Dundee

Travel Guide Europe United Kingdom Scotland Tayside Dundee

edit

Introduction

Dundee Centre

Dundee Centre

© fionaoro

Dundee, Fundee or Scumdee? Everyone has a different take on Scotland's City of Discovery. With two excellent universities, a thriving music scene and enough watering holes to keep even the most devout beer-lovers happy, Dundee is definitely a city where you can have a good time. However speak to an Aberdonian and you'll soon get a different impression -jealousy is a terrible thing!

Dundee used to be a grubby, rough industrial town famous for its three J's of jute, jam and journalism. Jute (see "Verdant" listing) still marks the landscape: the mills have closed but many still stand as offices and apartments. Jam was made from fruit grown nearby. Journalism refers to the D C Thomson publishing empire, whose renown was less for their journalism than for their stable of comics and cartoon strips. These include the Sunday Post with "Oor Wullie" and "The Broons", the Dandy with "Desperate Dan" and the Beano with "Dennis the Menace". Of course that wasn't all the city had to offer: delicacies such as Dundee Cake, studded with sultanas and almonds, was probably what your Great Aunt Morag enjoyed for Sunday tea along with some Dundee Marmalade to top it off. And then there was the bridge that famously and tragically fell down. And Dundee's great cultural icon was William McGonagall (see info box), surely the world's worst poet.

But the industrial grubbiness is gradually disappearing, enabling the city to shine in its attractive natural setting. There are major visitor attractions already and more appearing. There's a student buzz from the universities, and generally a friendly feel to the place. It's definitely worth a day or two to visit.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

  • RRS Discovery, Riverside Drive DD1 4XA. Apr-Oct M-Sa 10:00-18:00, Su 11:00-18:00; Nov-Mar M-Sa 10:00-17:00, Su 11:00-17:00. Discovery, launched in 1901, is an Royal Research Ship (RRS) specifically built for Antarctic exploration. Built in Dundee, she's a wooden sailing vessel with only auxiliary steam power. Discovery was commanded by Robert Falcon Scott, and also aboard was Ernest Shackleton. They reached Antarctica in early 1902 (summer), intending to spend one winter, but the ship became icebound for the next two years. They were just about to abandon ship in Feb 1904 when the ice broke and they escaped homeward to public acclaim. Both men were to return: Shackleton in 1907-09 didn't quite reach the South Pole, but survived; Scott in 1910-12 did reach it, but behind Amundsen, and all his party perished on the trek back to the coast. The museum has an extensive display of the 1902-04 expedition, and then you go aboard the dry-docked ship, which had a later career as a polar merchant vessel. Adult £11.50, combi with Verdant Works £18.65.
  • Verdant Works, West Henderson’s Wynd DD1 5BT. Apr-Oct M-Sa 10:00-18:00, Su 11:00-18:00; Nov, Feb-Mar M-Sa 10:00-177:00, Su 11:00-17:00, Dec Jan W-Sa 10:00-17:00, Su 11:00-17:00. In the 19th century you just had to have jute. Curtains and carpets and blankets, hard-wearing clothing. Satchels and roof felt, ropes of all kinds, sails for ships, tents for soldiers. The raw material is a coarse flax that grows in Bengal: it was processed here because Dundee had fast ships to import it, whale oil to make it soft and workable, flax-weaving technology, and then again the fast ships to export finished goods globally. The city's mill owners grew very rich; the mill workers didn't, nor did the Bengalis. Verdant Works, built in 1833, was one of many jute factories here. Many of them still stand, converted into offices and apartments; Verdant was turned into a museum in 1996. Volunteers demonstrate the clanking machinery. Adult £11.50, combi with Discovery £18.65.
  • Saint Mary's church and the adjoining medieval steeple sit directly outside the new Overgate shopping centre and offer a nice combination of history and shopping.
  • The Dundee Contemporary Arts centre in the heart of the cities "wee" cultural quarter, near the University of Dundee, offers art and cinema as well as food and drinks in its beer garden or bar the views out to the river.
  • Broughty Ferry, Dundee's posh seaside suburb, is an excellent spot for a stroll along the beach, a pub lunch, a Visocchi's ice cream or a nosey around a castle.

