Thinking about planning a fun visit to Australia? Then how can you miss out on Melbourne?
This exciting city of Melbourne has a lot in store for its visitors. Filled with amazing street work and many laneways, it is often voted as “the most livable city in the world”. Check out these 15 fun things to do in Melbourne.
The southeastern state capital of Victoria – Melbourne, is a vibrant city with so much to offer. This tropical travel destination is one of the main Australian cities and has a fascinating history.
The city brims with art galleries, cute cafes, trendy street art, serene parks, and some of the best coffee in the world. You’ll never run out of places to explore in Melbourne.
If you are looking to experience the Melbournian vibe, this list of Melbourne attractions is the perfect place to start!
Let’s find out what does the city of Melbourne has to offer:-
1- Stroll along the South Yarra River
Yarra River is the heart of Melbourne and it will be a shame to miss out on this place.
The riverbanks of Yarra river are the perfect location for picnics and you will find families enjoying BBQs. Many cruise operators operate on the Yarra river, or you can also enjoy kayaking.
A Yarra River Cruise is one of the greatest ways to explore the landscape and make the most of your vacation to Melbourne.
Location – South Melbourne
2- Federation Square
No other place in the city says Melbourne like the Federation square. The square, also known as ‘Fed Square’, is the city’s main meeting point.
It is the melange of modern art galleries and historic Victorian buildings around Melbourne. It is a centre for arts, culture, and public events which take place throughout the year.
Make sure that you visit the Australian Centre of the Moving Image, once you’re at Fed Square. You can also sit and enjoy watching a film or a sports match on the massive screen.
Location –Melbourne CBD
3- Stroll the Royal Botanic Gardens
When you have had enough of the concrete jungle, surrounding the city are the glorious green spaces great for relaxing under a tree, or a picnic if you like that kind of thing.
Melbourne is home to some beautiful gardens, the most popular one for tourists and locals alike is the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens on Alexandra Avenue.
One can spend hours at the gardens here to experience an oasis of calm, peace, and greenery outside of the urban bustle.
It is a great spot for locals to practice a peaceful meditation session. The Botanic Garden makes for a great picnic spot. It has more than 8,500 plant species, which are colorful, gorgeous, and fascinating.
In summer, live theatre and a moonlight cinema are set up under the stars. No matter what time of the year you visit these gardens, this is one of the best free things to do in Melbourne all around the year.
Location– Birdwood Ave
Opening Hours – daily from 7:30 am to sunset
4- Enjoy the hustle and bustle of Queen Victoria Market
There are several markets around the city but the most famous one is Queen Victoria Market. It is one of the largest markets in the whole of the southern hemisphere.
It’s so popular that there are regular tours happening here to showcase the best products and share the history of this famed marketplace.
You’ll find everything in this market from general goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, jewelry, souvenirs, handmade products, artisan goods, and more.
Various events are held in the market during the year. Something for everyone!
Location – Queen and Victoria Streets, Melbourne
5- The Docklands
The Docklands is famous for its shopping and waterside dining. Along with plenty of shops and restaurants, you’ll find urban art sculptures and beautiful bridges. You can enjoy a stroll along the marina and explore the art sculptures and outdoor entertainment.
It is filled with cafés, restaurants, tourist attractions, and parklands and it is also one of the popular attractions at night.
Location – Harbour Esplanade, Docklands
6- Eureka Skydeck
Wondering where to find one of the best views of Melbourne? Head to the 88th floor of The Eureka Skydeck which gives you one of the best panoramic views above the city.
If you’re an enthusiastic freak, you can also step out on The Edge, which was the world’s first glass cube. It gives a great view of Melbourne and the river.
Tickets can be purchased well in advance to visit the Eureka Skydeck viewing platform.
Tip – Arrive at the time of the sunset, to see spectacular views over the city during the day and night.
