10 Great Reasons to Visit Dundee this Christmas

With the festive season well under way, we’ve come up with 10 great reasons to visit Dundee this Christmas – whether that’s with family, friends or by yourself to do some last-minute shopping.

Jings! It’s Christmas! (Picture: Chris Scott Photography)

1. Dundee Winterfest, open-air ice-skating, Big Wheel & much, much more.

A visit to Dundee Winterfest has become a must-visit event in the city centre every festive season. Running from November 25th to January 1st, this magical event is back in Slessor Gardens with an array of fun attractions including a big ferris wheel and super-festive outdoor ice rink.

There’s also a full-blown vintage funfair for kids (and grown-ups) to explore, a Bavarian bar and over 20 Christmas stalls to browse. With many, many people expected to go, organisers recommend you book tickets, particularly for the ice-rink in advance.

Also, beyond Slessor Gardens, look out for the Christmas lights across the city centre, with some of your favourite local comic characters twinkling down at you. There’s also a beautiful Christmas Tree in City Square for those who love to admire a sparkling spruce at this time of year.

christmas market, ice skating, Dundee winterfest, 10 great reasons to visit dundee this christmas
Visit Dundee at Christmas Winterfest

2. Christmas shopping

It’s better to give than to receive and a trip away isn’t all about you. Of course, you’ll be thinking of others when you combine a relaxing getaway with some Christmas gift shopping for all your nearest and dearest. Dundee has a wealth of fantastic local shops as well as the Overgate Shopping Centre that can provide all your Christmas shopping needs. Here’s a list of a few of our independent traders that give Dundee a flavour all of its own.

Top Tip: Remember to pace yourself! We’re not exactly sure of the ratio but we are reliably informed that it’s 10 minutes shopping and 50 minutes in the Wine Press (other establishments that sell wine are also available – look here to find them)

3. Live Music

This December, there’s plenty of live gigs you can catch around the city. For those looking for a bit of Christmas magic with all the family, the RSNO are back with their Christmas concert featuring the Snowman. Narrated by Aled Jones, the concert will be at the Caird Hall at 7.30pm on Friday 16th December.

The Caird Hall is also the venue for the iconic sounds of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons as Big Girls Don’t Cry takes music lovers on a journey back to the sixties with a live performance of the band’s greatest hits. Catch the show on Saturday 10th December at 7.30pm.

For fans of Paul Weller, the world’s only tribute act to the mighty Style Council are coming to Dundee. Catch The Style Councillors at Beat Generator Live! on Friday 2nd December at 7.00pm.

Catch Big Girls Don’t Cry at the Caird Hall this December

4. Eat and be merry at some of Dundee’s Restaurants

The choices are endless when you’re dining out in Dundee and there are plenty delectable festive menus to tickle the tastebuds. Click here to see the our very own list of Dundee’s favourite restaurants.

5. Prepare to be shaken and stirred

From hidden and utterly charming speakeasy hidden bars to shiny, chic night spots, you’re sure to find yourself shaken and stirred when it comes to sampling some of Dundee’s finest Mixology.

Here’s a list of just a few of our favourites from some of hottest cocktail venues around the town…………….

3 Session Street cocktails
Some more-ish cocktails being created at 3 Session Street (Picture: Chris Scott Photography)

6. Hotel Christmas offers

With deals a plenty at some of the hotels in and around the city you can start the holidays early and book a romantic break for two or a lazy spa weekend. If you’d like to take the kids, you could even consider booking a lodge somewhere.

We have a page listing all of the latest accommodation offers. Check it out and get booking!

7. Exhibitions

Soak up a bit of culture at one of Dundee’s many museums and galleries. Dundee has plenty of great and glorious venues hosting exhibitions to to wonder, marvel and delight at.

The world famous V&A Dundee Museum is currently hosting an exhibition all about the impact plastic has on our lives every day with Plastic: Remaking Our World running until February 2023.

Don’t miss out on the final few weeks of ‘The Street’, a wonderful trip down memory lane at The McManus Art Gallery & Museum. In association with Dundee Rep, ‘The Street’ is an especially nostalgic trip for some Dundonians as they visit the shop and stand at the bar from Dundee’s yesteryear. Catch it before the exhibition ends on January 8th 2023.

8. Explore the city’s craft scene

Why not visit Dundee this Christmas and learn new festive skill that’s bound to come in handy at least once a year?

If you fancy making making a Christmas wreath for your front door there’s a Festive Wreath Making Workshop in Inchture Village Hall on Saturday 3rd December at 2pm. There’s nibbles and a festive tipple too to really get your Christmas spirit going.

If you love to make your Christmas cards extra special then get yourself along to the DCA on Saturday 10th or Sunday 11th December as they are running a one-day Festive Printing workshop on each day where you can learn how to hand cut festive lino blocks and stamps to decorate your own Christmas cards.

Check out the Festive Printing Workshop at the DCA

9. It’s Pantomime season

On no it’s not. Oh yes it is. What better reason to visit Dundee this Christmas than to take in everyone’s family favourite; a pantomime. There are some cracking shows across Tayside to thoroughly entertain all the family and get the kids screaming with delight.

Downfield Musical Society are staging a production of Snow White at the Whitehall Theatre from the 10th -11th, 14th-16th and 20th-23rd of December while Frosted, a fun panto take on the much-loved Disney film Frozen, will be performed by the Thomson Leng Musical Society at the Gardyne Theatre, running from the 30th of November to the 4th of December. Frosted will tell the story of Princess Hannah, who meets Kristian, Nanny Florrie and a snowman. They work together to find her sister Princess Ella who has ice powers – you know the story!

Also, for those look for a less of a panto and more of a gorgeous and fun musical theatre experience, Cinderella at the Dundee Rep is another fantastic option for all the family this festive season.

Running until Saturday 31st December, this is a fairytale with a modern twist. Where have you ever seen the world of Cinderella featuring Instagram? It’s a must-see for theatre-goers.

10. Hang about till Hogmanay

And finally, the final of our 10 great reasons to visit Dundee this Christmas is to keep the party going and extend your stay in Dundee through to the New Year and celebrate the bells in our cool wee city.

Whatever the reason you choose to visit Dundee this Christmas, we hope you have a fantastic time!

Helping us in the promotion of Dundee

If you feel you can make a contribution to helping us promote Dundee then please contact us.

Meet the team behind VisitDundee.

Our Newsletter

Sign up to the VisitDundee newsletter to keep up to date with everything Dundee.

Speak to us

Can't find what you are looking for. Reach out to VisitDundee, we are happy to help.