A group of students sharing a coffee in a local square close to their bauhaus student accommodation

Fun Things to Do for Students in Aberdeen

The bustling city of Aberdeen is one of Scotland’s best student locations! It’s where coast, countryside and city life collide, which means that whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or a lover of arts and culture, Aberdeen really does have it all.

Exploring the City of Aberdeen

Historical Landmarks Worth Visiting

History comes alive thanks to the ‘silver city’s impressive granite landmarks. The iconic Aberdeen Maritime Museum is one of our favourite attractions. The museum showcases the city’s rich maritime heritage, connections to the treacherous North Sea and its importance as a bustling port throughout the centuries which shaped Aberdeen’s identity as a maritime powerhouse.

For those keen to explore Aberdeenshire, the region boasts Scotland’s Castle Trail! With over 250 castles on the map, Dunnottar Castle is one of the area’s most iconic. This 15th Century medieval fortress is perched at the very edge of a dramatic cliff top. For those with access to a car, it takes just 20 minutes to drive to Dunnottar from Aberdeen city centre. Alternatively catch a bus to Dunnottar junction from central Aberdeen and it’s just a 16-minute walk or a few minutes in a taxi to the castle’s drop off point.

Best Local Eateries and Cafes

If you’re keen to immerse yourself in the city’s local food scene, sampling an Aberdeen buttery should be first on your list! Found at any of the city’s bakeries, these buttery pastries were originally made for fishermen who needed an energy boost during their weeks at sea. Ross Bakery on Chapel Street is right by our Bauhaus Langstane Place property and is worth a visit if you’re keen to try local dishes.

Similarly, Thain’s Bakery, just round the corner from St Andrew Street, has won a number of awards for its prized pies. With steak, chicken and even lasagne pies on the menu along with bread, pastries and sweeter treats, the bakery caters to night owls and early risers, and is open from 2am most days!

For light lunch, consider Foodstory, a charming café that creates plant-based dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients, all served in a welcoming and eco-conscious setting. Another suggestion is Grub. Serving delicious fresh food in the form of wraps, salads and baguettes, lunch can be delivered straight to you to help fuel your studies!

If you are in need of an afternoon boost, head to CUPP bubble Tea on Thistle Street, which is just a couple of minutes’ walk from Bauhaus Langstane Place.

For a taste of international cuisine, restaurants such as 8848 and China Town Aberdeen, are both less than a 3 minute walk from Bauhaus Langstane Place.

Aberdeenshire’s rolling farmland and stunning coastal position mean you’ll never be far from bistros and restaurants serving some of the finest locally sourced ingredients. For scallops, beef or venison, try 210 Bistro near the Union Square Shopping Centre, Moonfish Café near Union Street if you’re looking to treat yourself to something a little higher-end.

Shopping Destinations in Aberdeen

Aberdonians do like to shop which means there are lots of options if you’re looking for some retail therapy! Union Square Shopping Centre is home to some of the UK’s best-loved high-street shops and restaurants. Explore the latest fashion trends, browse gift shops and grab some lunch or dinner at big-name eateries.

Alternatively, Bon Accord shopping centre has over 50 shops, including the local makers’ market Creative Aberdeen; a showcase of student work and installations from Gray’s School of Art students, plus fun and quirky seasonal displays and events within the centre.

For fresh produce and local crafts, be sure to check out the farmers’ market held at Belmont Street on the last Saturday of each month from 9am to 3pm. Explore stalls offering everything from organic fruits and vegetables to handmade jewellery and crafts.

Explore the Great Outdoors

Popular Hiking Trails

Escape the city and immerse yourself in nature on Aberdeen’s hiking trails. The Balmedie Country Park trail, starting north of Aberdeen offers stunning coastal views and the opportunity to spot local wildlife as you walk through the sand dunes. With a number of additional paths off the main trail, a hike can take anything between half an hour to an hour and a half.

Alternatively, a local option is the 41-mile Deeside Way which starts from Duthie Park in Aberdeen city centre. Taking in mountains and rivers, the full route takes you to the Cairngorms National Park and makes for a great walk, run or cycle route!

