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Historic ships, modern art galleries and a diverse nightlife make Dundee well worth adding to any trip around Scotland. Because the city tends to fly under the radar, it has a laid-back, local feel. There's plenty to discover here, from traditional tea rooms to underground record stores and 1920s-themed speakeasy cocktail bars. Outside the city, you'll find seaside towns brimming with Scottish heritage, with castle ruins to explore and quaint shops selling tartan souvenirs.
Hostels in Dundee range in size. You can stay in a row of 16th-century buildings or keep it intimate in a family-run guesthouse. Hostels with common spaces are the perfect place to meet your fellow travellers. Bond over a game of pool or darts in the games room or have a bit of downtime with a book from the library. Free Wi-Fi is usually available in a Dundee hostel, and some have free parking outside: handy if you're planning a road trip around Scotland.
Dundee's main street has a mall at either end: the Overgate Shopping Centre and Wellgate. The High Street between them is lined with shops and has some interesting statues, including one inspired by a local legend about a dragon. The Riverside Esplanade is the city's regenerated waterfront area. This has cultural attractions like the free V&A Dundee design museum and Captain Scott's Antarctic expedition ship, the RRS Discovery. Broughty Ferry is a charming seaside town 8km east of Dundee, with a castle and a sandy beach.
Because it's a university town, Dundee has a lively and eclectic nightlife, with cosy live music bars serving up 'drams' of Scotch whisky as well as modern nightclubs. Visit the Verdant Works, a former jute mill, for a glimpse into the city's history. Dundee has some excellent galleries, but you don't even have to step inside: the outdoor Open/Close street art trail takes you on a tour of the town's colourful painted doors, designed by artists.
Dundee has its own airport, with regular flights to London, but you can also get there from Edinburgh and Glasgow airports by bus and train in about 2 hours. Dundee train station is on Union Street, less than 10 minutes' walk from the Overgate Shopping Centre. Dundee bus station is on the other side of town, 4 minutes' walk from the High Street. The town centre is easy to explore on foot and if you're heading into the suburbs you can hop on the local XPlore Dundee buses.