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City break inspiration: 48 hours in Aberdeen

A wonderful weekend city break is closer than you think.

Aberdeen city skyline

Fancy a weekend city break that will maximise your time and won’t blow the budget? Aberdeen could be your perfect destination.

With one-way flights between Wick and Aberdeen from just £54.99, you can really make the most of your time in the Granite City.

Whether you’re wanting to immerse yourself in culture, sport, or enjoy a fun family weekend with something for everyone, Aberdeen has it all.

Here’s some ideas to inspire a fabulous 48 hours in and around this vibrant city.

Cultural Weekend

Base yourself in the heart of the city centre and you’re perfectly placed to enjoy all the culture, fine dining and sights Aberdeen has to offer. You can easily fill a full day (or more!) exploring the city’s impressive museums alone.

You’ll want to start with Aberdeen Art Gallery, home to one of the finest collections in the UK. Redevelopment of the building was completed in 2019, and the museum now boasts an interior as impressive as the artwork itself.

Delving into Aberdeen’s past and its relationship with the sea, The Aberdeen Maritime Museum is also well worth a visit, as is the Gordon Highlanders Museum. It tells the inspiring stories of the ‘ordinary’ men who made one of the finest regiments the British Army has ever seen.

You’ll not just find cultural pursuits indoors. Even just walking the city streets allows you to take in the diverse architecture which includes medieval buildings, Victorian granite landmarks, and striking modern structures.

Marischal College Aberdeen

Discover more with a guided tour

Why not opt for a guided tour of Aberdeen to experience the city’s culture and history? Take a walking tour of the city centre, a guided bus tour of Aberdeen’s landmarks, or a themed tour focusing on a specific aspect of Aberdeen’s culture. There are lots of options to fill a fascinating morning or afternoon.

Come evening, you’ll want to spoil yourself with a memorable meal, and Aberdeen has no shortage of fine-dining restaurants to pick from. And of course, make sure you check out the theatre listings which will offer everything from ballet to musicals across the city’s impressive network of venues.

Finally, with a vibrant festival scene celebrating everything from music to art to food and drink, Aberdeen has a bustling calendar of events year-round. Be sure to investigate what’s on before you visit to ensure you don’t miss out.

Sporting Weekend

If your idea of a perfect weekend getaway involves action and adventure, then Aberdeen offers each in spades.

A city that boasts a great coastal location and its own sandy beach, you’ll find ample opportunity to take part in water sports such as surfing, paddleboarding, or kayaking. Several local companies offer equipment rental, and you can book lessons for beginners too.

mountain biking aberdeen

Back on dry land, you’re spoilt for choice for both offroad mountain biking tracks and more leisurely cycling trails. Serious mountain bikers won’t want to miss a short trip out of the city centre to the Tarland Trails. A purpose-built mountain bike centre, trails range from family friendly to experts only.

The Deeside Way, Formartine and Buchan Way, and Old Deeside Railway Line are popular routes for more leisurely rides. Each takes cyclists through scenic countryside, historic sites, and charming villages. Aberdeen has a great bike-friendly culture. You’ll find bike racks, repair stations, and bike rental facilities available throughout the city too.

Golfing in Aberdeen

For golfers, Aberdeen offers enough top-class golf courses to fill a month-long visit never mind a weekend. The impressive links courses offer vast skies and far-reaching sea views, while inland, parkland courses nestle in forest and glens.

Royal Aberdeen Golf Course, one of the oldest in the world, features two courses including a traditional links course. Right next door you’ll find Muncar Links, an attractive 18-hole golf course with superb views across the North Sea.

In the city, The MacKenzie Course is the only public championship course in the north east of Scotland. For even more options, consider taking a short taxi ride from the centre to explore many more courses each with unique character and challenges.

gold aberdeen

No matter what pursuit fills your days, come evening you can relax and head out in town. Enjoy a meal at one of the many bistros and gastropubs serving local produce, including seafood caught right off the coast.

Family Weekend

Want to enjoy a weekend away that will keep the little ones entertained?

Spend an afternoon exploring the Aberdeen Science Centre, a great museum that’s very much child focused. Here you can explore hands-on exhibits, interactive displays and lots of great activities.

For fun in the fresh air, Hazlehead Park is one of Aberdeen’s largest parks and offers a variety of attractions. There’s a large play area as well as a miniature railway and a petting zoo. The parklands offer the perfect place for parents to relax and for children to let off some steam. It’s also a great spot for a picnic.

Visit Aberdeen Beach

Aberdeen beach
Aberdeen Beach

If the weather is fair, no family trip to Aberdeen is complete without a visit to the beach. Spend some time playing in the sand and visit one of the play parks along the promenade. Afterwards, grab lunch at one of the many cafes.

Fill a few hours by taking the kids for a walk around the harbour. You’ll see all manner of boats and experience the hustle and bustle. Look out for the seals and dolphins playing at the harbour entrance. Or why not take a dolphin spotting boat trip?

You will need to end at least one day with everyone’s favourite – fish and chips. If you choose to take away, just watch out for those cheeky seagulls!

With convenient flights between Wick and Aberdeen available to book through Eastern Airways, there’s no better time to fully discover everything the north east has to offer.