Museums in Aberdeen

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Aberdeen is a city with a rich history and what better way to learn about it than visiting some of the many Aberdeen museums dedicated to keeping the story of the Granite City alive?

From Science and Maritime, to Zoology and Art. There are plenty of options regardless of your interests.

Best of all, most of the museums do not have an entry fee which is a further incentive to visit and all are family-friendly although some may be more appealing to children.

I have listed some of the best museums that the city has to offer and I hope that this will be of some use to you when planning your visit!

Aberdeen Maritime Museum

Aberdeen Maritime Museum
Aberdeen Maritime Museum Statues

The Aberdeen Maritime Museum on Shiprow is a museum that is close to my heart. It is probably the museum that I have visited most often throughout my time of living here and is one that I have very fond memories of as a lot of my family members worked on the sea. Located in the city centre, near Aberdeen harbour, this museum shows collections on shipbuilding, fast sailing ships, fishing and port history.

Aberdeen has a long history and connection with the sea and primarily now with the North Sea Oil & Gas industry. The Aberdeen Maritime Museum also has a great viewpoint over Aberdeen Harbour.

Entry Cost – Free

Gordon Highlanders Museum Aberdeen

The Aberdeen Gordon Highlanders Museum is a Regimental Museum which holds a large collection telling the story of over 200 years worth of duty in one of the greatest regiments of the British Army, The Gordon Highlanders.

The North East of Scotland has a strong fighting history with many ordinary men such as farmers, fishermen, students and labourers joining the regiment and all with a story to tell.

The staff and volunteers at The Gordon Highlanders Museum have thoroughly retraced and keep these stories alive for future visitors and generations.

Located in the West End of Aberdeen, the Gordon Highlanders Museum also has the recently opened Cognito Cafe which is definitely worth a visit.

Entry Cost –
Adult – £7.60
Children – £4.28

Tolbooth Museum

The Tolbooth Aberdeen is a great option for those with children. Learn about one of Aberdeen’s oldest buildings, it is a great example and one of Scotland’s best-preserved 17th-century jails.

With original doors and barred windows along with displays on the local history and changes that were seen with regards to crime and punishment in Aberdeen, this museum provides an insight into life within 17th and 18th-century gaols.

Make sure to look out for the original 17th-century guillotine!

There is a steep spiral staircase so do be aware of this if you have any mobility problems and note that there are no toilets or cafe facilities.

Entry Cost – Free

Aberdeen Art Gallery

Aberdeen Art Gallery
Aberdeen Art Gallery Displays
Aberdeen Art Gallery

The newly renovated Aberdeen Art Gallery is one of Aberdeen cities top attractions to visit.

The closure of the art museum Aberdeen took almost 4 years to complete at a cost of almost £35 million but it was well worth the wait as the gallery has been re-imagined with several new exhibits, many of which have interactive features making them a lot more accessible and family-friendly to all ages.

The exhibits cover a wide variety of subjects from the history of art to sculptures, local art pieces and design through the ages.

We have written a full guide to Aberdeen Art Gallery to provide further information on this wonderful addition.

Entry Cost – Free

Aberdeen Science Centre

The Aberdeen Science Centre was the first science and discovery centre in Scotland and has been a popular choice to visit with children for over 30 years. Originally known as Satrosphere, this was a place that I absolutely adored visiting when I was a child.

With its mix of interactive and educational science discovery, including programmes and exhibits teaching children about a variety of subjects such as coding, robotics and engineering which will hopefully inspire for years to come.

Entry Cost –
Adults – £5.75
Children (3+) – £5.00

Blairs Museum Aberdeen

Approximately 5 miles from Aberdeens city centre on South Deeside Road is Blairs Museum, the Museum of Scotlands Catholic Heritage.

This museum is considered a hidden gem among those who have visited, filled with collections covering over 500 years and with artefacts such as a memorial portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots, the pocket watch of Bonnie Prince Charlie and many church textiles dating back to the 1400s.

Along with these artefacts looking into Scottish history, you can also visit the beautiful St Mary’s Chapel which is still in use today.

Entry Cost –
Adults – £4.00
Children – £1.50

Along with the above, Aberdeen also has three University museums which may be of interest to visitors and tourists when looking for things to do in Aberdeen.

The University of Aberdeen Zoology Museum

The Zoology Museum is as close to a natural history museum as Aberdeen has to offer. With over 75,000 specimens from great whales, Bengal tigers and taxidermy to insect collections.

This museum holds permanent and temporary displays covering the whole animal kingdom including a new exhibit relating to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.

With over 200 years of research, this is the only international collection of Zoological specimens in the North East of Scotland.

Entry Cost – Free

The Gallery, Sir Duncan Rice Library

Sir Duncan Rice Library

The Sir Duncan Rice Library is a love-or-hate building. Personally, I love it.

This large cube-shaped building can be seen from around the Aberdeen University campus and much of the city. This may be in part due to the white zebra-like stripes that cover the clear exterior glass, it’s hard to miss!

A seven-storey building, the library is home to much of the Aberdeen Universities’ historic collections including over a quarter of a million priceless books, manuscripts and journals collected over 5 centuries.

Situated on the ground floor of the Sir Duncan Rice Library is The Gallery, this houses exhibitions and special collections which show rare pieces from the university’s collections.

With views over Aberdeen and across to the sea, this is another popular tourist destination to visit, however, you will require some form of ID for access.

Entry Cost – Free

King’s Museum Aberdeen – Old Town House

King’s Museum Aberdeen

King’s Museum is a small University Museum which can be found in Old Town House on the Universities Old Aberdeen Campus. This is one of Scotland’s newest museums although it is also one of the oldest as the collection is from King’s College dating back to 1727.

The exhibitions at Kings Museum change every few months hosting temporary exhibitions from the Universities collections.

Entry Cost – Free

Hopefully, we’ve given you plenty of choices when it comes to finding a museum to visit in Aberdeen, but if you’re on the lookout for something different to do, then be sure to read our full Aberdeen City Guide.

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