Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 37th most populous built-up area, with an official population estimate of 220,420.
Nicknames include the Granite City, the Grey City and the Silver City with the Golden Sands. During the mid-18th to mid-20th centuries, Aberdeen's buildings incorporated locally quarried grey granite, which can sparkle like silver due to their high micacontents. Since the discovery of North Sea oil in the 1970s, other nicknames have been the Oil Capital of Europe or theEnergy Capital of Europe. The area around Aberdeen has been settled since at least 8,000 years ago, when prehistoric villages lay around the mouths of the rivers Dee and Don. The city has a long, sandy coastline.
Aberdeen received Royal Burgh status from King David I (1124–53), transforming the city economically. The city's two universities, the University of Aberdeen, founded in 1495, and Robert Gordon University, which was awarded university status in 1992, make Aberdeen the educational centre of the north-east. The traditional industries of fishing, paper-making, shipbuilding, and textiles have been overtaken by the oil industry and Aberdeen's seaport. Aberdeen Heliport is one of the busiest commercial heliports in the world and the seaport is the largest in the north-east of Scotland.
Aberdeen has won the Britain in Bloom competition a record-breaking ten times, and hosts the Aberdeen International Youth Festival, a major international event which attracts up to 1000 of the most talented young performing arts companies. In 2012, Mercer named Aberdeen the 56th most liveable city in the World, as well as the fourth most liveable city in Britain. In 2012, HSBC named Aberdeen as a leading business hub and one of eight 'super cities' spearheading the UK's economy, marking it as the only city in Scotland to receive this accolade.
The West End
Only 10 minutes walk from Union Square, and just off Aberdeen’s main street, Union Street a different world awaits.
Visit our specialist shops - Fashion, Jewellery, Shoes, Giftware, Sport, Flowers, Art Galleries & Antiques - experience a personal service from knowledgeable and friendly staff who will have time for a smile and a chat. We have fashion and jewellery stores from Hamish Munro, Esslemonts, Fenner and Coburn, Frox, Innocence Childswear Ltd, Colin Wood Antiques and John Park.
Or why not drop in on our quirky tea-rooms and coffee shops for refreshment and a snack, or to our restaurants, Scottish, Multi-Ethnic and International, for a more substantial feast. You'll find the West End full of surprises, all year round. If you want to stand out from the crowd then The West End has it all!
Travelling around Aberdeen City and Shire is straightforward and once you're here you can rent a car or bike, join a tour or simply make use of the excellent public transport links to discover all this captivating region has to offer.