A visit to Australia remains incomplete without visiting the great city of Melbourne. Widely regarded as the country’s culture capital, this dynamic metropolis has everything you need for a great vacation. You will be spoilt for choices when it comes to things to do in Melbourne.
Visit the neighborhoods of the city to witness the unique character that makes them an attraction in themselves. To experience nature at its best, visit the many mountain ranges and public parks that abound in this Aussie city. Beautiful laneways, world-class dining options, cultural diversity, and fantastic coffee – together make Melbourne what it is. In this article, we have enlisted some of the best Melbourne attractions for a great travel itinerary.
Check out the Local Street Art
A trip to the city without a designated day set aside for exploring the local street art is a trip wasted. Melbourne and street art are almost synonymous with one another. Some areas in the city are specially reserved for street artists by the city council.
The quality of street art here is exceptional, and interestingly, the street arts keep on changing with time. Elaborate and beautifully done street art gives Melbourne a unique urban vibe that attracts locals and international tourists. Daily street art tours are also organized by many agencies. These lanes are a true labor of love for many street artists. If you are lucky, you will also spot street artists in action on many streets!
Taste some of the best Coffee in the World
If you love your coffee like the Aussies do, you must go to one of the many cafes that dot Melbourne’s cityscape – you will find the world’s best coffee!
Melbourne leads the world in providing the best coffee and café culture, and the locals know their coffee pretty well. Melbourne also hosts a coffee expo! Tourists are highly impressed with the coffee culture of this Australian city. The best thing is that you don’t have to visit some high-end restaurant to get a good cup of quality coffee. Even the smallest of small places in Melbourne serve excellent coffee.
Flinders Street Railway Station
One of the most popular landmarks in Melbourne, Flinders Street Railway Station, can be considered a cultural symbol of the Australian city.
Opened in 1854, this station has large clock faces. The main attraction is the grand and gorgeous Victorian architecture. In the 1920s, this was one of the largest and the busiest railway stations in the Southern Hemisphere, and presently it is the busiest suburban railway station. There are food options as well as a shopping area and markets inside the station premises.
Address: Flinders Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia | Timing: Open 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/hK2wUvuACEKchBJp6 | Phone Number: +61396107476
Stroll through the Laneways
When the question is “what to do in Melbourne?” The best answer is to explore the beautiful laneways of Melbourne on foot. This will give you a fair idea about the urban culture of the city.
To do this, you can find detailed city maps of these laneways at Visitor Information Centers as well as in various hotels. Some popular laneways include AC/DC Lane, Centre Place, Degraves Lane, and Hardware Lane. A stroll through these lanes will give you innumerable other activities to participate in, browse the markets, enjoy different local foods and drinks, etc.
When it comes to Melbourne activities for kids, there is no better place than that of Scienceworks. Here you will find wide arrays of hands-on-science exhibits, events, and workshops for your little ones. You will also find a lightning room and a planetarium at Scienceworks.
Various kinds of informative shows are hosted at the planetarium. The Lightning Room is an interesting place, where 30-minutes live shows are hosted regularly. One show is that of a gigantic Tesla Coil, which can produce more than two million volts of electricity for generating lightning bolts as long as three meters. Don’t miss the mini-metropolis called Nitty Gritty Super City – designed to teach curious minds how big cities function.
Address: 2, Booker Street, Spotswood VIC 3015, Australia | Timing: 10:00 am to 04:30 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/nVD6i5hQLe2FvN698 | Phone Number: +61131102
Enjoy the Rock Music in Melbourne
Live music scenes are pretty standard in Melbourne – rock music needs special mention in this case. If you walk through the city, you are sure to spot some or the other rock band playing.
Many popular rock stars have visited Melbourne – both new and old, local and international. If you want to catch a rock band playing, you can try some locations like the Spotted Mallard, the Corner Hotel, the Ding-Dong Lounge, the Evelyn Hotel, Palais Theater, the Post Office Hotel, the Esplanade Hotel, etc.
Try Greek Cuisine
When you are in Melbourne, don’t forget to try Greek cuisine. You might find yourself wondering – Greek cuisine? In Melbourne? Well, fun fact: Outside of Greece, Melbourne has the largest Greek population!
In fact, the community is so close-knit that they have different kinds of cultural events, and they celebrate many festivals together all year round. If you haven’t tried Greek cuisine, make sure that you visit the Greek Precinct to experience some authentic and lip-smacking Greek flavors and tastes. You can choose from different delicacies and treat your taste buds.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Sprawled over an impressive area of 94 acres, the Royal Botanic Gardens is one of the major attractions in Melbourne. Founded in the mid-19th century, the gardens have an amazing collection of indigenous and exotic flora.
