Please contribute to this article with your favourite bars and clubs in Aberdeen. RGU and Aberdeen students please. Write a little about opening hours, prices, events and atmosphere.
Aberdeen Union Bar
It's been opened, closed and relocated countless numbers of times, but it is now located in the central building at Hillhead student village. Originally called The Watering Hole before being renovated in 2011, it offers plenty of great drinks promos plus karaoke, quizzes and other events throughout the year. Their themed parties and discos can be a great night if you're willing to embrace them! It's a great place to start a night out, the 50p 'Wild Shots' are always a cheap pre-drink. They do some good deals sometimes, and there's always a couple of freebies going! There are pool tables upstairs as well as games machines. Selected sports matches are shown on the screens all year round too. They also show things like Eurovision and talent show finals on the big screen occasionally which is great fun, but get down early as it can get pretty packed on these nights. The staff have really good banter and are always up for a laugh. It's a very handy place to have a bar. Only a minute from anywhere at Hillhead and the taxi pick-up point right outside the front door.
The Union's pretty much slap-bang in the middle of the city (just off Belmont St and only a minute’s walk from Union St). It's the only bar in Aberdeen that is exclusively for students. Last summer they spent about £250,000 doing the place up from top to toe, resulting in a sexy new bar on the second floor, better cafe facilities, and more bits & bobs throughout the building.
It's got 3 floors, 2 bars, a cafe and free wi-fi. The music is mostly commercial and studenty, but there's an indie night on Thursdays, a pub quiz on Tuesdays and a cheese night on Saturdays.
It closes at 1am through the week and 2am at weekends, which means it's good if you fancy a drink after all the other pubs have shut.
Students from any Uni can use the place, and can sign guests in as well.
There's more at these pages:
Student favourite Bars
Use your Yellow card in these bars for substantial student discounts. You can purchase a Yellow card during fresher's week for £1, or at any other time for £2. You can use your Yellow card in any Scream bar in the country. Great variety of ciders and other drinks.
Right next to Aberdeen University's King's College campus.
Handy for hitting the pub for lunch and a few cold ones with it being so close to campus. Also well placed for sports clubs to go to after training at the Sports Village. Pub quiz on Sunday evening and Karaoke on Saturday evening, both with cash prizes.
Do an excellent "Burger & a beer" deal for only a fiver which is very popular, but the food is really reasonably priced in general. Drinks can be a little on the expensive side so make sure you pick up a Yellow card during Freshers for a discount.
Can get really busy, especially towards the end of exam time as people head there straight after their last exam. Great place to watch sports on multiple screens all over the pub. Has a great atmosphere during big matches but make sure you get there early doors or you'll end up standing.
Just on the end of Belmont St, opposite the RGU Schoolhill campus. Exodus is upstairs, so you can pre-drink in TKs then just go up and dance for a few hours.
Situated in the Castlegate, this boutique bar is part of the Snafu family. That means you can expect cheap drinks and also some thoroughly Snafu-esque beats. Electro, House and Techno are all on circulation on the speakers, and the ambience is pretty laid-back.
2 for 1 meals are 12pm - 9am everyday for students, excellent take away coffees, also there is live music and DJs at the weekends and often through the week. Discount passes for Club Snafu.
The Moorings Bar
Legendary Pirate themed tiki bar cum alternative music venue near the harbour.
Great selection of drinks including real scrumpy, real ale, absinthe, cocktails, and dozens of imported beers including some exotic fruit flavoured ones (mango beer, even). Drinks are very reasonably priced and there is a 10% discount with your student card, 10% discount for pirates and 20% discount for pirates with a student card. They usually offer a whopping 25% off and a free admission pass during Fresher's week.
Extensive alternative/metal/rock/punk on the jukebox. Busy rock karaoke on Wednesday night. Live music on Friday and Saturday nights from 9pm-11pm followed by alternative DJs from 11pm-3am admission free before 8.45pm then it's £3 all night. Free entry at all other times. At 4pm every Sunday the place is plunged into total darkness and they show a movie with a projector, followed by a jam session at 9pm. Weekend nights are always packed although it's seldom quiet through the week. Awesome sound system. There's even a pinball machine.
Buy one get one free on a huge selection of meals with a student discount card (available at the bar, or during fresher's week). 40% off all drinks on a Monday, 20% off at all other times.
Revolution is a Vodka bar known for its cocktails and if you get a Privilege card you can get discounts on cocktails, food and other drinks. At the weekends there is a DJ downstairs which play a good mix of music to get you in the mood for moving onto a club. There is also a large outside seating area which is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon! Located on Belmont Street.
Located on Belmont Street. Serves food and drinks in a very well done-up spooky atmosphere. Pub Quiz on a Wednesday night. The 7 Deadly Sins cocktails are worth a try.
