Discovering Dundee: Britain's coolest little city

Last updated: Monday, 24 July 2023

What to find at Scotland's current hot destination

In recent years Dundee has undergone something of a transformation, firmly establishing the city on the Tay as a centre of technology, art and culture. With the likes of Lonely Planet and GQ hailing it a must-visit destination, there's never been a better time to visit Dundee, especially when you can save up to 65% with our Advance fares . With your ScotRail ticket you can also also get some great savings on Dundee hotels and when you arrive in the city, here's a taster of what to expect...

Culture vultures

The opening of the striking V&A has garnered international attention for Dundee and Scotland’s only design museum is a work of art in itself. Though it’s only been open a couple of months it’s already most tourists’ first stop in the city and with exhibitions that rival what you’d see in New York or London, it’s easy to see why.

If it’s a more traditional museum and gallery experience you’re after, The McManus is just a short walk away in the city centre and there's also Verdant Works, where you'll get the lowdown on Dundee's jute industry past.

Back in the present, DCA brings with it regular exhibitions, art house cinema and one of the city’s liveliest café bars, while you’ll find Scotland’s only full-time acting ensemble over the street at Dundee Rep Theatre.

Twilight on Tayside

Dundee is full of wining and dining options with Italian, French, Spanish, Pan-Asian, Middle Eastern and Mexican cuisines all well-represented. Fine dining can be found at the award-winning Castlehill restaurant and for food on the go, there's a mind-boggling selection of pies and pastries on offer at the legendary Clark’s bakery.

For the hard stuff, The King of Islington recently fought off competition from Glasgow and Edinburgh to be named Scotland’s best rum bar, plus there's speakeasy-style cocktails aplenty at the well-hidden Draffens.

If you’re staying overnight then the brunch options are plentiful. Expect flat whites, sourdough toast and all the usual suspects at venues such as Bird & Bear, Pacamara and White Goose.

Family fun

There's plenty to keep the kids entertained at the V&A, but that’s not all the city has to offer for families. Dundee Science Centre offers hands-on learning experiences on everything from dinosaurs to diffraction, with the added bonus that kids can get free entry with your ScotRail ticket. Young explorers can also find about the story of Scott and Shackleton's heroic Antarctic voyage at Discovery Point, one of the city's most popular attractions with the restored steamship RRS Discovery as its centrepiece.

Dundee is home to DC Thomson, publishers of Oor Wullie and The Beano amongst others. There's statues of some of DC Thomson's best-loved characters in various location around the city, so to see if you and the kids can spot them all.

Out and about

If you want to spread your wings and explore then the pretty seaside suburb of Broughty Ferry has some of the best cafes and eateries in the city, plus its own beach if you fancy a brisk morning stroll.

Not everyone knows St Andrews is only around 13 miles from Dundee and there's a lot more to the town than golf, with plenty of top-class restaurants and independent shops. Hop on a train to Leuchars and you’ll find buses every few minutes to take you into St Andrews..

Further off the beaten path, you can head to Arbroath for a cliffside walk and a chance to sample the local smokies.

Train services run to Dundee at least hourly from most major services and interchanges on the ScotRail network. With Advance fares , you can save up to 65% on your trip. For more information on the city including what's on, go to .

Discover Britain's coolest little city
Book train tickets