Location – 7 Riverside Quay, Southbank, Melbourne
- Opening Hours– 12pm – 10pm
- Closed – Monday & Tuesday
Go Penguin spotting at St. Kilda Beach
St. Kilda is an easy-to-access beach from the city. Head to this beach to see the unique penguin habitat.
Make sure you stay till the dusk for a special treat: After sunset, you can see the penguins swimming to shore and heading for their homes.
You can see them swimming in the water or hiding under the rocks. There’s a viewing area at the end of the St Kilda Pier.
Sunsets on St. Kilda are considered to be one of the best in South Melbourne.
Brighton is popular for its cute colorful bathing boxes that create picture-perfect scenery. The colorful Dendy Street Beach Bathing Boxes, which are situated in a line are one of the top things to see in Melbourne! It is a great beach to click some instagram-worthy pictures.
8- Get Sporty in Melbourne
The Melbourne Cricket Ground isn’t only about cricket. It’s the largest stadium in Australia with a capacity of over 100,000 and the 10th largest in the world.
Sport is a big part of the Aussie culture so, even if it’s not a big part of yours, definitely pop in here. Melbourne is the sports capital of Australia. Numerous games, events, and concerts are held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The Melbourne Football Club competes in the Australian Football League as a professional Australian rules football club (AFL).
Based in Melbourne, Victoria, they play their home games at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Melbourne was the birthplace of this sport.
The Australian Open starts in January every year. It isn’t summer in Melbourne without watching the world’s best tennis players sweat it out in the Melbourne heat for the Australian Open title.
It is wise to purchase tickets to the men’s and women’s finals in advance, although ground passes are available for roughly $29.
Location – Brunton Ave, East Melbourne
9- Great Ocean Road
To the west of Melbourne, there is a stretch of coastline known as the Great Ocean Road. The coastal road is beautiful and there is no better way to enjoy it. It is a 3-hour drive from Melbourne, and if you are visiting the city it’s a must-visit.
You can also visit the site of the famous limestone stacks known as the Twelve Apostles.
Location –Carlton Gardens
10- Shrine of Remembrance
This memorial honors all the Australians who served in World War 1.
It’s a beautiful building with well-presented memorials and exhibitions inside, You can experience an impressive view of Melbourne’s skyline from the roof. You should visit this place if you like history.
Location– Birdwood Ave, Melbourne
11- Check out the amazing Street Art
Melbourne’s street art is world-renowned. The alleys and laneways there are filled with world-class street art, chechking it out should be on your list.
The best lane to check out some of the most colorful graffiti and urban art installations are Hosier Lane, AC/DC Lane, Caledonian Lane, Sniders Lane, and Duckboard Place.
You can also experience the Melbourne street art tour, which is run by street artists. It is for people who’d like a deeper understanding of what they’re seeing. It gives you an insight into how the art is made, and who is involved in this underground art scene.
12 – Heritage tram ride around the city completely for free
Trams are an everyday mode of transport for Melburnians. Hop on the heritage maroon-colored City Circle Tram which loops right around the city center. It is a free and fun way to enjoy the top sights in the CBD and Docklands.
You can ride all day for free if you wish, and hop off wherever you want, with stops at major attractions and shopping centers.
There are historic trams and new trams, but both are free. If you want to try the complete loop for some city sightseeing, the tram takes about 50 minutes to complete the loop.
TIP: City Circle tram runs every day and ceases at 6 pm.
Opening Hours– 10 am to 6 pm
13 – National Gallery of Victoria
The National Gallery of Victoria is the largest and most visited art museum in Australia. This museum is Melbourne’s iconic and it is a must-visit for art fanatics. It hosts a number of exhibitions and events including local and international.
There’s always something new to explore in the National Gallery of Victoria.
Location- Melbourne CBD
14- The State Library of Victoria
The State Library of Victoria is the world’s fourth most visited library and one of Melbourne’s top attractions. The library’s architecture is spectacular.
