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Aberdeen is Scotland's third largest city, located on the northeastern coast. Aberdeen is also known as the Granite City because of the extensive use of local granite in many of the cities buildings. This grey granite has a certain mineral content which makes some of the building in Aberdeen sparkle in the sunlight. The city is also the oil capital of Europe, with strong links to the worlds major oil companies such as Shell, BP and Exxon, therefore Aberdeen is the main gateway to the oilfields located in the North Sea area.
Aberdeen is divided into many neighbourhoods and the local bus service connects them all together. The most notable areas are Old Aberdeen and Footdee.
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Old Aberdeen used to be a separate burgh but was joined to the city of Aberdeen in 1891. It is home to the city’s oldest University (Aberdeen University) and is made up of cobbled streets and buildings dating back to the 15th century. If you are visiting Old Aberdeen make sure you visit Kings College & Chapel, The Old Town House and St. Machars Cathedral.
Footdee (knows as "Fittie" by the locals) was a small fishing village on the outskirts of Aberdeen. It is located at the end of the Beach Esplanade and sits where the river Don meets the sea. It is made up of quaint little fishing cottages which still retain their charm even today. Each of the cottages harbours its own charm and many of them have a small garden out in front which really adds to the personalities. Most of the cottages face inwards to protect them from the sometimes harsh North Sea. If you are a seafood lover then head to "Fittie" to visit one of Aberdeen’s best kept secrets, the Silver Darling Restaurant.
There are many town and villages close to Aberdeen each of them worth a visit in their own right:
Aberdeen has a typical maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. June to September is summer season with temperatures between 16 °C and 18 °C and nights around 11 °C. Winters are still above zero, even at night. The highest and lowest temperatures possible are 28 °C and -9 °C. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year, with autumn and winter being the wettest time and spring being the driest time. May is the driest and most sunny month of the year. Locals say the north east of Scotland is famous for the saying "four season in one day" and Aberdeen is no exception. The weather is incredibly changeable so regardless of what the weather is like in the morning, be prepared for anything.
Planes arrive and depart from Aberdeen Airport (IATA: ABZ, ICAO: EGPD). Airlines serving the airport include British Airways, easyJet, Flybe, Flyglobespan and Ryanair. KLM and Air France fly there often as well.
Cross Country Trains travels between Birmingham and Glasgow/Aberdeen/Edinburgh via Leeds and Sheffield. First Scot Rail operates the rail lines in Scotland and main routes include Aberdeen to Glasgow.
Aberdeen city centre is serviced by two main bus companies to allow travellers to get to the different areas within the city and the surrounding area. These companies are First Bus & Bluebird. Travel to nearby towns in the area is normally covered by Bluebird.
While single journeys can be expensive in Aberdeen there are a few tips to help you get the most out of your ticket. If you are planning tot take many journeys then consider an All Day Ticket which is available from the driver on request. Even better if you purchase this ticket after 9:30am because then you will get it at a slightly reduced price. If you know you will be using the bus a lot then consider a weekly pass. This will save you some money but the tickets are a little harder to get your hands on because you may need to produce a passport sized photograph. Weekly tickets are available on the relevant First bus and Bluebird website but be warned you can not mix and match, that is you will not be permitted to travel on a Bluebird bus with a First pass.
|Aberdeen Youth Hostel||8 Queen's Road||Hostel||70|
|University of Aberdeen - Hillhead||Don Street Old Aberdeen||Hostel||75|
|The Waterwheel Inn||203 North Deeside Road Bieldside||Guesthouse||-|
|Skene House Rosemount Hotel||96 Rosemount Viaduct||Hotel||-|
|Skene House Whitehall||2 Whitehall Place||Hotel||-|
|Craibstone Estate||Scottish Agricultural College Bucksburn||Hostel||89|
|Skene House Holburn||6 Union Grove||Hotel||-|
|Mealmarket Exchange||Mealmarket Street||Hostel||-|
Internet cafés can be found in many cities and towns. All UK public libraries provide access, often branded as "People's Network", usually at no or little charge, though there is usually a time limit. Some hotels/hostels also offer internet access, including wifi, but most times at a cost. Using the internet on your personal phone can become expensive very quickly, with carriers charging 100's of times the local rate for data. To avoid these expensive roaming charges, you can hunt for wifi at a local cafe or hotel, or rent a mobile hotspot via several providers including DATAPiXY, and XCOM Global.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to the United Kingdom is: 44. To make an international call from the United Kingdom, the code is: 00
In case of emergency, call 999 or 112 from any phone. Such calls are free and will be answered by an emergency services operator who will ask you for your location, and the service(s) you need (police, fire, ambulance, coastguard or mountain rescue). You can call this number from any mobile telephone as well, even if you do not have roaming.
Although the number is declining, you can still find payphones in many public areas, especially stations, airports etc. You can usually pay with cash and sometimes by creditcard or, for international calls, special phonecards are still available.
Mobile phones are heavily used. The main networks are T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange and O2. 3G data services are available, usually priced per megabyte and coverage is usually very good in the UK, however it may lack in rural areas. Roaming on your personal phone plan can be expensive. To manage costs, consider purchasing a local UK SIM card for your phone. Several companies offer local SIM cards including Telestial, and CellularAbroad.
The Royal Mail provides postal services in the United Kingdom. The Royal Mail's store fronts are called Post Office and offer services ranging from sending letters and packages to foreign currency exchange. Use the branch locator to find the nearest Post Office branch. There will be at least one post office in any town/city and there are quite often post offices in larger villages. It's common for a post office to be incorporated into a grocery store, where there will be a small counter located at the back of the store for dealing with post related matters. All post offices are marked with signs that say 'post office' in red lettering. Post boxes can be found at any post office and standalone large red post boxes on the streets or red boxes in the sides of public buildings.
For sending packages overseas, it might be a good idea to check prices and services with international companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.
as well as Lavafalls (4%)
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