Aberdeen is the powerhouse of northeast Scotland, fuelled by the North Sea petroleum industry. Oil money has made the city as expensive as London and Edinburgh, and there are hotels, restaurants and clubs with prices to match the depth of oil-wealthy pockets. Fortunately, most of the cultural attractions, such as the excellent Maritime Museum and the Aberdeen Art Gallery, are free.
Known throughout Scotland as the granite city, much of the town was built using silvery-grey granite hewn from the now abandoned Rubislaw Quarry, at one time the biggest artificial hole in the ground in Europe. On a sunny day the granite lends an attractive glitter to the city, but when low, grey rain clouds scud in off the North Sea it can be hard to tell where the buildings stop and the sky begins.
Royal Deeside is easily accessible to the west, Dunnottar Castle to the south, sandy beaches to the north and whisky country to the northwest.
Aberdeen is a port city in northeast Scotland, where the Dee and Don rivers meet the North Sea. With an offshore petroleum industry, the city is home to an international population. It’s also known as the ‘Granite City’ for its many enduring grey-stone buildings. The 19th-century Marischal College is typical – a monumental Victorian landmark that’s now headquarters of the City Council.