Should You Visit Dunedin?

Are you thinking about visiting Dunedin, New Zealand? Here's what you need to know before planning your trip.

Is Dunedin worth visiting?

Yes, it's worth visiting this city for one to three days because of the many great activities. Dunedin is a charming city that has both Scottish and Maori history. There's also a large student population and many outdoor parks, trails, and wildlife areas. It's a relaxed town with some interesting sights and experiences.

Dunedin Train Station, Dunedin, New Zealand Dunedin Train Station, Dunedin, New Zealand

Reasons to Visit Dunedin

The city has cultural scene that is centered around both Scottish and Maori heritage. Top sights around town include the Larnach Castle, the Dunedin Railway Station, Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, and the Otago Museum.

The town has eclectic bars and a diverse club scene that is fun to experience. It has a lively nightlife scene that is driven, in part, by the large student population.

The shopping scene is diverse and eclectic with everything from vintage shops to fashion boutiques. Some of the most popular shopping areas are Edinburgh Way, Octagon Entertainment Precinct, Moray Place, and the Warehouse Precinct.

The culinary scene in town continues to grow and improve. There are local eateries that have charm and character and serve interesting and local dishes.

Many of the beaches are just a short drive from the city center. The surf is surprisingly good and the beaches are fun during the warmer summer months.

There are biking and hiking trails that travel around town and through the surrounding landscapes.

Dunedin has an authentic vibe where you can experience local culture, cuisine, and activities without the large tourist crowds of other popular destinations.

Things to Consider Before Visiting Dunedin

Not As Romantic
For couples, this destination does not have a great vibe for romance compared to other places.

The Cost
Depending on your budget, schedule, and travel style, Dunedin might be an expensive destination for you. You can find out the travel costs for Dunedin here or see if Dunedin is expensive here.


What is Dunedin most famous for?

Dunedin is most famous for its wildlife and proximity to the Otago Peninsula. The city is very popular for its museums, nightlife, and shopping. Also, it's known for food, beaches, and hiking. It is often described as cultural, vibrant, small, and hilly.

How touristy is Dunedin? Is it a popular city to visit?

Dunedin is more popular with local tourists than with international visitors. Here are some of the most popular activities and tours. (Prices in US Dollars)

  • Heritage City and Larnach Castle Van tour with Historian Guide: $119
  • A 2 hour Small Group Dunedin City Highlights Tour: $58
  • Otago Harbour Wildlife Cruise (Dunedin Shore Excursion): $73
  • Dunedin Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Small-Group Dunedin Wildlife Cruise: $97
  • Castle, Coast & City Small Group Tour (8 pax max): $122
  • Shore Excursion: V8 Trike, Peninsula and City Tour: $49
  • Clearwater Wildlife - Small Guided Tours (10 max) Otago Peninsula: $107

How long should I spend in Dunedin?

The ideal length of time for a trip to Dunedin is one to three days. Since Dunedin has activities such as museums, nightlife, and shopping, many visit for up to three days.

If you have a specific amount of time for your trip, see our advice about how much time to spend here: Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Dunedin? and Should I spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Dunedin?.