Scotland's most expensive cities

Hello everyone,

What are the most expensive cities to live in Scotland? What are the costs of things such as rent, utilities, weekly groceries, dining out, etc.?

What is the lifestyle like in these cities, for expats and locals?

What are the different neighbourhoods like? Are there more affordable areas?

Do you have any experience living in any of Scotland's most expensive cities? What was it like?

Which cities in Scotland would you recommend? Are there any that offer particularly good value for money when it comes to cost of living?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


Hi there,

I currently live in Aberdeen, which is regarded as the oil capital of Europe, which is due to oil and gas exploration in North Sea. Due to oil worker being able to afford it, rental and buying price of properties are high. Having said this, i would say due to a decrease in  oil price the last two years, the above seem to have become cheaper but please note that this is only temporary. I have also had a chance to travel and explore other parts of Scotland such as Glasgow and Edinburgh, compared to Aberdeen Glasgow offers cheaper accommodation price while Edinburgh is slightly less expensive. When it comes to getting more for your money, i would definitely recommend Glasgow.

Hope this helps

We currently live near Ayr and I am very pleased to say that the cost of living here (also in Glasgow where we based ourselves for the first month, though it has slightly higher city prices) is quite reasonable.

We love our village, I think we are the only foreigners in the village, aside from us there is a nice Dutch/Maltese family who live on a farm out of the village. Everyone is friendly and welcoming. Having said that ... the next village over seems to be rougher with boarded up homes and burnt out cars. There can be a big difference in the vibe of a village and these are only about 4 minutes apart by car. I am glad we took the time to drive and walk around the places we were looking at moving to before committing to a lease, let alone buying.

Housing is very well priced, we were told we were paying an exorbitant amount in rent when we thought is was amazing, paying less than half what we pain in Australia, now in a 5br detached house compared to a 3br in Australia. (yes, even good value adding in council tax/water). Looking at buying I am looking at 2-3 times my annual salary for a family home. I compare to Australia where I am looking at 6 times my AU salary.

Groceries, this took a bit of getting used to, but now we are well in budget. Buying the things that are in season and local helps to keep the prices down. If you want the 'usuals' from wherever you come from (like vegemite from Australia) then this will up the costs, scots like their routines and familiar things, so join in.

Eating out at casual places or takeaway is affordable (I have young kids so don't have a clue about nice places). We say about 20-25GBP for a meal out for 2 adults and 2 young kids.

The only thing I think is not ideal is the cost of getting anywhere. Diesel is expensive if you have a car and if you don't then you just hope you go to the same place every day of the week as this is the only way to get cheap bus tickets. If (like me) you commute to different areas using a combination of buses and trains then this adds up FAST. I can spent 30 GBP in a day on travel. (Luckily for me this gets reimbursed by my employer).

We are very thankful for the great community facilities around also. Where we live (and I believe this is the case in a lot of the towns around) there is a group of youth workers who come and do activities/sports with the kids one evening a week. The paid sports (our kids do football, judo and highland dancing) are also affordable at only a few pounds a week.

The only services we have had to pay so far are broadband and this is also not badly priced (though if they would connect it I would be happy, still waiting, a week past the initial connection date). 20 GBP per month, unlimited.

I hope that is useful/interesting to someone :)

Thank you , great info

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