Making the Most of Festivities in Dundee

A guide to joyful moments

23 November 2023

As the season of Christmas approaches, students in Dundee often find themselves grappling with the challenges of being away from home during Christmas. The Dundee city, known for its stunning landscapes, historical charm, and vibrant culture, has much to offer students who may be feeling a tad lonely and isolated during this time. 

Dundee is transformed into a winter wonderland during the Christmas season. Take a stroll along the city’s decorated streets and enjoy the beautiful Christmas lights. Visiting iconic landmarks like the V&A Dundee and the Caird Hall can be a great way to experience the festive spirit. Many local businesses and shops also participate in the holiday cheer, so you can enjoy a shopping spree for Christmas gifts or simply admire the festive displays.

Places to explore in Dundee during Christmas

1) DJCAD Christmas Market

It’s a great opportunity to stock up on handcrafted Christmas gifts made by DJCAD students. 

When: Friday 24 November from 10:00 until 16:00

Where: DJCAD, Matthew building, Level 5 (enter via Matthew gallery back entrance or reception)

Stalls will be a mixture of cash and card so make sure you have cash as well!

2) Festive Design Market, V&A Dundee

When: Fri 24 – Sun 26 November, 10 am–5 pm

Where: 1 Riverside Esplanade, DD1 4EZ

Free entry – https://www.vam.ac.uk/dundee/whatson/events/festive-design-market-2023

V&A Dundee’s Festive Design Market is back! Curated by the brilliant Tea Green Events, this year the market will feature work from some of Scotland’s best independent designers and makers—including brand-new graduate talent from DJCAD. With handcrafted items at a wide range of price points, it’s the perfect place to pop in and pick up some gifts and festive goodies.

3) The Dundee Hooley 

Lights inspired by the city, as well as the City Square installation, will return with free, family-friendly events taking place throughout December. City Square will host activities including performances from Pyro Celtica, bubble fun with Poppy Bubbles and music live on stage. Street traders will be on hand to provide warm food and drinks.

On November 25, from 5.30 pm, a torchlit parade led by the Lord Provost will wind along Murraygate and into the High Street, congregating in City Square.

4) CAPSOC x Sign SOC Present our 2023 Christmas Ceilidh

Enjoy the festive event, with ceilidh dancing and live music from Dundee Uni’s Traditional Music Society! Limited ticket availability so book yours fast to ensure a space. There will be a bar and snacks available. 

When: 8th December. 

Doors open at 8 pm, dancing starts at 8:30 pm, and last drinks at midnight.

Where: Bonar Hall

Entry – https://clubs.getqpay.com/?s=6712&eventid=21957

Kilts encouraged! 

5) Verdant Works Christmas Fun Day

When: Sat 9 December, 11 am–4 pm

Where: West Henderson’s Wynd, DD1 5BT

Free entry  – https://www.verdantworks.co.uk/event/christmas-fun-day-at-verdant-works/

Enjoy a festive day out for the whole family at Verdant Works! As well as a host of local businesses and makers taking over Glazed Alley, there’ll be plenty of activities to keep the kids 

entertained and a range of local and homemade Christmas treats available from their cafe.

6) Friends International Dundee

It is a great place to make new friends among international students and feel free to engage in activities like table tennis, chess, or board games. Keep an eye on their Facebook Page to stay updated with the upcoming Christmas plans.

Where: St. Peter’s Church Hall, Perth Road

7) The city centre will be turned into a winter wonderland

A Christmas Special will also be held on December 2 featuring ice carving, a free unicorn dance party, an appearance from Poppy Bubbles and complimentary face painting.

While being away from home during the holidays can be challenging, Dundee offers a plethora of opportunities for students to make the most of the Christmas season and combat loneliness and isolation. By exploring the city’s festive delights, attending events, and connecting with fellow students and locals, you can experience the joy of the season in a new and exciting way. We hope you enjoy the warmth of the holiday spirit.

8) Global Room Events

  • An Exam Wellbeing self-care fair on Tuesday 5 December from 14:00 – 16:00 with Lauren MacGregor from Student Support
  • A Christmas Quiz and Social on Wednesday 6 December from 17:00 – 19:00
  • Free soup lunch on Thursday 7 December at 12:00.
  • Christmas Card Making with Alex from UoD Museum Services on Friday 8 December from 14:00 – 16:00
  • Exam Wellbeing Coffee Morning on Monday 11 December from 10:00 – 11:30
  • Christmas Craft, Colour and Chill on Friday 15 December from 14:15 – 16:30


9) Refer to the attached file here for the other events happening in and around the city during the festive period – List of events.

Picture of Priyanka Joshi

Priyanka Joshi

Priyanka Joshi is a web content writer and advice & support officer at DUSA.


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