Looking over the Tay Bridge to Dundee

Top 5 things to do in Dundee

Introducing the City of Discovery

Dundee is Scotland’s 4th largest city, with a population of over 156,000, located close to the east coast of the country north of Edinburgh and south of Aberdeen. It’s a fortunate geographical situation, allowing easy access to some of the best attractions Scotland has to offer. The city has a rich history touching on many significant world-renowned figures and brands, some of which we will explore in this post.

Looking over the Tay Bridge to Dundee

Looking over the Tay Bridge to Dundee

Dundee is popularly monikered as being founded on the three ‘J’s’ of ‘jute, jam and journalism’. Jute, from the textiles that formed a large part of Dundee’s growth during the industrial revolution; Jam, mainly from Keiller’s Marmalade, which is thought to have been the first commercial brand of Marmalade and Journalism from the likes of DC Thompson, founded in the city in the mid-19th century, and publisher of famous titles such as the Beano, Dandy, Desperate Dan and The Sunday Post. So, there are a great variety of strings to Dundee’s bow, resulting in a city and broader area with plenty to explore.

In this post we thought it would be useful to highlight five of our choices as to the best things to do during your visit to Dundee.

1) Explore the history

As we have noted, Dundee has a varied history based on a variety of industries. Fortunately, much of this history has been preserved and is available to view in the city. This includes the ship Discovery (Dundee has been popularly known as the ‘City of Discovery’ in recent times), built in Dundee and most famously the ship that took Captain Scott on his expedition to the Antarctic. The ship has been restored and provides a fascinating insight into its remarkable days at sea.

Discovery Docked in Dundee

Discovery Docked in Dundee

Dundee is also home to a special ship originating from Chatham Dockyard, the HMS Unicorn. This one of the six oldest ships in the world, preserved in completely original condition. As well as these maritime exhibits, there is also the Verdant Works, an insight into the Jute industry that helped form Dundee.

2) Science, learning and technology

Away from the history of Dundee is the cutting-edge science and technology of the Dundee Science Centre. Open all year round, the science centre is a permanent exhibition with other events happening all year round. The Science Centre is also very much used as a centre for learning, with courses available for young and old, beginner or more advanced, there will be an option for you! Dundee has been a centre for digital technologies, with a rich history in the games industry (DMA Design, creators of the Grand Theft Auto series was founded in Dundee). Dundee is very much a city of learning with Dundee University and the University of Abertay amongst those attracting students from all over the world.

3) Go shopping

In recent years, Dundee has undergone a transformation as regards to its retail space. As well as a  pedestrianised city centre area, there are two very popular shopping centres, Overgate and Wellgate – there will be something for the shopaholic in your party in these locations.

4) Play some golf

It would be remiss of us to focus on the Dundee area without mentioning the world class golf courses that are all close to the city. The most famous of these is Carnoustie Golf Links, around an hour from the centre of Dundee. Carnoustie has hosted numerous important tournaments over the years, including The Open Championship. However, the golfing goodness doesn’t end there – there are 30 top class golf courses in ‘Carnoustie Country’, all within a short drive of Dundee. As well as these great courses being on Dundee’s doorstep, the most famous of them all, St Andrews is also a short drive south of the city.

5) Stay in Dundee

There are numerous excellent hotels in and around Dundee, including the recently opened Malmaison Dundee, which looks fairly swish. There are a full range of accommodation options on the Visit Scotland website.

That’s a few options that we would choose to do on a short break to Dundee. If you have any suggestions as to what else is a must-see in the City of Discovery leave us a comment!