Some of the highlights in the garden include Rare and Threatened Species Collection, region-specific plant collections, Perennial Border and Gardens House. All throughout the extensive property, you will find beautiful statues, picturesque pathways, and shaded benches. Located at walking distance from the city center, the park is an excellent place for a leisurely afternoon stroll. Guided tours of the site are also available.
Address: Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia | Timing: 07:30 am to 07:30 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/VvvYiwaEPSBQMNg76 | Phone Number: +61392522300
Go for Shopping at Chapel Street
Melbourne is internationally renowned for world-class shopping destinations, and Chapel Street is one of the most popular shopping destinations in the city. You will find that the place is thronged by international as well as local celebrities.
The range of high-quality clothing available in the various stores and boutiques here is simply stunning. Along with shopping, you can also catch a glimpse of the multiple events that take place here from time to time. There are also top-class bars and restaurants in the street, where you can dine and wine after a hectic shopping spree.
Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/ShssQbQmZrUa8UDB9
Watch a cricket match at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
The sports-mad city of Melbourne is home to a popular stadium – the great Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) – dubbed as Australia’s favorite stadium. Along with being the home stadium for Melbourne Cricket Club, MCG also hosts the popular AFL and other sports events like rugby or international soccer.
The stadium was constructed in 1853 and has undergone renovations umpteen times. You can experience the passion for sports that the people of Melbourne have if you watch a match in this stadium live. You can also visit the Olympic Museum and the Australian Gallery of Sport at MCG.
Address: Brunton Avenue, Richmond VIC 3002, Australia | Timing: 10:00 am to 03:00 pm (guided tours), National Sports Museum: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/gCfeNJoXnLXiUXPz6 | Phone Number: +61396578888
Can’t chalk out a plan as to what to do in Melbourne on a particular day? Simply visit the Immigration Museum in the city. Visiting this museum is akin to celebrating the diversity of cultures that have made Australia what it is today.
Modern-day Australia sees the amalgamation of many cultures from different parts of the world. The museum is located in Old Customs House and narrates the stories of immigration experiences that many people had while coming to Australia. Don’t forget to visit the Customs Gallery at the museum, as it was the central point for trade, shopping, and immigration in the 19th century.
Address: 400 Flinders Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia | Timing: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://g.page/immigrationmuseum?share | Phone Number: +61131102
Old Melbourne Gaol
A great museum in the city center, Old Melbourne Gaol, actually functioned as a prison from 1842-1929. Many infamous Australian criminals have been executed in this gaol. As per official records, 133 people were executed here while this was a prison.
Many homeless and mentally sick people were interred in prison back in the day, where they lived in inhumane and miserably harsh conditions. The gaol is a chilling window into the country’s dark past and has a very melancholic effect on its visitors. It has now been turned into a museum that displays various exciting items like death masks of various criminals who were executed here. Ghost tours are also conducted by the museum as many opine that the place is haunted.
Address: 377 Russell Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia | Timing: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm, Monday – Tuesday: Closed | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/38puhAK27WDb6DjaA | Phone Number: +61396569889
Wander the Historic Queen Victoria Market
Food lovers simply fall in love with Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne. It is one of the largest markets in the city as well as in the southern hemisphere. There are outdoor as well as indoor shopping areas that span across two entire city blocks.
The market is an amalgamation of knick-knack vendors and food sellers. It remains busy during the week as well as on the weekends. The city’s great and significant food hub, you will find the best quality olives, cheeses, and smoked meats here. It also features a breathtaking Victorian style of architecture, hence the grandeur. Different kinds of events are hosted in the markets annually.
Address: Queen Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia | Timing: Monday and Wednesday: Closed, Tuesday and Thursday – Friday: 06:00 am to 03:00 pm, Saturday: 06:00 am to 04:00 pm, Sunday: 09:00 am to 04:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/u61BsYTcd43QAzib7 | Phone Number: +61393205822
Crown Casino Complex
Just adjacent to the Yarra River stands the majestic Crown Casino Complex – a luxury resort and casino complex. It is one of the largest internationally, and the largest in the southern hemisphere. The complex is not only a place for enjoying gambling but also a vibrant and vivacious nightlife with several excellent restaurants.
It is also a luxury shopping destination. The Atrium area has regular light/sound shows, lovely fountains, and is gorgeous overall. The pyrotechnic towers outside the Crown Casino complex are worth watching – these are also known as ‘Gas Brigades.’
