Scotland’s fourth-largest city – fun and vibrant Dundee – is a bustling social hub. There are loads of fun and exciting things to do on your visit. This guide explores the top 37 things to do in Dundee.
The city has a legacy of being at the centre of the global jute industry. Like many other large Scottish cities, this stemmed from the Industrial Revolution.
From its involvement in this industry and others, Dundee earned a nickname for being the city of “jute, jam and journalism”.
Dundee has roots in science and in football, but what really draws visitors year-round is the atmosphere.
With friendly people and a laundry list of things to do nearby, it’s a city well worth visiting.
Top Things to do in Dundee
Dundee is a big city, so it’s probably not surprising that there are so many great activities nearby. If you like variety and plenty of options you’re in the right place.
Here for a long time or a short visit? Either way, you’ll have no trouble making the most of it.
To make it even easier for you, we’re put together a list of the top things to do in Dundee.
Check it out down below!
V & A Dundee
The very first design museum to open in Scotland is here in the heart of Dundee.
This fascinating and stylish museum illustrates the brilliance of Scottish creativity. It also features some of the best examples of design from all around the world.
The museum opened in 2018 and has quickly become a ‘must-see’ for visitors to Dundee. So, don’t miss out on your chance to see it in all its glory.
The McManus Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum
It is fitting that this grand museum should reside within such a beautiful Gothic-revival building.
The museum features a collection of fine and decorative art alongside a natural history collection. Originally conceptualised as a memorial to Prince Albert.
They regularly host activities and events, including crafty fun activities and captivating behind the scenes tours from the Collections Unit.
A Vertical World Climbing Centre
Are you an experienced climber or a total newbie? Either way, you’ll have a fabulous time at this incredible indoor climbing centre!
There are over 300 potential routes of both top rope and lead climbing. Plus, an excellent bouldering area, cosy café and more!
Friendly staff are always around to help you and can run courses suitable for kids aged seven and upwards.
If you’re interested in Dundee’s rich history in the jute industry, you should definitely take some time to visit this museum.
Within the atmospheric setting of a beautifully refurbished old mill, this world-class visitor’s attraction brings history to life.
Learn all about Dundee’s industrial textile heritage, dating as far back as 1833.
The story of jute and the story of Dundee are forever entangled – don’t miss the chance to explore it.
Broughty Castle Museum
This 15th-century riverside castle sits on the banks of the River Tay in Broughty Ferry.
Within the castle, you can explore fascinating displays on the history of the people, environment, and the wildlife of Broughty Ferry. Delve into the past, then look out at the incredible views of the river.
One of my personal favourite spots.
Camperdown Wildlife Centre
If you’re looking for a day out that your little ones will love, this is a great place to start!
This lovely park sits on the former grounds of a 19th-century mansion. It is also the largest park in Dundee.
If you love animals and spending time outside, I can’t recommend enough this fantastic day out. Little kids and big kids alike will love it.
Dundee Contemporary Arts
There’s no shortage of activities to keep you happy here. This wonderful museum in the centre of Dundee has it all.
There are two contemporary art galleries, a two-screen cinema, a print studio, and a public engagement programme. Not to mention the great little shop and café bar.
You could spend all day here!
Tay Rail Bridge
If you’re looking to see some history on your visit to Dundee, the Tay Rail Bridge is a can’t-miss location.
This old bridge has a tragic history. It stands beside the remains of the original bridge, which collapsed in 1879.
The bridge collapsed as a train passed over it and all on-board lost their lives.
Parts of the old bridge can be seen sticking out of the water at low tide, an eerie reminder of the past.
At the highest point in the middle of Dundee, a war memorial sits upon an extinct volcano. The most prominent feature on the Dundee skyline.
This is one of the things to do in Dundee that will get you a really beautiful picture, and make you feel very peaceful.
The panoramic views from this summit are stunning. There are places to park near the top but I recommend the walk up to really soak in the beauty.
Dundee Science Centre
Part of the Scottish Science Centre Network, this non-profit organisation introduces people of all ages to the wonders of science.
The amazing interactive exhibits focus mostly on the life sciences, particularly the senses.
They also focus on robotics and practical exploration of learning, which is great for the kids to experience.
You won’t regret taking the day to visit here – you might even leave with a new love for science!
One of the most unique of Dundee’s visitor attraction is this historic Royal Navy warship with four decks.
