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12 great things to do in Aberdeen – from dolphin watching to theatre trips

There are a number of exciting places to visit and activities to keep you busy in Aberdeen.

Find out what Aberdeen has to offer. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson.
Find out what Aberdeen has to offer. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson.

There’s so much to see and do in Aberdeen. While some people might want to take full advantage of this barbecue weather from the comfort of their gardens, others may be keen to stretch their legs and see what’s on offer around the area. We’ve compiled a list of 12 great places and activities in the city.

Explore Aberdeen Science Centre

Aberdeen Science Centre is always a hotspot for families. Image: Aberdeen Science Centre

Aberdeen Science Centre has an array of fun and interactive workshops aimed towards audiences of all ages. There are over 60 exhibits and six zones to explore: Energy, Space, Life Sciences, Test It, Make It and Under 6.

Each display allows visitors to understand and learn how the world is shaped by various sciences. A selection of workshops are available throughout the day where visitors can get involved with live experiments and develop a deeper passion for the wonderful world of science and beyond.

Trip to the Theatre

The Terrace cafe/bar at HMT. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

Comedy, opera, musicals and more are all lined-up at the fantastic arts venues, such as His Majesty’s Theatre located across the city.

Matinees and evening performances are all available to choose from in the upcoming weeks, but it is recommended that you book in advance to secure tickets. With several venues situated in Aberdeen’s city centre, there are plenty places to grab a bite before the main event, including The Terrace overlooking the newly refurbished Union Terrace Gardens.

Jump Around at Jump In Adventure Park

Jump In
Fun for everyone. Image: Shutterstock.

This Tullos-based venue has trampolines galore. Bounce as far as the eye can see across an arena filled with interconnected trampolines – yes, that includes jumping from the walls. There’s plenty to keep visitors busy here; from tumble tracks to trampoline dodgeball and rock climbing to soft play, Jump In offers a whole day’s worth of fun.

Wander around Footdee

Quiet and peaceful. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson.

The quaint village of ‘Fittie’ is considered to be one of the north-east’s greatest hidden gems – ironically enough, it is actually very easy to find once you know what you’re looking for. The former fishing village is a popular go-to spot for locals and tourists who want to break away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

Dolphinwatch at Torry Battery

See the dolphins in the wild. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson.

Aberdeen is actually one of the best places to spot dolphins in the wild. Visitors might also spy various other marine life such as seals and otters. Grab a pair of binoculars to make sure you get a clear view.

In fact, the best place to find dolphins is between the orange breakwater wall and the lighthouse. This is particularly common during the summer months when the dolphins can sometimes be seen feeding.

Scot Surf School

Campbell Scott
Learn from master of the surf, Campbell Scott. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson.

It might be a rare skill to have in the north-east, but Scot Surf School isn’t deterred by the baltic conditions of Aberdeen’s weather and water. The business was founded by former Scottish Surf Rescue Team member Campbell Scott, who delivers insightful workshops and programmes for surf enthusiasts and novices.

Contact:, or 07732637082.

Linx Ice Arena

lynx ice arena
Special Olympics GB’s World Winter Games team have skated across the ice at Linx Ice Arena. Image: Wullie Marr/DC Thomson

Glide across the rink at the popular Linx Ice Arena. The venue offers public sessions, parent and toddler sessions, skating tuition and an onsite skate shop with a skate sharpening service.

The arena is also home to the 2016 SNL Play-Off Champions, Aberdeen Lynx. While there aren’t any events scheduled to see the Lynx in action here soon, their schedule can be found on their website.

Stroll along Aberdeen beach promenade

Aberdeen beach front
Locator of the promenade beach area, Aberdeen.<br />Picture by Jim Irvine 21-8-16

The perfect place for a stroll in both sunshine and cooler days also. The promenade along Aberdeen’s beach is popular with families, runners and dog walkers.

It also provides a stunning backdrop with plenty of opportunities to snap that perfect shot of the city’s coastline. Oh and if you want a snack after your walk, or simply want to take a break there are plenty of places to grab a coffee or an ice cream – and who can resist a delicious 99 cone?!

Challenge yourself with escape rooms

Escape room
Nothing tests your friendship more than having to stage a strategic breakout against the clock. Image: Shutterstock.

There are several escape rooms venues around Aberdeen. Each bring their own unique quality to the table with various themed rooms and challenges to toy with your mind. Gather a group of friends to beat the clock and work together to solve puzzles before it’s too late.

Book with The Locked Door Escape Room or Breakout Games to secure a slot.

Visit Hazlehead Park

Hazlehead Park
Plenty ways to have fun here. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson.

Hazlehead Park  comprises of golf courses, a Pets’ Corner, playground, cafe and many other enticing features. Visitors are welcome to explore the nature trails around the park as well as popping along to see the adorable animals, including alpacas, goats, shetland pony, miniature donkeys, and more, at the mini zoo.

Roam around Old Aberdeen

St Machar Cathedral
Visit St Machar Cathedral along the way. Image: Wullie Marr/DCT Media.

Step back in time as you venture around the cobbled roads of Old Aberdeen, home to historic city buildings such as St Machar Cathedral, and other iconic hidden gems. Head through to the Cruickshank Botanic Garden or visit the Zoology Museum to learn all about their impressive worldwide collection, and the best part of all? It’s free.

Relax with a drink in the city centre

Old Blackfriars pub
The classy Old Blackfriars has the perfect atmosphere. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson.

There are plenty of pubs to choose from in the city centre. And with hope that the weather will remain consist this summer, it’s the perfect opportunity to bask in the rays in a beer garden. Soul Bar, Ma Cameron’s and The Old Schoolhouse are just a few of the venues Aberdeen has to offer.

But even if there is a bit of rain, get yourself inside and watch the world go by and take in the historic views, one such place is the Old Blackfiars pub in the Castlegate. Surrounded by the area’s famous cobbles, it’s also metres away from the city’s Mercat Cross.

mercat cross aberdeen
The Mercat Cross at the Castlegate.  Picture by KATH FLANNERY