Things To Do

About Aberdeen

Things To Do

Choose to explore our city of Aberdeen or nearby majestic Aberdeenshire; you’ll never be short of things to see and do while you're here. Enjoy live events, fascinating history and heritage, impressive culture and arts, delicious food and drink, and even epic outdoor adventures.

Aberdeen is a lively, student-friendly city with plenty to keep you busy. Spend your downtime exploring the city as you visit our old towns, head to our golden beach, try out our foodie and drink experiences, or enjoy our vibrant culture at live events, art galleries and museums.

Across the city and Aberdeenshire there are miles of beautiful beaches and colourful coastal villages to be discovered, with vast opportunities for outdoor adventure. You can also venture deep into our majestic countryside and see epic mountainscapes and serene Lochs, surf and paddleboard through waves and sea coves, bag Munros and hit the ski slopes.


Culture & arts

Our vibrant city is home to an array of museums, galleries and live music venues, celebrating culture, history and traditions from Aberdeen and around the world. Immerse yourself in the talents of renowned artists at Aberdeen Art Gallery, explore the city's street art organised by Nuart, discover more about our history at Provost Skene House, the Maritime Museum and the Gordon Highlanders Museum, watch world-wide artists and entertainers grace the stage at P&J Live and Aberdeen Performing Arts venues, including the Music Hall, Lemon Tree and His Majesty's Theatre, and find the best local talent at The Blue Lamp, OGV Podium, Drummonds and Breakneck Comedy.

Find out more about museums, galleries and live venues in Aberdeen:

Food & drink

When it comes to food and drink, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Catch up with new friends and enjoy Aberdeen’s vibrant nightlife at popular nightclubs, stylish bars, traditional pubs, beer gardens, live music venues and Aberdeen’s very own ‘Craft Beer Kilometre’ – did you know our region is also the home of BrewDog?

The great thing about our city is that it’s compact, so you can experience the best of Aberdeen easily. The centre is alive with restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and nightlife. You can sip coffee at cosy cafes, try delicious foods from Scotland and around the world at amazing local and chain restaurants and enjoy bars with live music, lively nightclubs, stylish cocktail bars, traditional Scottish pubs and experiential distilleries.

A walk along the beach will see you tucking into a medley of food flavourings from trucks offering loaded vegan burgers and fries, tasty home-bakes and cheesecake, flavourful Japanese food and classic burger vans, as well as homely indoor cafes and delicious ice-cream stands. Aberdeen is known for it's fresh seafood, which can also be enjoyed by the coast.

Looking to try some local delicacies? Why not pop to a local bakery and pick up one of North East Scotland's famous butteries, also known as a rowie or a roll (depending on who you ask). Originally made as an alternative to a bread roll for fishermen travelling out to sea, the buttery is a firm local favourite which can be enjoyed cold or toasted and topped with butter, jam or golden syrup with a cup of tea. 

Hear what our students had to say about their food and drink experiences in Aberdeen:

Foodstory cafe Aberdeen

Aberdeen has a unique food scene, with an international offering. We asked RGU students and alumni on Instagram what their favourite food spots in the Granite City are. Read this blog to discover five of the venues they recommended.

Mount coffee shop Aberdeen

Fine Art student Xander takes us with them on a tour of two popular Aberdeen cafés to review them. Have a look at what they thought of Mount and Foodstory in this blog.

Ibidunni Awe

As an international student moving to or living in Aberdeen, you might wonder if you will be able to cook traditional food from your home country. RGU student Ibidunni Awe, from Nigeria, shares a few tips on where to find African food in Aberdeen, which may be easier than you thought!


Aberdeen is not short on shops. If you're searching for the latest trends, you'll find a collection of popular shops at Union Square, Bon Accord and the Trinity Centre. Bon Accord and the Trinity Centre are also home to Curated Aberdeen and CollABZ, two local makers markets that support Aberdeen-based charities.

If shopping local is your thing, there are lots of organised markets taking place across the city and shire where you will find affa fine (awfully good) food, vintage clothing, crafters and jewellers and magic and spirituality enthusiasts. A short walk from Union Street will take you to Aberdeen's iconic Rosemount, which is home to lovely, local businesses selling treasures perfect for gifting or treating yourself, from jewellery, homeware and plants to sweets, cheeses and locally-produced goods.

You might even be a keen thrifter with an eye for a charity shop or vintage find! If so, check out:


If you're looking for outdoor adventures, we have you covered. Challenge yourself by bagging Munros and boarding ski lifts, hike scenic locations such as Scolty Hill, Bennachie, Cruden BayCairn Toul and the Cairngorms National Park, paddleboard, surf or kayak through seas and lakes, gorge walk, zipwire or simply roam on foot through our stunning coast, parks, forests and countryside.

Thanks to the dunes that stretch along our scenic coast and our amazing, green parkland, keen-golfers can delight in Aberdeen's numerous golf courses - including the UK's highest golf course at Braemar.

For those searching for amazing architecture alongside their adventures, have you heard that Aberdeenshire is even known as 'Scotland’s Castle Country’?

This is because it is home to over 260 enchanting castles and manor houses, many of which you can still explore today. You might recognise the epic Dunnottar Castle, a dramatic castle ruin just 20 minutes from RGU. Or arguably the most famous castle in Scotland, Balmoral Castle – the Scottish holiday home of the British Royal Family. Craigievar Castle is even said to be the inspiration for Walt Disney’s fairy-tale Cinderella Castle.

And when it comes to film famous locations, you can visit those too. In fact, The Crown, The Dark Knight Rises, The Queen, Mary Queen of Scots, Peaky Blinders and Victor Frankenstein all filmed scenes in locations across Aberdeenshire.

Read about the great outdoors in the RGU Student Blog:

Cairngorms National Park

Did you know that we have some fantastic options for winter sports right here in the North East? Here is a roundup of the best the region has to offer. Time to wrap up warm and go on an epic adventure!

Scolty Hill

Aberdeenshire’s majestic landscape offers the perfect backdrop for tranquil walks, wildlife discovery and learning more about history – it might even bring out your adventurous side!

Aden Country Park Fairywoods sign

Looking for a hidden gem in the North East? Applied Biomedical Science student, Lena Forsyth discusses a few of her favourite places to explore in Aberdeenshire.


Leisure activities in the city allow you to take some time to focus on you. Perhaps you'd like to hone your skills and talents with arts, crafts and ceramics, focus and breathe with yoga, meditation and wellness, work on your fitness and wellbeing at RGU SPORT (our students go free), make friends by joining a book club, visit Hazlehead Park's much-loved petting zoo and find your way in its maze, or take a walk through Duthie Park's beautiful Winter Gardens.

Sports fans rejoice! Aberdeen is home to Aberdeen Football Club - one of the biggest sides in the country. Regular matches are hosted at Pittodrie Stadium, so you'll have plenty chances to see our home team in action. You can also watch Aberdeen's premier ice hockey team, the Aberdeen Lynx, score goals at Linx Ice Arena.

Living in a city doesn’t always have to mean large buildings and busy streets. One of the many things I love about living in Aberdeen, is all the beautiful parks and green areas that are easily accessible all over the city by bus.
Marisa , RGU Student

What’s on

Expect to be entertained all year round in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire as you celebrate our rich local culture and see famous faces live on stage. This part of Scotland is alive with culture and entertainment too, including our very own Look Again events and our Degree Shows. You can attend plenty of festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating music, food, art, winter, comedy, dance, theatre and local heritage.

To give you an idea of the events and festivals you will be able to attend while studying in Aberdeen, we've gathered some of our highlights:


What are you waiting for? Your adventure starts right here.


Cookie Consent