Impressively solid granite houses slide past the window as your East Coast train delivers you into Scotland’s oil capital. The biggest city in the stunning north-east of Scotland, confident and sophisticated Aberdeen sits between its own sandy beach and the Grampian mountains.

Our top attraction

Take a wander among the seemingly random collection of fishermen’s cottages at Footdee (pronounced locally as ‘Fittie’), at the east end of the harbour. Step back in time on a visit to the ramshackle cottages, where the only reminder of the bustling city beyond is in the masts of ships looming over the rooftops. Grab an ice cream and explore the crooked streets before a stroll on the sands of Aberdeen Beach.

Best for nightlife

The cobbled streets of 19th-century townhouses between Union Street and Skene Street house some of Aberdeen’s more sophisticated nightspots. Taste Aberdeenshire’s own Brewdog speciality brews as well as traditional beers in generously proportioned bars and pubs.

Best for dining

The Green in Aberdeen was long forgotten before an influx of bars and restaurants reinvigorated the area close to the station. Join local foodies and enjoy seafood plucked from the North Sea on pavement tables or in characterful period dining rooms.

Best for shopping

The ‘Granite Mile’ (Union Street) is flanked by imposing three-storey buildings hewn of silvery granite housing some 800 shops, restaurants and bars. Savour the heart of Aberdeen life in the home of the annual Aberdeen International Street Market.