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22 Things Dundee Is Known For

22 Things Dundee Is Known For

Dundee, with its slogan ‘One City, Many Discoveries’, is truly home to numerous rights worth discovering!

It is Scotland’s fourth largest city and was recognised as a town sometime between the late 12th and early 13th centuries. 

Learn about the city’s most well-known features as we go over each one below!

What is Dundee known for?

1. Desperate Dan Statue

Desperate Dan Statue
Photo from tripadvisor

Dan is a world-famous comic character from a 1937 book. Because Dundee is known for its art and print industries, Dan’s comedic relevance gave rise to his monument, which can now be found on the city street. 

Aside from Dan, there is also Dawg, his pet animal, and Minnie the Mix. 

2. V&A Museum

V&A Museum
Photo from tripadvisor

The V&A Museum has a noteworthy architecture proving Dundee’s significance in the creative industries. It is a museum solely made for design and arts and is located in the Riverside Esplanade of Dundee.

This distinctive museum was designed by Kengo Kuma and opened in September 2018. It also hosts design workshops accessible for both adults and kids. 

3. UNESCO Recognition

UNESCO Recognition
Photo by designdundee Instagram

Dundee holds a UNESCO City of Design status and is the only city in the United Kingdom to do so. The city has a rich design heritage and continues to promote the influence of design to the world. 

4. Video Game Industry

Video Game Industry
Photo by quakeboy from Pixabay

The global success of developer Rockstar North paved the way for Dundee to gain prominence in the video game industry. His games Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto are loved by people around the world.

Before moving to Edinburgh, Rockstar North’s company, Acme Software, which is now named Rockstar North Limited, was first established in Dundee in 1984 — making the city more well-known in this field.

5. Underground Music Scene

Underground Music Scene
Photo by Long Truong from Unsplash

When it comes to the underground music scene, Dundee is exceptional. It is recognised as the queen in all of Scotland and is home to the Reading Rooms, which music promoters frequent to. 

Molly Malones, Artbar Dundee and Duke’s Corner are just some of the many popular clubs in Dundee offering live music. 

6. Birthplace of Dennis the Menace and Gnasher

Birthplace of Dennis the Menace and Gnasher
Photo by William Murphy from Flickr

Dundee is home to DC Thomson’s long-running and world-famous comic strip, Dennis the Menace and Gnasher. The comic was first released in 1951 and has been received well by fans across the globe. 

In fact, Dennis the Menace has his own statue in the streets of Dundee, too. 

7. Jute

Photo from Document Scotland

Dundee became renowned for producing jute. It is a long, glossy vegetable fibre that is commonly used to produce twine or rope. In fact, the city is still the world’s biggest jute manufacturer until today.

India is an important aspect of Dundee’s jute industry since it has been trading with the city since the 1800s and is still one of the main markets for jute today.

The Jute Museum is an excellent place to learn more about Dundee’s growth and prominence in the jute industry. Here you may examine the evolution of jute over time.    

The city is home to 60 jute mills and has over 50,000 employees working for the said industry. 

8. Jam

Aside from jutes, Dundee also has established a reputation as a producer of fruit jams. 

Its origins may be traced back to when his son, James Keillor, brought home the cargo of a stranded Spanish ship and his mother, Lady Jannet Keillor, prepared a perfected version of orange marmalade.

Ms. Janet added orange peel to the original marmalade recipe, which may also be spread over sandwiches and toast.

This happened during the 1700s and birthed the existence of fruit jams until it became well-known all over the globe. 

9. Journalism

Dundee has a long history of journalism, which continues to this day. The city is home to DC Thomson, the creator of the Beano and the Dandy, as well as broadcasters in the BBC.

DC Thomson, the creator of the Beano and the Dandy, as well as BBC presenters, call the city home.

The Courier, which was initially published in 1801 and is still in print today, remains as the city’s major newspaper. The Sunday Post and The People’s Friend also came from Dundee.

10. Broughty Ferry

Broughty Ferry
Photo from Visit Scotland

Broughty Ferry, located in the south of Dundee, is densely packed with pubs and restaurants. It is also particularly well-known for its beautiful coastline and golden sands. 

You may get a variety of food and drinks here. Summer is the peak season as most businesses are busier during these months.

Forgan’s Broughty Ferry, The Tayberry Restaurant and Meze Grill are some of the more renowned restaurants in Broughty Ferry. You may also go golfing, fishing, or simply relax and enjoy the picturesque surroundings.

Around the area is located the Broughty Castle Museum. You may discover more about Broughty Ferry by visiting this museum, which displays artefacts depicting the suburb’s fauna and ecology.  

Other attractions within Broughty Ferry include Barnhill Rock Garden, Claypotts Castle and Dawson Park. 

11. Tay Bridge

Tay Bridge
Photo from Dundee

Tay Bridge is a long overpass that stretches from Dundee’s Firth of Tay to Fife’s Wormit suburb. It was introduced to the public in 1878 but had a massive collapse in 1879. 

The bridge was restored and is still serving Dundee residents today. The Tay, Scotland’s longest river, may be seen from here.  

There is also a Tay Road Bridge which is technically made for vehicles alone. Over the years, the Rail Bridge and Road Bridge provided increased transport and commercial options for Dundee.

12. Parks

Photo from Dundee City

Thanks to its numerous green spaces, Dundee is among the great places to visit in Scotland. The city is home to a wide range of parks like Camperdown Country Park, Balgay Park and Victoria Park. 