It’s the 3rd oldest ship still afloat today in the world – now a museum ship!
This unusual museum welcomes you aboard for an opportunity to explore and learn. Try your hand at knot tying, test out the hammocks, learn all about the armament and much more.
Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to do a bit of stargazing!
This classically styled sandstone building has a distinctive 7m dome – one of two made from papier-mâché to survive.
The observatory is home to a Victorian refracting telescope, display areas and a small planetarium.
Staff are knowledgeable and passionate and on a clear night, you get a spectacular view of the stars and planets. It can get cold though, so wrap up warm!
There are plenty of lovely parks to visit in Dundee. We’ve put the best ones together to make planning your park day even easier.
Baxter Park is a peaceful grassy park, perfect for settling down for a picnic. The wide-open space’s make it a great place to play with the kids and walk the dogs.
Magdalen Green is located to the West of the city centre, with lovely views of the Tay Railway Bridge. There’s a grand bandstand that has hosted brass bands and open-air concerts.
Stobsmuir Park is one the kids will like, with a lovely little outdoor play area and ducks and swans to feed. Plenty of seating so it’s a perfect spot to sit together and watch the sunset.
Victoria Park is a beautiful place to walk together. The park has rose gardens, bedding plant displays and recreational areas for sports or picnics.
Dundee Museum of Transport
At this museum, you are invited to learn about the lives of local transport pioneers and innovators.
Also, to take a look through the displays of vehicles from local and national collections.
They host amazing transport-related events year-round, so be sure to have a look at what’s on when you plan your visit.
Desperate Dan Statue
Are there any lovers of the Desperate Dan tales comics looking through our list? If so, you’ll be happy to hear that this odd statue exists.
There are plenty of things to do in Dundee that will get you a great picture – but none quite like this one!
This central parkland area is a multi-functional space large enough to host big events. It’s hard to believe that such a lovely lush spot would be so close to the town centre.
Used for pop concerts and other fantastic gatherings, you can check out the up and coming events on Dundee City Council‘s website.
A tiny, peculiar-looking late medieval castle straight out of a fairy-tale.
This well preserved 15th-century castle started life as a private dwelling, a fortified residence for the Strachan family.
Tours of the castle are free but need to be booked by phone ahead of time.
If you drop by spontaneously, don’t worry, the grounds and exterior are absolutely beautiful. A perfect picnic spot!
St Pauls Episcopal Cathedral
If you adore historical sites and stunning architecture, this is the place for you.
Towering high right in the city centre is this gorgeous Anglican cathedral, designed by Sir George Gilbert and built in 1855.
If you’re looking for things to do in Dundee that are close to the city centre, we would definitely recommend stopping in here.
The tranquil, picturesque setting of Morton Lochs is the perfect place to sit together and take in the sights.
It is a beautiful location and one of the more romantic things to do in Dundee. Especially for those couples that love to be in nature.
This one is for the beer lovers!
This fantastic brewery was voted Best Beer Experience in Scotland – and not for no reason. They offer award-winning tours that fill up fast, so pre-booking is advised.
On-site they sell their own on draught, or in cans or bottles to take away with you. Delicious!
The Howff is a lovely little cemetery nestled into the heart of the city of Dundee.
Walking amongst the crumbling gravestones is incredibly peaceful and there are benches where you can sit and contemplate. It’s a popular spot, so this pretty burial ground is not too spooky.
Just on the outskirts of Dundee is this utterly beautiful woodland.
There’s free parking available, plus the use of a great scenic seating/picnic area and barbeque.
Seats are also dotted throughout the excellent trails, so you know you can stop for a little rest.
Perfect for nature lovers of all ages!
D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum
An impressive collection of flora and fauna from around the globe is on show here.
This museum lives at the University of Dundee and got its name from the Scottish biologist and mathematician D’Arcy Thompson.
Birds, insects, mammals, fish and reptiles (oh my!) from far and wide. Come and learn all about them!
This charming landmark is located in a public garden area on Perth Road.
The classic pixel characters come to life here, climbing up the stone pillar – one sits at the top and looks out over the river and city.
The landmark stands as a tribute to perseverance and Dundee’s success in the Technical Sector and Gaming Industry.
This crumbling 16th-century castle may be in ruins, but that shouldn’t put you off. There’s still beauty in these old stones.
