How To Get From From Aberdeen Airport To Balmoral Castle

Welcome to the scenic heart of Scotland! Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a lover of natural beauty, or on a royal pilgrimage, a visit to the majestic Balmoral Castle, the Scottish holiday home to the British Royal Family, is an experience to cherish. Nestled in the lush, tranquil landscapes of Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Balmoral Castle promises a blend of historical grandeur and natural splendor. But before you immerse yourself in its royal charm, the first leg of your adventure begins with the journey from Aberdeen Airport to Balmoral Castle.

Balmoral Castle

Aberdeen Airport, serving as the gateway to Scotland’s Northeast, offers a range of transportation options to reach Balmoral Castle, each offering a unique experience through some of Scotland’s most picturesque settings. Whether you prefer the independence of driving, the comfort of a taxi, or the local charm of public transport, this guide will navigate you through your options. We’ll cover the practicalities of bus routes, the ease of taxi services, and the freedom offered by car hires, alongside essential tips to ensure your journey is as enchanting as the destination itself. So, let’s embark on this journey to discover the most suitable and enjoyable travel option for you!

Where In Scotland Is Balmoral Castle Located?

Balmoral Castle is located in Scotland in the region known as Royal Deeside, which is part of Aberdeenshire. It’s situated in the Eastern Highlands, near the village of Crathie, approximately 50 miles west of Aberdeen. The castle is set on the banks of the River Dee and is surrounded by picturesque forests and mountains, making it a popular tourist destination known for its stunning natural beauty and historical significance.

What Is The Nearest Town To Balmoral Castle?

The nearest town to Balmoral Castle is Ballater, a picturesque Victorian town located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Ballater is situated approximately 8 miles (about 13 kilometres) to the east of Balmoral Castle, along the River Dee. This small town is known for its royal connections, as it has historically been a holiday spot for members of the British royal family, especially when they are in residence at Balmoral Castle. Ballater offers a range of amenities, shops, restaurants, and accommodations, making it a convenient and charming destination for visitors to the area.

What Is The Nearest Big Town To Balmoral Castle?

The nearest big town to Balmoral Castle is Aberdeen, which is located approximately 50 miles to the east. Aberdeen, often referred to as the “Granite City” due to its many impressive granite buildings, is the third-largest city in Scotland. It offers a range of amenities, cultural attractions, shopping, dining, and accommodation options, making it a convenient base for visitors planning to explore Balmoral Castle and the surrounding areas in Aberdeenshire.

What Is The Nearest Airport To Balmoral Castle Scotland?

The nearest airport to Balmoral Castle in Scotland is Aberdeen International Airport. Located in Dyce, a suburb of Aberdeen, the airport is approximately 50 miles (about 80 kilometres) east of Balmoral Castle. This makes it the most convenient airport for those planning to visit the castle, providing both domestic and international flight connections. From Aberdeen International Airport, visitors can travel to Balmoral Castle by bus, taxi, or hire car, with the journey typically taking around 1.5 to 2 hours depending on the mode of transportation chosen.

Aberdeen International Airport

What Is The Distance From Aberdeen Airport To Balmoral Castle?

The distance from Aberdeen Airport to Balmoral Castle is approximately 50 miles (80 kilometres). The journey by road typically takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic and the mode of transportation used. The route offers scenic views of the Aberdeenshire countryside and passes through several charming towns and villages along the way.

How Long Does It Take To Get From Aberdeen Airport To Balmoral Castle?

In this section, we’ll focus on a crucial aspect of your journey from Aberdeen Airport to Balmoral Castle: the travel time. Whether you choose to drive, hail a taxi, or hop on a bus, understanding how long it takes to reach this historic destination is key to planning your trip effectively. We’ll provide insights into the duration of each transportation mode, helping you make an informed decision for a smooth and enjoyable travel experience. Let’s delve into the details of travel times to ensure your visit to Balmoral Castle is as seamless as it is memorable.

The time it takes to get from Aberdeen Airport to Balmoral Castle can vary based on the mode of transportation:

  1. By Car: If you’re driving or hiring a car, the journey usually takes around 1.5 to 2 hours. The route covers approximately 50 miles (80 kilometres) via the A93, which is known for its scenic beauty.
  2. By Taxi: A taxi will also take about 1.5 to 2 hours, similar to driving. Taxis can be more convenient as they offer door-to-door service.
  3. By Bus: Travelling by bus is the most time-consuming option. The journey can take approximately 3 to 4 hours, considering the need for bus changes and waiting times at bus stations.

