Things to do in
Aberdeen

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Our most recommended things to do in Aberdeen

Loch Ness and the Highlands 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

1. Loch Ness and the Highlands 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

Your tour departs Aberdeen and heads straight for the ‘Whisky Capital of the World’, Dufftown. Unfortunately it's too early in the morning to taste the whisky at the Glenfiddich Distillery, but you have time to take a photo of the iconic site and grab a coffee. Venture through the heart of Speyside and arrive at Loch Ness for an optional boat trip which is bookable via your guide on the day of the trip. Onboard the ship, you travel over the widest and deepest part of the loch and get a fine view of Urquhart Castle. Upon your return back on dry land, it’s time to travel deep into the past at Clava Cairns. This spot is situated in a gorgeous green grove and boasts well-preserved ancient burial tombs. They even say this spot was the inspiration for Outlander’s Craigh na Dun. Follow this up with a trip to Culloden Battlefield, the location of the final Jacobite Rising. It’s an eerie, flat, tragic landscape that can put the history of Scotland into perspective. The interactive exhibition center here really brings it all to life. Have a comfort break within the gorgeous Cairngorms National Park before you reach Aberdeen 8:00 PM.

Dunnottar Castle and Royal Deeside 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

2. Dunnottar Castle and Royal Deeside 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

Travel in style in a Mercedes luxury 16-seat mini-coach from Aberdeen to one of Scotland’s archetypal structures, Dunnottar Castle. Witness the stunning fortress set on a cliff by the sea. It’s seen more battles than you’ve had cups of tea and is an essential Scottish destination. Your next stop is the Falls of Feugh. These cascading falls are mesmerizing; and if you’re lucky, you may even spot a salmon jumping up the river. It’s now time for lunch in Braemar, a lovely little village in the Cairngorms National Park with royal connections and plenty of local delicacies to try. After your delicious lunch, you'll then head to the Muir of Dinnet Nature Reserve and get the opportunity to go for a stroll. Keep your eyes peeled for otters, birds, and adders on this quintessential woodland walk. You leave the Cairngorms National Park and arrive in Aberdeen in the early evening.

From Aberdeen: Balmoral Castle and Royal Deeside Tour

3. From Aberdeen: Balmoral Castle and Royal Deeside Tour

Explore Royal Deeside, home to Balmoral Castle and Estate, on a full-day tour from Aberdeen. With scenic drives and plenty of time to experience the Scottish Highlands, this day trip is perfect for those who love the great outdoors. First you’ll visit Balmoral, the Queen’s private country retreat in Scotland. Listen to stories from people who visited and worked at Balmoral, as you explore the estate with an audio guide. Continue to the pretty village of Braemar. Stop to enjoy Highland hospitality at the stunning Fife Arms, before strolling through the village streets. You have the option to visit the Duke of Rothsay Highland Games Museum, see a train station that never saw a train, or discover Crathes Church. Alternatively, pop just outside the village to see the beautiful hills up close. The choice is yours. On the return journey to Aberdeen, stop at the stunning Queen’s View where you can see 12 different hills and peaks.

Aberdeen: City Street Art Guided Walking Tour

4. Aberdeen: City Street Art Guided Walking Tour

Step into Aberdeen's vibrant street art scene on a guided walking tour. With your guide, hear the stories behind the murals as well as the messages and materials behind the work. See the most innovative work to be produced in Aberdeen's urban art scene, including the imposing Man & Dog mural or Jan Vormann's Lego Wall. Admire Alice Pasquini's Side Profile or the explosive colors of Bordalo's Unicorn. Gain an insight into the minds of the artists who are redesigning Aberdeen. With your guide, scout out artwork hidden throughout the city. With over 10 art pieces to visit, witness a different side of Aberdeen.

From Aberdeen: Castles, Whisky and Food Tasting Tour

5. From Aberdeen: Castles, Whisky and Food Tasting Tour

Get a taste both for Scottish history and local produce on this full-day tour from Aberdeen. Visit a whisky distillery and a very special castle, Castle Fraser along with examples of the regional heritage. Savor samples of local food and drink during the tour. After gathering at the meeting point, make your way to Glen Garioch Distillery in Oldmeldrum. Glen Garioch is the most easterly distillery in Scotland and has been making whisky since 1797 in what is affectionately known as a Highland-Speyside Style. Discover the history of whisky and how it is made on the Founders Tour around the distillery, and relish a tasting of their Founder's Reserve. Next, head to Castle Fraser, part of the National Trust for Scotland. Castle Fraser —not related to that famous Outlander, Jamie Fraser — is one of the few castles to have been managed by a Lady Laird and has an impressive avenue of trees and a landscaped garden. Delve into the regional heritage with a mixture of attractions - this can be from one of the largest Stone circles in Aberdeen, dramatic ruins or stunning landscapes to beautiful gardens and picturesque villages. Sample and learn about the food and drink of the North East. Food samples and tastes will be offered throughout the day showcasing the wonderful produce available in the region whetting your appetite for more. The tour will then conclude at the original meeting point.

Speyside Whisky Trail 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

6. Speyside Whisky Trail 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

Leaving Aberdeen in the morning you’ll arrive first in Royal Deeside, one of the favored holiday locations of the British royal family. At the Cambus O’May forest, walk in the woods and reenergize in the pristine environment that makes this area such a draw for visitors. Invigorated by the walk, head deeper into the national park as you travel past Cockbridge and Tomintoul. This legendary stretch of road regularly sees the first of the snowy winter weather and crosses the mountain pass known locally as the Lecht. You’ll have plenty of time for photo opportunities on this unforgettable route. Then, delve into the home of whisky in the Speyside region. Stop at the Speyside Cooperage where you’ll get to know the history of Scotland’s oak casks. Next, head to one of the Speyside towns for lunch before visiting Cardhu distillery. This is the first distillery pioneered by a woman, Helen Cumming. Today, Cardhu is the most important whisky in Johnnie Walker Black Label. You leave Cardhu full of appreciation for whisky and arrive in Aberdeen in the early evening. It’s now up to you whether you continue the whisky tasting into the night.

