Dundee delights — 3 tips for family visitors

In the space of a few years, Dundee in north-east Scotland has rapidly become the nation’s coolest city.

But don’t take our word for it — this underdog destination has punched above its weight by entering the National Geographic 2019 cool list and earning more plaudits from prestigious publications like Lonely Planet and the Wall Street Journal.

Dundee now has a list of attractions for family visitors that’s long as your arm — so if you fancy experiencing this on-trend destination in person, chew over our three tips for family visitors.

  1. V&A Dundee

Visiting the V&A Dundee should be top of your to-do list when you hit town.

The Kengo Kuma-designed building’s bold angular exterior is based on cliff formations on Scotland’s rugged coastlines and became an instant international architectural icon when it was unveiled last year.

It’s the only V&A museum in the world outside of London and is dedicated to showcasing highlights of Scotland’s design heritage and heralding innovations from across the globe.

Admission is free, but some internal exhibitions have separate charges. And there’s something for everyone — but adults, teens and older children might find it more inspiring than very young kids.

  1. RRS Discovery

RRS Discovery is a stone’s throw from the V&A on the banks of the River Tay — so you might as well make it a double-whammy and visit both attractions.

For the uninitiated, the Discovery is the ship which legendary Polar explorer Captain Scott sailed to the Antarctic in 1901 and she was the last old-style wooden three-mast boat to be built in Britain.

Entry fees aren’t too pricey, and kids of all ages love exploring every nook and cranny of the well-preserved vessel during guided tours and learning more about the triumphs of Scott and his intrepid crew in the neighboring visitor’s center.

As well as a great gift shop, the center has a café that offers tasty lunches and local fare — perfect for a pitstop!

  1. DCA (Dundee Contemporary Arts)

The DCA is a sublime Arts space close to the city center that you really shouldn’t miss.

There’s a chic cinema which shows mainstream as well as more experimental movies and an adjacent bar and restaurant where you’ll find everything from mojito cocktails to children’s meals.

Checking out Create Space is highly recommended. This area makes whichever cutting-edge arts exhibition is showing more accessible to children by providing a children’s book library that explains exhibits and connects kids to artists — and provides them with pens, paper, paints and tools to craft their own mini masterpieces.

If parents fancy trying something similarly arty for themselves, there’s an in-house print studio where personal classes with professionals can be arranged on request.

Dundee’s reasonably near international airports in Edinburgh and Glasgow, so getting there presents no problems for US travelers. A final free tip is booking airport parking with Looking4.com — ideal if you want to store your vehicle safely for the duration.

We hope our Dundee hattrick has whetted your travel appetite! If you’ve been before, please share your thoughts in the comments section.


  1. I would love to go to Scotland in my life time.

  2. Scotland is on my bucket list.

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