Aberdeen is a busy city and the airport although located on the west side of the city still gets a lot of traffic.  During rush hour it can take 1 hour to get from the airport to the town centre and across the river Dee, so when planning your journey take this into consideration.

Aberdeen Airport to Balmoral Castle Map

Ways To Get To Balmoral Castle From Aberdeen Airport?

Exploring the various ways to travel from Aberdeen Airport to the majestic Balmoral Castle is an essential part of planning your Scottish adventure. Each mode of transportation offers a unique experience, allowing you to tailor your journey to your preferences and needs. Whether you’re inclined towards the convenience of a taxi, the autonomy of a hire car, or the local charm of public transport, this section will guide you through your options.

1. By Car (Hire/Rental Car):

  • Route: The most direct route is via the A93, known for its picturesque scenery.
  • Distance: About 50 miles (80 kilometres).
  • Duration: Approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic.
  • Flexibility: Allows for stops at local towns and attractions.
  • Availability: Car hire services are available at Aberdeen Airport.

At Aberdeen Airport, you’ll find several car hire options, offering a range of vehicles to suit different needs and budgets.

Car Hire Companies

  • Major Brands: Aberdeen Airport hosts several well-known car rental companies, including Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Enterprise, and Sixt, among others.

Types of Vehicles

  • Range of Vehicles: From economical compact cars to larger SUVs and luxury vehicles.
  • Special Requirements: Some companies offer cars with automatic gears, GPS navigation systems, child seats, and other special equipment upon request.

Rental Process

  • Booking: It’s advisable to book your car in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. Online booking is available with most companies.
  • Pick-up: Car hire desks are usually located in the terminal building or in a nearby area accessible by a short shuttle ride.
  • Documentation: You’ll need a valid driver’s license, credit card for a deposit, and possibly additional identification (e.g., passport).
  • Age Restrictions: Most companies have a minimum age requirement, often 21 or 25, and additional charges for younger drivers may apply.

Pricing and Insurance

  • Rental Cost: Varies based on the type of car, rental duration, and time of year. It’s worth comparing prices online to find the best deal but if you go with a company like Budget Car Rental you can get a small car for around £30 per day.
  • Insurance: Basic insurance is typically included, but you might want to consider additional coverage for peace of mind.

Return Policy

  • Fuel Policy: Usually, cars need to be returned with the same level of fuel as at the start of the rental.
  • Return Location: Cars are typically returned to the airport, but some companies may offer alternative drop-off locations.

Additional Tips

  • Inspect the Car: Before leaving, inspect the car for any existing damage and ensure it’s recorded by the company.
  • Understand the Terms: Be clear about mileage limits, fuel policy, and any additional fees.
  • Driving in Scotland: Remember to drive on the left side of the road, and be prepared for variable weather conditions.

By choosing a car hire service at Aberdeen Airport, you gain the flexibility to explore the beautiful Scottish countryside at your own pace, making it a popular option for travellers visiting Balmoral Castle and other nearby attractions.

2. By Taxi:

  • Direct Service: Taxis can be taken directly from Aberdeen Airport to Balmoral Castle.
  • Duration: Around 1.5 to 2 hours, similar to driving.
  • Convenience: Door-to-door service without the need to navigate.
  • Cost: Higher than public transport but offers comfort and convenience.  If you get a local taxi from Ballater to pick you up, you should expect to pay between £85-£100.  If you use the airport taxis, expect to pay £100-£130.

Getting a taxi from Aberdeen Airport to Balmoral Castle or any other location, is a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Locating the Taxi Rank

  • Taxi Rank: Upon exiting the arrivals hall at Aberdeen Airport, you will find the taxi rank conveniently located just outside.
  • Signage: Follow the signs in the airport that direct you to the taxi area.

