Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A Native's Opinion Of The Granite City

10 Reasons Why Aberdeen in Scotland is Worth a Visit

If you browse through any travel magazine or brochure for Aberdeen, you will undoubtedly find countless attractions, scenic viewpoints and historical landmarks that pique your interest. To get a real feel for what to expect in the granite city of Aberdeen, however, it is best to hear from a biased native like me :)

The city of Aberdeen is one of the largest in Scotland, and it is a cosmopolitan and progressive city thanks to international shipping and a diverse population. If you are thinking about taking a holiday to Aberdeen in the future, read on for my top 10 reasons that this incredible city is worth a visit.

1. Easily Accessible

Although Aberdeen might look remote on the map, and is indeed located more than 70 miles from the nearest town, it is surprisingly accessible from throughout the United Kingdom and even the rest of the world. The local Airport operates flights from all across Europe, or visitors could use the public buses, trains and even boats to get to the city.

2. Impressive Museums

Museums are often one of the top things that people look for in a city holiday destination, and Aberdeen certainly won't disappoint. Some of the best museums in the city include King's Museum, the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, the Tolbooth Museum and the Gordon Highlanders Museum. Many of the museums in Aberdeen are free or very reasonably priced, a big contrast to cities like Edinburgh and London.

3. Nearby Hiking and Outdoor Recreation

Aberdeen is the perfect starting point for outdoor adventures in Scotland. The city is located just next to amazing golf courses, incredible hiking trails and even mountains for skiing and snowboarding. If you are feeling adventurous, head to the Aberdeen beach for some windsurfing in the summer.

4. Growing Business Community

Oil and fishing are not the only thriving industries locally. The construction of a brand new £215 million business park is on the horizon, and local Aberdeen based companies such as Taxi App operation Whapp, Julie Mehta's marketing firm Debutmarketing, and innovative software developer Intellicore, are all blazing a trail in the local community.

5. Thriving Cultural Scene

Since Aberdeen has always been a wealthy city, the culture is vibrant and offers lots of great opportunities for visitors and locals alike. You might choose to see an art house film in the Belmont Picturehouse, listen to some live jazz at the Lemon Tree or laugh through stand-up comedy at the popular Music Hall.

6. Granite Architecture

The architecture in Aberdeen is much admired, primarily because many of the historic structures are built of granite and create a stunning skyline. Some of the most important buildings to view are the Salvation Army Citadel, Marischal College and St. Mark's Church.

7. Excellent Dining Scene

Although an Aberbeen buttery, or rowie bread roll, might be enough to sustain you when walking around town, you will probably want something more substantial for your evening meal. Thankfully, the city boasts a variety of incredible dining options for locals and visitors alike. Whether you are in the mood for Indian, Italian or Thai, you can find it all in granite city.

8. 18 Hour Summer Days

Due to it's location in northern Scotland, Aberdeen is lucky enough to boast long summer days. In fact, 18 hours of sun is not uncommon in July and August. This is wonderful for summer visits, as you can have plenty of time to see the sights around town during the day. But be prepared for plenty of rain in the autumn!

9. Great Shopping Opportunities

People rarely think of Aberdeen as a shopping destination, but the oil industry and the shipping in the area mean there is a lot of money to spend, and the upscale shops reflect that. Visitors can find high street shops on Union Street, malls like the Bon Accord Centre and the Trinity Centre and even markets for fresh produce and local handicrafts.

10. Safety and Security

Believe it or not, Aberdeen is actually one of the safest cities in the United Kingdom. By exercising common sense, you can avoid crimes and feel safe even when walking around at night in the city.

Although it may be clear that I love the city, I am certainly not alone. Plan your next visit to Aberdeen to see why so many travelers from around the world enjoy themselves in this Scottish destination.

Cheers, S.Mcdonald

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