From Aberdeen: North East of Scotland Coastal Tour

7. From Aberdeen: North East of Scotland Coastal Tour

Explore the northeastern coast of Scotland on a day trip from Aberdeen. Travel through Aberdeenshire countryside towards the historic town of Banff, known for its silver work and beautiful architecture. Stop to explore Duff House and learn about the building’s turbulent history. Visit the exhibition of the Scottish National Gallery on the top floor of the house. Afterwards, enjoy a delicious lunch of freshly-prepared local food at Duff House Café. The tour will continue along the coastal route, visiting the charming village of Pennan that hugs the rugged cliffs. Wander through this pretty village, before continuing to your next stop in Fraserburgh. Here you’ll visit the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, to admire its unique collection of lighthouse memorabilia, lenses, and technology. Enjoy a guided tour of Kinnaird Lighthouse that takes you into the light itself. Walk outside and take in the 360-degree views of the town, harbor, and the North Sea.

From Aberdeen: Loch Ness, Inverness and the Highlands Tour

8. From Aberdeen: Loch Ness, Inverness and the Highlands Tour

Make an early start in Aberdeen and head north to just outside Inverness for your first stop at Cawdor Castle. Dating from the late 14th century, the castle was built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor and consists of an ancient medieval tower around the legendary holly tree. Visit the extraordinary castle itself and explore the three gardens. Next, make a quick outside stop at the site of the last major battle on British soil, Culloden Moor, the resting place of 1,500 Jacobite and 50 government soldiers who fought and died here in 1746. For lunch, a visit to Inverness, the Gateway to the Highlands, and enjoy some free time to explore. Wander through the city, peruse the shops and the best-used book store, and stroll along the river taking in the views of Inverness Castle. Next, on to Loch Ness where you have a photo opportunity of the Loch and have time to dip a toe in the water. On the journey back to Aberdeen, a stop at Carrbridge the location of the packhorse bridge, one of Scotland's oldest bridges. Travel along the Snow Roads Route through the East Cairngorms and stop at some of the viewpoints along the way.

Scotland: Northern Highlights Sightseeing Pass

9. Scotland: Northern Highlights Sightseeing Pass

Experience some of North East Scotland's top attractions and tours and get up to 50% off admission with the Northern Highlights Pass. With a 3 month pass enjoy discounts at over 25locations. Decide what you feel like doing on the day, from castles to museums and whisky to coastlines, and make the most of your savings. Here's where you can save: • Macduff Marine Aquarium - 20% off admission • Balmoral Castle and Estate - 10% off admission • Grampian Transport Museum - 50% off admission • Maryculter House - 30% off afternoon tea • Craggan Outdoors - 10% off activities • Bothies and Bannocks - 10% off food and drink tours • Kincardine Estate - 10% off fishing • Peterculter Golf Club - 25% off a round of golf • Peterhead Prison Museum - 10% off admission • Sixt Car Rental - 15% off car rental • Gordon Castle and Walled Garden - 10% off afternoon tea experience • House of Mulben - 15% off activities • Ride In Peace Adventures - 20% off bespoke RIPA Deeside MTB tours • Strathisla Distillery - 10% off tours • The Gordon Highlanders Museum -10% off admission • Dewar's Aberfeldy Distillery Tour - 10% off tour • Aberdeenshire Highland Cattle Ltd - 15% off admission • Still Tours Scotland - 10% off a selection of tours • Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery - 10% off admission • Blair Castle and Gardens - 15% off admission • More Moray Tours & Transport - 10% off bookings • Cullen Sea School - 10% off • Timberbush Tours - 15% off selection of tours • City of Aberdeen Distillery & Gin School - 10% off tours and Gin School • E Guide - 10% off mountain bike tours and bike hire • Ogilvy Spirits Distillery - 10% off tours • Toll House Spirits - 15% off Gin Experiences and Gin School

Private Transfer: Aberdeen Center to Aberdeen Airport

10. Private Transfer: Aberdeen Center to Aberdeen Airport

Travel comfortably and relax as you are transferred privately to Aberdeen airport in a timely manner by a chauffeur. Passengers departing from the hotel need to be checked out and waiting by concierge desk in the lobby at confirmed pick-up time.  The suggested collection times for departure transfers are 3-hours before the flight.  These lead times can be extended or shortened at your discretion by ringing the operations center. Remember to allow for adequate check-in time for your transfers. The driver will meet you at your hotel and provide luggage handling. Arrive to the airport on time and without hassle.

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What people are saying about Aberdeen

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 91 reviews

This tour was a definitive highlight of my stay in Aberdeen! Jacqueline was so knowledgeable and friendly and helped me get a more 'real' taste of Aberdeenshire. The small group was intimate and a nice change from the large day tour groups I've joined before. Plus she gave great tips for other things to do and see for the rest of my stay and pointed me in the right direction for a truly local dinner experience you wouldn't find yourself. I'd definitely consider her other tours when I eventually make my way back to Aberdeen!

Soooooo fun and interesting The Guide Alice she is sooooo kind , nice and friendly i really loved to have another trip with her again

This was such an amazing tour. Would recommend for anyone looking to learn about Aberdeen and see something different

One of the most informative and beautiful experiences I have had in a while.

Very nice day with a wonderful driver guide. Everything was perfect.