Step 2: Choosing a Taxi

  • Official Airport Taxis: Aberdeen Airport has an official taxi service provider. These taxis are typically available right at the rank.
  • No Need to Book in Advance: For these taxis, you generally don’t need to book in advance, as they are readily available.
  • Alternative Providers: You also have the option to use other taxi companies. If you prefer a specific company, it might be better to book in advance.

Step 3: Journey to Your Destination

  • Travel Time: The journey from Aberdeen Airport to Balmoral Castle takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions.
  • Fixed or Metered Fare: Check if the taxi offers a fixed fare to your destination or if the journey will be metered. It’s always a good idea to ask about the estimated cost before starting your journey.  If you get a local taxi from Ballater to pick you up, you should expect to pay between £85-£100.  If you use the airport taxis, expect to pay £100-£130.
  • Payment: Most taxis accept credit cards, but it’s good to confirm the accepted payment methods beforehand.

Step 4: Additional Considerations

  • Large Groups or Special Needs: If you’re travelling in a large group or have special requirements (like wheelchair access or extra luggage space), it might be better to pre-book a taxi that suits your needs.
  • Safety and Comfort: Always use licensed taxis for safety and reliability.


  • Ask for a Receipt: It’s always a good idea to ask for a receipt at the end of your journey, especially if you need it for expense claims or to keep track of your travel expenses.
  • Plan Ahead: During peak hours or busy seasons, it might be wise to book your taxi in advance to avoid waiting.

By taking a taxi, you’ll enjoy a convenient and direct journey to your destination without the need to navigate public transport.

3. Bus From Aberdeen Airport To Balmoral

  • Route: Bus service involves multiple changes and is less direct.
  • Stages: Typically, the journey involves taking a bus from the airport to Aberdeen city center, then connecting to a bus towards Braemar, and finally a local service to Balmoral Castle.
  • Duration: Around 3-4 hours, depending on connections and waiting times.
  • Cost: More economical than taxi or car hire.
  • Experience: Offers a local travel experience and scenic views.

To take a bus from Aberdeen Airport to Balmoral Castle, you’ll typically need to follow a multi-step journey, as there is no direct bus service to the castle. Here’s a general guide on how to do it:

Step 1: Aberdeen Airport to Aberdeen City Center

  • Service: Use local bus services from Aberdeen Airport to Aberdeen city center. Services like the 727 Airlink can take you to Aberdeen Bus Station.
  • Duration: The journey to the city center takes approximately 30 minutes.

Step 2: Aberdeen City Center to Ballater

  • Service: From Aberdeen Bus Station, which is located in Union Square, take a bus like the 201 service towards Ballater. Companies like Stagecoach operate services on this route.
  • Duration: This leg of the journey usually takes around 1.5 to 2 hours.
  • Frequency: Check current timetables, as frequencies can vary, especially on weekends and holidays.

Step 3: Ballater to Balmoral Castle

  • Local Buses: From Ballater, you can catch a local bus service towards Balmoral Castle. The availability and frequency of these local buses can be limited, so it’s important to check the latest schedules.
  • Duration: The trip from Ballater to Balmoral Castle is relatively short, usually around 15-20 minutes.


  • Plan Ahead: Check the latest bus timetables for each leg of the journey, as schedules can change.
  • Allow Extra Time: Since the journey involves multiple changes, it’s wise to allow extra time for connections.
  • Carry Cash: Some bus services may not accept card payments, so having some cash is advisable.
  • Weather Considerations: Scottish weather can be unpredictable, so plan your journey with possible weather changes in mind.

Remember, while bus travel is often the most economical option, it also requires the most time and planning, especially in rural areas like the Scottish Highlands.

Each option offers a different balance of cost, convenience, and experience, allowing travellers to choose based on their preferences and needs.

Journeys End

Travelling from Aberdeen Airport to Balmoral Castle offers a variety of options, each promising a journey as enriching as the destination itself. Whether you choose the independence of a hire car, the comfort of a taxi, or the authenticity of public transport, each path leads you through the picturesque landscapes of Scotland to the historic gates of Balmoral Castle. This guide aims to equip you with all the necessary information to make your travel as seamless and enjoyable as possible. As you embark on this journey, embrace the scenic views, the local culture, and the serene ambiance that define the Scottish Highlands. Your adventure to Balmoral Castle is not just about reaching the destination, but about enjoying every moment of the journey. Safe travels!