It was built in the 19th century. It has some of the cities most exquisite interiors. In this library, you will find locals as well as tourists.
The six-story high domed space is stunning and worth checking out from the ground level as well as from higher levels.
Location– 328 Swanston Street
Opening Hours– 10 am-6 pm daily
15- Wander through Laneways and Arcades
It’s a lot of fun to get lost and wander the city through the laneways which are home to a secret world of restaurants, bars, cafes, art galleries, and boutique clothing stores.
As well as interesting laneways, Melbourne has beautiful arcades that date back to the late 1800s.
You’ll find plenty of things to see, do, buy and eat, and gain a new admiration of Melbourne’s urban culture.
TIP – Royal Arcade is the oldest in Melbourne and its high, domed ceilings are worth a look.
Best time to visit Melbourne
Melbourne is another one of those places that can experience all four seasons in one day. Melbourne has a temperate climate, with four distinct seasons around the year:
- Summer: December to February
- Autumn: March to May
- Winter: June to August
- Spring: September to November
TIP – When visiting Melbourne be ready for any sort of Melbourne weather conditions.
There are plenty of fun things to do in Melbourne this season- like hitting the beach and the outdoors.
You can see many incredible sporting, cultural festivals, and events
It’s daylight saving which means you can explore plenty into your Melbourne itinerary each day!
If you want to avoid crowds, go in November. You’ll get the beginning with good weather but you won’t have to deal with nearly as many crowds of people.
Hotels are also much cheaper this time of year. So, you can spend your hard-earned money on souvenirs and adventures instead!
TIP – Book your accommodation well in advance to avoid high prices and rooms filling up
Autumn would have to be the most pleasant and attractive season when wandering through Melbourne.
There are lesser crowds – but still some fantastic events to keep Melburnians and tourists entertained.
The city looks gorgeous in autumn as the leaves change color.
Hotels and airfares are cheap as prices are going down.
TIP: VISIT THE ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS TO SEE THE LEAVES TURNING TO GOLDEN COLORS.
Winter in Melbourne is mild. Although it doesn’t snow in Melbourne, the weather is comparatively low.
There are fewer crowds which also means that hotel and airfare prices are the cheapest in this season.
If you are an indoor person, you can visit Melbourne this season. You can plan to spend your days wandering through galleries and museums.
It is quite pleasant to visit Melbourne in the Spring. It is a great time to go for a picnic.
Fewer crowds in the shoulder season – which also reflects lower prices for hotel rooms and airfares.
If you’re a coffee-lover, let me tell you that you’ve come to the right place. Melbourne is one of the world’s elite destinations for coffee. Melbourne International Coffee Expo is in Spring showcasing Melbourne’s reputation as a coffee city.
You’ll find great coffee just wandering through the laneways of the city. According to TheUrbanList, the best cup of coffee can be found at Bench Coffee Co. in CBD.
TIP: You can try out the most delicious coffees on this coffee tour
So now you know what to expect of the seasons in Melbourne. Although I would suggest visiting Melbourne in the summertime, there’s nothing like it.
One of the best Stays In Melbourne
Where to stay in Melbourne? You’ll find stay options for every budget in Melbourne.
1 – Central Business District (CBD)
The best place to stay in Melbourne is in the city center (CBD). There are many choices of accommodations that fit all budgets – in the Melbourne CBD.
Melbourne’s CBD is home to its most well-known sights, such as Flinders Street Station, Eureka Tower, Federation Square, and the National Gallery of Victoria. The CBD is a mecca for artists. The city is known for its graffiti-covered laneways that change almost daily.
Research suggests that staying in Airbnb apartments is often less expensive than hotel rooms. Airbnb offers you an added benefit of a kitchen and, usually, more space.
2 – St Kilda
This quaint coastal town is home to one of Melbourne’s most popular beaches. This is a great place if you’re coming with your family.
The live music and food give a touristy vibe. This area in Melbourne is at its finest, which also means it is expensive but you can also get multiple budget places set up for backpackers.
