Nicknamed the Granite City, Aberdeen makes liberal use of the material, which is visible throughout the city. On sunny days, the granite glints and shimmers beautifully in the sunlight, lending Aberdeen its other nickname of the Silver City.
Living in Aberdeen as an expat
Thanks to its position as a Scottish economic powerhouse, Aberdeen has long been an attractive destination for expats. New arrivals are often struck by the seeming contrast between the city's proudly maintained heritage and its constant development driven by ambitious plans for the future.
Aberdeen is the hub of the North Sea oil and gas industry and has a reputation for its expertise in energy technology. The city's continuous demand for skilled workers remains a draw for expats.
After working hours, expats will find plenty to keep them occupied. Despite being a fairly small city, there is a vibrant range of artistic and cultural attractions in Aberdeen, which are spread across galleries, museums and performance venues. Expats who enjoy an active lifestyle can get involved in a number of sporting activities, from swimming at the city’s aquatics centre to hiking the trails of the Cairngorms National Park.
Cost of living in Aberdeen
As is the case across the UK, the cost of living is fairly high in Aberdeen. Though not as expensive as London, the Granite City is considered to be Scotland's priciest city, so expats moving here should ensure their salary can keep up.
Expat families and children
Those moving to Aberdeen with children will be pleased to know that a range of schooling options are available. Anyone legally living in the city can send their children to government-funded schools at no cost.
Expats living in Aberdeen will also have access to good healthcare, whether in the form of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) or private hospitals.
Despite its position on the northeast coast of Scotland, the city is relatively well connected to the rest of the UK and Europe, with good air, road and rail networks, so expats will have ample opportunity to travel.
Buses are the main mode of transport in Aberdeen. While it is not essential to own a car in the city, it can be useful for exploring the country.
Climate in Aberdeen
While expats from tropical climes are hardly likely to be whipping out their bathing suits, Aberdeen does hold the distinction of being one of Scotland's sunniest cities with an average of around 1,400 sunshine hours a year. Rain falls throughout the year and winters are cold, with high winds and humidity making the temperature feel even lower than it actually is. Summer is a bit warmer, but not by much.
Thanks to the Scottish hospitality, wealth of career opportunities and excellent lifestyle options the city offers, those moving to Aberdeen are sure to have a memorable expat experience.
►Learn about the best of the city's shopping, socialising and nightlife in Lifestyle in Aberdeen
Are you an expat living in Aberdeen?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Aberdeen. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
Cigna Global Health Insurance - 10% off any plans bought in November and December 2023
With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider. Cigna is currently offering a 10% discount for seniors (over 60) on their Silver package.
International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.