Normally quite pricey, but the vibe of being set in an old church and good music from local musicians on Thursday's Acoustic night make it worth the extra few bob.
Siberia Vodka Bar
Located on Belmont Street. Serves food and drink. They have a large number of vodka shots to choose from including Irn Bru, Strawberries and Cream and a whole host more, which are all made from the actual sweets or food stuffs on the premises. Watch out for the Chilli flavour, though.
Since being done up the Wildboar is much more popular than it used to be. Serves good food and drinks. They offer variations on the Jager Bomb including Glitterbomb (goldschlager), SkittleBomb (Cointrau) and MelonBomb (Midori). Located on Belmont Street.
Archibald Simpsons (JD Wetherspoons)
Located on the corner of Union Street and King Street. Considering it's a Spoons and is in a great location, no-one seems to know it's there. Cheap drinks and cheap food. Pitchers of coctails for only £4.99 and you will get about 4 drinks from a pitcher. Can be quite posh and not always good if you're in the mood for being loud/very drunk!
Up on Bon Accord Street off Union Street, right next to Tonik, Prohibition and Soul Bar. Plush interior is very comfortable. Drinks are really reasonable, especially the cocktails. They sometimes put a bus to Tiger Tiger on at the weekends, which is handy because it can be quite a trek down to the other end of Union Street. Ideally located if you're heading to Babylon or The Pearl Lounge.
On Union Street right in front of Aurum, so if that's your destination on a night out, it makes for convenient pre-drinks. Recently refurbished.
The Monkey House
A decent sports bar that does lots of different drinks deals in conjunctions with sports events shown on their big screens. Home of Monkey Midweek Madness - 50% of food all day from Monday to Wednesday. Earlier this year, they offered a free bar if Man Utd beat Man City in the Premiership crunch match. LUCKILY, City won and it was announced that the police told them they couldn't do it even if United had won.
Inside The Galleria shopping centre on Langstane Place, right next to Paramount. The cheapest bar in Aberdeen, a vodka mixer is only 65p and other drinks are cheap too. It can get quite busy because of this but there is plenty of seating both inside and outside in the shopping centre. The price of the drinks makes it ideal for pre-drinks although it can be a bit of a trek from some of the clubs like Tiger or Snafu, but ideally located if you're heading to The Pearl Lounge or Babylon. Music is standard chart but the atmosphere is alright. No one's complaining when the drinks are so cheap anyway!
Right beside Tonik and Paramount, Prohibition is popular for society nights out as it's massive. Drinks are decent, and they tend to have a DJ and photographer at the weekends. All in all, a great place to start a pub crawl before moving on to Tonik/Paramount.
Located inside The Academy shopping centre, so you can either enter there or on Belmont Street. Lovely atmosphere and really nice patio area that looks out onto Belmont St.
The site of Liquid, until the franchise went bust. New owners and the place looks better. However it is too big and is rarely busy.
Located right at the far end of Union Street - near Holburn Street. Babylon is a swnaky place at the weekend however they do run a great student night. Coco Tuesdays are very popular and normally the busiest place to be on a Tuesday night. Coco can be a little more expensive than other nights but they do sell premium spirits such as Smirnoff Black. The music is good and it's always packed with students.
Located at the end of Union Terrace, its 5 minutes away from Belmont Street. Home of Gavrillo Thursdays. The first big house, dance and electro night in Aberdeen which has been running since 2010. The Forum is a unique venue that used to be an old cinema so it is an ideal setting for a rave. Vodkas are only £1 and this is normally the busiest place to be on a Thursday night.
The cities newest nightclub which launched at the end of 2012 and took the city by storm. With a modern feel to it and unique lighting it really looks like it belongs in London. Its busiest night is Wednesday night Mohawk which is normally packed. It also runs a Monday night which is normally a good option on a quieter night in the city.
Upstairs in Triple Kirks on the corner at the end of Belmont Street. Themed nights throughout the week and free entry all week except after 11:30pm on Friday and Saturday, when it's £3 with a Yellow card. Only nightclub in Aberdeen you can leave your jacket at the side, and pick it up hassle free at the end. Really great staff as well. Love Child (aka retro rock 'n' roll, blues, motown etc.) on Tuesdays is one of Aberdeen's most popular club nights, so much so that they converted Friday to Mojo (pretty much just another Love Child). They also host a classic late nineties/noughties night on Thursday. Bombs of all kind are £1.50 with a yellow card (£1.75 on Friday/Saturday). Great music policy (mainly indie/alt with theme nights), and a very underrated Sunday night! Drinks deals change all the time, so ask what you can get with your Yellow card as you might strike it lucky.
Formerly the site of Moshulu/Warehouse/Bassment. Glasgow's popular venues The Garage and Campus have opened up in Aberdeen.
Campus is a great bar which serves food, which you can get for half price with a nifty fifty card available from the bar. They also hold kareoke nights, pub quizzes, and show sports games.
