/ expat tips

Moving to Scotland: 5 of the Best Places to Live

Planning to move to Scotland? Even though the country’s average rainfall might intimidate at first, there are plenty of reasons to move to here. A rich culture, wild nature, and friendly people make Scotland perfect for expats.

If you don’t yet have a rough idea of which area you would like to move to, then you'll find the inspiration you need right here. Whether you want to live in a vibrant city, or rather in the quiet Scottish countryside - this article has you covered.

Leith, Edinburgh

The first Scottish city that will come to your mind is probably the capital, Edinburgh. Its medieval Old Town with all the hidden alleys and beautiful buildings give the city a magical flair. Each year, the city attracts millions of visitors, which makes it hard sometimes to go for a walk without bumping into a tourist.

If you don’t want to miss out on living in Edinburgh, but prefer your flat to be off the beaten track, then Leith might be a good option. The buzzing port district is only a 30 minutes' walk away from the main train station Waverly and has pretty much all you need. Small shops, dockside restaurants, a good infrastructure, and on top of that, Portobello Beach.

Strathbungo, Glasgow

Some people say that Edinburgh is nice to look at, but Glasgow is the city to live in. If you want to experience the culture, then you are probably better off to move to Scotland’s most populous city. Glasgow has quite a rough history, but is one of the world’s friendliest cities nowadays.

One of the best and most vibrant districts to live in is Strathbungo, located in the Southside of Glasgow. It has a better choice of independent shops and cafés than Glasgow’s city centre, reachable by train in 5 minutes. Just a short walk away, you also have Queen’s Park, a huge green area that hosts farmers markets and small events.

North Berwick, East Lothian

If your wild days are behind you, or just prefer to live somewhere quieter but not too far off, then the small seaside town North Berwick might be the place for you. It's only a 30 minutes train ride away from Edinburgh and is located at the coast of East Lothian.

With plenty of beaches and renowned golf courses, as well as quirky shops and tea rooms, North Berwick is a good alternative to the pricier St. Andrews.

Tobermory, Isle of Mull

Love hiking and like the idea of living close to the seaside? Up in the North of Scotland, on the beautiful Isle of Mull, lies Tobermory. The colourfully painted houses along the sea turn the town into a picture-postcard of a place.

From Tobermory, you can discover Scotland’s great nature. Surrounded by plenty of other islands, you can do lots of different hiking trips. Make sure that you don't mind having to travel quite far to the nearest supermarket. Tobermory has all the basic shops you need and even some cute local boutiques. But if you can't live without a vibrant town centre, then you might be better off on the Scottish mainland.

Inverurie, Aberdeenshire

The region around Aberdeen also has beautiful places to live. One of them is Inverurie. You don’t have to miss out on the vibrancy of Aberdeenas it’s only a 20 minutes train ride away. At the same time, you can enjoy the perks of a rather quieter town with charming architecture.

From Inverurie, you can also explore the surrounding castles and a popular range of hills. One advantage of Aberdeenshire that is worth mentioning, is the fact that it’s sunnier than other parts of Scotland. You will still have to face more rain than other European countries, but at least you’ll have better chances of sunshine than in the Highlands.

Scotland is a great country for expats. Even if you choose to move to a busy city like Glasgow, you’ll never have to travel far to be surrounded by nature. If you are a European, the good news is that you still have some time left to move to Scotland and apply for settlement status. After 30 June 2021, you need to apply for a Visa if you plan to move here permanently.