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

Edinburgh Airport (EDI IATA) is usually the most convenient. From there, take Xplore Dundee's Edinburgh Airport Xpress Service from directly outside the terminal all the way non-stop to just across from the train station in Dundee. Alternatively, take Stagecoach Bus Jet 747 to Inverkeithing in Fife to catch the hourly train to Dundee, or to Halbeath for the hourly Stagecoach Bus X54. Otherwise take the tram or bus from the airport to Edinburgh Haymarket, or Gateway for trains or buses to Dundee.

Dundee Airport (DND IATA) is 2 miles west of city centre on A85 - with light baggage you could walk it in 30 min. You can fly to Dundee from London City (LCY) or Belfast City (BHD) with Loganair year-round. You can fly from London twice daily Monday to Friday, and there is one service on a Sunday, flights take around 1 hr 45 min. The Belfast flights operate once per weekday and Sunday lunchtime with flights taking just over one hour. These air routes are flown using ATR-42 turboprop aircraft, with 48 seats.

By Train

Dundee railway station (DEE). The station is just south of city centre, close to Discovery and the ramps onto the Tay Road Bridge. The station was rebuilt in 2018 with a SleeperZ hotel on its upper floors. There's not much in the concourse and the retail units are unlet, but there's a WH Smith beyond the ticket barrier.

Dundee has Scotrail trains hourly or better from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, all taking 80 min. Three direct daytime LNER trains run from London King's Cross (6 hr) via York and Newcastle, but it's usually more convenient to change in Edinburgh. From the Midlands and Southwest, take the CrossCountry train, winding all the way from Penzance via Bristol, Birmingham, Sheffield and York.

The Caledonian Highland Sleeper to Aberdeen runs Su-F from London Euston, departing after 21:00 and ejecting you onto a chilly Dundee platform at 06:00. The southbound train picks up around 23:00 to reach Euston towards 08:00. You might prefer to take the Lowland Sleeper from Euston towards midnight and change to a day train in Edinburgh. Going back, you need to leave Dundee around 22:00 to join the southbound sleeper at 23:30 from Edinburgh.

There's also a station halt at the west edge of town at Invergowrie, which might be more convenient for Ninewells Hospital area.

Four miles east of town is Broughty Ferry, with an hourly train (towards Arbroath) taking 6 min. Platform One to return to Dundee is not accessible by wheelchair: the workaround is to go to Platform Two, take the train onward to Arbroath, and switch there to a westbound train. It's a much higher fare for doing so, but you should be able to claim a refund of the extra for yourself and companions. The workaround route takes 40 min instead of six, giving you time to compose your letter of complaint.

The slow trains to Arbroath also stop at Monifieth and Carnoustie.

By Car

From Edinburgh and the south follow M90 / A90 north, about 55 miles (90 km) or just over an hour's drive. A slow scenic route is to branch off onto A92 towards Kirkcaldy then wind along the Fife coast and through St Andrews.

From Glasgow follow M80 then M9 / A9 to Perth, and then swing east onto A90. It's 75 miles (120 km), about a 90-min drive.

From Aberdeen follow A90 south: it's 67 miles (105 km) and will take about 80 min.

A90 skirts the north of Dundee, where it's called Kingsway. The speed limit of 40/50 mph is vigilantly enforced.

By Bus

Seagate bus station has both local bus services to surrounding towns as well as Scottish Citilink and Megabus services.

Top

edit

Getting Around

The main sights are all within walking distance. The local bus you're most likely to use is Stagecoach Bus 73, which runs every 10 min between Ninewells Hospital, Dundee High Street and bus station, Broughty Ferry, Monifieth, Carnoustie and Arbroath.

By taxi you'll pay about £6 for a journey within city centre and £15 to Broughty Ferry.

Top

edit

Eat

There is a flourishing café culture in Dundee city centre. Lots of fast-food, takeaways, cafés and restaurants.

