The V&A Dundee is a design museum on the city’s waterfront that celebrates Scotland’s design heritage and also promotes Scottish designers. Entry to the permanent exhibitions is free, while the temporary exhibitions have a small entry fee.

V&A Dundee
Address:Riverside Esplanade,
Opening Hours:Wednesday – Monday 10.00 – 17.00
Admission Price:Free main exhibition and temporary paid exhibitions
Parking:No on-site parking. Paid car parks across Dundee.
Contact:+44 (0) 1382 411 611
Facilities:Shop, cafe, restaurant, toilets, baggage store
Photos:Virtual Tour
YouTube Video


Chief amongst Dundee’s attractions is the V&A Design Museum, located on the £1 billion transformed waterfront next to Discovery Point and the restored sailing ship RRS Discovery. The V&A building is a truly stunning design that houses a collection of Scotland’s best contemporary design artworks as well as galleries that showcase Scotland’s relationship with design over the years.

Your journey into the world of design starts before you step inside the galleries thanks to the main entrance hall which is ultra-modern and almost cathedral-like. The building is the creation of world-renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who devised the main hall with its huge curved concrete walls and multi-layered wood panelling.

Moving upstairs from the café and souvenir shop, you’ll find an area that houses a restaurant, outside viewing platforms, education studios, and two exhibition areas, with one housing the frequently-changing paid exhibitions and another the free-to-enter Scottish design galleries.

These free galleries are fascinating, and you’ll find something of interest whether you’re an avid fan of design or just have a casual interest in it. Across the collection of 300 exhibits you’ll find everything from 15th-century manuscripts to 20th-century bookcases, all of which are examples of the best designs of their time.

V&A Dundee

The Highlights

1: The museum is in a great location in Dundee, situated next to the waterfront and close to the town centre. If you’re in the area and wondering what to do, the V&A Design Museum is a great option.

2: There’s a fascinating collection of exhibitions and displays in the V&A, and you don’t have to be a design expert to enjoy them. In addition, the on-site cafe and shop are excellent.

3: The V&A Design Museum has gone to great lengths to make design accessible to all ages. The temporary exhibitions, in particular, are worth a visit alone.

Visiting Tips

1: Combine a visit with the RSS Discovery next door to experience two of Dundee’s best attractions in one day, or head to the McManus in the city centre, which is one of Scotland’s top museums.

2: Before you go, check the museum’s official website for up-to-date information on opening times and admission fees. The museum offers free entry to its permanent exhibitions, but there might be special exhibitions that interest you that you will have to pay to see.

3: The Tatha Bar on the top floor of the V&A is a bit pricey, but the views from the panoramic windows across the River Tay are lovely. Be aware that it closes at 5 p.m., so it’s sadly not possible to enjoy evening meals overlooking the waterfront. Afternoon teas are the highlight, in my opinion, though they’re a wee bit pricey at around £25 per person.

V&A Dundee

Tourist Information

Getting to the V&A is easy thanks to its location near the city centre. There are a couple of paid car parks nearby, but if you want to take the train, then Dundee South Union Street station is just a few minutes’ walk away.

If you fancy a stroll before going inside the V&A, a riverside walk and cycle path runs past the museum for around three miles to a nature reserve, while heading into the city centre will take you to its shopping area and the superb McManus Museum.

Next door to the V&A is Discovery Point and its faithfully restored 1901 sailing ship, RRS Discovery, while the Dundee Science Centre is around a 10-minute walk away on the other side of the train line.

The highlight of The Waterfront though, is the V&A Museum, where you’ll find enough points of interest to keep a family occupied for most of an afternoon. There’s a superb artisan café in the enormous downstairs space of the main hall with a gift shop next to it that features lots of cleverly designed gifts (well, they would be, wouldn’t they), and if you’re after a good read, you’ll find plenty of art and design-themed books in there as well.

V&A Dundee

Moving upstairs (either via a staircase or lift), you’ll step onto the upper floor where you’ll see the Tatha Bar and Kitchen to one side and a viewing terrace on the other. The terrace offers a good view across the River Tay, but I recommend spending some money and sitting in the Tatha Bar instead. There’s another viewing terrace in there with riverside views and it’s a great place to grab a coffee and a bite to eat at the end of your visit to the museum.

