Unlike some historic cathedrals, this 12th century Church of Scotland church remains a place of worship to this day. Notably, St Machar’s is widely believed to be the resting place of the left arm of dissenter William Wallace, whose body was cut up and sent as a warning to different parts of Scotland after his execution in 1305.
Housed in a building dating back to 1884, this is the primary visual arts museum in the city, and features pieces by British artists ranging from the 18th century onwards. The granite columns in the central hall are native to Aberdeen, having been constructed out of granite from local quarries. After taking in the art, don’t miss the war memorial at the western end of the museum.
Aberdeen Art Gallery, School Hill, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, +44 1224 523700
Just a short drive or bus ride from the city is this medieval fortress ruin, which was integral as a defense stronghold in the Jacobite risings and is notable for being the hiding place for the Honors of Scotland, the Scottish crown jewels, when Oliver Cromwell’s army invaded Scotland in the 1600s. The Dunnottar Castle makes for a striking silhouette atop a rocky headland, and the ruins comprise several buildings including the tower house and the palace.
Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom, +44 1569 762173
Adventurous types will relish the opportunity to try scuba-diving here; beginners can take lessons in the facility’s heated indoor pool, and the more experienced can don dry-suits and head out on open water dives in the North Sea, either by themselves or as part of a guided dive.
Core94, 35 Waterloo Quay, The Harbour, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, +44 1224 581313
Aberdeen’s main concert hall is located in the building which formerly served as the city’s Assembly Rooms, designed by Archibald Simpson in 1822. It’s a regular host to the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the yearly Aberdeen International Youth Festival, as well as frequently playing host to popular musicians.
Music Hall, Union St, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, +44 1224 641122
One of the official residences of the British royal family, this Scots Baronial castle is a category A listed building, and the property is a working estate with animals and farmland. The lush gardens and grounds are open to the public daily from April to July (at which time The Queen arrives to stay at the estate) and are well worth a wander through.