Duke's Corner, 13 Brown Street DD1 5EG. Su-Tu 12:00-00:00, W-Sa 12:00-02:30. Lively entertainment venue, serving burgers, salads, pizzas from noon. Student clientele. Good for lunch or early dinner, gets noisy once the music starts.
Parlour, 58 West Port DD1 5EP. M-Sa 08:00-17:00. Popular café near Uni, small place so it gets busy and cramped. Menu changes daily, lots of vegetarian options.
Balaka, 115-117 Perth Road DD1 4JB. M W 12:00-13:30 & 17:30-23:00, Tu Th 17:30-23:00, F Sa 15:00-00:00, Su 17:00-23:00. Long-established budget Indian restaurant.
Jahangir Tandoori, 1 Session Street DD1 5DN. M-Th 12:00-22:00, F Sa 12:00-23:00, Su 17:00-22:00. Friendly family restaurant with goldfish pool. (updated Feb 2020)
Phoenix, 103 Nethergate DD1 4DH. M-Sa 11:00-00:00, Su 12:30-00:00. Good pub grub at reasonable prices.
Dil'se, 99-101 Perth Rd, DD1 4JA, ☏ +44 1382 221501. Daily 16:00-23:30. Friendly Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant. Earlybird dinner (17:00-19:00) £17 pp.
City Harbour Chinese Buffet, Unit 3 & 4, City Quay, 21A Camperdown St DD1 3JA. Daily 12:00-16:30 & 17:00-21:30. Waterfront all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet.
Tickety Boo's, 51 Commercial Street DD1 2AA (corner with Seagate). Su-Th 11:00-00:00, F Sa 11:00-01:00. Highly recommended for food & drink.
Old Bank Bar, 34 Reform Street DD1 1RH. Su-Th 11:00-23:00, F Sa 11:00-00:00. Belhaven pub with reliable food.
Rancho Pancho, 16 Commercial Street DD1 3EJ. M-Sa 17:00-22:00, Sa 12:00-14:30, Su 17:00-21:00. Mexican classics, hefty portions.
The Counting House, 67-71 Reform St DD1 1SP (opposite McManus). Daily 08:00-00:00. JD Wetherspoon's efficient chain choice.
Molly Malone's (formerly The Globe), 53 West Port DD1 5ER. Daily 11:00-00:00. Belhaven pub with extensive menu including vegetarian.
Don Michele, 177 Perth Road DD2 1AS, ☏ +44 1382 660600. M-Sa 17:00-23:00, Th-Su 12:00-14:30. Italian restaurant.

For self-catering, there are lots of supermarkets. Tesco predominates, with four branches: in the city centre, one next to the railway station (24 hr), one in South Road near Sterling Mills and another on Kingsway. ASDA have a big store on East Kingsway (24 hr) and a smaller one on Gilburn Road. Morrisons are on the Forfar Road, north of A90 Kingsway.

Top

edit

Drink

Pubs are dwindling, as in other cities, but there's no shortage. The main concentration is along Hawkhill, Perth Road or West End of the city, with another strip along Nethergate. The student unions of Dundee and Abertay Universities are great for a cheap night out.