In fact, Dundee houses a total of 41 parks where you can play and have fun with your friends or kids. 

13. Art Galleries

Dundee has a thriving modern art culture, as seen by the city’s numerous art galleries. 

Dundee Contemporary Arts is the city’s more well-known gallery. Inside, it is separated into two art galleries and houses a visual research centre. 

There are also a handful of cafe shops worth checking out inside. Among the various art galleries in the city are the Gallery Q Dundee, Lamb Gallery, and The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum.

14. Victorian Railway Station

Victorian Railway Station
Photo from Flickr

As a city that places a high emphasis on design, the Victorian-inspired train station, also known as ‘Dundee West Station,’ has drawn attention from people all over the world. 

The clock tower next to the structure is a visual treat for the eyes. You may dine at Bridgeview Station Restaurant while appreciating the structure’s splendour.  

15. Student City

Student City
Photo from University of Dundee

Dundee is home to numerous notable institutions and is dubbed a student city due to its large student population of over 16,000 people.

Both the University of Dundee and Abertay University ranked highly in many university rankings throughout the world. 

Meanwhile, higher education institutions such as the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance, Dundee & Angus College, and the Victoria & Albert Museum Dundee National Design School Programme also provide high-quality education.

16. Comic Central 

Comic Central
Photo from Visit Scotland

Dundee, home to the world-famous comic The Dandy and The Beano, hosts a Bash Street Festival to commemorate the popularity of its numerous comics that have had an influence on the globe. 

This festival also provides history on other notable events and stories that began in Dundee. There are seminars, concerts, exhibitions, and films available for both tourists and residents as well. 

17. Sunshine Hours

Sunshine Hours
Photo by Pexels from Pixabay

Compared to other cities in Scotland, Dundee has more sunshine hours. On average, the city has 1,426.3 estimated hours throughout the year.

18. Tourist hotspots

Dundee Science Centre, Dundee Museum of Transport and Mills Observatory are some of the many worth discovering tourist hotspots in Dundee. Learn more about them below!

1. Dundee Science Centre

Dundee Science Centre
Photo from dundeesciencecentre Instagram

The Dundee Science Centre is a non-profit organisation that helps families study together. The charity aspires to increase the global impact of science by hosting information-packed exhibits.

You may buy a ticket either in person or online. Tickets cost between £3.50 and £6.00 and babies aged 0 to 1 and their caregivers are free of charge.

2. Dundee Museum of Transport

Dundee Museum of Transport
Photo from dmoft Instagram

The Dundee Museum of Transport houses a huge collection of Dundee’s local transportation. Learn about the origins of the tram network, maritime history, railways, and more. 

A guide will help you discover more about the various legends that have surrounded Dundee in the past. From March through October, the museum is open from 10 AM to 4:30 PM every day except Tuesday.

Ticket prices range from £4.50 to £20.00, with an annual membership costing £25.00 for one adult and £35.00 for a family of four (2 adults and 2 children).

3. Mills Observatory

Mills Observatory
Photo from Mills Observatory Facebook

If you’re fascinated by comets, perplexed by meteors, or want to learn more about the universe, visiting the Mills Observatory could be a great fit. 

Mills Observatory is a public observatory at Balgary Hill that was built in 1935. Using the attraction’s telescope, you may stargaze and marvel at the grandeur of more than 30,000 objects in the sky.

It overlooks the River Tay and has various stores selling souvenirs and other planetarium-related products. There are also exhibitions such as Planetarium Shows and Discovery Space Club.

Admission is free and the observatory is open from 4 PM to 10 PM, Monday to Friday and from 12:30 PM to 4 PM every Saturday and Sunday.

19. Friendly Locals

Friendly Locals
Photo from Dundee – One City, Many Discoveries Facebook

If Glasgow is Scotland’s friendliest city, Dundee is just as visitor-friendly. The city is quite accommodating to people of various ethnicities.

Dundee’s locals, or known as ‘Dundonians’, are notable for their humour as well.

20. Famous Personalities

Famous Personalities
Photo from Wikipedia

We can’t deny the fact that Dundee is home to many famous personalities as well! Some of these notable people include the following: 

  • William Alexander
  • Charles Adamson
  • Scotty Allan
  • John Gordon
  • Pat Page
  • Alexander Ross
  • William Reid
  • John W. Brown
  • David Batchelor
  • James Ivory

21. Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic Surgery
Photo by sasint from Pixabay

Dundee made a name for himself in the medical arena by pioneering laparoscopic surgery and discovering medical X-rays and aspirin. 

Now, the city is continuously progressing particularly in the field of medical genetics, cancer biology and robotic surgery. 

22. City of Discovery

City of Discovery
Photo from RRS Discovery

Dundee earned the moniker ‘City of Discovery’ as a result of Robert Falcon Scott’s Royal Research Ship Discovery (RRS Discovery) mission to Antarctica. 

The ship utilised for this voyage was built in Dundee in 1901 and returned to the city in 1988. Now, it is one of the cities’ main tourist attractions. 

The RRS Discovery ship may be found at Discovery Point. There, you may discover more about the ship’s history, from its inception to its current use.

FAQS about Dundee

We hope this has helped you learn more about Dundee! While you’re here, you may also explore things to do in other Scottish cities including Aberdeen, Glasgow, and Edinburgh.  

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