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Families

4 Days in Dundee Itinerary

One of Scotland's 7 amazing cities, Dundee is a compact spot on the map that boasts an incredible array of things to see, do, visit and explore - perfect for a short break away.

Book a staycation to the city and you'll be met with cosy accommodation options, delicious food and drink, countless attractions to explore, as well as nooks and crannies you didn't even know existed! Keep reading our 4 day itinerary of the city to give you an idea of all the great places you can uncover, as well as ideas for restaurants and accommodation choices to help you get started on your break away to Dundee.

Why not join in the conversation over on our iKnow Community where you can discover more about our cities and all the fantastic things to see and do? Make sure to share your travels and tag us in your snaps on social media - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter - using #VisitScotland or #OnlyInScotland.

Transport

Car Walk

Days

4

Miles

19

Route

Dundee City Centre, Broughty Ferry

Highlights

McManus Art Gallery & Museum, V&A Dundee, HMS Frigate Unicorn, Dundee Museum of Transport

Areas Covered

Dundee, Dundee & Angus, Broughty Ferry

Day 1

overview

Dundee City Centre

Kickstart your holiday with a journey back in time in Dundee's city centre. Full of museums and attractions that delve into the city's detailed and fascinating past, you'll definitely come away with a greater insight into what made  Dundee the place we know and love today. From jute, jam and journalism at Verdant Works, and exploring intricate artworks from throughout the centuries at The McManus, to HMS Frigate Unicorn, a surviving Royal Navy vessel with a turbulent past, and an interesting trail through a spot of greenery in Slessor Gardens.
  • Miles

    2

  • Km

    3.2

  • Stops

    4

  • Transport

    Walk

The McManus, Dundee

Verdant Works

Up first we have Verdant Works. This world class visitor attraction tells the intricate story of Dundee's industrial textile heritage in the setting of a beautifully restored old mill building. Tune in to the tales and stories from mill workers and find out how they lived and worked in the mills, set foot in the atmospheric cobbled courtyard, learn about how jute was harvested in India and later made its way to Dundee, see up close the old-fashioned machinery that would power the mills, and so much more is on offer to see and explore. Bring the wee ones and join in family activities, and make sure you stop by the café and shop before you leave too.

There is a great selection of accommodation in Dundee to choose from, including Hotel Indigo, Sleeperz Hotel Dundee, Malmaison Dundee, and The Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa.

McManus Art Gallery & Museum

Next we have the McManus Art Gallery & Museum - the perfect attraction for any budding artists or artwork enthusiast. Wander through the immense galleries and halls that house countless of artworks and artefacts from many time periods throughout Dundee's history. With the main collection spanning some 400 million years, dive into the 20th century gallery, the Long Gallery, the Victoria Gallery, or Dundee and the World Gallery, to name a few, and see which masterpieces catch your eye. As well as permanent displays, there are also frequently changing exhibitions and events held throughout the year, including workshops and talks, so there is always something new to see and learn in the gallery.

The building itself is a real sight to see too, with its Victorian Gothic architecture and curved staircase, bringing a real atmosphere to Dundee's city centre.

HMS Frigate Unicorn

Dip your toes into Dundee's naval history with a trip to see the HMS Frigate Unicorn. One of the world's most remarkable historic ships, it is almost 200 years old and the last surviving wooden warship left in Scotland. Step on board where you can learn all about life at sea, the history of the Navy in Dundee and warships in 'the Golden Age of Sail', and with four atmospheric decks to explore, there's plenty of fun to be had by the whole family. HMS Unicorn also hosts a variety of changing exhibitions, events and more throughout the year, so keep your eyes peeled for one that takes your fancy.

Nearby, why not explore one of the newest additions to Dundee's cultural scene, the V&A Dundee, the only museum of its kind outside of London.

Slessor Gardens Discovery Walk

Finish off your day with a stroll through Dundee's Slessor Gardens on their Discovery Walk. This unique trail celebrates the many famous names that have contributed to society and science in a variety of ways. From D'Arcy Thompson, Geoffrey Dutton, James Alfred Ewing, James F Riley, Margaret Fairlie and more, who all once worked or lived in Dundee. Along the walk you'll come across a series of plaques, each of which details the achievements of each individual, with more set to be added in the future.

