The Gothic exterior of The McManus Art Gallery & Museum.
United Kingdom
United Kingdom

The McManus Art Gallery & Museum

Please be aware of government guidelines before setting off.

Government Guidelines
  • The McManus is Dundee's main free art gallery and museum and has been named Scotland's Best Visitor Attraction for 2019 and 2020.
  • Its unique Gothic Revival building in the city centre has been listed as a Category A protected building.
  • Across the museum's eight galleries, visitors can explore 400 million years of natural history and the environment, archaeology and fine and decorative art.
  • Don't miss the museum's temporary exhibitions, regular family events and wonderful Creative Learning programme offering activities throughout the year.

Journey back through 400 millions years of Scottish history and culture at Dundee's eclectic McManus Art Gallery and Museum.

Set in the heart of Dundee city centre, the free McManus gallery tells an insightful and inspiring story of this corner of Scotland across eight diverse galleries covering art history, the natural world and anthropology. The Landscapes and Lives gallery traces the development of the city's natural landscape from its wealth of wildlife to its earliest human settlers; the Dundee and the World exhibit offers a fascinating insight into Dundee trade featuring intriguing Egyptian archaeology and beautiful Buddhist art; the Victoria Gallery immerses visitors into Raphaelite and Victorian art history through its ornate oil paintings; The Long Gallery showcases the museum's fine and decorative art collection that has been recognised as holding national significance, the unique What is a Museum gallery offers a meta-perspective of how an exhibition can reflect the world around us; the 20th Century Gallery displays the best contemporary art in the city; the Here and Now gallery hosts the museum's wonderful array of temporary exhibitions with a focus on modern arts and crafts. Admission to the main exhibitions of The McManus Art Gallery and Museum is completely free. Whether you want to discover more about fine art, Scottish culture or history and the environment, there is definitely something to inspire the whole family on offer. Be sure to keep an eye out for the exhibitions' acclaimed pieces by world-famous Royal Academicians too, which are dotted throughout the museum with their badge of honour RA logo.

Set in a stunning Gothic Revival-style building complete with speared towers, arched windows and an iconic rounded staircase, The McManus Art Gallery and Museum is an impressive work of art in itself. As you step onto the grounds right from the city centre, you'll feel completely transported and aptly ready to soak up all of McManus' fascinating history. As well as its permanent free galleries, McManus also hosts a whole range of touring and temporary exhibitions from around the country and offers tons of family events on-site. Kids and adults alike can immerse themselves in drawing classes, workshops with leading Dundee artists and fabulous gallery tours. This educational free art gallery also provides a wonderful Creative Leaning programme for children and schools, where resourceful learning spaces and a leading team encourage hands-on activities, multi-media lessons, handling sessions and studies of the museum's artefacts.

The McManus Art Gallery and Museum offers an inspiring cultural day out for families to uncover a wealth of fascinating Scottish history all for free across its eclectic and award-winning collections. For more historical and artistic sites to see while you're visiting Dundee, make sure you check out the Antarctic RRS Discovery Point ship and futuristic V&A design museum.

What to know before you go

  • The McManus Art Gallery and Museum opening times are 10am to 5pm Mondays to Saturdays and 12.30pm to 4.30pm on Sundays. Last entry is 15 minutes before the venue closes.
  • We recommend allowing at least one hour to enjoy the museum in full.
  • Admission to the McManus museum is free, but admission charges may be in place for special events and exhibitions.
  • The McManus Art Gallery and Museum is fully accessible to wheelchair users and those carrying buggies with level access to both the North and South Entrance and lifts to all floors. Wheelchairs are available to borrow from the reception area.
  • An induction loop system is fitted in reception, large text and colour coded displays are in place, and lighting assistance is used at thresholds for visually-impaired visitors.
  • Assistance dogs are welcome in the venue.
  • You can find The McManus Café on site which serves a range of freshly-made breakfasts, sandwiches, soups, larger hot meals, homemade cakes and hot drinks in their indoor and outdoor terraces. They also have a great children's menu for under 12s.
  • There are also numerous family-friendly places to eat nearby including Nicolls Bar & Restaurant, Tahini Lebanese restaurant, Caffe Nero, Patisserie Valerie, Nando's and more.
  • The McManus Shop on site offers a great range of gifts, toys, postcards, prints, books, historical items, jewellery and local ceramics.
  • Audio Guide Handsets are available in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Mandarin.
  • There is free WiFi available throughout the venue.
  • Look out for the regular family events, temporary exhibitions and Creative Learning workshops taking place at the museum throughout the year.

Getting there

  • The McManus Art Gallery and Museum is located in the city centre of Dundee in the East of Scotland.
  • If you are travelling by car, Dundee is connected to all major Scottish cities via the A90.
  • There is no car park on site, but nearby parking can be found at the NCP Dundee Bank Street car par, Willison Street car park or North Lindsay Street car park.
  •  There are two designated parking spots for Blue Badge holders in front of the north side of the museum.
  • Dundee Train Station is just a 10-minute walk from the museum and serves all major Scottish cities as well as the East Coast Line service from London's King's Cross.
  • A wide range of bus routes serve the museum via the North and South Entrances, including the numbers 1, 3, 4, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33, 36, 51 and 55.

Please follow the latest government guidelines if travelling by public transport.

Government Guidelines


At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

Sponsorship & Advertising Policy

Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.

We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.

Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Read our Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Events available
Lowest Price Guarantee

More amazing things to do