There are toilets and learning studios next to the restaurant, but it’s the exhibition halls that are the main draw for tourists. The biggest (and, I guess, best) exhibitions are the paid ones, which change during the year and cover everything from video games to historic clothing. Ticket prices are reasonable at around a tenner for an adult, although you can get them cheaper if you’re a student or eligible for a concession.

The free Scottish Design Gallery permanent exhibitions are on the other side of the hall and they’re chock-a-block full of gizmos and gadgets from Scotland’s past. During a visit you’ll discover display cases full of beautiful artworks, furniture, and clothes, as well as specially commissioned pieces by modern Scottish artists. The free galleries are separated into different sections like ‘The Story of Scottish Design’ and ‘Design and Society’, and you’ll also find an entire Charles Rennie Mackintosh room in there too.

If you visit the museum with children, you might be interested in the free family-oriented design workshops that are held every Sunday, as well as the frequent programmes that aim to inspire kids to get interested in the world of design.

V&A Dundee

Things to Do

Exploring World-Class Exhibitions: The V&A Dundee is Scotland’s first design museum, and it holds a myriad of exhibitions that showcase the brilliance of Scottish creativity. From architecture to fashion and textiles, there’s a wealth of design to immerse yourself in.

Interactive Learning: The museum’s Learning Studios are designed to foster creativity and innovation. Whether you’re interested in graphic design, product development, or textile design, the V&A Dundee provides a unique opportunity to learn and create.

Architectural Wonders: Renowned architect Kengo Kuma created the building, which is in and of itself an architectural marvel. Its exterior, which drew inspiration from the cliffs along Scotland’s east coast, is stunning. Inside, the beautiful wooden interior offers a warm and inviting atmosphere, even though the main hall is absolutely enormous.

The Michelin Design Gallery: This gallery showcases contemporary design projects, giving insight into the design process and its social impact. The exhibits are regularly updated, ensuring there’s always something new to discover.

Culinary Delights at the Tatha Bar and Kitchen: After immersing yourself in design, you can indulge in hot drinks, home baking, and light lunches at the museum’s Tatha Bar and Kitchen. With great views over the River Tay and a menu that emphasises local, seasonal produce, it’s the perfect place to relax and reflect on your visit.

V&A Dundee RRS Discovery

Things to Do Nearby

McManus Museum. Albert Square, Meadowside, Dundee, DD1 1DA. 13-minute walk.
A superb free-to-visit museum and art gallery located in a magnificent Gothic revival building in the heart of Dundee. The McManus features a maze of rooms with displays covering natural and local history.

Dundee Museum of Transport. 10 Market Mews, Market St., Dundee, DD1 3LA. 26-minute walk.
A museum dedicated to Scotland’s transport history. A range of exhibits covers trams, rail, shipping, and cars, and many of the displays can be interacted with.

D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum, Carnelley Building, University of Dundee, DD1 4HN. 11-minute walk.
A natural history museum founded in the 1880s that is part of Dundee University. The museum is open to the public on certain days only. See the university website for details.

Dundee Science Centre. Greenmarket, Dundee, DD1 4QB. 9-minute walk.
This is a science and learning centre that serves to educate and entertain the public with a collection of science-themed exhibitions and displays.

RRS Discovery. Discovery Point, Discovery Quay, Dundee DD1 4XA. 1-minute walk.
A restored 3-mast sailing ship is situated in a purpose-built dock next to the V&A Museum. The Discovery was built in 1901, and visitors can learn her history on a self-guided tour. A shop, café, and education centre are located next door at Discovery Point.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do V and A stand for?

V and A stand for Victoria and Albert. The V&A Dundee is a design museum in Dundee that was opened in September 2018. The museum is a branch of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Is the V&A in Dundee free?

There is no fee to visit the V&A Dundee, but some temporary exhibitions have paid entry. Visit the tickets page for the latest entry prices.

How long does it take to go around V&A Dundee?

It takes approximately one hour to view the permanent displays at the Dundee V&A. Plan longer for the café, shop, and paid temporary exhibitions.

Is there parking at the V and A Dundee?

There is no visitor car parking at the V&A Dundee, but there are pay-and-display car parks throughout the city. The nearest car park is at Discovery Point (Address: Green Circular, Dundee DD1 4XA).

Craig Neil

Craig Neil is the author, photographer, admin, and pretty much everything else behind Out About Scotland. He lives near Edinburgh and spends his free time exploring Scotland and writing about his experiences. Follow him on Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube.