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14 must-visit places in Dundee

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Known for its family-friendly attractions, great selection of shops and as the UK’s first City of Design, we think Dundee is a wonderful city, bursting with amazing things for you to see and do.

Our Facebook and Twitter followers certainly think so too. They gave us lots of great suggestions when we asked them to name their must-visit places in this vibrant city. From climbing aboard Dundee’s historic ships to enjoying a mouth-watering slice of cake in a cosy café, they came up with a great list of fantastic places to visit in Dundee that we couldn’t wait to share with you.

Here are 14 of Dundee’s must-try experiences, all incorporating our lovely followers’ suggestions:

Explore the decks of HMS Unicorn

HMS Unicorn

HMS Unicorn

Launched in 1824, the Unicorn is one of the six oldest ships in the world and is Scotland’s only example of a wooden warship. It boasts four atmospheric decks for you to explore.

Stop off at Discovery Point and learn about the RRS Discovery

DSCN0072RRS Discovery Photo by John Arthur Berg via Flickr | Creative Commons

One of the greatest ships to ever leave the city’s shipbuilding docks, Dundee’s second ship was launched in 1901 and played a key role in helping the courageous explorer Captain Scott and his men in their quest to explore the Antarctic. Follow in the footsteps of Captain Scott and discover how the ship kept the crew safe from the freezing conditions.

Pop into the Scottish Jute Museum @ Verdant Works

Dundee's Jute MuseumScottish Jute Museum @ Verdant Works Photo by tigerweet via Flickr | Creative Commons

Find out how Dundee became the jute capital of the world in the 19th and 20th centuries and discover what working conditions were like in the city’s many jute mills. Feel the floor tremble as the original factory machines roar into life and listen as mill workers tell you their stories.

Savour a delicious bite to eat

Fisher & Donaldson bakery

Fisher & Donaldson bakery

Stop for lunch at a wonderful café, such Fisher and Donaldson Family Bakers or TAnnCake, where you can choose from a varied menu of freshly prepared meals and scrumptious homemade cakes, or choose from an excellent selection of restaurants for dinner, including Rancho Pancho which serves amazing Mexican food in a relaxed and cosy atmosphere.

Treat yourself to a shopping spree

Overgate Shopping Centre in Dundee city centre

Overgate Shopping Centre in Dundee city centre

You’ll find a great selection of shops all within Dundee city centre. The city’s two main shopping centres, the Overgate and the Wellgate, boast most high street names and are handily linked by the Murraygate (also lined with fashion shops and cafés), while the surrounding streets are packed with quirky independent shops and great places to grab a bite to eat.

Take photographs of the stunning views from the top of Dundee Law

View of Dundee from The Law

View of Dundee from The Law

Grab a tasty pie, sausage roll or bridie from one of the city’s bakeries, such as Nicoll’s Rosebank Bakery at the bottom of Dundee Law, before stretching your legs on a walk up the city’s famous hill. Enjoy the views as you tuck into your delicious savoury treat.

Stroll through Magdalen Green

Day 1847: Cold morningMagdalen Green covered in frost Photo by Simon Li via Flickr | Creative Commons

This much-loved green space is Dundee’s oldest city park and boasts gorgeous views of the sparkling River Tay and out to Fife. Be sure to snap a few pictures of the park’s beautifully restored 19th century bandstand too.

Enjoy a refreshing drink

The Phoenix, DundeeThe Phoenix Photo by blu-dog via Flickr | Creative Commons

From Magdalen Green, take a stroll up the lovely Strawberry Bank Street and stop off at one of the city’s many fantastic bars for a well-earned drink. Visit the Art Bar on Perth Road, which features regular in-house DJs and live music sessions, The Taybridge Bar, also on Perth Road, where you can sample an excellent range of whiskies, or The Phoenix on nearby Nethergate, where you can enjoy a traditional pub meal and a hearty pint.

