Things to do in Dundee | Student Life

Ship on the harbour in dundee

Dundee is the fourth largest city in Scotland and attracts thousands of visitors each year. It is the first and currently only UNESCO City of Design in the UK. The city is bursting with all matter of things to do, including scientific, historical and cultural landmarks. Students who are looking for a vibrant city should look no further than Dundee, both for its universities and things to do.

When not at university, there is a range of things to do in Dundee that may interest students; including activities that have free admission and certain experiences that are tailored towards students.

This guide will look at the various things to do in Dundee, including its landmarks and the best food and drink places, and activities that are student friendly.

Dundee landmarks

Dundee is well known for its famous landmarks from the well know Broughty castle, historic Tay Rail bridge and the Royal research ship RRS Discovery located on the Dundee waterfront.

In 2014, Dundee became the United Kingdom’s only UNESCO city of Design, chosen for its design which was seen as an integral part of the culture in Dundee.

RRS Discovery

Built in 1901, the RRS Discovery is the last traditional three-mast ship to be constructed in the UK. Visitors can step onto the ship to learn about its history, including Captain Scott and his crew’s Antarctica expeditions.

The RRS Discovery has exhibits and other learning resources that make it perfect for an educational trip, including its Discovery Point. It is one of Dundee’s most popular tourist attractions.

Ship on the harbour in dundeeSt Paul’s Cathedral

Sitting in the middle of Dundee, St Paul’s Cathedral was built in the nineteenth century and has impressive Gothic architecture. The cathedral offers free admission to all.

Dundee Science Centre

Although Dundee is a city full of contemporary art and literary impact, including the creation of The Dandy character Desperate Dan, it is also home to the Dundee Science Centre. Here, the Dundee Science Centre is home to various exhibitions focusing on educating young people with hands-on experiences and outreach events.

Food and drink

Tickety Boo’s

One of Dundee’s most renowned eateries is Tickety Boo’s, located near Baxter Park. Tickety Boo’s is a pub on Commercial Street and has a range of delectable food and excellent drinks.

The tavern is spacious, has stained-glass windows and a horseshoe bar; adding character, and offering something different to the typical chain pub.

Agacan Kebab House

If you visit Agacan Kebab House, you’ll quickly realise why it is one of our recommended restaurants. Although it might seem strange that the most popular restaurant in Dundee is Turkish, the building is unique as it is part restaurant, part art gallery.

Everywhere you look, from the walls and entryway to the tables and chairs, you can see Turkish influences. There are only a few tables, permeating a cost atmosphere; make sure to book ahead and order a cup of Turkish coffee to wash down their baklava.

In the popular student areas of Dundee, including Perth Road and the city centre, there is a range of local amenities including restaurants and cafes. Find out more information on the amenities in Dundee on our advice centre.


McManus Gallery

External view of mcmanus galleries in dundeeIn Albert Square, the McManus Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum has an extensive collection of fine and decorative art and history exhibits. Spread across two floors, there are eight galleries and a learning centre.

VA Dundee

The only V&A Museum outside of London, the V&A Museum of Design Dundee is a masterpiece of ultra-modern architecture and is based by the river Tay. V&A Dundee holds the distinction of being the first Scottish design museum and was created by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma as a “living room for the city”.

Dundee landscapeThroughout the year, the V&A Dundee hosts a series of exhibitions, both paid and free admission. However, admission into the museum is free of charge.

Broughty Castle Museum

On the banks of the river Tay is the 15th-century castle Broughty Castle Museum, which welcomes visitors without charge. Although it endured numerous sieges and wars throughout history, the castle now holds outstanding exhibits about Broughty Ferry’s past, including its inhabitants, way of life, and animals.

Art, music and film

Dundee Repertory Theatre

The Dundee Repertory Theatre is one of the most famous regional theatres in the UK and stages its own productions throughout the year. The theatre hosts a variety of events, including comedies, jazz and opera.

Dundee Rep Theatre is located next to the University of Dundee and is frequented by various students. At Mansion Student, we provide Dundee student accommodation at Peterson Hall, which is a ten-minute walk from the Dundee Rep Theatre. For more information on why you should consider living near Perth Road, read our advice centre here.

Contemporary Arts (DCA)

Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) is an art student’s dream; there are two large galleries, home to a print studio and various classes and workshops that are accessible. For those not as interested in art, there is also an on-site cinema, that showcases independent, international, and blockbuster films throughout the year.

Contemporary Arts is also home to a popular café and bar that is popular with art students and people interested in culture. The Jute Café Bar is great for a quiet coffee or a drink later in the night, as the place closes at one AM most of the week.

Find out more about Dundee nightlife here.

Caird Hall

In Dundee, the main concert and music venue is Caird Hall, which is in City Square. Built around 100 years ago, Caird Hall has hosted a variety of well-known and influential music artists, including The Beatles, David Bowie, and Frank Sinatra, and iconic comedians Billy Connolly and Bob Hope.

For certain performances, there are concession tickets for students. Make sure to check online to see if the event will have a discounted price for you.

Night sky shot next to tay river bridgeMake sure, before moving to Dundee, you find appropriate student accommodation that is suitable for your needs. It is important to consider certain factors, including the location and the things to do around when not at university.

At Mansion Student, our Dundee student accommodation Peterson Hall, is located just off Perth Road. With a range of accommodation options, these include modern appliances and secure on site facilities.

Enquire today to arrange a viewing or book Peterson Hall for next term.

Frequently asked questions

Does Dundee have a beach?

As the sunniest city in Scotland, there are various beaches in Dundee. One popular beach is Broughty Ferry Beach, which is located close to the castle. The beach is a fourteen-minute drive from Dundee city centre or a twenty-four-minute train on ScotRail.

What can you do in Dundee for free?

Most of Dundee’s Art Galleries and places of cultural interest are free in the city, making it ideal for students. This includes popular centres such as Mills Observatory, Dundee’s St Paul’s Cathedral, and the River Tay Walkway.

It is important to book your student accommodation as soon as possible. At Mansion Student, we provide Dundee student accommodation close to the city centre and Perth Road.

Contact us today to arrange a viewing.

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