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18 Wonderful Tourist Places to Visit and Things to Do in Dundee, Scotland

Dundee is a city in Scotland, UK. The city sits on the north bank of the Firth of Tay. Some of the best things to do in Dundee, Scotland include exploring history, medieval castles, modern art, and museums.

The city rose to prominence during the 12th century owing to industrialization. Many of the best places to visit in Dundee, Scotland stem from these fields. You can visit the mills that were once the throbbing heart of the city’s economy. The port of the city also became a prominent centre for trade. You can also explore parts of the historic port when you visit Dundee, Scotland.

The city also has a rich history steeped in scientific discovery. Two of the most incredible things to see in Dundee, Scotland include RSS Discovery and Mills Observatory. The former is a ship that went on an antarctic expedition.

The latter is the first observatory of its kind in Britain. Both of these are among the most popular Dundee tourist attractions for their significance to scientific discovery. You can also see one of the oldest ships in the world, named HMS Unicorn, among Dundee attractions.

As you explore the city, you will get to explore a variety of classical and modern art through museums, public installations, and art galleries. Art and design are a major part of Dundee sightseeing.

It was the first UNESCO City of Design in the UK. The most famous places to see in Dundee in this respect include The McManus Gallery, DCA, and V&A. These venues give you an insight into the world of various forms of art, fine arts, architecture, and design.

Finally, but most popularly, people want to explore the famous Scottish castles during Dundee travel. These castles are not only incredible works of architecture but are also associated with significant people and events.

One of the best places to visit near Dundee is the Glamis Castle, which was depicted in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. You can explore the grand stories of these grand structures as you explore the castles.

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Top 18 Tourist Places to Visit in Dundee, Scotland

1. RRS Discovery

This ship was designed for Antarctic research and was launched in 1901. It was the last traditional wooden three-masted ship built in Britain. It is one of the best places to visit in Dundee, Scotland.

You can tour the ship and learn about its wonderful features of design. The exhibits also tell the story of various people and expeditions associated with the vessel. You will need an hour or so from Dundee travel to explore the ship.

2. The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum

This museum and art gallery focuses on natural history, fine arts, and decorative arts. It has 8 galleries that exhibit a collection of ancient, classical, modern, and contemporary artworks. The museum is as much for its building as it is for the collection.

The buildings housing this museum is one of the most wonderful things to see in Dundee, Scotland. It is a fine Gothic Revival structure. It looks like a blend of an English estate house and a church. You will need one hour to tour the museum and the building when you visit Dundee.

3. Verdant Works

Also known as Scotland’s Jute Museum, it looks at the textile industry of the city. The museum is housed in a former jute mill. It is one of the most important historical Dundee tourist attractions.

The textile industry was an important part of the city’s economy. This museum looks at various aspects of the industry including machinery, jute products, tools, major companies, trade practices, and so on. You will need an hour and a half to tour this museum.

4. Dundee Science Centre

This science centre has several exhibits and activities dedicated to different branches of science. The place has many fun things to do in Dundee for families. You can explore exhibits concerning chemistry, physics, robotics, medicine, biology, and more. You will need about 2 hours to explore this entire place.

5. Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA)

This art museum celebrates modern and contemporary artworks. The complex has an art gallery, a cinema house, a print centre, and a research centre. It is one of the most popular Dundee attractions for art admirers.

The art gallery has a rotating exhibition of local, national, and international artists. The cinema house is one of the most popular indoor activities to do in Dundee. It screens blockbuster movies and arthouse films. You will need about an hour to explore the art gallery.

6. Caird Hall

This concert hall was built in 1914, it was designed by James Thomson and named after the benefactor James Key Caird. The foundation stone was laid by King George, the Fifth, and Queen Mary.

It is one of the most important historical landmarks to see during Dundee sightseeing. The best way to explore this place is to enjoy a show in the hall. You can also simply tour the building and admire the architecture and interior. It takes about an hour to explore this place.

7. The Howff

This burial ground dates back to 1564 and is one of the oldest places to see in Dundee. It is the final resting place of many prominent figures of the region. You can also see artistically designed and sculptured gravestones, even several historic ones. You will need 30 to 45 minutes to explore this place.

8. Camperdown Wildlife Centre

This zoo houses several animals including Lemurs, Horses, Brown Bear, Golden Eagle, Eagle Owl, Snowy Owl, and many more. The zoo is known for several cool things to do in Dundee for families including animal interactions.

You can become a zookeeper for a day, feed the animals, and pet them. People can easily spend an hour or so enjoying this place.

9. Broughty Castle Museum

This castle was built in 1495, but fortifications of the castle were already complete by 1454 and the central tower by 1490. It is one of the most interesting places to visit near Dundee, Scotland.

This castle has been part of many battles. As you explore the complex, you can learn about its history and the people who once lived there. It is also one of the top things to do near Dundee for the amazing view of River Tay and the opposite bank. You will need about 2 hours from Dundee travel to tour this castle.

10. HMS Unicorn

This vessel has 200 years of history and played several roles for the Royal Navy. It is one of the six oldest ships in the world. The iconic unicorn head still adorns the bow.

