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Aberdeen city guide: student life

Things to do in Aberdeen

Aberdeen is a small cosmopolitan city on Scotland’s beautiful west coast. It’s known for its historic old quarter and signature grey architecture, which has earned it the affectionate nickname of The Granite City. Choose to study in Aberdeen, and you can look forward to history and culture in abundance, as well as the usual amenities you’d expect from one of the UK’s foremost university cities – from shopping and nightlife, to first-rate sport and leisure facilities.

The Combworks student accommodation in Aberdeen, is located on George Street and offers convenient access to the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University, as well as Aberdeen’s historic city centre, with all its student-friendly amenities.

George Street is one of Aberdeen’s major retail and nightlife thoroughfares, running from Kittybrewster in the north to the city centre in the south. It hosts a growing number of shops, bars and restaurants, and is a major transport link into the city centre, with regular bus stops and dedicated cycle lanes.


Bars and Clubs

There’s loads of places to hang out with your new friends, from cosy pubs to quirky cocktail bars. Here are a few picks:

The Butcher’s Arms – a local student pub with plenty of character.

Drink in Stonegate Pubs - if you’re partial to a post-lecture pint, we’d recommend doing your drinking in one of Aberdeen’s Stonegate pubs (known as Scream, this bar franchise offers great discounts to students who can display a Stonegate membership card, and regularly hosts nights where you’ll pay anything up to £1 for a pint. You heard right.

The Bobbin,- close proximity to the King’s College campus, as well as its sizeable discounts, make it a winner at any time of the day.

Illicit - for those up for staying out into the wee small hours, Illicit Still offers 40% off drinks on selected nights of the week, as well as 2 for 1 cocktails

Brewdog Union Square - offers over 20 taps of craft beer.



Owing to its multicultural population, Aberdeen offers a fantastic range of eateries, showcasing cuisines from across the globe. With so many incredible eateries across the city, best start tucking in.

Books and Beans -  for a light bite amid scholarly surroundings.

Silver Darling Restaurant - if it’s the city’s legendary seafood you’re after, give this French-themed restaurant a go ­– perfect for when parents come visiting.

McGinty’s Meal an’ Ale - steak fans will love it here, with choice cuts of Aberdeen Angus steak and burgers.

Shri Bheema’s - regularly voted the best Indian cuisine in the city.


Sport, Leisure and Fitness

If keeping fit and active is important to you, Aberdeen offers everything from miles of jogger-friendly coastal paths, renowned sporting venues, and easy access to Scotland’s most popular hiking hot spot, the Cairngorms. Choose from a range of quality gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres, including the Aberdeen Sports Village, which is conveniently located next door to the university campus, or else take in the action at the historic Pittodrie Stadium, the home of Aberdeen F.C. Aberdeen is also one of western Scotland’s best surfing spots, and there are a number of surf schools available if you fancy giving it a go.



Culture comes easy amid the historic streets of The Granite City and there's plenty of things to do in Aberdeen when you’ve spare time away from your studies. Start your cultural exploration at King’s Museum, which houses 80,000 artefacts detailing the history of the Highlands.

Another historic highlight is The Tolbooth, a former 17th­-century jail now converted into an interactive visitor centre. Contemporary art fans will be in their element at Gallery Heinzel and Peacock Visual Arts, while lovers of live music can enjoy the thriving gig scene of Belmont Street, home to the beloved Café Drummond.

If you’ve exhausted all of Aberdeen’s art galleries and museums (all of which offer free admission) and are wondering where next for an affordable weekend day out, pay a visit to the charming heritage fishing village of Footdee (curiously pronounced ‘Fittie’). The village is located next to Aberdeen Harbour, but remains relatively unknown to day-trippers. It dates back to medieval times, and boasts a warren of tiny fishing cottages and historic pubs, making for a fascinating free day out or the perfect place for a quiet pub crawl.

If you’re keen on starting your next chapter in Aberdeen, check out aparto The Combworks student accommodation for city centre living with a community feel.