Known to most as the 'granite city', it can be found on Scotland's north east coast, about 120 miles from stately Edinburgh. This harbourside city has a striking work ethic and has long been considered the powerhouse of the region, with a petroleum industry that has allowed oil money to pour in through the waterways.
The city's harbour is a great place to start any exploration, and it's also where, if you're really lucky, you might spot the resident pod of dolphins playing offshore. This is a working harbour of course, with a great many boats and ships coming and going, so while it might not be the most picturesque in the world, it does give real insight into what keeps this city moving.
Just a little way north of the city centre and a short walk from the harbour, you'll find the Old Town. Here is where Bishop Elphinstone founded the university now known as the University of Aberdeen, an institution justly famous for its stunning architecture and collegiate atmosphere. Whilst you're enjoying the sights, be sure to visit Marischal College. Founded in 1593 and built in an incredible Gothic style, it was later merged with King's College in 1860 to become the thriving modern university many students call home today.
From the old town, you can quite easily access Aberdeen Beach, a sandy expanse with beautiful views over the choppy North Sea and a lovely place to take a windswept walk. In the city centre, away from the brisk north east winds, you'll be quietly stunned by the city's architecture. Completely built in the granite that was sourced locally from Rubislaw Quarry until it closed, Aberdeen's walls tend to glint a silvery glow in the city's low sunlight, although when the clouds bear down and the rain comes in, it does have a tendency to feel a little on the grey side.
There's plenty to distract and delight in the centre of the city, however, and many ways to take shelter should those famous rains start to fall. Here you'll find the art gallery which has the benefit of being free, but is also home to a range of contemporary art by both Scottish and English artists, as well as some beautiful pre-Raphaelite works by local son William Dyce.
The Maritime Museum is another great way to while away a few hours, and offers vast insight into the city's biggest industry. The entire museum revolves around a huge three storey replica of a North Sea oil rig, while other parts of the museum delve a little deeper into what the city's maritime history would have looked like with industries such as whaling, fishing and ship building taking centre stage.
Outside of the city you'll find plenty more to discover, not least of which are Balmoral Castle, summer home to the royal family and Dunnottar Castle, a ninth century behemoth which was used as the film set for Zeffirelli's adaptation of Hamlet. Set on a three-sided cliff overlooking the crashing waves of the North Sea, it's hard to imagine a more dramatic position on the Scottish coast. Meanwhile, to the east of the city lies true whisky country with more distilleries than you could hope to visit in just one trip.