Aberdeen has always had plenty to offer: charming architecture, leafy historic quarters, interesting museums (most of them free) and even its own sandy beach. 

But with the opening of a £333m events and exhibitions complex and the launch of several grassroots arts initiatives, it has suddenly gained a lot more to shout about. And there’s never been a better time to book a long weekend to see it all.


Start your trip at Aberdeen Art Gallery, which recently reopened after a four-year closure, having been ingeniously renovated by Hoskins Architects and Studioarc. The building is a sprawling neoclassical structure erected between the 1880s and 1920s, and a recent extension has dramatically expanded its display spaces – meaning there’s three times more art on display than before – and added two sweeping terraces.

Inside, you’ll find an eclectic and fascinating collection of works by Scottish artists such as Henry Raeburn and James Cromar Watt, as well as pieces of international renown by the likes of Barbara Hepworth, Francis Bacon and Claude Monet.