Scotland’s third most populous city, Aberdeen is generally known as the Silver City or the Granite City (due to the profusion of granite, with its sparkling mica, in the city’s 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 10 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.
Many visitors to Aberdeen work in the oil industry and the city is sometimes known as the “Oil Capital of Europe” due to the oil companies’ vast investment in off-shore drilling in the region, which has boosted the local economy and aided the city’s development toward becoming the modern and cosmopolitan destination it is today.
June and July are generally the warmest months in Aberdeen with an average temperature of around 64 F. November through February is typically the coldest and wettest time with an average temperature slightly above freezing. Rain may occur throughout the year.
Aberdeen’s peak tourist season takes place in June and July when the weather is driest and warmest and periods of daylight are the longest of the year.
November through February is Aberdeen’s off season. Fewest tourists visit during these months, as the weather is likely to be coldest and wettest this time of year. The drop off in tourists is reflected in accommodations and travel prices and availability. Days become very short during the middle of this time period, averaging a little more than six and a half hours between sunrise and sunset. However, the Aberdeen Winter Festival, which runs from November through January, does draw in visitors.
Aberdeen’s two main areas of interest for tourists – Old Aberdeen and the city center – are both compact enough that visitors can easily walk between sites. There are many pedestrian maps at the sites showing walking routes throughout the city. A few bus operators also offer bus routes throughout Aberdeen, available from the downtown to the outer suburbs and beyond.