At first glance, Aberdeen's grey facade can appear dull. Nicknamed the Granite City, Aberdeen makes liberal use of the material, which is visible throughout the city. But those expats who stay a while will find that on sunny days, the granite glints and shimmers beautifully in the sunlight, lending Aberdeen its other nickname of the Silver City. And while expats from tropical climes are unlikely 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.
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.
Despite its position on the east 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.
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.
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.
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.
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