Two surfers walking on the beach

About Aberdeen

Scotland’s Third Largest City

Welcome to Aberdeen, Scotland’s third largest city. Aberdeen is a connected and cosmopolitan place, ideal for those looking for an exciting place to live and explore whilst they study at University.

Aberdeen is Scotland’s third largest city, celebrated for its proximity to the sea and its famous granite architecture. When living in or visiting Aberdeen, you will be in an energetic city where you can experience exciting outdoor activities, a golden beach, museums and our impressive art gallery, relaxing parks and gardens and a delicious foodie scene.

Being surrounded by spectacular Aberdeenshire also means that you can visit epic castles, famous film locations and go on exhilarating outdoor adventures including surfing, paddle-boarding, hiking, mountain biking and skiing. Good Housekeeping even rated Aberdeenshire as the number one place to visit in 2023.

I’m from Fife, coming to Aberdeen was a big move for me and I wouldn’t change it for the world, I’ve had fantastic experiences.

Travel & Transport

Wondering where exactly Aberdeen is and how to get here? Aberdeen is less than a 3 hour drive away from both Edinburgh and Glasgow, and has its own international airport, so you can fly here from over 30 destinations - it’s only a 1.5 hour flight from London! Aberdeen is well connected with plenty of transport links to not only help you get here in the first place, but to then help you explore beyond Aberdeen too. This includes bus, train and the city centre's e-bikes.

For detailed information about travel to and from RGU's various accommodation options, visit:

Cost of living

Aberdeen is 1st in the UK for affordability thanks to our lower living costs (QS Best Student Cities 2023). We've broken down the costs that students should expect while living in Aberdeen:

Facts & figures

Did you know?

  • Aberdeen has retained its Purple Flag status for the city’s evening and night-time economy for the 10th year in a row and is the only city in Scotland to achieve this. Areas awarded the Purple Flag standard are recognised for providing a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture, while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents.
  • Aberdeen has been awarded nine Green Flag Awards by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful in recognition of its quality open spaces.
  • Aberdeen is top 5 in the UK for desirability (QS Best Student Cities 2024).
  • Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have been named as the best places to live in Great Britain (HomeViews 2023).
  • Aberdeen has won a medal in either Britain in Bloom or Beautiful Scotland every year since 2008 and has been award-winning in the competitions since 1964.
  • Aberdeen's average weekly wage is the highest in Scotland (Centre for Cities 2024).

Fun facts

  • Aberdeen is known for its sparkling granite architecture;
  • 4 of the 5 highest mountains in the UK are in our wild Aberdeenshire outdoors;
  • 165 miles of spectacular coastline run throughout our region;
  • You can spot dolphins playing at Aberdeen Beach and from the viewpoint at Greyhope Bay;
  • Aberdeenshire is the gateway to the largest national park in the UK, Cairngorms National Park;
  • Div ye ken (do you know)? We've got our own dialect - Doric.

Find out more

Find out more about Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire on RGU Talk:

Read what our students have to say about their experiences living in Aberdeen in the RGU Student Blog.

Michael Akintayo

Master’s student Michael moved from Nigeria to Aberdeen to study International Marketing at RGU. This week, he celebrates his one-year anniversary since his move and reflects on his time with us and in the Granite City.

Taylor Fraser in snow with two dogs

Taylor moved from Canada to Scotland to study a Master’s in Physiotherapy at RGU after obtaining a Saltire Scholarship. She tells us about preparing for new beginnings, travelling to Scotland and settling in Aberdeen and at university.

Crathes Castle

We’re so lucky to call Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire home, and as the days start to get longer and the nights lighter, there are endless opportunities to explore our colourful surroundings in spring.

If we have inspired your sense of adventure, let us tell you more about what you can do in Aberdeen and beyond:


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