Beach Activities in Aberdeen

Aberdeen is renowned for its breathtaking beaches. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the golden sands of Aberdeen Beach or take part in water sports such as surfing and kayaking. If you are fancy exploring, you can book a boat trip and explore the nearby seabird colony on the island of Fowlsheugh. If you travel between May and August you may even spot a colony of grey seals!

If you want something a bit less active, consider joining a guided beachcombing tour along Aberdeen Beach. Learn about the diverse marine life and uncover hidden treasures that wash ashore like colourful seashells and polished sea glass.

For an altogether different day out, Codona’s amusement park has bars, bowling, karting, indoor arcade and a host of outdoor rides and attractions!

Parks and Green Spaces in the City

For those seeking a tranquil escape within the city, Aberdeen offers a variety of lush parks and green spaces. Step into the enchanting world of Duthie Park and the tranquil ponds and the botanical gardens provide a peaceful retreat.

Seaton Park, on the banks of the River Don, is another favourite spot for picnics and peaceful walks.

The Union Terrace Gardens was refurbished in 2022 and now boast a large variety of plants and flowers, as well as wine and coffee bars at the top from which you can enjoy the surrounding beauty. These gardens are just a few minutes’ walk away from Bauhaus St Andrew Street.

Indoor Entertainment Options

Top Museums and Galleries

The Tolbooth Museum offers a unique glimpse into the city’s past. Housed in a historic 17th-century jail, the museum provides a fascinating insights into Aberdeen’s criminal justice system over the centuries and the lives of those who found themselves behind bars.

Another cultural gem in the heart of the city is Aberdeen Art Gallery. Housing an impressive collection spanning several centuries, you can admire works by local, national and international artists, designers and makers ranging from the Scottish Colourists and Monet to Tracey Emin.

Theatre and Live Music Venues

If you’re a fan of live music and theatre, Aberdeen won’t disappoint.

His Majesty’s theatre was built by local craftsmen in 1906 and has constantly hosted both international touring companies and Scottish homegrown talent since then. It’s a beautiful theatre and well worth visiting, especially as it is only a few minutes’ walk from our Bauhaus St Andrew Street accommodation.

The Lemon Tree is a popular venue known for its eclectic mix of genres and intimate atmosphere. From up-and-coming local bands to renowned international acts, the venue offers an extensive line-up that caters to a wide range of musical tastes.

For a taste of traditional Scottish music, head to The Blue Lamp, a venue renowned for its folk and traditional music performances. It also hosts a comedy night once a month featuring local talent.

Aberdeen’s Unique Cinemas

Movie lovers will be delighted by Aberdeen’s unique and independent cinemas. The Belmont Cinema is a beloved local institution that showcases a wide range of films, from indie gems to classic masterpieces. The cinema temporarily closed in 2022 but there’s plan to reopen its doors in autumn 2024.

Another favourite is the Vue Cinema, located in Union Square, which offers the latest blockbuster releases alongside special screenings and events and caters to audiences of all ages.

Socialising and Nightlife in Aberdeen

Cosy Spots for Evening Hangouts

Sometimes, all you need is a quiet spot to relax and catch up with friends. Aberdeen offers several cosy venues perfect for an evening hangout. BrewDog Castlegate, a craft beer bar with a cosy vibe and excellent burgers is a popular choice. Orchid serves fantastic cocktails with a lovely ambiance.

Aberdeen has many kinds of venues, included converted churches. Soul bar, for example, is a converted church with beautiful stained-glass features and good food and drink. Another option with more of a student atmosphere is Slains castle. It was originally a gothic church but has been converted to a Dracula themed pub which retains most of its original features.

Pop by the Grill on your way down union street to sample a dram of Scottish whisky with over 600 to choose from.

No matter your interests, Aberdeen has a wealth of activities and attractions to keep students entertained. Explore the city’s history, immerse yourself in nature, indulge in culinary delights, and dive into its comprehensive social scene. Aberdeen truly has something to offer every student seeking fun and adventure.