City Orientation Walk, Aberdeen

Aberdeen is also known by the nickname the Granite City because almost all historically-important buildings were built from this material, which makes Aberdeen such a beautiful place. Most of the important landmarks are located on Union Street. Take this tour to discover some of Aberdeen's most popular and beautiful landmarks.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: Scotland » Aberdeen (See other walking tours in Aberdeen)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 13
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 km
Author: jenny
1
Mercat Cross

1) Mercat Cross

The Mercat Cross was built in 1686 by John Montgomery. This open-arched structure, 21 ft (6 m) in diameter and 18 ft (5 m) high, comprises a large hexagonal base from the centre of which rises a shaft with a Corinthian capital, on which is the royal unicorn. The base is highly decorated, including medallions illustrating Scottish monarchs from James I to James VII. To the east of Castle Street were the military barracks, which were demolished in 1965 and replaced with two tower blocks. It was originally a place where merchants would gather, and later became the focal point of many town events such as executions, announcements and proclamations.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
The Salvation Army Citadel

2) The Salvation Army Citadel

The Salvation Army Citadel is a beautiful mansion that stands at the upper end of Castlegate. It was modeled according to another important and imposing building: the Castle Balmoral. This beautiful granite building attracts attention due to its uniqueness.
3
The Tolbooth

3) The Tolbooth (must see)

The Tolbooth is a 17th century former jail which is now operated as a museum. It was built between 1616 and 1629 and is attached to the Aberdeen Sheriff Court on the city centre's Union Street. The museum contains exhibits of prison cells and various police, law and order related items. It housed over 50 Jacobite prisoners after the Battle of Culloden. The building is claimed to be one of the most haunted buildings in Aberdeen and has been subjected to many investigations by paranormal investigation teams.

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Aberdeen Maritime Museum

4) Aberdeen Maritime Museum (must see)

Aberdeen Maritime Museum is situated on the historic Shiprow in the heart of the city, near the harbour and makes use of a range of buildings including a former church and the Provost Ross' House, one of the oldest domestic buildings in the city.

The museum tells the story of the city's long relationship with the North Sea. Collections cover shipbuilding, fast sailing ships, fishing and port history. Its displays include ship and oil rig models, paintings, clipper ship and "North Boats" material, fishing, whalers and commercial trawlers, North Sea oil industry, and the marine environment. The museum also commands a spectacular viewpoint over the busy harbor.

Operation hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm; Sunday: 12 pm – 3 pm

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Union Street

5) Union Street (must see)

Union Street is the main street and shopping thoroughfare of Aberdeen. Some of the city's major shops - like Marks & Spencer (on St. Nicholas Street), HMV, Waterstones, Mostyn Mckenzie, Cruise, AllSaints, Lakeland, Debenhams (in the Trinity Centre) and Sports Direct - are either located directly on or can be accessed straight from the Union Street. It also houses the St Nicholas & Bon Accord and the Trinity Shopping Centre. On top of that, there are several bars and nightclubs to be found, as well as historic locations, such as the Kirk of St. Nicholas. Encompassing Union Street is a long stretch of the road known as The Granite Mile.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Aberdeen Music Hall

6) Aberdeen Music Hall (must see)

The Music Hall is a concert hall in Aberdeen, formerly the city's Assembly Rooms, located on Union Street in the city centre. It was designed by architect Archibald Simpson, costing £11,500 when it was originally constructed in 1822. The Music Hall opened to the public as a concert hall in 1859, and was extensively renovated in the 1980s.

The Hall regularly plays host to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, as well as a variety of pop/rock concerts, and the annual Aberdeen International Youth Festival.

Opening hours: Monday — Saturday: 9:30 am — 4 pm

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Central Library

7) Central Library

The Central Library of Aberdeen is located on Rosemount Viaduct and is the city's main library. Housed in a listed building, the library costed £10,000 to build and was publicly funded through local campaigning that began in 1889. It was opened on 5 July 1892 by Andrew Carnegie after he and his wife contributed £2000 to the construction process. The library contains large collections of local maps, over 15,000 photographs, birth and death records and a collection of local newspapers. Much of the library's stock is held on microfilm.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
His Majesty's Theatre

8) His Majesty's Theatre (must see)

His Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen is the largest theatre in north-east Scotland, seating more than 1400. The theatre is sited on Rosemount Viaduct, opposite the city's Union Terrace Gardens.

It was designed by Frank Matcham and opened in 1906.After a National Lottery grant was awarded in 1999, the Theatre was the subject of a refurbishment and extension. The theatre is regularly visited by Scotland's national arts companies and hosts performances from other major companies and the annual Aberdeen International Youth Festival. The theatre is managed by Aberdeen Performing Arts which also runs The Music Hall, Aberdeen Box Office and the Lemon Tree.

