Dry January in Aberdeen: Survival Guide for Students to Thrive

As the New Year approaches, many students in Aberdeen are considering taking a break from the booze in the form of Dry January. The month-long challenge encourages participants to abstain from all alcohol, with the goal of improving their overall health and well-being.

But for those living and studying in Aberdeen, there is temptation on almost every corner. With a record number of whisky distilleries and the third highest alcohol outlet availability in Scotland, it’s no surprise that drinking is deeply ingrained in the city’s student culture.

A Snapshot Of Aberdeen’s Student Drinking Culture

  • 81% of students think that getting drunk is a part of university culture.
  • 61% of students drink at home or at a friend’s house before going on a night out.
  • 51% of students think that getting drunk will ensure they have a good night out.
  • 53% of students drink alcohol more than once a week.

Tips For Students To Survive And Thrive In Aberdeen This Dry January

To help this Dry January, we’ve rounded up our top alcohol-free activities to help students not only survive, but thrive:

Foodie Delights

The city’s food scene has exploded in recent years, with everything from multi-award winning eateries like 8848 Restaurant, to classic Italian cuisine at Mi Amore. Craving something a little lighter? Trendy cafes like Foodstory have you covered and if your soul seeks comfort, Maggie’s Grill will wrap you in a hug of smoky BBQ and melt-in-your-mouth mac ‘n’ cheese.

Challenge Yourself

Codona’s amusement park is a hidden gem for some good-natured competition. Challenge your friends to a game of crazy golf or show off your bowling skills (even if they’re horrendous!). And who knows, you might even win that oversized teddy bear you never knew you needed.

Silver Screen Escapes

Catch a flick at one of Aberdeen’s many cinemas. From the classic chains like Vue and Cineworld to the independent Belmont Filmhouse, which is set to reopen in 2024, there’s something for everyone. Plus, with student discounts aplenty, you can upgrade from Netflix on your laptop to the big screen experience you deserve.

Beach Bliss

Even if it’s not quite sunbathing weather, a blustery walk along the beach can be just the thing to clear your head and refresh your spirit. Aberdeen is blessed with stunning beaches, from the quick and easy Beach Boulevard to the scenic Balmedie. Take a deep breath of the fresh sea air and feel your worries melt away.

Urban Art Adventure

Aberdeen’s streets are becoming a canvas for amazing street art thanks to the council’s Nuart project. Local and international artists have transformed the city with vibrant murals, adding a splash of colour to the grey cityscape. Check out the Nuart website for maps and even guided tours to discover all the hidden gems.

Retail Therapy

Retail therapy might not be a cure-all, but it can definitely lift your mood. And Aberdeen’s shopping scene is surprisingly good! Union Street boasts two major shopping centres, and even if your bank account is feeling a bit thin, window shopping and browsing can be a fun way to spend an afternoon. Pair it with a movie or dinner and you’ve got yourself a perfect day out.

Stunning Stonehaven

A short trip to Stonehaven is a must for any Aberdonian student. Grab some award-winning fish and chips from The Bay, indulge in Aunty Betty’s legendary ice cream, or capture the perfect Instagram shot in front of the majestic Dunnottar Castle. It’s just a 20-minute drive or train journey away, so why not make a day of it?

Duthie Park Delight

Ever seen your friends posing with giant cacti and wondered where on earth that is? It’s Duthie Park! This sprawling park is perfect for a leisurely stroll on a sunny day. Escape the chill in the air with a visit to the beautiful botanical gardens, or relive your childhood by taking a ride on one of the giant slides (if the kids aren’t hogging them!).

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