The garage is the club downstairs, which plays a mixture of chart, indie/alt and even metal on some nights. The most popular nights here are wednesdays, with members of sports clubs getting discounted entry. A great night, doesn't play the usual drivel you get in the likes of Tiger Tiger.
Free entry, variable price drinks, and 3 floors make up this converted church. Albeit not the classiest of places with a bit of a reputation for being Aberdeen's most violent nightclub, it's still good for a few cheap drinks before hitting the likes of TigerTiger, Liquid or Exodus. Not a good place for a full fledged night out, as it's a complete dump.
Expect drink prices to vary depending on the day of the week. Some nights you can pick up drinks for £1-2, other nights you might ask for a double and not get much change from £5. If in doubt, ask how much the drink is before they make it, otherwise it could end up ending badly for your wallet!
The ground floor is where the main bar and dancefloor is. A wide range of music is played there but generally expect to hear a lot of pop, dance, and RnB. The second floor is a massive balcony that looks down over the ground floor. There's a lot more seating up there, and the bar is much quieter. The basement is multi-purpose - during the week it can be hired out as a venue for private parties, and it's also used for karaoke. Again, the bar is quite quiet, if you can brave the sounds of someone swinging a bag of cats against the walls...
Fairly strict on ID, so be prepared to be asked. There is a cloakroom to store your coats, pay £1 for a ticket and hand it back upon departure to reclaim your belongings.
50% off all drinks on a Monday, and 20% off on all other nights with a Snapfax. Free entry. Three floors. Not very student friendly, as drinks can be extortionate and it is full of old people. Worth swinging by for the experience, but you probably won't go again.
Located just off the top end of Union Street by the Vue Cinema and the Grosvenor Casino. The main student night in TigerTiger is on a Friday evening called Vanity (done by the same folks that run Ran$om Wednesdays at Aurum). Vanity is a great Friday night with chart in the main room and RnB upstairs. It's usually packed though, and the queues at the bars are really long. Time it well and you won't wait for too long to get in, but show up at the wrong time and you can be waiting upwards of 20 mins. Entry on a Friday is typically £5, but if you get yourself on a guestlist its only £4. They occasionally offer £2/£3 entry if you get down really early. Drinks at Vanity are super cheap compared to other venues at the weekend. Runs themed nights occasionally. Also do a decent Monday night called Plus1, which often runs really good entry deals. 2 floors with 5 bars and a restaurant area, including a VIP room which you can buy tickets for.
Popular student club, as a lot of Societies get free entry (such as LawSoc). Currently hosts Broke on a Thursday night, which is really popular with students as it's cheap as chips. Only 70p for a Broke Bomb which is a cheapy Jaegerbomb, and lots of other drinks are only 90p. Music is also decent, with the usual chart/pop upstairs and indie/alt downstairs. Good atmosphere and very busy.
Hosts 'Broke' on a Thursday night which is very popular with students for it's 70p 'Broke Bombs' - knock-off Jaegerbombs as well as a selection of 90p drinks. Wednesday (DTF), Friday (Rendez-Vous) and Saturday (Socialite) are also popular student nights. Drinks are cheap during the week but can be very expensive on weekends. Occasionally get "celebs" in (recently had Frankie Cocozza, people from Made In Chelsea etc) and do big events such as UV Raves/Foam Parties).
Generally good for a night out if you can't agree on somewhere else.
Korova Bar and Klub
A new bar in town, less than a hundred yards from the old Liquid venue on Bridge Street. Named after the Russian word for 'cow', it does great discounts on shots and other drinks on student nights.
Korova is split into 3 floors. The top floor is a restaurant area with some cheap deals (2 soups and 2 sandwiches for £7 at lunchtime) and also serves drinks at night. Below this is a club area. In the basement which is accessible on Windmill Brae is the area where gigs and club nights are held.
Friday is the Jagermeister Rock Night, a mix of great drinks promos and alternative music. Plays a mix of rock, metal and screamo. Wednesday is Big Cheese - all the best cheesy pop tunes with decent drinks promos.
Shows have been booked but so far the only gig played was the last UK show of American Hardcore band Have Heart, The other scheduled gigs have been moved to The Tunnels. More gigs are expected to be announced though.
A reasonably small nightclub but very popular. The music policy is a mixture of electronic varieties - disco, electro, techno and house. The most popular Wednesdays (Electrique Boutique) and also Sundays (Hot City). Drink prices for the student nights tend to be around the £1.50 mark, but on weekends and guest nights you may find this increases.
Does Girls & Boys on a Monday night which is the Indie/Rock/Alternative night and has become really popular. Expect around £5 entry but there are usually freebies (posters, tshirts) to get your moneys worth. DJ is great and it's a good night overall. They also occasionally run theme nights (such as American night).