There are many seaside activities and restaurants here for visitors.
3 – Fitzroy
Fitzroy is a neighborhood for creatives, it features a mix of specialty bookshops, art galleries, boutique clothing stores, and beyond-decent eateries.
It is one of the hippiest places here in Melbourne. There’s not a lot of stuff here to keep kids entertained, but it is close to the city, so if you do stay here you’re never far from more family-friendly activities.
Fitzroy is a great place for shopping and you’ll discover many thrift shops here. So shop till you drop here in Fitzroy.
You can also discover street art and graffiti. You’ll find mid-range budget accommodations here.
4 – Prahran
Prahran is known for its top-quality eateries and glamourous nightlife. There is a lot of trendy, boutique stores, cafes, and a tonne of bars that will appeal to young travelers.
As with other Melbourne neighborhoods, it can be expensive.
You can check out the Prahran Market, Chapel Street, and enjoy Thai food.
5 – Richmond
This residential, inner-city suburb provides insight into the life of Melburnians but also has some great attractions. It is famous for its top-notch Vietnamese food and is a popular area for sports fans.
Tip – Richmond might be a little too residential for some.
3 best things to do in Melbourne for free
1 – Sidney Myer Free Concerts
In the month of February, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra plays a series of free concerts at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.
This is one of the main attractions in Melbourne during this time so make sure you arrive early to get a good seat.
2 – Listen to Live Music
Melbourne locals love listening to live music. Fortunately, this also ranks among the best free things to do in Melbourne.
After coffee, street art and football Melburnians love their live music. There is a host of free gigs all over the city pretty much any day of the week.
In the city, Cherry is infamous as a rock venue and offers free entry to many of its gigs.
3- Enjoy yourself at a festival
Melbourne is known as the events capital of Australia.
In March, you cannot miss Australia’s annual and largest free community festival, Moomba held along the banks of river Yarra. There are nightly fireworks, celebrity monarchs, and a parade, plus carnival rides and games galore.
Other popular festivals in the city include the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival, the Melbourne Writers Festival, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, as well as Midsumma Festival.
Food in Melbourne –
Melbourne has everything in terms of food. It is a foodie’s paradise with restaurants to suit every taste. With all the stunning restaurants coming up in Melbourne, it can be hard to come up with a list.
Australia is a melting pot of languages and food cultures, due to immigrants from all over the world. All these diverse backgrounds bring a wide range of food variety to the table.
Down below is the list of foods you need to taste while in the city:-
- Meat Pies – classic Australian pies with meat
- Chicken Parmigiana – Baked chicken breast with a layer of tomato and parmesan cheese
- Barbecued meat – Having Barbecued meat is the Aussies’ favorite excuse for a get-together!
- Greek food – Melbourne has some yummy Greek food.
- Traditional Australian sweets and desserts – Caramel Slice, Fairy Bread, Pavlova, Tim Tam’s, Lamington’s, Jelly Slice, etc.
Melbourne’s Best Restaurants:-
1. Lucy Liu – Asian menu with cool laneway vibes. You have to try the soft shell crab pancake roll
2. Maha – modern Middle Eastern cuisine. Always delicious and has great value. Try the barramundi
3. Rosetta – classy Italian located in the Crown Casino complex1-
4. Vue de Monde – the Vue du Monde dining experience is otherworldly
5. Stalactites – one of the oldest Greek restaurants in Melbourne
Check out some more restaurants here “14 Best Restaurants in Melbourne You Can Visit“
You can also do a Melbourne food tour. Food tours are an awesome way to try a little bit from here and there, picking up restaurant recommendations and cool new addresses along the way.
Melbourne surely knows how to keep you entertained, with plenty of things to explore and do. The funky lanes, the crazy dessert parlors, luxury shopping, and the nightlife at Melbourne will surprise you! You can find more information about Melbourne by clicking on this link.