Best Things to do in Dundee

Best Things to do in Dundee

McManus Gallery – exploring local history and art.

If you’re looking for the best things to do in Dundee, Scotland – you’ve come to the right place! I headed there shortly after my Hogmanay experience in Edinburgh, and absolutely loved it. 

This is a city that’s full of art and design. There’s a reason that Dundee was named the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design in 2015. The university – one of the best in the UK – has strong programmes in art, design, science, and technology – including game design, which the city has a long history of – and this has given birth to a strong sense of creativity. Don’t miss the city’s art galleries; the McManus Gallery, the DCA (Dundee Contemporary Arts), and the V&A Dundee, which was being built when I visited. 

From my trip, I’ve compiled a list of fun and cultural things to do in Dundee. Among them are some hidden gems that are well worth a visit. There’s a lot to discover in this small but impressive city…

My trip was supported by local social enterprise Creative Dundee, tourism initiative Dundee One City, Many Discoveries, and the team behind the Edinburgh #blogmanay campaign. However, all words and opinions are my own.

Check out the View from Dundee Law

Things to do in Dundee

The Law at Sunset

Pronounced “low”, the Dundee Law is an extinct volcano standing at the heart of the city, which provides some amazing views of the town and across the River Tay. That’s providing you have better weather on your visit than I did, of course! At the top, there’s also a war memorial and a well-constructed observation platform that allows you to make the best use of the 360° panorama.

Learn to Weave with Cally Booker

traditional loom weaving

Bonny Claith – Cally Booker’s weaving studio.

A historic jute mill converted into a block of 58 art studios by charity WASPS, the Meadow Mill Studios in Dundee now houses around a hundred artists working in an amazing collaborative space. One of them is hand-weaver Cally Booker, an incredible artist who creates colourful textiles, drawing on Scotland’s long tradition of weaving with a modern flair. She also runs classes, which are great fun and the perfect way to immerse yourself in the local culture.

Eating is one of the Best Things to do in Dundee!

food scene in Dundee

Sunday Roast at the Tayberry

Scotland in general has an amazing food scene, and Dundee is no exception. Try to find restaurants that serve up food using locally sourced produce, as this area is rich in delicious ingredients. Wondering about the must-try food in this cultural city? Well, there’s Dundee Cake, of course, and Dundee marmalade; two things the city is famous for and which shouldn’t be missed.

Whilst in Scotland you must try haggis, too. If you’re not sure about it, go for haggis bonbons, which are bite-sized and covered in breadcrumbs, making them easier to face. I promise they’re delicious. There are also some great Scottish whisky distilleries in the area, including Eden Mill in nearby St Andrews. The Cairn O’Mohr Winery on the road to Perth produces locally made fruit wines and ciders! Finally, in Dundee be sure to make the most of the incredible coastline with a traditional plate of fish and chips – unmissable!

RELATED POST: Eat Like a Local in Dundee – includes some top restaurant recommendations.

Go Sculpture Hunting

sculpture and bizarre architecture in a garden

The labyrinth at Maggie’s Centre

Because the city is so focused on it’s design heritage, there’s a lot of very cool public art in Dundee. Dotted around the town are numerous bronze sculptures. Many are figures from popular culture that were born right here in the city.

In the city centre, life-sized figures of Desperate Dan, the dog Gnasher, and Minnie the Minx (characters from the Dandy and Beano comics), pay homage to the local publishing house D. C. Thomson & Co, which produced the comics and gave these characters to the world.

At Seabraes, you’ll also spot several Lemmings, from one of the most iconic games of my childhood; another Dundee export. There are also some great sculptures at the Dundee Maggie’s Centre, including a piece by British sculptor Anthony Gormley, as well as award-winning architecture by Frank Gehry and a garden designed by Arabella Lenox-Boyd. There’s plenty of great art all over the city so keep your eyes peeled!

Enjoy the Dundee Art Festival

Don’t miss the Dundee Design Festival, held annually in May, to see the City of Design at it’s best. The main exhibition will be held at West Ward Works on Guthrie Street, but there are events all over the city. And while you’re there, check out these awesome things to do in Dundee…

If you have a great suggestion for unmissable things to do in Dundee, leave a comment below and help out your fellow travellers! 

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Creative and Fun Things to do in Dundee

About

Award-winning writer and solo female travel blogger on a mission to explore the world through deeper travel. Lover of fun, adventure, food, Harry Potter, hiking, beaches, and chatting about the weather. Can be bought with cake.

10 Comments

  1. Oh that food looks amazing. Great post, thanks for sharing!

  2. travelingaround50

    Thank you Emily for this interesting post. I visited Dundee some years ago. Not knowing your travel tips, this is what I got :)

  3. Thank you for the post about Dundee! I didn’t realise there was a maze at The Maggie- I’ll need to visit.

    Just one thing, I think your photo of The Law was taken at sunrise, as it has been taken looking in a southerly direction across to Fife and the brightest area of the photo appears to be on the left i.e. the East.

    • Oh really? The file was saved as Dundee at Sunset – I borrowed the file from Creative Dundee’s stock images. Perhaps it was labelled up wrong!

      Thanks for checking out my post :)

  4. Lovely Post!! Dundee looks Beautiful and Worth Visiting. Especially Sculpture Hunt looks interesting and amazing. Emily Thanks for sharing Info about Dundee

  5. I am Dundee born and bred. Never heard the Law being called the Low. Dundee accent has a really distinct “a” but nothing like “o”!

    • When I was there I was told how to say it, because it’s not pronounced like the English law is it? (Could be remembering wrong). It was a couple of years ago now so I’m not sure exactly what I was told but I’m sure it’s pronounced a bit differently!

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