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Located about 40 miles north of Edinburgh in eastern Scotland, on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, Dundee is a port city just near the North Sea. As the first Scottish city, Dundee takes this day to celebrate the unique features and culture that it offers. 

History of Dundee Day

Celebrating the first place in Scotland to be granted status as a city, Dundee Day takes place on the anniversary of the event that took place on January 26, 1889 when Queen Victoria made the designation. To this day, Dundee is the only Scottish city that has an exact date to celebrate upon which it was granted status as a city. And, after more than 130 years, that’s certainly a reason to celebrate!

Dundee also has some other interesting features. It was the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design, and it was the only UK city to feature on the list of Cognizant’s City of the Future. Through video games, computing and life sciences industry, Dundee has also become an important tech hub.

Because Dundee Day is situated on the calendar just a day after Burns Night, the two are often celebrated in conjunction with one another. 

How to Celebrate Dundee Day

Don a kilt, listen to some bagpipes and get ready to celebrate a wide range of beautiful features that come from Scottish heritage! Get on board with Dundee Day starting with a few of these ideas:

Celebrate Some Achievements of Dundonians:

One excellent way to get involved with and inspired by Dundee Day is to take a look at some of the ways that different people from this city have contributed to society and the world, including some of these:

  • James Chalmers, from Dundee, was the inventor of the adhesive postage stamp
  • In the late 18th century, William Playfair invented statistical graphs such as the line graph, bar graph and pie chart
  • Williamina Fleming was a Scottish astronomer and single mother who discovered white dwarf stars and the Horsehead Nebula, as well as designing a new way of cataloging stars
  • The RRS Discovery, built in Dundee, was instrumental in discovering Antarctica as a continent

Visit Dundee in Scotland

Of course, for those who love to travel, planning a visit to this fascinating Scottish city might be just the thing to do in honor of Dundee Day. Those who want to experience an official Burns Night in tandem can arrive in late January, but those who would enjoy spending more time in the sunshine might choose to plan their trip ahead and then take the trip a few months later.

July and August might be a bit crowded, but May-June and September-October are excellent times to enjoy visiting Dundee while the weather is still lovely. While there, don’t forget to eat a “peh” – also known as a pie – which is a popular cuisine on the food scene in Dundee.

While in Dundee, consider hitting some of these highlights that the city has to offer:

  • Explore the waterfront including green spaces, independent businesses, restaurants and more
  • Dundee is the home to four different castles that are stunning to visit
  • Verdant Works is a former jute mill that has been turned into a museum and is a fascinating way to learn about this textile and its production
  • As a sister to the famous one in London, the V&A Dundee museum is the only dedicated design museum in Scotland

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