Inside 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 LNER’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 to check it out. Don’t miss:

  • Make like a Disney character at Craigievar Castle, this pink fairytale castle known for its distinctive Baronial style.
  • Fyvie Castle , where 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 castle trail map from the Visit Scotland website.


Awesome academia

Aberdeen has stacks of old buildings that’ll want to instagram. 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

Footdee is a 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

Fashion-pack ladies will love the APC dresses and classic John Smedley cardies at Kafka. Style-conscious blokes can find Church's brogues and Paul Smith jeans.

Trainer-spotter heaven. Retro New Balance, terrace classics from Adidas and much more can be found at Hanon in the city-centre store, which is loved by sneaker-heads.

Win a three-night Local Hero break in Scotland

To celebrate the world premiere of the stage musical adaptation of Bill Forsyth's international hit film Local Hero, we are offering a lucky winner and their companion the chance to WIN an unforgettable three–night Local Hero break in Scotland.

Originally filmed in Aberdeenshire and featuring Pennan as the fictional village Ferness, Local Hero is one of the defining moments of Scottish storytelling, and it’s making its stage debut at the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh from 14 March - 4 May 2019. Why not book a city break to Aberdeen and take a day trip to the quaint village of Pennan – the original home of Local Hero where you’ll find the iconic red phone box.

Enter the Royal Lyceum Theatre competition here for your chance to win. 

The prize for two adults includes:

  • A two-night stay at Edinburgh’s hottest new luxury serviced apartments The Edinburgh Grand
  • Champagne dinner at multi-award-winning luxury brasserie and cocktail lounge DINE Edinburgh
  • Two tickets to see Local Hero at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
  • Travel to Edinburgh to see the play with First Class train tickets on us, LNER!
  • And to celebrate the original home of Local Hero, you will also receive an overnight stay and dinner at the vibrant gem in Scotland’s Granite City Malmaison Aberdeen

Enter the competition visit the Royal Lyceum Theatre here.

To book tickets to see Local Hero in Edinburgh call 0131 248 4848 or visit

Image above of Pennan, Aberdeen. Photo by Mihaela Bodlovic