The ship is one of the most interesting places to go in Dundee, Scotland. The ship tells its stories and sailors that braved the oceans on its boards. You will need an hour or so to tour this vessel when you visit Dundee.

11. Dundee Museum of Transport

This museum looks at the history of transport and our fascination with vehicles. The collection includes some of the most popular things to see in Dundee, Scotland.

You will see cars from movies such as Skyfall, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Yugo, and more. The collection also includes consumer cars, sports cars, buses, trucks, police vehicles, military vehicles, and more.

The museum also has several fun indoor activities to do in Dundee, Scotland for children. You will need about an hour to explore this place.

12. Dundee Botanic Garden

Spread over 9.5 hectares, this garden sits on the banks of River Tay and houses a variety of plants and trees. The garden has native and exotic species including pine birch, ash wood, beech, oaks, dwarf scrub, aquatic fern, and many more.

It is one of the best places to visit in Dundee for some leisure and tranquility. You can easily spend an hour to explore these gardens.

I suggest you should get an Entry Ticket to Dundee Botanic Garden in advance.

13. Mills Observatory

This was the first purpose-built observatory in Britain. The computerized telescope can detect more than 30,000 objects in the sky. A tour of this observatory gives you insight into the theoretical and applicable science of astronomy.

You can take a glance at the night sky with incredible detail in this observatory. It is one of the best things to do near Dundee for people of all ages. You will need an hour and a half to tour this place.

14. V&A Dundee

The Victoria and Albert Museum was the very first design museum in Scotland. You will see exhibits concerning fashion, fine arts, architecture, and more. This is one of the most inspiring Dundee tourist attractions. You will need about 2 hours to explore this place.

15. Brought Ferry Beach

This long sandy beach faces the river Tay and is popular for several cool things to do in Dundee, Scotland. You can come here for leisurely strolls, sailing, surfing, swimming, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, jet-skiing, and more.

People also come here for the beachside cafes, restaurants, and shops. You can easily spend a couple of hours at this beach when you visit Dundee, Scotland.

16. Dundee Ice Arena

You can visit this arena for ice skating. Even if you don’t know how to skate, you can take a quick lesson and enjoy the indoor activity in Dundee. You can also catch a game of ice hockey at the Ice arena. You can easily spend an hour or so at this place.

17. Glamis Castle

This castle is one of the most well-known places to visit near Dundee, Scotland. It is most famously the castle of King Macbeth in Shakespeare’s eponymous play.

The castle is also associated with several other events as well including the murder of Malcolm II, the birth of Princess Margaret, the burning of Janet Douglas, and the fire of 1916.

The castle’s history has made it one of the most popular places to go in Dundee, Scotland. You need about half a day’s trip from the city to tour this castle.

You should book your Tour to Glamis Castle from Dundee in advance.

18. Dundee City Square

This square is the historic heart of the city. It is surrounded by several Dundee attractions including the bronze statue of Desperate Dan. The square is a great place to just sit, relax and enjoy the historical architecture around it.

It is also one of the best places to visit during Dundee sightseeing for its cafes, shops, and restaurants. You will need 30 to 45 minutes to explore this square.

If you are looking for more places to see in Dundee check out the section below. We have compiled a complete list of attractions and activities to explore in and around the city.

Things to do in Dundee

Monuments, Museums & Historical Places to Visit in Dundee

  1. V&A Dundee
  2. The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum
  3. Verdant Works
  4. Broughty Castle Museum
  5. Dundee Contemporary Arts Museum
  6. HMS Unicorn
  7. Craigtoun Country Park
  8. Dundee Museum of Transport
  9. Mills Observatory
  10. Claypotts Castle
  11. Mains Castle
  12. Barry Mill
  13. Gallery Q Dundee
  14. D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum
  15. The Howff Cemetery
  16. RSS Discovery
  17. Birkhill Castle
  18. Kinpurney Hill
  19. Balmerino Abbey
  20. St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral
  21. Creich Castle
  22. North Carr Lightship
  23. Baxter Park Pavillion
  24. Affleck Castle
  25. Ardestie Earth House
  26. Tealing Earth House
  27. Fowlis Castle
  28. Mountquhanie Castle
  29. Wishart’s Arch
  30. Lawside Convent and Diocesan Centre
  31. Carlungie Earth House
  32. Dundee International Submarine Memorial
  33. Larick Beacon
  34. Balgarthno Stone Circle

Nature & Wildlife Tourist Spots in Dundee

  1. Dundee Law
  2. Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve
  3. Crombie Country Park
  4. Tentsmuir Point
  5. Monifieth Beach
  6. Craigowl Hill
  7. Riverside Nature Park
  8. Auchterhouse Hill
  9. Lundie Craigs
  10. Barry Burn
  11. Carrot Hill
  12. Long Loch
  13. Northballo Hill

