Characterised by beautiful granite architecture, a rich maritime history and natural beauty, expats will have no shortage of things to see and do in Aberdeen. All too often overshadowed by Edinburgh in the sightseeing stakes, the tourist's loss is the expat's gain.

Aberdeen boasts fascinating museums, impressive castles and stately gardens, while national parks and beaches are never more than a short drive away.

Recommended attractions in Aberdeen

Aberdeen Maritime Museum

A popular tourist attraction, the Aberdeen Maritime Museum gives visitors the opportunity to explore Scotland’s nautical history. Expats can learn about the shipping, fishing and oil industries that have played a major role in Scotland's economic development, and enjoy beautiful views of the harbour.

Balmoral Castle

The royal holiday home Balmoral Castle has been in the British royal family since 1852 and was described by Queen Victoria as her "paradise in the Highlands". The grounds are open to the public from April to July each year and visitors are free to explore its gardens, the Castle Ballroom and special exhibitions.

Cairngorms National Park

Extending over the Cairngorms Mountains, the national park is the largest in Britain and offers activities such as mountain biking, skiing, horse riding and white-river rafting. It is also home to a quarter of the UK’s threatened wildlife, and expats will get a chance to see some of Scotland’s most iconic animals in their natural habitat.

Aberdeenshire Coastal Trail

The beaches around Aberdeen form part of the Aberdeenshire Coastal Trail. The route consists of 165 miles (265 km) of pristine natural scenery, picturesque towns and gorgeous beaches, each one with its own unique atmosphere. Expats will be able to explore cliff-side castles, spot local wildlife, or simply kick back with sand between their toes and enjoy watching the waves.

The Tolbooth Museum

A former 17th-century prison that’s supposedly one of the most haunted sites in Scotland, the Tolbooth Museum showcases the history of crime and punishment in the city. Expats will be able to experience the original atmosphere of this popular tourist attraction in its centuries-old cells and displays, such as the old city guillotine.