After all that you must be hungry! Dundee has plenty of restaurants and eateries on offer across the city, including The Bach, Gallery 48 and many more.

Day 2

overview

Day 2 - East Dundee

Head towards the eastern area of Dundee for a chilled day exploring a few attractions and tucking into some tasty dishes. As Dundee is a compact city, you can pretty much walk around most places, and it's a great way to see everything at your own pace whilst taking in all the unique architecture and design of many buildings in the city too.
  • Miles

    6.7

  • Km

    11

  • Stops

    2

  • Transport

    Car Walk

Dundee Museum of Transport

Get ready for a great day out at the Dundee Museum of Transport. Kids will love spending a few hours, or a day, exploring a range of vehicles, old and new, including getting up close to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! Delve into the history of the city's transport and how it has evolved over the centuries, from motorbikes, buses and old-fashioned cars, to the city's tram network, its railways and maritime history, there's plenty to get stuck into. Listen enthusiastically to the knowledgeable guides as they recount tales of the city's transport heritage, before leading you through the exciting and packed exhibition galleries.

If you'd like to continue learning lots of fascinating new things, why not make time for a stop at Dundee Science Centre?

Dundee Maritime Trail

Dundee also boasts a long term relationship with the sea and the city's maritime history is a fascinating one to uncover. The Dundee Maritime Trail stretches for 2km/1.5miles and encompasses a range of locations that have ties with the sea and the city's heritage. You can start the trail from any of the listed locations, which include the Whale Mural - designed by Adam Milroy and located on the Black Watch Parade, Wild Shore Dundee - an exhilarating watersports centre located right in the city centre, and the RRS Discovery - which carried Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton on their exhibition to Antarctica in 1901. You can download the trail leaflet as a PDF to take with you, listen to the audio tour using the Geotourist app, or follow the signposts as you head along the trail.

After that exciting day, why not tuck into delectable dishes at Daisy Tasker Restaurant or Porter's Bar & Restaurant? And if you're looking to enjoy a relaxing evening, treat yourself to some shopping therapy at the City Quay Retail Park.

Keep an eye out for Urban Beach, coming soon to Dundee's waterfront!

Day 3

overview

Day 3 - Broughty Ferry

If you head further east you'll come across Broughty Ferry. This Dundee suburb boasts a beautiful stretch of sandy beach, as well as a castle, independent shops, and lovely eateries to enjoy some home baking and warming cup of tea. Gear up for a busy day ahead as you spend it exploring this Dundee gem, located just 10 minutes from the city centre but will make you feel like you're in a tranquil countryside space.
  • Miles

    5.1

  • Km

    8.2

  • Stops

    3

  • Transport

    Car Walk

Broughty Ferry Castle & Museum

Head to this incredible 15th century coastal fort, perched over Broughty Ferry Beach, where you can learn all about the history, the people and wildlife of Broughty Ferry. Free to enter, the castle houses a detailed museum, covering a range of historic periods, tales and stories of the many battles and sieges the castles faced, as well as featuring the Orchar Gallery, boasting a selection of paintings from the amazing Orchar Collection.

After you've learnt a thing or two from the museum, head down to the beach, just a stone's throw away, and tip your toes in the cool, crisp water, enjoy a picnic along the shore, and admire the stunning views out to sea and across to Tayport and Fife.

An Afternoon of Arts & Crafts

Enjoy an afternoon searching for your creative side with a whole host of crafts and artistic ventures to explore.

Why not try your hand at pottery with Ferry Potty? This colourful little shop on Brook Street gives you the chance to create your own pottery pieces, whether that be wedding plates, baby hand and footprints, silver handprint jewellery, or personalised Terramundi pots, the choice is up to you!