Address: 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia | Timing: Open 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/MVNdiebEWxu9M9UH8 | Phone Number: +61392928888
Shrine of Remembrance
The Shrine of Remembrance is dedicated to the 19,000 Victorians who were killed in the first World War. Constructed in 1924, this monument has many memorials like the Forecourt, Bronze Gallipoli Memorial, Remembrance Garden, etc.
Inside the shrine, you will see many military-themed exhibits on display. Shrine of Remembrance is regarded as one of the leading Melbourne tourist attractions. Free tours of the property are available for anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of Australia’s role in the War and its subsequent stand in various global conflicts. The second-floor balcony offers an excellent view of Melbourne grounds and the skyline.
Address: Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia | Timing: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/EYtGKU3r8DfCXQbM8 | Phone Number: +61396618100
Royal Exhibition Building
A real landmark of Melbourne – the Royal Exhibition Building, was built in 1880. Its grand architecture is a beauty in itself. Along with the exteriors, the interiors are brilliantly done too.
It stands in Carlton Gardens and is frequented by thousands of people annually – locals and tourists. The building is used for various events and occasions, including community events, gala dinners, fashion shows, public expos, trade fairs, etc. Daily tours of this landmark are available to know more about the structure.
Address: 9, Nicholson Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia | Timing: For details visit https://museumsvictoria.com.au/reb/ | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/eyyzKXyXJkCKk77t6 | Phone Number: +61392705000
The Block Arcade
Opened in 1892, The Block Arcade is a retail zone, cozily housed in a heritage shopping arcade. Needless to say that the architecture of the arcade is simply stunning with stained glass windows, skylights, mosaic floors, etc., and the area is historically rich too.
You will find some excellent luxury boutiques in the arcade, along with the Hopetoun tearooms and Haigh’s chocolates. You can also explore Dr. Seuss-inspired art displayed at the arcade. The place lingers in nostalgia, and both locals and tourists love the arcade.
Address: 282 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia | Timing: Monday to Thursday: 08:00 am to 06:00 pm, Friday: 08:00 am to 08:00 pm, Saturday: 08:00 am to 05:00 pm, Sunday: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/aYgyqQQ6mqnNcgj56 | Phone Number: +61396545244
Port Campbell National Park
Among other popular Melbourne things to do, you must visit Port Campbell National Park. Here you will spot some fantastic natural wonders in the form of 12 Apostles rock formation. Seven stacked rock structures make the 12 Apostles, and six of them can be spotted from the main viewing platform.
Other attractions in the park include London Bridge, The Arch, and a grotto. If you are an adventure seeker, you can trek 144-miles to reach the park. Animals like kangaroos and wild koalas can also be spotted if you are lucky. If you choose to drive down to the park, you will have excellent views of the park.
Address: Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell VIC 3269, Australia | Timing: Open 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/Jaeruwo7grm5j6CH7 | Phone Number: +61131963
Just across the Flinders Street Railway Station lies Federation Square, an iconic spot in Melbourne. The architectural design of this place is fascinating, and many people come to witness just that – it is unique and one of its kind.
Open for the public since 1968, the square is the largest in the city, sprawling across more than eight acres of land. This block-sized plaza has several restaurants and eateries. It also offers an excellent people-watching experience. Different kinds of events are also hosted here around the year. Don’t miss the Australian Center of the Moving Image and the Ian Potter Centre Art Gallery at Federation Square.
Address: Swanston Street and Flinders Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia | Timing: Open 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/4gmHqDH8Q4WFJdebA | Phone Number: +61396551900
Adjudged as Australia’s oldest and one of the largest zoos, the Melbourne Zoo was opened in 1862. It is home to almost 300 animal species.
It has been set up so that the animals can roam about freely in areas that look like their natural habitat. You must see some animals here, including wallabies, kangaroos, koalas, platypuses, wombats, little penguins, and Australian fur seals. The place is loved by kids and adults alike and is often visited by people who come on a Melbourne trip.
Address: Elliott Avenue, Parkville VIC 3052, Australia | Timing: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/5pg5YmvMMJMmfUUt6 | Phone Number: +611300966784
State Library of Victoria
A popular place of attraction in Melbourne is the State Library of Victoria. This is a great historic institution attracting more than eight million visitors annually. Along with being a library, this is an event space too.
It attracts history buffs, architecture lovers, and book lovers alike. Along with a wide variety of books, this place also houses historical artifacts. Special mention needs to be made of its grand architecture – both the interiors and the exteriors. The octagonal La Trobe Reading Room is fascinating, and so is the neoclassical architectural layout.
