Scotland’s third most populous city, Aberdeen is known variously as the Silver City or the Granite City (due to the profusion of granite, with its sparkling mica, in its Victorian architecture) and the Flower of Scotland (due to the picturesque countryside in which it is nestled). The city is renowned for its many splendid gardens, parks and floral displays, having been named Best City in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom awards ten times.
Although Aberdeen was supported by industries such as textiles, fishing, papermaking and shipbuilding in prior decades, the city owes much of its modern day prosperity to the discovery of oil in the nearby North Sea in the mid 20th century.
Most of those looking for cheap flights to Aberdeen will be working in the oil industry. The city is now sometimes known as the “Oil Capital of Europe” due to the oil companies’ vast investment in off-shore drilling in the region, which has also boosted the local economy and aided the city’s development toward becoming the modern and cosmopolitan urban centre that it is today.
The summer months of June and July are generally the warmest (with average temperatures of around 18 degrees) and the winter months from November to February typically the coldest and wettest (with average temperatures slightly above freezing). Rain may occur throughout the year.
Aberdeen’s peak tourist season takes place during the summer, when weather is driest and warmest and periods of daylight longest.
The winter months are when Aberdeen sees the fewest tourists, as this is when the weather is likely to be coldest and wettest, and this is reflected in accommodation and travel prices and availability. Also, days become very short during the depths of winter, averaging a little over six and a half hours between sunrise and sunset. During this time there is, however, the Aberdeen Winter Festival, lasting three months from November to January.
Aberdeen’s two main areas of tourist interest – Old Aberdeen and the city centre – are both compact enough that visitors can walk between sites easily. There are many pedestrian maps, located mainly at such sites, showing walking routes throughout the city. Bus operators First and Stagecoach also offer bus routes throughout Aberdeen, available from the city centre to the outer suburbs and beyond the city.