Scottish sweet coated in cinnamon. It's also the perfect place to pick up a scoop or two of delicious Simpsons of Buckie ice cream (181 Rosemount Place, AB25 2XP, humbugaberdeen.com).


First opened in 1883, Duthie Park is of great historical significance to Aberdeen. The original Victorian bandstand, situated in the middle of the park, is still regularly used today by busking musicians. Also contained within the park are The Winter Gardens, which are considered the largest covered gardens in Europe (Polmuir Road, AB11 7TH, +1224 522 000).

Key Areas

Experience Scottish culture first hand at the Aboyne Highland Games, a traditional Highland Gathering in the village of Aboyne on 2 August. Held annually for over 140 years, it features amazing feats of strength, including the famous caber toss, as well as displays of traditional music and dancing. Admission is £10, payable on the day, and children under five go free. aboynegames.com

Day Trips

Despite having a top speed of 12mph, thrills are guaranteed on an off-road Segway tour in picturesque Templars' Park, a 10-minute drive from Aberdeen. Boasting the North East of Scotland's biggest fleet of these rugged yet easy-to-handle machines, Segway Aberdeen offers full instruction and the opportunity to take on dirt tracks, an agility course and even the odd sand dune. The most fun you'll have on two wheels (tel: 0844 870 7105, segwayaberdeen.co.uk).