Bordered by the breathtaking Cairngorms National Park to the west and coastline to the east, Aberdeen’s stunning location means there is always something to do in the area without breaking the bank.
The city also boasts a number of free walking tours, museums, and galleries – handy to know if student funds are running low.
Courtesy of Robert Gordon University, we present some fun activities to do – and best of all, they cost next to nothing!
Aberdeen’s harbour lies just a couple of minutes away from the city centre. A bustling working port, it is also rich in wildlife such as bottlenose dolphins, which can be spotted near to the harbour mouth. Head over to the vantage point at Torry Battery with its stunning panoramic views over the harbour and North Sea where the RSPB will be on hand to help you spot the dolphins.
In warm weather, Footdee (known locally as ‘Fittie’) is a great spot to head to for a cheap-and-cheerful day out. A pretty former fishing village, it features beautifully colourful cottages and cobbled streets. Staying true to its past, it is also a great place to try some local seafood.
Having the Cairngorms National Park on the doorstep can be a lifesaver for students in Aberdeen keen to have adventures without splashing their cash. Simply jump on a direct train from Aberdeen and head deep into the countryside where stunning scenery awaits.
Make the most of free attractions in the Park such as visitor centres in Blair Atholl and Glen Doll, before checking out reasonably priced activities on offer at Braemar Castle or the Reindeer Centre. You could also make a cheap holiday out of the trip and book low-cost accommodation in one of the Park’s hostels or bunkhouses.
A day at the museum
If the weather isn’t great for adventuring in the great outdoors, fear not – there are plenty of cheap days out to be had in the centre of Aberdeen. The city’s Maritime Museum is free of charge and tells Aberdeen’s vast seafaring history. The Tolbooth Museum is one of the city’s oldest buildings and documents local history, including the riveting history of crime and punishment throughout the centuries. Open all year round, admission is free.
Another budget day out in the city can be had at the Aberdeen Treasure Hub. The main collections store for the city’s museums, it houses many of Aberdeen’s artistic and historical collections. Book a free behind-the-scenes tour of the impressive site in advance – they take place on Wednesdays between 11am and 2pm.
Discover the city on foot – for free!
A great way for students at Robert Gordon University to discover the city’s treasures, Scot Free Tours holds free walking tours every Saturday at 11am. Simply rock up or guarantee your place by booking in advance. The tours leave from Mercat Cross in the Castlegate and take you on a trip past some of the city’s eye-catching architecture while filling you in on the city’s quirky past. Spoiler: it involves pirates, wizards and prison escapes!
If a walking tour sounds a little too strenuous, why not head to one of Aberdeen’s lush green spaces for a relaxing time with friends? Seaton Park features 27 hectares of flowers, formal beds, beautiful trees and walled gardens and is always open. Alternatively, Duthie Park located close to the city centre features an open grassy area complete with bandstand, evergreen trees and a water feature. It even houses one of Britain’s largest cactus collections!
Being a student at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen on a budget doesn’t mean missing out! With so much accessible nature, culture and history on offer in the city, Aberdeen is the perfect place to make the most of every second of your student days without maxing out your overdraft.