Moving to Aberdeen

Home to approximately 215,000 people, including 15,000 students, Aberdeen is the third largest city in Scotland after Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Also known as the Granite City, Aberdeen’s atmosphere is one of familiarity and ease, with many different types of people and cultures.

With a great deal of variety in all aspects of life in Aberdeen including food, workplaces and leisure activities, the city can provide you with a lovely lifestyle.

Aberdeen is full of historical architecture

Life in Aberdeen can be hectic and crowded – and not just with people. Aberdeen is prone to very windy days, thanks to its position on the coast.

Winter in Aberdeen brings just six hours of daylight, with temperatures dropping below 0°C in January.

In summer the temperature rises back to 20°C, with 18 hours of daylight during July – the warmest month in Aberdeen, and the month that attracts the most tourists.

Aberdeen is well known for offering the best of both worlds for both energetic go-getters and people who prefer a quieter life, with its mountains and coast in close proximity.

Whether you prefer mountain climbing or a relaxing stroll along the coast, both are easily accessible in Aberdeen.

The city offers a family-friendly environment that’s perfect for starting a new life with fresh opportunities.

If that sounds good to you, fill in this short form to receive free quotes for shipping your belongings to Aberdeen.

Job market

Aberdeen has the highest concentration of millionaires in the UK, but the annual average salary is less flashy, sitting at an above-average $35,000, according to PayScale.

Aberdeen’s unemployment rate is 4.2%. The bad news is that Aberdeen has one of the most unequal wage structures in the UK.

Described as the center for world oil, well over 900 companies in Aberdeen are in the energy sector alone, employing approximately 40,000 people.

Corporate giants in Aberdeen include Royal Dutch Shell, ABB, Manpower UK and the University of Aberdeen.

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Expats who choose to move to Aberdeen must hold a permit, which has to be acquired from the British Embassy in your home country.

Many expats who find work in Aberdeen take advantage of the career progression opportunities the city has to offer and often stay on past their original contracts.

Being able to speak English is usually a requirement in many jobs in Aberdeen and being bilingual is very attractive to employers, especially those who work for international companies.


Before your big move to Aberdeen, it’s wise to think about medical cover for when you’re out there.

That’s why we’ve partnered with Cigna for private medical insurance in Aberdeen. With four levels of annual cover to choose from and extra modules for more flexibility, Cigna will sort you out with a plan that suits your needs.

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Property information

House prices in Aberdeen are rising, despite a decrease across the rest of Scotland.

Most people in Aberdeen own their homes. The average one-bed apartment in the city centre costs $4,610 per square meter on average, while a place outside the city will cost you around $4,440 per square meter, according to Numbeo.

Aberdeen’s house prices are much lower than the average for houses in London. There are more people living in apartments than flats in Aberdeen due to the amount of students that live in the city.

Protecting your belongings in your new home

If you’re planning on moving to Aberdeen, it’s wise to think about getting some home contents insurance. Protecting your personal belongings is important – whether you’re buying a home or just renting. 

That’s why we’ve partnered with Getsafe. With more than 150,000 customers and tailored plans to suit your needs, Getsafe will give you peace of mind. Start with a free quote today.

Living costs

In any given year, Aberdeen is usually the second-most expensive city in Scotland, behind Edinburgh.

If you want to explore the city or visit friends, a monthly public transport pass will cost $93, according to Numbeo.

If you prefer driving, a liter of gas is $1.75, and 1km in a taxi will set you back $1.90.

Despite being on the coast, the estimated download speed for internet is 17.44MB, according to the Fair Internet Report.

Whilst shopping for groceries in Aberdeen, you can pick up 1L of milk for $1.15, a loaf of white bread for $1.26, and a 1.5L bottle of water for $1.66.

If you don’t fancy cooking and want to treat yourself, a three-course meal for two will cost around $69.

Unwind for the evening with a pint of beer at the pub for $4.51 or a bottle of imported beer for $4.85.