As someone who loves very old things, I highly recommend a visit here. The peaceful setting makes for a lovely place to take a walk or have a picnic.
Ninewells Community Garden
This gorgeous 1-acre garden is bursting with lovely greenery. Sensory plants, herbs, vegetables, flowers, trees, wildlife habitats, and beehives – all of them thriving.
There are wheelchair accessible paths and a great little children’s play area. Workshops and volunteering for all ages go on all through the year.
Caird Park Golf Club
Golf lovers will be more than satisfied by this fantastic parkland course, first opened in 1923. The course it suitably challenging, drawing enthusiastic players year-round.
Caird Park also boasts an athletics stadium, stunning nature trails and a historic 16th-century mains castle.
Make sure to come and check it out!
Ancrum Outdoor Centre
One for the thrill-seekers among you.
Excitement and adventure await you here. For 40 years this fantastic outdoor centre has been introducing people to the thrilling world of land and water-based adventure activities.
You can tailor your package to your group’s specific needs, so you’ll always get exactly what you’re after.
If you’re looking for things to do in Dundee that get the blood pumping, this is a good shout!
Balgarthno Stone Circle
This strange, secluded historical landmark is not the only one of its kind. The keen travellers among you may have seen stone circles in other places.
If you haven’t seen a stone circle before, I recommend taking a look it this one.
They’re not much at first sight, but they have a real air of strangeness and mystery that makes them worth a visit.
The McManus Collections Unit
Another excellent museum – Dundee is a dream location for history buffs.
At the McManus, eight incredible open gallery spaces house interesting exhibitions of history, art and the environment. You’ll leave here with a little more insight into the Dundee of yesterday.
All of this inside a beautiful Victorian Gothic style building.
Broughty Ferry Nature Reserve
There are lots of amazing things to do in Dundee that let you soak in the local natural beauty. This one just happens to be my favourite.
The place is absolutely beautiful. You can choose to walk through the woods or along the beach, both are perfect for family walks, cycling of jogging.
It’s a lovely place for a picnic or to treat the dogs to the prettiest walk of their life.
Dundee Treasure Trail
Looking to learn more about Dundee, but also want to keep the kids happy and having fun?
Dundee Treasure Trail gives you the best of both – an informative walking tour full of mystery and fun that the whole family can enjoy.
After all, what kids wouldn’t be interested in the prospect of treasure?
Put your detective skills to the test and solve the whodunit together on this mystery-themed trail. Or take on the spy mission trail and save the world (well, Scotland).
Kids and kids at heart are welcome!
Discovery Point Dundee
An absolute must-see among all the fascinating things to do in Dundee. This award-winning visitor attraction is home to the Antarctic research vessel RRS Discovery.
Here you can learn the vessel’s harrowing tale of adventure and the pursuit of knowledge – from humble beginnings in Dundee to the Arctic expedition and beyond!
Learn of the heroes who ventured to one of the most inhospitable places on the planet in the name of discovery.
Ryze Dundee – Xtreme Air Sports
If you’re looking for things to do in Dundee that will get the kids good and tired, a fun and thrilling day out here will do it!
This place is amazing. It has an ocean of oversized trampolines, a huge stuntman airbag, ninja obstacle course, obstacle pits, a ginormous inflatable with attached slides and much more!
A day spent here is a day well spent.
Dundee Botanic Garden
This luscious garden is open year-round and always has something worth seeing, no matter the season.
A particularly romantic spot, the garden is home to a vast range of plant-life. Trees, shrubs, flowers, tropical temperature greenhouses, a water garden, and a herb garden.
It’s a great place to stop and smell the flowers.
A marvellous day out the whole family will adore!
This charming rare breed farm offers visitors the opportunity to meet some strange and adorable furry friends.
Alpacas, miniature Mediterranean donkeys, Poitou donkeys, falabella miniature horses, and guanacos.
If you’re really lucky, you might get the chance to see some new-born babies.
Once you’ve made friends with your favourite alpaca you get to take them for a leisurely countryside stroll. Yes, really!
Escape Rooms Dundee
Ending the list on a high note here! This is an ideal day out for groups of all ages, with escape rooms featuring five different games to try.
Witchcraft and Wizardry, Da Vinci Room, Contagion, Overthrone, and Prison Break – each one suitable for up to six people.
Don’t miss out!