Insider Aberdeen – top things to do

There’s more to the Granite City than just oil and water. Fairytale castles and sack-loads of history await. Be inspired with Virgin’s pick of the shops, sights and grub. 

Book train tickets to Aberdeen

Need inspiration? What to do in Aberdeen

Castle spotting

 Who doesn’t love a good castle? Hark back to the days of moats, keeps and amazing outfits with Aberdeenshire’s castle trail – it’s definitely worth booking cheap train tickets to Aberdeen <insert link to booking page> to check it out. Don’t miss:

Craigievar Make like a Disney character at this pink fairytale castle known for its distinctive Baronial style.

Fyvie  Each family who lived at this 13th-century castle built their own tower – talk about adding value!

Get your hiking boots on and download the trail map < > from the Visit Scotland website.


Awesome academia

Aberdeen has stacks of old buildings that’ll send you weak at the knees. One of the most impressive is Kings College, with its flying buttress roof, known as the Crown Tower.


Go directly to gaol

 Get a taste of 17th-century justice at the Tolbooth Museum. Step inside a cell from way back when – you won’t want to stay in there too long. There’s even an original blade from the jail’s guillotine – all kinds of horrible. 

Explore hidden Aberdeen


This quirky beach-side district is known as ‘Fittee’ by the locals, but however you say it, it’s a memorable spot. Tiny, characterful houses cluster around the harbour, the hub of this former fishing village that’s since been swallowed by the city. 

Retail therapy

High-street heaven

Head to the Union Square shopping centre, AB11 5RG, for high-street favourites like H&M, M&S, New Look and Next.


Vintage shops, one-off boutiques and homewares

Surfboards, kitsch homewares and one-off boutiques can all be found at hipster hangout, Merchant Quarter. When you're all shopped out there are plenty of spots for a drink – or a tattoo! Splash out with cheap train tickets to Aberdeen.

Label lovers - designer shopping

Kafka: Fashion-pack ladies will love the APC dresses and classic John Smedley cardies. Style-conscious blokes can find Church's brogues and Paul Smith jeans.
WhereKafka, 15 Rosemount Viaduct, AB25 1NE

Hanon: Trainer-spotter heaven. Retro New Balance, terrace classics from Adidas and much more can be found at this city-centre store. Loved by sneaker-heads.
Where: Hanon  51 The Green, AB11 6NY

Not quite Aberdeen but down the line in Dundee there's a new public art trail dedicated to Oor Wullie.

The Oor Wullie Bucket Trail is a huge public art trail in and around the City of Dundee. There will be 50 giant sculptures of Oor Wullie sitting on his bucket -all individually designed and painted by artists & designers and placed around the city for the public to view during the summer months.
Trail maps and a digital app will be made available for visitors as well as the people of Dundee to go out and find all 50 sculptures and strike them off their list. At the end of the summer, the 50 Sculptures will be auctioned off, with all profits going to the Archie Foundation, who are the official charity for NHS Tayside Children's Hospital.