This seaport city on the Firth of Tay is just down the coast from Aberdeen. Dundee describes itself as “One City, Many Discoveries” in reference to the history of science surrounding the city and more specifically of the Antarctic exploration vessel the RRS Discovery. Dundee now accounts for 10% of digital entertainment in the UK as it is a site for game and app development.
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 999
- Language: English
- Currency: British Pound
- Country Code: GB
- Travel Visa: None required
- Population: 148,710
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
- Like any other seaside or waterfront city, Dundee has an array of attractions right next to the water to take advantage of that beautiful view. However, you should be careful when drinking as it is easy to lose balance and fall in whilst inebriated. Drink responsibly and have fun but be safe.
- If you get to Dundee and are unsure of what to do and where to go: ask a local. The front desk of a hotel or a pub worker will likely be aware of good place to go for tourists whilst having some insights with their own favourite parts of the city.
For the Emergency services just dial 999 from any phone, for not so serious situations please dial 101.
Dundee Information Centre: 1382 527527
Dundee has both an airport and a railway station. The closest international airport is in Edinburgh airport. The city also has a comprehensive city-wide bus service.
Dundee Airport: 01382 662200
Dundee Railway Station: ScotRail
What is a safety top tip?
Dundee has the highest number of drug related deaths in all of Scotland, the local government and charities are doing what they can to reduce this number.
If someone offers you drugs, politely and firmly say no and remove yourself from the situation.
If you see someone slumped over or unconscious and you are concerned, call 111 and ask for advice.
What’s the weather like?
Dundee is a north-easterly coastal city of Scotland and therefore will be quite chilly and windy most of the time. Its proximity to the sea also increases humidity. It rains often, especially in October and January.
The average summer temperature is 15.2°C whilst the average winter temperature is 3.6°C.
For the most reasonable weather, visit in late spring and summer.
Dress and plan accordingly.
How safe is Dundee?
Overall, crime in Scotland has reduced over the past year. However, Dundee city and the surrounding areas have some of the highest crime rates in Scotland.
General advice is to treat Dundee with the caution you would treat a larger city with. Staying aware of your surroundings, remaining in a group and sticking to populated safe areas are all advice you should use to keep yourself safe.
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
The Dundee Flower and Food Festival is designed to showcase a lot of the city and region’s great gardening, cooking, baking and floral exploits. There is a huge range of attendees and exhibitors all sharing advice and ideas: Chefs, wine tasters, beekeepers and home cooks. Luckily they’re also sharing recipes too; everything from a jam recipe to a full three course meal. Tour the allotments to showcase local ingenuity and hard work. Be wowed by the flower arranging. It’ll certainly be the best smelling festival around!
In the lead up, City Square is filled with attractions like street theatre performances, exciting carnival rides, a Wishing Wall and the opportunity to let you hair down with the Silent Disco Tour. The real event begins with the impressive Torchlight Procession heading through the streets (if you sign up early you can be a torch bearer too!) from the High School of Dundee towards the festivities. When to procession reaches City Square, the countdown commences and the city is lit up with Christmas cheer.
This festival is ran by NEoN (North East of North Scotland), a charity dedicated to spreading greater understanding and accessibility of digital and technology-driven art forms. During this festival, there is a huge variety of things to see and do as there are exhibitions, workshops, talks, conferences, live performances and public discussions. Everything is designed to showcase local and global digital art endeavours and celebrate it.
Where can I eat local?
Listed in the Cambra Beer Good Guides for seven consecutive years, The Ship Inn is popular amongst both locals and tourists. This inn serves hearty traditional pub and sea food whilst also providing delicious and delicate desserts. Selling spirits to the locals since 1847, its hard to argue with that kind of popularity. A friendly atmosphere and the Tay just outside the window, it’s a perfect place to eat and enjoy the Dundee ambiance.
For a more modern and elegant dining experience, try the Collinsons. The produce remains local and fresh- a point of pride with any local eatery- but the experience is somewhat more refined. Try traditional dishes like guineafowl, wood pigeon and deer whilst being enchanted by the expert plating and dish design. Reviews place costs at a good price with decent portions so fear not, you’ll find no expensive artsy small dishes here!
What are some well-known attractions?
Discovery Point is Dundee’s centre of Antarctic exploration that details and celebrates the scientific endeavours of those who travelled to the icy south. Whilst there you can actually see some of the equipment and artefacts belonging to Captain Scott and his crew from the expedition. As well as these displays, there are also audio-visual shows and computer-based interactive experiences to immerse you in the scientific expedition and ship life in the cold.
If that isn’t enough, the Royal Research Ship (RRS) Discovery is actually moored at Discovery Point so you can learn all about her adventures and then step aboard to fully appreciate the journey. The ship is open to visitor tours. It has been refitted and refurbished to look as close to its original state as possible so you can get an authentic look back into history.
What should I visit?
The UK’s only full-time public Observatory, the Mills Observatory houses an impressive Victorian retracting telescope. Gifted to the people of Dundee, this landmark is intended to spread awareness and understanding of space. It contains a small planetarium, that regularly holds educational shows, and displays on the solar system. As well as the antique telescope, there is a working computerised telescope so you can actually have your own exploration of the solar system. Not bad for your average Scottish day trip?
Declaring itself a “life-long learning resource”, Dundee science centre is a science museum with many hats. It endeavours to encourage families to learn together on days out and supports the formal schools curriculum whilst also working to advance the science communication profession by bringing together science and the public in an easy and helpful way. There are exhibits like the Medical Marvel experience, that allows you to gain an understanding and use medical equipment. What can you find when giving the model an ultrasound?