Address: 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia | Timing: 10:00 am to 06:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/BHgeN1vbqX2dvX8Q6 | Phone Number: +61386647000
Buy a ticket to Moonlight Cinema Melbourne
In the Royal Botanic Gardens, you can purchase a ticket to Moonlight cinema. It is a unique cinema experience that everybody visiting the garden city must have. It deserves the top place in your “Melbourne to do” list.
Popular Hollywood movies are often showcased at this open-air cinema. This open-air arrangement is a crowd-favorite and is great for the sweltering Aussie summers. You can carry your own food and a chilled beer or two to enjoy a show there. With the onset of winters, as it gets chilly at night, it is recommended to carry a cozy blanket.
Address: Central Lawn Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne VIC 3141, Australia | Timing: For details visit https://www.moonlight.com.au/ | Google Map Location: https://g.page/Moonlight-Melbourne?share
City Circle Tram
If you are looking for fun things to do in Melbourne, you cannot miss the City Circle Tram ride. You can have a great overview of the top tourist attractions of the city with this ride.
Just spot such trams and hop on to them to enjoy the ride free of cost. During the peak tourist season, the trams get pretty crowded. On the route, you will find attractions like Old Treasury Building, Federation Square, Princess Theater and Parliament House, etc. The trams leave from Flinders Street Station at an interval of approximately 20 minutes.
Timings: Sunday – Wednesday: 10:00 am to 06:00 pm, Thursday – Saturday: 10:00 am to 09:00 pm
Love wine? Love visiting idyllic vineyards? Then Yarra Valley is a great option for exploring the best wine regions in close proximity to Melbourne.
There are almost 70 wineries in the region. Two of the most popular vineyards in Yarra Valley are Giant Steps and Domaine Chandon. While the former excels in pinot noirs and chardonnays, the latter produces excellent sparkling wine. Different kinds of wine tours are conducted in the valley from time to time by various agencies.
Address: Yering, VIC 3770, Australia | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/fySw6qj2Sc79pjGG8
National Gallery of Victoria
National Gallery of Victoria tops the list of things to do in Melbourne – by a wide margin! Opened in 1861, this place is among the most frequented tourist spots of the city. International masters have their great works displayed here, including the likes of Claude Monet, Rene Magritte, and Anthony van Dyck.
Works of local artists are also featured here. Don’t miss ‘Pixcell-Red Deer’ by Kohei Nawa, a taxidermized deer covered in crystal beads and glass. Various kinds of paintings, sculptures, and artworks from indigenous and aboriginal artists are also displayed here. Exploring the gallery will take little time if you are an art lover. So, make sure that you set aside an entire day for this.
Address: 180 Street, Kilda Road, Melbourne, VIC 3006, Australia | Timing: For opening hours and other details visit https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/plan-your-visit/ | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/DtuHQoyHWAP5UoPZ8 | Phone Number: +61386202222
Among the leading Melbourne attractions, Melbourne Museum needs special mention. Visiting the museum will give you deep insight into the life of the people of Victoria from past to present. Not only this, but you can also see the different kinds of awe-inspiring exhibits on display, including many dinosaur skeletons.
Check preserved Phar Lap – the late racehorse of Australia. There is a vast collection of aboriginal arts, culture, and history in the museum. There is a separate children’s section entirely dedicated to kids. Don’t miss the exhibit ‘Sam the Koala’ – focused on the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009.
Address: 11 Nicholson Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia | Timing: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/dKttWSUYro5Kseu16 | Phone Number: +61383417777
Participate in a St. Kilda Party
Melbourne is a city of exciting and quirky neighborhoods, and St. Kilda is probably the cutest among them. St. Kilda has pristine beaches and historic structures along with seaside cafes and restaurants.
Mention must be made of the vibrant and active nightlife that the place has. Travelers are likely to find at least a handful of parties in full swing at any given night in St. Kilda neighborhoods. The locals will welcome you with arms wide open, and you can join them for a night spent having fun and making merry! You are sure to have a great time at such parties in the place.
Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/BEcroXerWTmuwthd6
This Victorian-style garden was built in 1848 and is spread over 65 acres of land. In Melbourne, this is one of the most beautiful public gardens closely resembling English gardens.
The area where the park stands today was originally a swamp. But with care and cultivation, the site was developed into a lovely park that we see today. The garden has cottages, walking paths, greenhouses, green spaces, and many flower gardens. You can soothe your tired nerves by taking a stroll in the peaceful oasis.
Address: Wellington Parade, East Melbourne, VIC 3002, Australia | Timing: Open 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/hi1EoUGv5vYirGfb9 | Phone Number: +61396589658
With the list of things to do in Melbourne ready, it is time to pack your bags and visit this fantastic Australian city right away. This list will act as an excellent guide for any traveler.