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Aberdeen may be one of Scotland’s most remote mainland destinations, but this doesn’t stop it from boasting one of the more remarkable cityscapes in the UK. Known as ‘the Granite City’ by Scots, Aberdeen was rebuilt after devastating fires using granite stone from nearby quarries in the 18th and 19th century. Today, it radiates a glistening façade for visitors to embrace, including some truly memorable highlights such as Marischal College and St Mark’s Church. Aberdeen is also the perfect base for exploring the beauty of Aberdeenshire. Daytrips into the surrounding shire are easy with Aberdeen car rental.
Who to Book With
Several global car hire companies operate within the city of Aberdeen, including reliable firms like Alamo, National and Avis. Even though online booking is the most convenient way to reserve a car in Aberdeen, offices can also be found in the downtown area and the surrounding edges of the city.
Best time to go
Travel during the summer months is recommended for tourists. Even though transport and accommodation become more expensive during the warmer months of the year, Aberdeen sparkles with the long days of sunshine and the festive culture. Winters, when the sea winds howl through Aberdeen, tend to be bitterly cold and days are short. The winter weather can also create difficult conditions for driving.
Need to Know Essentials
When renting a car, patrons need to bring the following documents:
- An international driving license or national license held for more than one year
- Photo ID (other than the license)
- Credit card that was used at the time of rental reservation
- The booking confirmation document
Driving in Aberdeen is a great way to get around. Highways are generally safe and well-maintained, but smaller streets have been neglected over the last few decades, leaving them pot-holed and damaged across the city. Snow and fog in winter can lead to road closures, so checking the local forecasts is recommended before setting-off.
Aberdeen’s downtown district is navigable on foot, but the city is not small, so travelling around on wheels is recommended. Taxi companies are available, and bus transportation is inexpensive and reliable for sightseeing activities. However, car hire is a reliable mode of transport for those looking to get around the city and travel into the surrounding countryside.
There are only two train stations operating in Aberdeen city proper, so travelling around town via rail transport is limited compared to other options. The Aberdeen Railway Station is the main rail hub for regional travel, and the only other station inside the city area is Dyce Station. The railway lines leading from Aberdeen were mostly closed following the 1960s Beeching Report. ScotRail connects Aberdeen to various major cities around Scotland. English cities like Birmingham, Bristol and London are also connected to Aberdeen via the rail network.
Taxis are found throughout the city, offering convenient services for tourists and locals. Comcab is a popular firm operating cab services. During the day, taxis are available by phone, can be hailed, or can be found at one of the taxi ranks at Union Street, Hadden Street or in the Aberdeen Railway Station. At night, Union Street is the best place to find taxis.
Buses are the most convenient and cheap public transport option in Aberdeen. They are operated by First Aberdeen, which travels to every corner of the city. Stagecoach Bluebird also provides bus services within the city, but mostly link Aberdeen with towns in the surrounding region.
Once tourists have experienced the glitzy architecture of the ‘Granite City’, the surrounding beauty of Aberdeenshire beckons. There is no better way to see the sprawling surrounds than by car. Magnificent villages like Stonehaven and fairytale-like castles such as Crathes and Dunnottar await travelers. In addition, the Malt Whiskey Trail is a must for anyone traveling to this corner of the United Kingdom.
Dunnottar Castle - A magnificent cliff-side castle overlooking the village of Stonehaven, about 20 miles south of Aberdeen. Its soaring views and marvelous remains make it one of the most impressive historical sites in the United Kingdom. Parking is available close to the castle.
Crathes Castle - This is also easy to reach by car, as it stands just 30 minutes west of Aberdeen. The stunning façade and beautifully-landscaped grounds await tourists all year round. Hiking through the estate can be done along pre-marked trails.
Craigievar Castle - This charming castle has adorned the Aberdeen countryside since the early part of the 17th century. Tours of this elegant castle are only available with a guide, but the surrounding grounds can be explored at visitors’ leisure. The drive from Aberdeen to Craigievar takes tourists through the magical rolling landscapes of Aberdeenshire.
The Malt Whiskey Trail - A popular tourist route that meanders up the northern coastline of Aberdeenshire, stopping at various whiskey distilleries, including the likes of Glen Grant and the famous Glenfiddich.