Dundee: the city that epitomises everything wonderful about Scottish tourism. It’s a centre for culture, nature, and history, attracting holidaymakers from across the UK every year. Being close to the water and surrounded by beautiful countryside, there are plenty of things to do in Dundee that won't break the bank. Perfect for a family day out or long weekend away, here are ten free things to do in Dundee.
Explore Dundee’s Art Galleries and Centres
The city of Dundee is full of art, colour, and culture. Even better, you can access most of it without spending a penny , with free galleries and museums in abundance. To get creative, you could visit Dundee Contemporary Arts. For Scotland's design museum and to admire the city’s astounding architecture, visit the V&A Dundee. Or, to marvel at some of Dundee's most famous statues and art, take a trip to the recently refurbished McManus Art Gallery and Museum.
Being the first purpose-built observatory in Britain, Mills Observatory is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about the world beyond the Earth . Through the telescope, you'll be able to glare at the galaxies, bust myths about meteors, and learn about light-years. And, if you’re inquisitive at heart, the staff will love to answer all your questions. Before you plan your journey, check the Mills Observatory's website , as they run various activities depending on the time of year.
Broughty Ferry Beach
This stretch of sand is one of Scotland’s best beaches, boasting numerous awards and hosting thousands of sun seekers every summer. The golden sand is perfect for building sandcastles or for strolling barefoot along the water’s edge. Even though the beach is fantastic in the summer, we believe Broughty Ferry beach is lovely any time in the year – especially for a winter walk. Due to its immaculate water quality, you’ll even see pods of Dolphins move through the River Tay.
Dundee’s St Pauls Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral is situated in the heart of the city and welcomes people of all faiths and beliefs. This spectacular building was designed and built in the Victorian era, and its spire rises above all other buildings in the city, making it a significant feature in the Dundee skyline. Everybody is welcome to visit the cathedral, whether you’d like to attend a service, light a candle or marvel at its architecture. Even if you’re not religious, this cathedral is not to be missed.
To get the best view in Dundee, head to the top of the Law. The highest point in Dundee – approximately 160m (525ft) above sea level – you'll get a stunning view of the city, the Tay, the rolling hills, and more. To get to the summit, buses regularly run from the town centre. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, you can walk the signposted 'town to top' trail, starting from Dundee Square.
The RRS Discovery holds an integral part in history as one of the early research expeditions to Antarctica. Captain Scott, Ernest Shackleton, and the rest of the crew explored the unrelenting conditions of the South Pole, launching from the very same dock in Dundee back in 1901. Back in its rightful home, you can explore the free visitor centre and walk in the same footsteps of the crew on the deck of the ship.
River Tay Walkway
The riverside pathway is a beautiful walk 365 days of the year, and what's better is its proximity to the city centre. Along the 3.5 miles of pathway, you might see some of Britain's most extraordinary wildlife, from seals and dolphins to local birdlife. But even if you don't get to see any wildlife, there's plenty more to take in. You'll also pass the photogenic Tay Rail Bridge, the University of Dundee Botanic Garden, several sculptures, and more.
Dudhope Castle & Recreational Facilities
Once an army barracks, Dudhope grounds are now open to public. This picturesque castle is a lovely backdrop for a photo, making it a great place to take a snap of the whole family. Not only is Dudhope Castle beautiful, but it's great for activities, too. The surrounding park has recreational facilities perfect for sport and playing – an ideal opportunity for the kids to let of some steam. You can make the most of the free tennis courts, play area, skateboarding park, and basketball and 5-a-side football court.
Camperdown Country Park
To catch a break from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, pay a visit to Camperdown. The largest park in Dundee, Camperdown is popular among both locals and visitors. Spanning 400 acres, you'll appreciate the opportunity to stretch your legs and take in some fresh air.
Highland Cows at Riverside National Park
The Riverside National Park is one of the best free things to do in Dundee and well worth a visit. Located towards the end of the River Tay walk, it is a wee way out of the city centre, so public transport may be a better option if you don't fancy the walk – but we think it’s well worth the added effort. You'll be able to see various wildlife, from skylarks to rabbits, as well as Scotland's native highland cows. The riverside national park overlooks the Tay Estuary, so we recommend visiting for the sunset for some stunning views and pictures.
There are so many free things to do in Dundee that you’ll soon be visiting for more. If you’re travelling by train, don’t forget to book an Advance ticket via our website or our Train Tickets app. You can also find information on how to get cheaper train tickets via our special offers page. If you need more information, you can contact us here.