Known for their love of having a good time, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to a Dundonian night on the tiles. It’s the perfect place to party, whether your idea of a good time is dancing the night away or a few strong drinks in a good old-fashioned pub. The one thing that’s true no matter where you go, is that a night out in the city is never dull. Read our Dundee nightlife guide to discover all the best spots to be when the sun goes down.
Fortunate to have some of the best traditional pubs in Scotland, Dundee is full of hidden gems that offer a selection of fantastic beers, whiskies and good old-fashioned pub grub. From the original features of The Old Bank Bar to The Tinsmith’s trendy atmosphere and Scottish delicacies – you have to try the deep-fried Mars Bar with Irn-Bru ice cream – the pubs in Dundee are packed with character and charm.
Our video guide to Dundee nightlife
Set on Perth Road, the Art Bar is a great little retro bar favoured by Dundee’s musicians and artists. The basement location and dim lighting give it an intimate feel, while the slew of resident DJs maintain an energetic vibe. They also host regular open mic nights for those interested in what Dundee’s independent music scene has to offer. As the Art Bar is just a stone’s throw away from the University of Dundee, it’s a favoured haunt for students. But don’t let that put you off, the fairly priced drinks and cool outdoor area make this a winner all round.
Located a little further along Perth Road is The Speedwell Bar. This Edwardian pub – known as Mennie’s to the locals, after Mrs Mennie who was the landlady for 50 years – retains all its original features, but the food, drink and entertainment bring it right into the present. There’s a fantastic selection of ales and whisky on offer, as well as an interesting choice of wines. You’ll find a lot of locals at The Speedwell and a vibrant atmosphere that makes it a friendly, traditional Scottish pub experience not to be missed. It’s only a 15-minute drive away from our Dundee North hotel, so it’s perfectly positioned for you to grab a taxi at the end of a truly enjoyable night.
For a more mature experience, head to The West House in Dundee’s affluent Cultural Quarter. With a relaxed atmosphere and extensive drinks menu, you won’t go wrong in here. The decor is a mix of modern fittings and industrial accents that showcase Dundee’s rich industrial heritage – so it’s a calm spot that is perfect for a quiet drink with friends. By day, The West House is a great eatery with an all-day menu offering Italian treats, including pizza, pasta and a mouthwatering Nutella sharer – a pizza base smothered in Nutella and topped with fruit and marshmallows.
If vino is your tipple of choice, you need to pay The Wine Press a visit. As the only wine bar in Dundee, you’ll find a dizzying array of wines here, and a good selection of beers too. The owners are the oldest wine merchants in Dundee, so you’ll be served by a team who know exactly what they’re talking about. The drinks take centre stage, so the food here is delicious but minimal – think platters of great quality charcuterie, cheese and vegetarian antipasti. This is all engulfed in a trendy setting that is ideal for a romantic date. As it’s located around the corner from City Square, it’s the perfect place to grab a quiet drink before a night on the town.
Hailed as ‘Dundee’s greatest nightclub’, Underground Dundee – just over the road from the Dundee Rep Theatre – is open seven nights a week. Taking inspiration from its name, the decor is something else, with booths lined up to look like the inside of subway trains and old-school ticket machines to perch your drinks on. When it comes to music, it’s a mixed bag. On Tuesdays, you’ll find old-school jukebox jams – and cheap drinks – and on Thursdays, it’s the home of hip-hop and R&B. Make sure you check the website to find out what’s on while you visit.
Reading Rooms has been bringing the best underground club nights to Scotland since 2002. Starting life as a public library, the exposed brickwork and warehouse feel of the building make this a truly unique clubbing experience. There’s a diverse mix on offer here, from electro and dubstep to rockabilly and dancehall, so there truly is something for everyone – even if your music taste is described as pretty out there! Reading Rooms is currently the home of Dundee’s longest-running house and techno night, Headway, so if you’re after a cracking night out in an intimate setting, look no further.
If you prefer your tunes to be a blast from the past, Club Tropicana on South Ward Road is the place for you. Born from a love for all things 80s, the dedication to the decade of excess doesn’t end with the music. There are screens playing 80s TV ads, merchandise on sale from the era and a third scale model of the DeLorean from the film Back to the Future hovering over the dancefloor. The drinks are fittingly retro too – think Red Stripe lager and fishbowl cocktails.
Situated in the Cowgate area of Dundee is Beau Nightclub – formerly known as Deja Vu. Holding up to 1,250 party-goers, this is one of the oldest clubs in Dundee. Hailed as a ‘club for clubbers’, you’ll find a bit of everything here so expect one of the biggest and best nights in the city. Open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday until 3.30am, it’s just a 15-minute walk from our Dundee Centre hotel.