Living in Dundee

Learn more about living in Dundee - Scotland's fourth largest city.

We think Dundee is the best place to live in Scotland.

Dundee is vibrant and friendly, cosmopolitan and cultural, compact and affordable. It's also the sunniest city in Scotland, so even in winter we get more sunshine than the rest of the country. 

And it's not just us that thinks it's a great place to be. The Sunday Times Guide put Dundee in its top 10 list of best places to live in the UK - twice! This covered areas like good employment, cost of living, great schools and community spirit, and we have all that and more in abundance.

This wee city was also voted:

Find out what will make Dundee the perfect place for YOU to be a student.

Where is Dundee?

Dundee is perfectly located on the banks of the River Tay, on the East Coast of Scotland. Here's a map to show you exactly where Dundee is in the world. 

With a population of 140,000, Dundee has the big city feel, but is small enough for you to get around easily. 

Visiting the rest of Scotland is simple, too: you can be in the countryside in 20 minutes, and we're only a 90-minute drive away from 90% of Scotland. Even London is only a 1.5 hour direct flight, or a six hour train ride away.

All of this makes Dundee the ideal location for students like you.

Student in sunglasses stood on Dundee Law with the river behind her

It's a city full of culture

So when you need a culture fix, the choice is endless.

The V&A Design Museum puts on amazing design exhibitions twice a year.  Or there's the Dundee Rep Theatre, art and films at Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) and even more art and history to see at the McManus Gallery. Recently, the Eden Project chose Dundee to host the first-ever ecological attraction in Scotland. And a new e-sports arena is being built near the river.

Visit Scotland calls Dundee 'an urban wanderer’s delight' and we couldn’t put it better ourselves.

4 students beside Michael Marra mural

Safe and affordable

Dundee is one of the safest cities in Scotland, according to a survey by the Complete University Guide in 2023.

Another survey named Dundee the cheapest city in Scotland for students. Monthly household costs are roughly 20% cheaper than the national average, so Dundee offers great value for money.

Not only is Dundee incredibly safe, your money will go further here too!

Two students leaning on metal railings

A truly international community

Wherever you're from, and whatever you choose to study, we'll do our very best to make you feel welcome. 

Dundee is international and multicultural, much like the university itself. There are over 40,000 students studying in the city, making it home to people from many different countries and ethnic groups.

You’ll easily find places of worship for religions  including Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism, Judaism, as well as many Christian denominations. Many Abertay staff members are from outwith Dundee, so they understand what moving to a new city or country feels like. With this much support available, we're sure that Dundee will quickly become your home away from home.

3 students chatting on the grass in the park

Eat out or takeaway?

There’s all the usual food choices here, but why not try Japanese, Thai, Mexican, New Zealand or Lebanese cuisine for a change? Or visit our artisan coffee shops and, of course, there are great restaurants and cafes right across the city.

We have international food shops such as Chinese, Indian, Polish and Russian supermarkets, as well as halal butchers. Tesco and Lidl are very near to Campus, and Dundee is famous for its amazing bakeries. So why don't you try a Dundee pie or a local pasty called a 'bridie'? And find out why National Geographic called Dundee Scotland's undiscovered culinary star.

4 students eating laughing outside

Get active

If you like to live an active life, then you’ll love it here. In fact, choosing where to cycle, hike, swim, ski, climb or camp will be your only challenge.

Locally there are many miles of coastline, trails and forests to explore. Water sports like open water swimming and stand-up paddle boarding happen at the local beaches. There’s even a skate park about 10 minutes’ walk from Campus.

The sea, mountains and forests are so close you can visit all three in a day. And you’ll often have the place to yourself – apart from the odd seal, deer or dolphin, that is. 

Photo credit: Dundee One City, Many Discoveries

Female Runner at the Waterfront - Broughty Ferry, Dundee

Dundee's nightlife

Whether you like chatting in a cosy pub, seeing bands, drinking coffee or clubbing, Dundee’s nightlife always delivers

Our pubs are second to none. The biggest nightclubs regularly host some of the UK’s most well-known DJs, and there are lots of live music venues, too. In fact, there is a huge music scene here if that's your thing.

If movies are your passion, then you've got two cinema chains and an arthouse cinema to choose from, so you'll be spoilt for choice.

However you like to relax, it's all here when you need it.

2 students having coffee next to stained glass window

More to Explore

A picture outside the Abertay campus in the evening.

Our Campus

Abertay is located on a buzzing city centre campus, with all of our buildings within a quarter of a mile of each other.

Find out more

Group of five young adults huddled around in a kitchen, three girls and two guys. One of the guys is eating a sandwich, one of the girls is eating pasta, the other three students are not eating.

Student Accommodation

Check out the student accommodation. Lots of different rooms, exclusive discounted rents and lots of information to help you.

Find out more

Studying in Scotland

Scotland is a very welcoming country, we’re genuinely happy to see newcomers. Find out why we recommend studying here.

Find out more

Student smiling in sunglasses with lemming statue

Local Students

A lot of our students live locally, and we know it can be different for you. Abertay is where you'll make friends AND get your degree. 

Find out more

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