Aberdeen: 6 Reasons to choose the Granite City for uni

02 Jun 2020
By Joy K., Student at Robert Gordon University

It might be tucked away in the north-east corner of Scotland, but don't be fooled by the out-of-the-way location - Aberdeen is a bustling and vibrant place.

Nicknamed the Granite City for its abundance of buildings made from the local stone, Aberdeen is everything a student could ask for.

Thinking of moving to ‘Aberdream’ to study? Here is your post-coronavirus guide to the Granite City, from one student who loves living here.

1) The beach

At first glance, Aberdeen might seem grey and boring - but its appearance is deceptive. It has a beautiful beach for a start, which is just a short bus ride or 20-minute walk from the city centre. An opportunity to clear your head and appreciate the stunning scenery, you might even see some dolphins if you're lucky! When you're at the beach you must visit the Sand Dollar or the Pier for breakfast.

2) The shopping

With four shopping centres - St Nicholas, Bon Accord, Trinity, and Union Square - all boasting massive high street names, you're spoilt for choice in Aberdeen. Union Street is also home to many high street names, as well as some gorgeous independent shops.

3) The food and drink

Aberdeen has a cafe and restaurant to suit every taste or craving. Bonobo and Foodstory are the places to go if you're after something vegan. The Long Dog is the perfect place for you to take a four-legged friend (the two-legged kind are welcome too). Belmont Street is the centre of the student zone and is packed full of bars and eateries. Try CUP for delicious soup and waffles, and did I mention it was Alice in Wonderland-themed? Visit Books and Beans to grab a coffee and lose yourself in a thrilling novel, or head to the Coffee House for cosy vibes and great food. If you’ve got a sweet tooth you’re spoilt for choice in Aberdeen, but the ice cream parlours Shakes and Cakes and Mackie’s are the places to go for sundaes, milkshakes, crepes and waffles.

4) The natural and architectural wonders

You’re never far from nature here in Aberdeen. Duthie Park, just a 20-minute walk from the city centre, has a cool palm house that offers the perfect chance to get lost exploring all its weird and wonderful cacti. Seaton and Westburn are also idyllic and a great way to escape the busyness of the city.

Old Aberdeen is an Instagrammer’s paradise. You can walk the cobbled streets and marvel at the old stone buildings, then explore Aberdeen University, one of the oldest universities in the UK. Robert Gordon University is pretty too; sitting in its grounds on the banks of the River Dee after doing the river walk is a picture-perfect way to spend an afternoon.

5) The nights out

An evening in Aberdeen is always eventful, with countless restaurants and bars to visit, from oriental to traditional Scottish. Most of the eateries are located in and around Belmont Street, so your next drink is never far away. Triple Kirks is excellent for cheap and cheerful student grub. Bar 99 is a hipster’s paradise featuring fairy lights, mason jars, and - above all - good food. Ma Cameron’s is a homely, cosy Scottish pub serving delicious food beside an open fire.

Aberdeen has a bustling nightlife. Head to Tunnels for some deep house or to Underground for some crowd-pleasing, cheesy hits. Nox, Attik, Unit 51, Garage, Paramount - the list goes on and, one thing’s for sure, you're guaranteed a good night in the 'deen. If clubs aren't your thing there's a wide selection of pubs. Irish pub Malone's is the best place for a good evening's ‘craic’, as we say back home in the Emerald Isle.

6) The hangover-free nights out

If you’re not a lover of alcohol, I can thoroughly recommend Lane7 bowling and games centre for some competitive indoor fun. Or, escape the rain at Vue or Cineworld and catch the latest Hollywood blockbuster, or try Belmont Street Cinema for a less mainstream indie flick - just don't forget your snacks!

Looking for somewhere to live in Aberdeen? Take a look at our high-quality student accommodation in the city.

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A Northern Irish, caffeine fuelled, food-loving photographer and aspiring journalist, who likes to think they're funny. Political fan, dog enthusiast and music lover. Expect sarcasm, puns and bad jokes.