Go on a mind boggling journey at the Dundee Science Centre

Dundee Science Centre

Dundee Science Centre

Crawl through a giant nose, move a ball with the power of your mind or even morph into an ape – all in just one visit. Watch live science shows and take part in fun workshops before grabbing a bite to eat at the infusion café.

Browse the eight galleries at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum

The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum

The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum

Discover how Dundee developed throughout the ages from a small settlement into the great city we know today. See fascinating exhibits, including the famous Tay whale and a beautiful collection of 20th century artworks, and choose something tasty to eat in The McManus Café.

Head to the Mills Observatory in Balgay Park

Blue BridgeBlue Bridge in Balgay Park Photo by inDundee via Flickr | Creative Commons

Breathe in fresh air and stretch your legs on a peaceful stroll through Balgay Park. Stop off at the Mills Observatory and use the high powered telescopes to seek out a whole host of phenomenal sights in the sky – all for free! Open seven days a week from October to March and on selected days between April and September, the knowledgeable staff will help you safely look at the sun during the day and will guide you to constellations, asteroids and galaxies in the night sky.

Fire your imagination at the Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre

Dundee Contemporary Arts

Dundee Contemporary Arts

Admire stunning works of art or watch a film before enjoying a coffee in the Jute Café Bar and browsing the shop’s unique selection of jewellery and crafts.

Visit the fascinating animals at Camperdown Wildlife Centre

camperdown park, dundeeAn owl at Camperdown Wildlife Centre Photo by malky winter via Flickr | Creative Commons

Situated just 15 minutes by car from Dundee city centre, in the grounds of Camperdown Country Park, the centre is home to lemurs, meerkats, brown bears, Scottish wildcats and more. Why not book a special animal experience to get closer to these amazing creatures than you ever thought possible?

Spend a day in the lovely town of Broughty Ferry

Visocchi's Cafe and Ice Cream parlour, Broughty Ferry, near Dundee

Visocchi’s Cafe and Ice Cream parlour, Broughty Ferry, near Dundee

Browse the charming shops in the town centre before enjoying a mouth-watering ice cream. Afterwards take a walk along Broughty Ferry beach and feel the sand between your toes before popping into Broughty Ferry Castle which is located close by. Make your way to the observation room at the top of the castle for stunning views over the Tay estuary and look out for the resident school of dolphins playing in the waters.

Discover more about Dundee and find great accommodation in and around the city, or check out our blog homepage for blogs on the must-visit attractions and hidden gems in Scotland’s other cities.


  • Mike Lindsay

    Was this even written by a Dundonian?

    Visit Broughty Ferry?!?! get a cake from Fisher and Donaldson, have a pint in the Pheonix, go to Nichols for a pie…

    Is that what tourists are recommended to do when they visit Dundee? What an absolute joke, Dundee has some fantastic and award winning facilities, this sounds like the a bucket list for a day out with Granny Fergie…

    Why not finish it off with a pot of tea and a scone at Tony’s on Peter St so the writer can get something else for free by name dropping a few shops and pubs..

    • Hi Mike! The places mentioned were suggested as must-visits by our lovely social media fans and followers who were keen to share their own experiences with us.

      If you’ve got suggestions for other things that visitors can see and do whilst in the area, we’d love to hear them 🙂

  • Fhiònnagh Min Ghearraidh

    Partan Press ( have launched a great children’s picture book guide to Dundee. check it out! “We 3 In Dundee”, published locally, written and illustrated locally, with embedded QR codes for extra fun! A bargain at £5.99. Available from Mcmanus gallery, or direct from the website.

  • Susan Evenson

    There is a cemetery in the middle of Dundee that I walked through when I visited in April 2014. It was very interesting and looked like an historic place. Need to add this to your list. I was disappointed the Arch was demolished. My grandmother traveled to Dundee when she was about 10 (early 1900’s). She had several postcards from friends in Dundee which enhanced my trip.

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