Opening hours: Monday — Saturday: 9:30 am - 6 pm

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Robert Gordon's College

9) Robert Gordon's College

Robert Gordon's College is a private co-educational day school in the heart of Aberdeen with the motto:‘Now Is The Time For All Of Your Masterly Skill’. It originally opened in 1750 as the result of a bequest by Robert Gordon, an Aberdeen merchant who made his fortune from trading with Baltic ports, and was known at foundation as Robert Gordon's Hospital. During the Jacobite Rising in 1746, the buildings were commandeered by Hanoverian troops and named Fort Cumberland. The modern school is divided into a Nursery, Junior School, and Senior School, and is for boys and girls from 4 to 18 years. Long reputed as one of the strongest academic schools in Scotland, RGC follows the Scottish curriculum. The school operates four houses, to each of which students are assigned upon entering the school.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Kirk of St Nicholas

10) Kirk of St Nicholas

The Kirk of St Nicholas is a historic church located in the city centre. It is now officially known as the "Kirk of St Nicholas (uniting)" as it has membership in both the Church of Scotland and the United Reformed Church. It is also known as "The Mither Kirk" (mother church) of the city. The earliest mention of a church on the site of the present Kirk can be found in a Papal document of 1157. Given Aberdeen's proximity to the sea, St Nicholas was chosen as the patron saint of Aberdeen, as a miracle attributed to him was the rescue of some sailors in a storm. The Kirk was enlarged in the fifteenth century. St Nicholas and St Mary's, Dundee, were probably the largest parish churches in medieval Scotland. This work was dedicated by Bishop Elphinstone in 1498. The 500th anniversary of the dedication of the enlarged church was marked with the installation of a special stained glass window at the main entrance to the Kirk, overlooking Drum’s Aisle.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
Marischal College

11) Marischal College (must see)

Marischal College is a building and former university in the center of the city of Aberdeen. The College was founded in 1593 by George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal of Scotland on the site of a medieval Franciscan Friary, disused after the Reformation. Marischal was the second of Scotland's post-medieval 'civic universities', following the University of Edinburgh. It is the second largest granite building in the world and also the fifth tallest building in Aberdeen.
Since 2011 has acted as the headquarters of Aberdeen City Council, but the University of Aberdeen, still uses parts of the building to house a museum and for ceremonial events. Today, it provides corporate office space and public access to council services, adjacent to the Town House, the city's historic seat of local government.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
12
Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew ‎

12) Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew ‎

The Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew is a cathedral of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the seat of the Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney who is the Ordinary of the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney. The original building was designed in the perpendicular Gothic style by architect Archibald Simpson, the first of Simpson's many commissions in the city. Rather than being built out of the usual local granite, the facade of the structure, facing King Street, was built from sandstone. The rest of the building was built of granite. The church opened in 1817 as St Andrew's Chapel and was raised to Cathedral status in 1914. St Andrew's Cathedral Aberdeen has a long musical & choral heritage and is now the only Episcopalian (Anglican) cathedral in Scotland to maintain a traditional choir of men and boys. With a splendid acoustic, it also houses one of the finest three manual pipe organs in Scotland.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
13
Aberdeen Science Centre

13) Aberdeen Science Centre (must see)

Aberdeen Science Centre (formerly Satrosphere Science Centre) is a science museum in Aberdeen. It contains exhibits aimed mainly at younger children and attracts primary school groups around the year. Its exhibits are 'hands on' so that everything can be played with and examined.

The centre is a registered non-profit organization that is funded by the public and donations from local corporate sponsors. Birthday parties and other events for children may be held here by prior arrangement.

Opening hours: Monday - Friday: 10 am – 4 pm; Saturday - Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Aberdeen, Scotland

Create Your Own Walk in Aberdeen

Create Your Own Walk in Aberdeen

Creating your own self-guided walk in Aberdeen is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Aberdeen Nightlife Tour

Aberdeen Nightlife Tour

Throughout Aberdeen you can find a number of places to have a great night out. Clubs offer any type of music you could want: rock, pop, dance, techno, and live performances. This tour takes you to the most popular nightclubs in Aberdeen.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.7 km
Churches Tour in Aberdeen

Churches Tour in Aberdeen

Aberdeen has architecturally-intriguing beautiful churches and cathedrals that make this city enjoyable for tourists. Some of them are located in the old part of the city, dating back to its beginnings. If Aberdeen's history and architecture interest you, this tour is the perfect way to explore them through the city's churches and cathedrals.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 km
Museums and Galleries Tour in Aberdeen

Museums and Galleries Tour in Aberdeen

Aberdeen has many museums in its center that specialize in local history. Galleries give visitors the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the works of local artists and to learn about the city's cultural richness. Take this tour to discover the offerings of Aberdeen's museums and galleries.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km
Aberdeen Old Town Tour

Aberdeen Old Town Tour

Old Aberdeen is characterized by well-preserved ancient dwellings, streets and some unique examples of architecture that present attractive point for all tourists visiting the city. Among the biggest draws of Aberdeen are King’s College, St. Machar’s Cathedral, and the Old Town House. Take this tour to discover the beauty of Aberdeen's Old Town.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Aberdeen for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Aberdeen has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Aberdeen, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.