Snafu is the leading venue for DJ bookings and has played host to the likes of Steve Bug, Troy Pierce, Boys Noize, Fake Blood, Blawan, Bloody Beetroots, Aeroplane, Vitalic, The Crookers, Riton, Mystery Jets, and just about every other big name act. On the other hand the club has a reputation for pushing the best up and coming bookings and nurturing local talent. Check them - www.facebook.com/clubsnafu.aberdeen
Every Tuesday is the Snafu Comedy Club - which sees comedy talent from all over the country grace the stage to split your sides. A nice alternative to the cinema, or an even better prelude to a fun night out.
Aberdeen's home for dubstep and drum & bass lovers. While primarily running several nights for varying tastes in the sub-genres of dubstep and drum & bass, Origin also hosts tropical, grime and techno nights.
Monday nights are student nights here, with £1 games of bowling, and cheap drinks. Bowl to various DJs at the weekend.
On Union Street, so nice and easy to get to.
£3.50 with a student card, but as with anywhere prices for drinks and food is extortionate. Never mind though, Poundland and Pound Stretcher are 30 seconds down the road.
Down the beach, this one is a bit harder to get to, but has the best student prices. Use your snapfax here to get £1 off a student ticket.
Cineworld (Union Square)
Largest cinema in Aberdeen, recently opened as part of the Union Square complex next to the railway station. Extortionate pricing.
The Belmont Picturehouse
Located on Belmont Street, old-fashioned style cinema which shows independent and foreign films alongside better quality mainstream films. Smaller screen than places such as the VUE.
There are a number of different venues for different gigs in Aberdeen.
For the biggest gigs, head to the AECC, in Bridge of Don. Artists such as Muse, Jay-Z, and Girls Aloud have performed there, as well as shows such as Britain's Got Talent, The X Factor, and The Mighty Boosh (January 2009). Drinks, food, and merchandise are quite expensive there. Get there by taking the Red Line bus, which runs frequently 7 days a week. Paramore, JLS and Pendulum are scheduled to play in 2010.
The Music Hall is another popular venue for bands such as Bloc Party, We Are Scientists and Cascada. Drinks and merchandise are reasonably priced, and it's in a prime location for heading into town afterwards.
Smaller venues include The Moorings Bar near the harbour; The Tunnels underneath the St Nicholas square; Cafe Drummonds on Belmont St next to Vodka Bar, and The Blue Lamp. Generally these are the places to catch popular local bands in action, although some of them have played host to larger acts such as Pendulum.
The Tunnels and Cafe Drummonds are the lifeblood of the local music scene. Gigs are played at these venues most nights a week and lineups can range from all local bands to touring bands from across the country. They host a wide variety of gigs ranging from indie to death metal! Doors for gigs at Drummonds open at 7pm with the first bands usually onstage between 7:30pm and 8pm. Price varies with the promotor but expect it to be no more than £5 at the door. The capacity of Drummonds is around about the 200 mark.
The Tunnels is split into 2 rooms. Tunnels 1 and Tunnels 2. Tunnels 1 is the venue nearest the entrance. Both are roughly 200 capacity and have seating and a bar area. Like Drummonds door usually open about 7pm for gigs and prices are usually about £5 on the door. However their have been some internationally renowned bands such as Every Time I Die and Misery Signals playing at the Tunnels and these shows are around £10 in advance and usually sell out very quickly.
The Moorings Bar is yet another 200 capacity venue and boasts an awesome sound system. Gigs are held on Friday and Saturdays from 9pm-11pm usually featuring one touring band and one local band. Admission is free before 8.45pm and £3 thereafter and it's open till 3am on Fri/Sat. Gigs here can be very busy and it's advisable to show up early if you want a seat. Some bigger bands occasionally play here including Blaze Bayley, Eddie & the Hotrods, and Rocky Warwick. The Iron Maiden tribute band Maiden Scotland usually play a couple of times a year. Expect a messy night out. They also host a popular jam session on Sunday evenings.
The Blue Lamp is located on The Gallowgate, between Marischal College and Old Aberdeen. It's easy to find as there is a large blue lamp outside. The venue is split into two sections, one is a bar where the decor has reputedly remained the same since my grandmothers era (the 1960s), and the other is a room of about 150 capacity where they stage gigs. There are usually jazz and blues gigs on at weekends. Prices vary depending on the promoter.
Other Music Events
Northsound's 'Free' Concert
Every second year, Northsound radio takes over one of the large parks in Aberdeen to host an all day, free, open air music event, with local bands and more famous artists. Keep your eye on the northsound website, close to the summertime to get hold of your free tickets.
The event is currently hosted at Hazlehead Park in the North of the city and is held around the time of the Offshore Europe event at the AECC (September, bi-annual)
As of May 2009, Northsound have yet to unveil any detail of a 'free' concert n September 2009.