Elsewhere, make time for a stop at the Little Pinata Craft Studio which specialises in the paper craft known as 'Decopatch' or 'Decoupage'. From August the studio will be going mobile, but you can still book craft parties, and craft days will be popping up at venues across Tayside, so keep your eyes peeled for more information.

Independent Shopping

After a day wandering around Broughty Ferry, treat yourself to some retail therapy with a wide variety of independent shops and stores which line the streets of this quaint suburb. There are even some delicious bakeries and locally-owned fruit and veg shops you can pop into too.

Pick up a painting or artistic masterpiece from the Eduardo Alessandro Studio on Gray Street. Boasting a variety of artworks from a range of Scottish and up and coming artists, there is plenty to browse and choose from to take with you to liven up your home.

After that busy day you'll have definitely worked up an appetite! Stop in at Gazeley's Deli, a bright yellow delicatessen and fishmonger, serving up mouth-watering fresh produce and bites to eat. Book a table at Forgan's for incredible Scottish produce in a warming and welcoming atmosphere. Head to Visocchi's Cafe for traditional and classic pasta dishes, thin-crust pizza and ice cream sundaes. Relax in Jessie's Kitchen for a spot of afternoon tea and home baking, or head for a lovely meal out at the Tayberry Restaurant for contemporary Scottish fine dining.

Day 4

overview

Day 4 - North and West Dundee

Last but certainly not least, for day four you'll heading to the north and west corners of Dundee. Spend your last day in the city with some sightseeing trips, a breath of fresh air and a visit to the beautiful Botanic Gardens.
  • Miles

    5.6

  • Km

    9

  • Stops

    4

  • Transport

    Car Walk

Dundee

Dundee Law

Wake up your legs with a walk up Dundee Law where you can admire incredible panoramic views of the city and beyond. Stretching up 570 ft. (174m) the law is the highest point in the city and is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. There are various routes up the law, as well as car access too, but if you are on foot, along the trails you'll come across relics from different ages hidden among the trees. There is also a Hidden Treasures Trail you can explore, or follow the Town to Top route which takes you from Dundee City Square through the city and up to the top of Dundee Law.

Whilst you're in the area, why not book a stay at the welcoming Taypark Hotel?

Open Close Dundee

Open/Close Dundee is a great initiative featuring easy walking trails around the city centre, encompassing stunning works of street art along the way. Created by local artists, these incredible murals bring the city to life and are hidden along many streets and alleyways - can you find them all? With the Stobswell Trail and the City Centre Trail, together there are over 40 individual paintings to uncover, with new graffiti walls springing up all the time.

University of Dundee Botanic Gardens

Spend your afternoon in the serene setting of Dundee's Botanic Gardens, located near the banks of the River Tay. Featuring an array of colourful and exotic plants, fine collections of conifers and broad-leaved trees, tropical and rare species in temperate controlled glasshouses, and water and herb gardens. As well as species from abroad, the garden also boasts many plant types that are indigenous to Britain, so there is a huge variety to see and explore here.

The Botanic Garden sees over 80,000 visitors a year and is committed to education for people of all ages - and with so much to see, you're bound to learn a new thing or two on your visit. The garden is also home to a popular café and gift shop with a plant nursery, as well as regular art exhibitions hosted in the Visitor Centre.

Mills Observatory

Your last stop of the trip will be to Britain's first purpose-built public observatory. Mills Observatory is located in the woodland setting of Balgay Park and boasts an incredible opportunity to see mesmerising views of stars, planets and constellations across the night sky. Offering up displays where you can learn all about these constellations and planets, as well as comets, meteors, the solar system, space exploration and more, it's a real gem that will keep you and the wee ones entertained for hours. Stop by The Observatory's Shop which offers unique space and astronomy themed gifts, including NASA branded goods, stargazing guides, space themed books, and toys for all those little budding astronauts.

If you're looking for a tasty bite to eat, head to PacaMara Café or Dundee's Cultural Quarter has lots of bars and restaurants on offer, as well as the Jute Café Bar at Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre. Why not enjoy a theatre show or performance after your delicious meal at Dundee Rep Theatre?