Top

edit

Sleep

Sleeperz is right above the railway station, B&B double £60.
Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa, 1 West Victoria Dock Road DD1 3JP (near foot of Tay Bridge), ☏ +44 1382 202404, fax: +44 1382 201401, ✉ dundee.reservations@apexhotels.co.uk. Stylish contemporary 4-star hotel, in the new City Quay development, with views of the river and Quay with ship Unicorn. Double (room only) £70.
Best Western Queens Hotel, 160 Nethergate DD1 4DU (close to railway station and University of Dundee), ☏ +44 1382 322515. Good chain choice, central. Double (room only) £50.
Premier Inn Dundee Centre, Riverside Drive DD1 4XA (at Discovery Point), ☏ +44 333 777 4656. Riverside budget inn with 150 rooms. Make sure to pay for parking (£3 / night) immediately on arrival. £9 pp for breakfast in Beefeater. Double (room only) £40.
Malmaison, 44 Whitehall Crescent DD1 4AY (opposite railway station), ☏ +44 1382 339715. Central mid-range hotel, dog-friendly. Double (room only) £75.
Travelodge Dundee Central, 152-158 West Marketgait DD1 1NJ, ☏ +44 871 984 6301. Central budget hotel. There's another Travelodge north of the centre on Strathmore Ave, and a third (listed below) on the A90 ring road. B&B double £50. (
Best Western Invercarse Hotel, 371 Perth Road DD2 1PG (West End, near Botanical Gardens), ☏ +44 1382 669231. Chain 3-star hotel. Double (room only) £60.
Dundee Backpackers, 71 High Street DD1 1SD, ☏ +44 1382 224646. Central hostel with dorms and private rooms. Dorm £18 ppn. (updated Feb 2020)
Holiday Inn Express Dundee, Dock Street Dundee DD1 3DR (at foot of Tay Bridge; railway station 400 yards), ☏ +44 1382 314330, ✉ info@hiexpressdundee.com. Very central 3-star hotel. Rooms are small but not cramped, equipped with tea/coffee maker. B&B double £60. (updated Feb 2020)
Student accommodation is mostly empty in summer. Try contacting the local Universities (via websites under "Learn") to see if they have anything to offer. Other flats and apartments may also be available: Dundee empties out in summer unless there's a major golf tournament nearby.
Taypark House is a Victorian Gothic mansion a couple of miles west of town centre.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dundee (formerly The Landmark Hotel), South Kingsway DD2 5JT (A90 ring road NW edge of city), ☏ +44 1382 641122. 4-star lodging in 19th-century mansion with extensive gardens. £15 pp for breakfast. Double (room only) £80. (updated Feb 2020)
Premier Inn Dundee West, South Kingsway DD2 5JU (on A90 ring road, NW edge of city), ☏ +44 333 777 4659. Budget hotel, handy for motorists. Double (room only) £40.
Travelodge Dundee, Kingsway, DD2 4TD (on A90 ring road in Camperdown, NW edge of city), ☏ +44 871 984 6135. Budget chain hotel, convenient for motorists. B&B double £50.
The Hideaway Experience, Balkello Farm, Auchterhouse DD3 0RA (6 miles north of city), ☏ +44 1382 320707. Luxurious cottage on farm. B&B double £350.
Landal Piperdam, Piperdam, Fowlis DD2 5LP (7 miles NW of city on A903), ☏ +44 1382 585000, ✉ enquiries@piperdam.com. Self-catering lodges by small loch. B&B double £250.

View our map of accommodation in Dundee

Top

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafés can be found in many cities and towns. All UK public libraries provide access, often branded as "People's Network", usually at no or little charge, though there is usually a time limit. Some hotels/hostels also offer internet access, including wifi, but most times at a cost. Using the internet on your personal phone can become expensive very quickly, with carriers charging 100's of times the local rate for data. To avoid these expensive roaming charges, you can hunt for wifi at a local cafe or hotel, or rent a mobile hotspot via several providers including DATAPiXY, and XCOM Global.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to the United Kingdom is: 44. To make an international call from the United Kingdom, the code is: 00

In case of emergency, call 999 or 112 from any phone. Such calls are free and will be answered by an emergency services operator who will ask you for your location, and the service(s) you need (police, fire, ambulance, coastguard or mountain rescue). You can call this number from any mobile telephone as well, even if you do not have roaming.

Although the number is declining, you can still find payphones in many public areas, especially stations, airports etc. You can usually pay with cash and sometimes by creditcard or, for international calls, special phonecards are still available.

Mobile phones are heavily used. The main networks are T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange and O2. 3G data services are available, usually priced per megabyte and coverage is usually very good in the UK, however it may lack in rural areas. Roaming on your personal phone plan can be expensive. To manage costs, consider purchasing a local UK SIM card for your phone. Several companies offer local SIM cards including Telestial, and CellularAbroad.

Post

The Royal Mail provides postal services in the United Kingdom. The Royal Mail's store fronts are called Post Office and offer services ranging from sending letters and packages to foreign currency exchange. Use the branch locator to find the nearest Post Office branch. There will be at least one post office in any town/city and there are quite often post offices in larger villages. It's common for a post office to be incorporated into a grocery store, where there will be a small counter located at the back of the store for dealing with post related matters. All post offices are marked with signs that say 'post office' in red lettering. Post boxes can be found at any post office and standalone large red post boxes on the streets or red boxes in the sides of public buildings.
For sending packages overseas, it might be a good idea to check prices and services with international companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.

==External Links=

Accommodation in Dundee

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Dundee searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

Contributors

as well as Hien (4%)

Dundee Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Dundee

This is version 15. Last edited at 12:44 on Jul 7, 20 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License