Scotland’s third city made its fortune in the 1970s, when it became the oil capital of Europe. But the Granite City’s claim to fame stretches back to the 12th century, when it received its prestigious royal charter. The old industries of fishing, shipbuilding and textiles are long gone, but the wealth they brought to Aberdeen is still evident in its fine buildings. A vibrant cultural scene, award-winning parks, great shopping, a legendary golf course, and some of the best restaurants in Scotland make Aberdeen the perfect choice for an indulgent mini-break. Direct flights to Aberdeen Airport cut your journey time to a minimum, leaving you more time to enjoy your highland fling.
Aberdeen’s status as one of the UK’s busiest seaports and international business hubs keeps the incoming traffic flowing and the prices stable year-round. That’s not to say you can’t find a bargain, especially during the winter months when the days are short and the winds are bitter. But the weather won’t matter when you’re visiting a gallery or taking your seat in the city’s famous His Majesty’s Theatre. If cheap tickets to Aberdeen are your no.1 priority, steer clear of late July/August, when the Aberdeen International Youth Festival – the largest of its kind in the world – fills the city with thousands of young performers and visitors.
British Airways heads up the direct flight list from London Heathrow and also operates out of London City Airport under its CityFlyer marque. The budget option comes courtesy of good old EasyJet, with routes from London Gatwick and Luton. Flybe provides services from Birmingham and Manchester, while Eastern Airways offers a wide range of regional UK departures, including Durham Tees Valley, Leeds-Bradford, Wick and Norwich.
Aberdeen Airport is situated at Dyce, around six miles north-west of the city centre. It’s one of the busiest airports in the country as well as the world’s largest commercial heliport thanks to the oil rig traffic, so it’s no surprise to discover that public transport links to the city centre are easy and frequent. A shuttle runs from the airport to Dyce railway station, where you can catch a train into Aberdeen with a journey time of around 30 minutes. Alternatively, buses link the airport with the city centre, including stops at the main bus and rail stations.
Aberdeen is immensely proud of its maritime heritage, as you’ll discover at the Maritime Museum, housed in a replica North Sea oil rig overlooking the storied harbour. Early birds will enjoy seeing the daily catch arrive at the fish market in Albert Basin, then tasting the result at the Silver Darling, which serves up salty herrings and sea views at the old custom house. Catch world-class ballet, opera and musicals at His Majesty’s Theatre, one of Aberdeen’s finest Victorian jewels, or check out the Lemon Tree’s eclectic mix of jazz, rock, comedy and cabaret.
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