Dundee’s story is defined by innovation. Once renowned throughout the world for its textile and shipbuilding industries, the city has transitioned into a cutting-edge, multidisciplinary hub of design, making strides in fields as diverse as medical research, fashion, the gaming industry, tech space, and more.

Dundee is a city which has given the world some of its favourite and most life-changing products, from aspirin and orange marmalade to the ZX Spectrum and even iconic comic characters including Oor Wullie, Dennis the Menace and Desperate Dan.

Map of Dundee UNESCO City of Design
  • Rockstar North Ltd, the video game development company behind the wildly successful Grand Theft Auto franchise began life in Dundee in 1987 as DMA Design Ltd.

Discover why Dundee is so special

Situated along the northern shore of the Firth of Tay, Dundee enjoys one of the loveliest settings in all of Scotland. It’s also a place where you can really see how design and creativity can work in tandem to solve not just everyday problems, but uplift entire communities and create change felt throughout the world.

The city is home to thriving creative communities and industries which you can see in action at venues, attractions, businesses, and institutions throughout the city.

Today an estimated 3,000 people now work in Dundee’s wide-ranging creative sector. From the ground-breaking digital design programme at the University of Abertay to the city’s flourishing Cultural Quarter – the home of the renowned Dundee Rep Theatre – to fantastic visitor attractions like Verdant Works which preserves the city’s industrial past while also serving as a space for present-day creatives, Dundee’s championing of design and creativity is everywhere.

In Dundee we see design as an integral part of everyday life, as a solution to problems… a great tool to use to improve the lives of people in the city.”
Poppy, UNESCO City of Design Dundee

Explore the local area

There’s lots of things to see and do in Dundee, but there are some attractions that should be top of your list in this City of Design.

Throw in a fantastic food and drink scene, independent shops, nightlife, charming locals, and characterful districts like the seaside enclave of Broughty Ferry, and you have everything you need for an enriching and memorable city break.

How to get here

Public transport

Located just 90 minutes from Edinburgh by train or bus, Dundee is easy to reach. Options include traveling to Dundee Train Station directly from Edinburgh or Glasgow, taking the new Ember electric bus from Edinburgh or Perth, or the direct airport bus service, the X90 from Edinburgh Airport.

Getting around Dundee

Dundee is a small city and easy to walk around. Most points of interest are located within a 20-minute radius around the city centre so exploring on foot is by far the best way to access everything on offer.

There’s a great local bus service operated by Xplore Dundee and Stagecoach, both of which depart regularly from the High Street.

It’s also simple to explore by bike. Take advantage of the new e-bike hire scheme. Operated by Embark Dundee and Ride-On, simply install the Ride-On UK app to find one of 40 docking stations spread across the city.

Dundee is a great city for travelling by electric vehicle, with a number of charging points both across the city, and at charging gateways outside of the city.

Find out more about getting to and around Dundee

A family with two children walk along the pavement outside of Dundee Railway Station
Outside Dundee Railway Station

Experience more UNESCO sites

Make Dundee part of a longer trip - we can help you plan a trip to all of the UNESCO sites in the local area, including Edinburgh.
The buildings around the cobbled Royal Mile, lit up in red and blue colours at night

UNESCO Sites to Explore in Central East Scotland

There are four UNESCO sites to explore in this central east spot. Explore Edinburgh with two designations and then travel across and stop to learn more about the Forth Bridge. Your final stop is Dundee, our City of Design.

View Journey

Learn more about the UNESCO Trail

Dundee UNESCO City of Design is one of Scotland’s three UNESCO Creative Cities, alongside Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Dundee has become a vibrant and ever-growing creative hub after emerging from the shadow of de-industrialisation and accompanying social and economic challenges.

That gives it a unique position to offer support and guidance to similar communities around the world. As a member of an established global network of Design Cities and other Creative Cities, Dundee can share the values, knowledge and expertise that have allowed it to flourish as a formidable creative and design force.

Read more about Scotland's UNESCO Trail and watch UNESCO: Explained video

Find out more from UNESCO about Dundee City of Design

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Every UNESCO designation tries to include the UN Sustainable Development Goals in their work.


An urgent call for action from a global partnership of countries.

Recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations comes from strategies to:

  • improve health and education
  • reduce inequality
  • encourage economic growth
  • tackle climate change

Check out all the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Looking along a paved path within 4J Studios, with people sat at small tables to the side, posters and displays on the wall
Inside 4J Studios

Dundee's Sustainable Development Goals

Here’s how Dundee is working towards three of the goals.

Goal 9

Industry, innovation & infrastructure

Ensuring the design community is able to grow, thrive and benefit from the UNESCO designation by supporting and nurturing them, amplifying innovation and designing, producing or supporting better infrastructure for the city.

Goal 11

Sustainable cities & communities

Creating a strong and sustainable city economy that will provide jobs for the people of Dundee, instill resilience and create a safe and inclusive environment.

Goal 17

Partnership for the goals

Dundee connects with the 39 other design cities regularly, and individually on projects or to share best practice. They ensure all work ties into the UN Sustainable Development Goals in some way.

Useful links

More information

City of Design Dundee

Visiting the area

Looking along a paved path within 4J Studios, with people sat at small tables to the side, posters and displays on the wall