Aberdeen Art Gallery

Aberdeen Art Gallery

Aberdeen is known for its extensive attractions, including the Maritime Museum and Duthie Park. For lovers of art arriving in the Highlands, the Aberdeen Art Gallery is a necessary addition to your to-do list and stands as one of the finest art galleries in Scotland. From local artists to famed international works, there’s no better way to spend a day than to explore this institution’s numerous galleries.

The Aberdeen Art Gallery opened in 1884 in a building designed by Alexander Marshall Mackenzie and was later expanded in the 1920s. However, the Gallery as you know it today emerged between 2015 and 2019 when it went under a landmark redevelopment that the Aberdeen City Council and National Lottery Heritage Fund brought about. Its success as the home for some of Scotland’s finest works was celebrated when, in 2020, the Aberdeen Art Gallery won the Art Fund Museum of the Year.

If you plan to explore one of the finest collections in the ‘Granite City’, stick around! We’ll cover all the details you need, how to get there, and the top attractions to look forward to during your visit.

Important Details to Know

For those who like to be well prepared before their visit, please read through our essential details to know:


The Aberdeen Art Gallery has several accessibility options available on-site, including the following:

  • Guide dogs, assistance dogs, and hearing dogs are readily welcomed at the Aberdeen Art Gallery. Water is available on the ground floor of the building for your helpful hound!
  • Two wheelchairs are available on-site, with elevator access to all the Art Gallery’s floors.
  • There are baby changing facilities in the building and changing place toilets with wheelchair access.
  • A free digital guide is available online to become familiar with the layout of the Aberdeen Art Gallery.
  • Mondays are “Relaxed Mondays”, which offers an opportunity for neurodivergent children, dementia, and mental health problems to experience the Gallery as relaxed as possible.

Opening Times

The Aberdeen Art Gallery is open throughout the year, with opening times between Monday and Saturday being 10:00 – 17:00. On Sundays, the opening times are 11:00 – 16:00 instead.

There is a cafe on the ground floor and second level of the Aberdeen Art Gallery, which is open between 10:00 and 16:30 from Monday to Saturday. On Sunday, the cafe is open from 11:00 – 15:30.

Ticket Prices

Admission to the Aberdeen Art Gallery is free! You don’t need to pay to enter the Art Gallery, however, donations are welcome and appreciated if you enjoyed your visit.

How to Get There

Here are the most popular ways to reach the Aberdeen Art Gallery, using private and public transportation options.


For those travelling by car and arriving in Aberdeen via the A92, drive down the River Dee along Riverside Drive. At the roundabout, take the first exit onto College Street. Then take a right on Wapping Street and then left onto Denburn Road. Finally, take the Rosemount Viaduct onto Schoolhill, and the Aberdeen Art Gallery should be on your left.


Those planning to visit Aberdeen Art Gallery while within the city should consider the abundant bus services available. Some services stop by Union Street, which is one of the closest bus stations to the Aberdeen Art Gallery — take a short walk down Belmont Street.

Other close bus stations are His Majesty’s Theatre, Blackfriars Street, and Schoolhill.

Aberdeen Art Gallery Attractions

Now that you’re informed about how to reach the Aberdeen Art Gallery and the essential details about the Gallery, you can look forward to seeing an internationally celebrated collection of artworks. If you’re in a hurry or want to see the highlights, here are the highlights:

Explore Aberdeen Art Gallery

Explore the Art Gallery

The highlight of the Aberdeen Art Gallery is undoubtedly the staggering range of art and sculptures throughout the decorated halls of the building. Visitors are genuinely spoiled for choice as they enter through arched doorways and marble floors for sights to see.

The collection at Aberdeen Art spans over 700 years of history. It features crucial works by Scottish artists, designers, and makers like Joan Eardley, Rachel McLean, and James Cromar Watt and internationally recognised ones like Barbara Hepworth, Tracey Emin, and Claude Monet!

The galleries present a variety of styles, from French impressions to abstract, for you to discover during your visit. Look at the best and most exciting artworks through hallways of galleries, and admire the care for these treasures on behalf of the people who spent such a long time working on them.

Start at the Sculpture Court

Sculpture Court

As you enter the Aberdeen Art Gallery, the Sculpture Court is your first artistic journey stop. Kenny Hunter opened this welcoming exhibition, which features a selection of delicately sculpted objects and animals, including a massive elephant, campfires, and even a girl riding a horse.

It’s easy to be swept away by the grandiosity of the sculptures here, with the original architect describing it: “I’m presenting this group of artworks here against the magnificent backdrop of Aberdeen Art Gallery’s classically-inspired Sculpture Court as ambiguous and open to varied interpretation.”

The Court is locally loved, so ensure you spend some time admiring the display before moving on.

View their Rotating Temporary Exhibitions

Rotating Exhibits

No matter when you come to the Aberdeen Art Gallery, the exhibitions on display will always be slightly different than your last visit. The art gallery is home to a rotating set of temporary exhibits from local and international artists and has included prized art words like “Shadows and Light – The Extraordinary Life of JamesMcBey” and the contemporary “Marching Gallery”.

For a peek into the great art that allows local people of Aberdeen to share their stories, the temporary displays are flash-in-the-pan moments that you can’t miss at any cost.

Indulge in Art — Abstract and Contemporary

Indulge in Art

As you make your way up to the first floor of the Aberdeen Art Gallery, you’ll be met with several interesting contemporary artworks, mind-bending abstract pieces, and Scotland shown off in a unique neo-classical style.

On the first floor, you can also see the French Impressions exhibitions, which highlight a unique period when French culture and art were at the centre of the world stage. The Aberdeen Art Gallery combines these French works with examples of British art pieces. These special exhibitions are the backbone of the Aberdeen Art Gallery and should not be missed any more, making the museum’s exhibitions their priority.

Admire Scottish Colourists

Scottish Colourists

Speaking of French impressions, the Scottish Colourists were given an extremely positive impression of French culture during the late 20th century, and their art shows this.

The Scottish Colourists are considered to be Samuel John Peploe, Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell, George Leslie Hunter and John Duncan Fergusson. Inspired by the carefree art of the French, they created stunning art that can be seen at the Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Explore Remembrance Hall

Remembrance Hall

In contrast to the flood of emotions you may experience wandering the Aberdeen Art Gallery, the Remembrance Hall usually has a sombre tone. The Hall was originally opened by King George in 1925 when the building was expanded and commemorates the lives lost during the First World War.

Today, Gordon Burnett’s “Forget Me Not” exhibition within the Remembrance Hall is the artistic complement to this melancholic part of the Gallery. It’s recommended you spend a moment and reflect on your losses and how they are still in your memory within the Remembrance Hall of the Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Cap Off Your Visit At the Cafe

Once you’ve thoroughly explored Aberdeen Art Gallery’s three distinctive floors, why not treat yourself to a hot cappuccino and a sandwich to collect your thoughts and think about your opinions of the Gallery? The Cafe offers a wide range of food and drink, including soups, macaroni and cheese, afternoon tea, and even a brunch menu if you visit as the Gallery is opening.

Don’t hit your next location on an empty stomach; the Aberdeen Art Gallery awaits!

Pick up a Souvenir at the Gift Shop

Gift Shop

But wait, before you leave, make sure to peruse through the souvenir shop located on the second floor next to the Cafe. Here, you can find a fascinating collection of items inspired by the artworks at the Aberdeen Art Gallery — they serve as the perfect gift or mantlepiece to take home with you. Make sure they fit in your suitcase.

More Scottish Galleries to Visit

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