Renting in the city centre is more expensive than renting outside it, as is usually the case.

Rent for a one-bed apartment in the city is around $787, and three bedrooms will cost you $1,499.

Rent for a one-bed apartment outside the centre is $609 on average. A three-bedroom apartment is around $1,411.

Dunnottar Castle and the surrounding landscape

Dunnottar Castle is breathtaking, but so is the surrounding landscape

Transferring money to Aberdeen

If you’re thinking of moving to Aberdeen, you’ll probably need to convert some of your American dollars into British pounds.

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Family-friendly: Rosemount, just north of the city, has very reasonably priced properties located near shopping facilities and parks.

Braeside is also a great neighbourhood for families, as it’s located near good schools and a comprehensive bus service to the city.

Upmarket: Old Aberdeen’s neighbourhood is more upmarket, with older houses that have lots of history. Finding properties to rent in Old Aberdeen is difficult due to the popularity of the area, but if you do find one, jump for it.

Up and coming: An up-and-coming neighbourhood that might take your fancy is Banchory, which has many pubs, hotels and leisure activities such as ‘Go Ape’ at Crathes Castle and paintball.

Hip & trendy: The city centre of Aberdeen is one of the most hip and trendy areas, with pubs, clubs, and cinemas right on your doorstep.

Cost of moving

These estimates are based on the costs for an average move for an average family to Glasgow.

Additional costs of travelling with your belongings from Glasgow to Aberdeen are not included. Costs are based of the international container shipping costs for a 20 foot container.

Los Angeles$1,360 USD
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Schools and education

There are more than 50 different nursery, primary and secondary schools all within Aberdeen plus special schools that offer EAL (English as an Additional Language).

Primary school students don’t sit formal exams in Scotland, so there’s no individual school performance information, but Education Scotland has school reports.

Renowned secondary schools include Aberdeen Grammar and Bridge of Don Academy.

There are three universities in Aberdeen. The University of Aberdeen specialises in engineering, arts, and social sciences, while The University of Aberdeen Dental School ranks 4th in dentistry establishments.

The International School of Aberdeen is located near the main city centre, and offers the chance to study International Baccalaureate programmes.

Ranking against the world

Aberdeen is an international city that’s benefited from a steady increase in economic growth over the years, so it’s no wonder many expats are attracted to this Scottish city.

Due to the city having a heavily invested in oil and gas industry, Aberdeen has vacancies for skilled work, which is perfect for expats.

However, this comes with a price. Living in Aberdeen can be costly compared to other UK cities such as Glasgow and London, especially when it comes to everyday items.

Aberdeen is a cosmopolitan city that welcomes people from all backgrounds, including expats.

It’s not surprising that you can find large communities of expats in Aberdeen when the city offers so many prosperous opportunities to anyone who can bring something to the city.

A day in the life

Move to a city that doesn’t have the usual ‘over crowded’ and ‘busy’ stigmas attached to it.

The city of Aberdeen has less than a quarter of a million people living in it, which is extremely low when compared to other UK cities like London, which has 8.63 million people.

Aberdeen is also one of the safest places to live in the UK, according to Police Scotland data. Take pleasure in living in a city that is not only laid-back but beautiful too.

Stunning beaches like St Cyrus Beach can provide a feast for your eyes, with wild flowers and a nature reserve.

Aberdeen also offers a booming music scene, with many venues like the Blue Lamp sitting right in the centre of the city.

Aberdeen is an extremely well-connected city. With Edinburgh just over two hours away by train, ferries to Shetland running regularly, and good bus services, travel need be no problem for you.

Aberdeen offers endless leisure activities and fun for the family, with historic castles to explore and hundreds of walking trails to be followed and discovered.

During weekdays, children can attend schools which are described as ‘good’ and ‘excellent’.

If you’re ready to make the leap, fill in this form to receive free quotes from trusted specialists who can ship your belongings to Aberdeen.