How do you rate Aberdeen?
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Living in Aberdeen
Aberdeen has the distinction of being the home of one of the oldest universities both in the UK and Europe, and hosts both Robert Gordon University and the University of Aberdeen.
You can certainly see the history when you arrive in Aberdeen, particularly in the Old Town which still has its cobbles and old-style houses. The beautiful grey granite architecture leaves you in no doubt where you are and gives Aberdeen a distinguished edge. Not for nothing is it nicknamed ‘The Silver City’.
Aberdeen is home to both Robert Gordon University and the University of Aberdeen, and the two face off every year in the Granite City Challenge. There’s a lot of banter but it’s all friendly, and the two universities team up for the town-wide Torcher Parade. Back in the day the students used to ride on horse-drawn carts, but these days they get to ride on lorries instead.
About 10% of the town is made up of students, so a lot of the clubs, pubs and bars host promos and dedicated student nights. Firm favourites include Triple Kirks/Exodus, TigerTiger, and Snafu. On the weirder side there’s also the gothic-themed Slains Castle, set inside an old church building. For that and the 7 Deadly Sins inspired cocktail list it’s definitely worth a look.
The Union Square, Trinity and Academy Shopping Centres are right at the heart of Aberdeen’s retail zone, with Union Street being the main high street area. There’s a few cinemas in this area, but it’s the live venues that really set Aberdeen apart. Bigger centres like the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre AECC), His Majesty’s Theatre and the Music Hall are the focus for concerts, musicals and theatre. Smaller venues like the Blue Lamp and Lemon Tree specialise in areas like comedy and alternative music, so keep an eye on their schedules for upcoming events.
It’s raining! Where should I go?
- Aberdeenshire Castle Trail: If you like castles, you’ll love this. The list covers thirteen of the best castles the region has to offer (although we can’t guarantee all the roofs are still in one piece. Take an umbrella, just in case.)
- Maritime Museum: This museum tracks Aberdeen’s heritage as a port and fishing town. And the view of the harbour’s not bad either.
- Whisky: Probably Scotland’s most famous export, so it would be a shame not to find out some more about it. The Glen Garioch Distillery is about half an hour outside the city and will give a tour, as well as a wee dram or two for you to sample.
It’s stopped raining! Quick, where should I go?
- Golf: Like most Scottish cities, there’s a wee bit of a golf fixation going on, with half a dozen large golf courses spread round the outskirts of Aberdeen. Why not try your hand at it?
- Cairngorms National Park: The stunning heart of the Highlands. Head here for outdoor adventuring, and perhaps a glimpse of majestic red deer or golden eagles.
- Coastline: Aberdeen’s own beach is pretty nice and sandy, and if you want to go further afield you’ll find everything from quiet fishing villages to dramatic clifftops.
Read Aberdeen Reviews
The weekly shop can be done for a reasonable price, and there’s loads of places to go for food etc. Nights out are very very good but it can be super expensive during the weekend. Shopping is pretty good but most students just shop online as shopping trips aren’t really in most people’s budget! Public transport in the city itself is generally good, however, if wanting to travel slightly further afield eg into Aberdeenshire for a day out, thorough planning is required as services become less reliable depending on the provider and area etc.
Coming from a small town, the facilities and various things to do have blown me away. I feel safe here at all times and have never been bored in the 2 years I've been here. If drinking is your thing then you have your pick of many bars and clubs all situated in the city centre. If you are sporty then Aberdeen Sports Village is opposite Aberdeen University and is a world class facility cheap to students. For shopping you have 3 shopping centres within 5 mins walk of each other and many other shops along union street. Or if you're an idiot like me, you can go crab hunting and exploring down the beach at midnight with a torch.
Aberdeen is a lovely city with a great location for getting into the highlands or spending time on the sea. However, it does lack in amenities such as a broad selection of cheap eats--most of the pubs in town have the exact same menu and ethnic options are very similar and not of good quality. Shopping is eh: a repeat of your basic shops all within blocks of one another with City Centre dead after 6:00 pm. Public transport is overpriced, ALWAYS late, and not convenient; there are two companies operating with Stagecoach offering the best fares and forays into the wider parts of Aberdeenshire but First providing more routes around the city itself. I would have liked more restaurants and shopping within walking distance of each neighborhood and, definitely, more entertainment and restaurant options around the University of Aberdeen campus. FYI: if you come to Scotland expecting sunshine and warm weather, you are gravely mistaken; be wary of seagulls.
a great bus service to and from campus making the relatively short journey into the city centre easier! There are 3 shopping malls and a large high street with plenty of shops. I found that everything I needed was catered for including several large supermarkets close to halls. Accommodation is difficult to find after halls and can be expensive, so searching early is essential! Nights out are great as well, with cheap drinks at Paramount and good atmosphere in most other clubs.
Aberdeen is an amazing city, On a night out, most people are out to have a good time and not cause trouble, one of the best nightclubs is Underground who do great theme nights over the whole year. Korova is a lovely place to eat and drink with half price food on mondays and half price cocktails from tuesday to thursday, great place for pre-drinks