Dundee isn’t bound to its nickname as a superpower of jute, jam and journalism. Placed by the dramatic Tay waters, Scotland’s fourth-largest city is an ever-evolving playground of inspiration and charm. It’s also the UK’s first ever City of Design. Wander of the beaten path and see what all the fuss is about.
It’s home to the only V&A Museum outside of London
An ultra-contemporary architectural wonder, the V&A Museum of Design Dundee takes the crown as Scotland’s first ever design museum. Opening in 2018, the already adored Dundee V&A pays homage to Dundee and Scotland’s stance as a nation of innovation and design. Designed by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who refers to it as a ‘living room for the city’, it is the only V&A outpost of London’s beloved institution.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
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3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
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1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
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Because the underground club scene is Scotland’s finest
Glasgow may be the Music City but Dundee has the Reading Rooms and reputation as the queen of Scotland’s underground music scene. A space bursting with unbridled talent, the Reading Rooms is an Adventureland for Dundee’s gifted collective of music promoters. These wild raves go on well into the wee hours, taking place in a former public library. Perhaps the only library where noise is way more golden than silence, thanks to the state-of-art D&B sound system.
Dundee is the don of Scotland’s video game industry too
Adding to Dundee’s already illustrious design status is the worldwide success of Scottish video game developer Rockstar North, the makers and creators of cult video game series Grand Theft Auto and hit game Lemmings. Before it was Rockstar North and based in Edinburgh, the company was founded in Dundee as Acme Software in 1984, before it became DMA Design Limited.
The Desperate Dan Statue
A testament to its trendy essence and comic design heritage, Dundee rocks its beloved Desperate Dan statue like an absolute champ! Whether self-confessed nerd or Instagram star, you can’t pass up on such a stellar photo op.
Dundee is the birthplace of Dennis The Menace and Gnasher
In case you were wondering, Dennis the Menace creators DC Thomson are the kingpins of Scotland’s comic and publishing scene, thanks to major classics like Oor Wullie, The Broons, The Beano and The Dandy, to name a few. From the dashing Desperate Dan statue to the beloved Courier Building, the company’s inspired print is all over the city.
DCA is a multifaceted bubble of ingenuity
Adored as Dundee’s hip hangout spot, Dundee Contemporary Arts boasts an indie two-screen cinema, printmaking studio, two contemporary art galleries, bustling café come bar and visual research centre — everything you could ever wish for rolled into one space. Flooded with natural light and soothing glimpses of the River Tay, this artfully designed building forms a large part of the Dundodian identity.
Those bottomless brunch spots though #swoon
Let’s be honest — never get in between a foodie and their brunch. No introductions needed, Dundee’s burgeoning brunch scene is off the charts with options and knock-out flavours. Brunch on.
Due to its compact nature, Dundee is a dream for zipping about with ease. Less time in traffic means more time Culture Tripping and less frantic figuring out where to go.
It’s the UK’s first ever City of Design
Along with Bilbao, Curitiba, Helsinki, and Turin, Dundee holds UNESCO City of Design status, making it the first ever of its kind in the UK. A true honour, and yet, really is no surprise seeing as the city is dripping in design prowess.
The place is overflowing with top attractions
From Scotland’s only designated jute museum to the RRS Discovery, The MacManus, the soon-to-be V&A and the HM Frigate Unicorn (named after Scotland’s national animal, the unicorn), Dundee has a whole host of attractions worth discovering. Feed off all that creativity!
Because the Tay Bridge is a sight for sore eyes
One of the largest road bridges in Europe, the Tay Road Bridge consists of 42 spans and concrete piers that emerge out of the river. This eye-catching structure glides over the River Tay estuary between Dundee and Newport-on-Tay. Whatever the weather, crossing the bridge always provides head-turning views.
And who doesn’t love marmalade on their toast with tea?
A bond sealed for all eternity, Dundee and marmalade go way back. This particular jam preserve achieved its distinct Dundodian stamp after locals experimented by adding bits of Seville orange rind. And so, a new type of Scottish marmalade was born and Dundee became a major hotbed of the stuff. Legend states that its creation was purely serendipitous and the result of a locals who took advantage of a broken-down ship in Dundee harbour carrying these special oranges!
Broughty Ferry is suited to adventures
This hidden gem of a suburb sits 4 miles away from the city centre and boasts historic fishermen’s cottages and great restaurants. Adding to the appeal is the nearby Broughty Castle and Museum, Claypotts Castle and Monikie Country Park.
Dining from a Victorian railway station never looked so pretty
Suited to those seeking the best cooked breakfast in town, sublime estuary views or a Michelin-quality meal without the pomp, Bridgeview Station Restaurant operates out of a beautiful Victorian railway building. One stand-out feature is the authentic 1870s railway carriage that serves as a take-away outlet.
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meet our Local Insider
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It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.