Entertainment & Leisure Tourist Spots in Dundee

  1. Camperdown Wildlife Centre
  2. Dundee Science Centre
  3. Carnoustie Golf Links
  4. Dundee Bontanic Garden
  5. Slessor Gardens
  6. Baxter Park
  7. Camperdown Country Park
  8. Monikie Country Park
  9. Magdalen Green
  10. Dundee Waterfront Gardens
  11. Ryze Dundee – Xtreme Air Sports
  12. Olympia Centre
  13. Barnhill Rock Garden
  14. The Fun Factory
  15. Avertical World Climbing Centre
  16. The Wine Press
  17. Dudhope Park
  18. Ninewells Community Garden
  19. Balnuith Alpacas Farm
  20. Grosvenor Casino
  21. Caird Park
  22. Dawson Park
  23. Balgay Park
  24. Teamsport Go Karting
  25. Lochee Park
  26. Clatto Country Park
  27. Ledyatt Loch Trout Fishery
  28. 71 Brewing
  29. Stobsmuir Park
  30. Tayfield Estate
  31. Victoria Park

Shopping in Dundee

  1. Overgate Shopping Centre
  2. Dundee’s Farmer’s Market
  3. Gallagher Retail Park
  4. Wellgate Shopping Centre

Beaches & Islands in Dundee

  1. Broughty Ferry Beach
  2. Carnoustie Beach
  3. Kinshaldy Beach
  4. Wormit Bay Beach
  5. Blue Seaway Monifieth

Offbeat Places, Tours, & Adventures in Dundee

  1. Sailing
  2. Surfing
  3. Swimming
  4. Wind-surfing
  5. Hiking
  6. Kayaking
  7. Canoeing
  8. Jet-Skiing
  9. Ice Skating
  10. Rock-Climbing

Sightseeing in Dundee

  1. Tay Rail Bridge
  2. Firth of Tay
  3. Desperate Dan Statue
  4. Oor Willie Bronze Statue
  5. Jim Clarke Statue
  6. Lemming Statues

Food, Dining, Restaurants, & Street Food in Dundee

  1. Medina Bar & Grill
  2. Brasserie Ecosse
  3. Giddy Goose
  4. Rad Apples
  5. The Bach
  6. Yamm Buffet
  7. Milas Turkish Kitchen
  8. Bird & Bear
  9. Dundee Rep
  10. Brauch
  11. Sol y Sombra Tapas
  12. Don Michele
  13. The Cannon
  14. Birkhill Inn
  15. Franks Wine & Pasta
  16. Kilted Kangaroo
  17. Mas Mexicana
  18. Forgans Broughty Ferry
  19. Rama Thai
  20. The Howff Secret Supper Club
  21. Chez Mal Brasserie & Bar
  22. Mozza
  23. Tony Macroni
  24. Tahini
  25. Ciao Sorrento
  26. The Parlour Cafe
  27. Gallery 48
  28. The Caird

Where to Stay in Dundee?

Here we have listed Top Rated Hotels in Dundee. You can check the below-listed hotels for your perfect stay in Dundee.

  1. Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa
  2. Best Western Dundee Woodlands Hotel
  3. Hampton by Hilton Dundee City Center
  4. Malmaison Dundee
  5. Travelodge Dundee Strathmore Avenue
  6. Premier Inn Dundee Centre hotel
  7. Hotel Indigo Dundee, an IHG hotel
  8. Sleeperz Hotel Dundee
  9. Holiday Inn Express Dundee, an IHG Hotel
  10. Dundee Backpackers Hostel

Custom Tours Package in Dundee

How to Reach Dundee?

By Air

The city has its own airport. The Dundee airport received direct flights from London, Sumburgh, and Kirkwall. You can also visit Dundee through the airports of Belfast, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh.

Then you can take trains and buses to get to Dundee from these cities. From Dundee airport, you can get buses and cabs to get to the city.

By Road

You can get direct trains for Dundee travel from several places in Scotland. These include Aberdeen, Perth, Inverness, Edinburgh, Stirling, and more. You can also get connecting trains from all cities on the rail network of the UK.

You can also get buses from all around the UK to reach Dundee. On the other hand, if you want to get to Dundee by road, you should head for routes A90 or A92.

By Water

Despite being a port city, there are no direct passenger water routes to visit Dundee.

Image Reference
  • RRS Discovery – Neil Williamson / Flickr
  • McManus Galleries – Paul Robertson / Flickr
  • Verdant Works – nz_willowherb / Flickr
  • Dundee Science Centre – Karen Bryan / Flickr
  • Dundee Contemporary Arts – John Lord / Flickr
  • Caird Hall – Màrtainn MacDhòmhnaill / Flickr
  • The Howff – Derek Hoskins / Flickr
  • Camperdown Wildlife Centre – Glen Bowman / Flickr
  • Broughty Castle Museum – Tom Parnell / Flickr
  • HMS Unicorn – MariuszMatuszewski / Wikimedia Commons
  • Dundee Museum of Transport – Derek Hoskins / Flickr
  • Dundee Botanic Garden – Jaimie Wilson / Flickr
  • Mills Observatory – Ydam / Wikimedia Commons
  • V&A Dundee – Alex Liivet / Flickr
  • Brought Ferry Beach – vloux / Flickr
  • Dundee Ice Arena – Daniel / Flickr
  • Glamis Castle – mags1x / PixaBay
  • Dundee City Square – Karen Bryan / Flickr

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