18 Best Things To Do In Melbourne

If you're looking for a city filled with culture, great art and amazing places to explore, Melbourne is the perfect destination. Known as Australia's cultural capital, this vibrant metropolis offers a range of activities and attractions that are sure to keep everyone entertained. From beautiful parks and gardens to lively markets and world-renowned restaurants, here are some of the best things to do in Melbourne.

1. Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria Pin

The Royal Botanic Gardens of Victoria is a stunning oasis situated in the heart of Melbourne, Australia. Opened to the public in 1846, this breathtaking attraction offers visitors a tranquil escape from everyday life.

Over 10,000 plant species are displayed throughout its vast grounds, divided into three different sections: The Gardens at Cranbourne, the Royal Botanic Gardens and Herbarium and the Yarra Range Region. Every season brings a new array of blooming flowers and lush foliage – it’s no surprise that these gardens attract over two million visitors each year.

A visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens isn’t complete without exploring one or all of its seven dedicated walking trails. These trails range from short walks such as the Birdwood Avenue and Rhododendron Track to longer hikes such as the Nootka Island Trail or Beaumont Nature Walk.

2. Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)

Melbourne Cricket Ground Pin

The Melbourne Cricket Ground is an iconic stadium located in the city centre of Australia's sports capital, Melbourne. It is one of the world's largest and most famous cricket stadiums with a capacity to accommodate up to 100,024 people. The MCG has been home to some of the greatest moments in Australia’s sporting history, including Don Bradman amassing 452 runs during a test match against England back in 1930, and Cathy Freeman claiming gold at the 2000 Olympic Games.

The ground itself was established over 150 years ago way back in 1853. It has since hosted several major events across many different sports from AFL matches to international cricket games and even rugby tournaments. Furthermore, it is also used for concerts featuring some of the biggest musical acts such as Beyoncé who performed for two sold out shows on her Mrs. Carter World Tour back in 2013.

Contact:

Address: Brunton Ave, Richmond VIC 3002, Australia

Phone: +61 3 9657 8888

3. Shrine of Remembrance

Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne Pin

The Shrine of Remembrance is a memorial and museum dedicated to the memories of those who have served in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. Built in 1934 to honor the soldiers of World War I, it stands proudly on top of a hill overlooking the surrounding cityscape. The Shrine is an iconic Melbourne landmark for locals and visitors as its grand architecture inspires awe and reverence.

The Shrine is made up of various components that pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Inside the main building lies a Hall of Silence with two walls engraved with the names of more than 95,000 Victorians who lost their lives during wartime in service. A Roll of Honour records over 3400 Victoria Cross recipients since 1854 while an Eternal Flame encased within a marble altar reminds us never to forget those we have lost.

Contact:

Address: Birdwood Ave, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia

Phone: +61 3 9661 8100

4. National Gallery of Victoria

National Gallery of Victoria Pin

If you’re looking for the best things to see in Melbourne, the National Gallery of Victoria is an absolute must that should be on your Melbourne bucket list. Filled with fascinating and beautiful works of art, it truly is one of the city's most beloved landmarks. The art gallery consists of two buildings - the NGV International and the NGV Australia - each displaying a variety of art from around the world. The international collection has pieces ranging from Australian Aboriginal art to European sculpture and there is always something new to discover as they regularly update their collection.

The gallery houses artwork by local artists, so visitors can explore some lesser-known yet amazing talent while also getting a feel for Melbourne's culture. In addition to its incredible permanent collection, the NGV also features several notable temporary exhibitions throughout the year which are often free or discounted for students and seniors.

Contact:

Address: 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3006, Australia

Phone: +61 3 8620 2222

5. Queen Victoria Markets

Queen Victoria Markets Pin

Queen Victoria Markets is one of the most iconic must-do Melbourne attractions. This bustling market has been around for more than a century and offers Melbournians an incredible array of food, clothes, souvenirs and much more. In addition to providing locals with a unique shopping experience, Queen Victoria Markets also serves as a great tourist destination. Visitors from all over the world come here to take in the vibrant Melbourne culture and immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of this bustling marketplace.

The marketplace is split into two sections: Deli Hall and Market Halls. Deli Hall offers customers fresh produce, tasty groceries and other delicacies while Market Halls feature stalls selling clothes, accessories, artworks as well as souvenirs. There are also cafes nearby where you can enjoy delicious meals or snacks while taking a break from shopping.

Contact:

Address: Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Phone: +61 3 9320 5822

Best Flights To Melbourne

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Melbourne. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Melbourne.

6. Block Arcade

Block Arcade in MelbournePin

The Block Arcade is a beautiful, Victorian-style shopping mall located in the middle of Melbourne city. It has been standing since 1893 and is one of the oldest surviving arcade buildings in Australia. Its breathtaking architecture and ornate details make it a beloved destination for tourists and locals.

The arcade building consists of five blocks connected by large, arched passageways that are decorated with stained glass windows, mosaic tiles and intricate sculptures. Inside the arcade you will find many charming boutiques and cafes offering unique gifts, clothing items, jewelry, specialty foods and sweets. The ceilings are also high which gives the space an airy feeling while still radiating elegance.

On top of its aesthetic beauty, The Block Arcade also has a rich history full of stories from previous generations who lived their lives within its walls.

Contact:

Address: 282 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Phone: +61 3 9654 5244

Booking.com

7. Melbourne Zoo

The Melbourne Zoo is a beautiful and exciting tourist attraction, and one of the top things to see around Melbourne. Established in 1862, the zoo has grown to become one of the oldest zoos in Australia and it is home to more than 320 species of animals. From native Australian animals such as koalas, kangaroos and dingoes to exotic creatures like lions, tigers and chimpanzees, you can see them all at this unique zoo.

The zoo offers a range of activities for visitors that make it a perfect day out for families and animal-lovers. There are guided tours offering insights into each species’ biology and behavior as well as shows such as Animal Planet Live which gives guests an up close look at some amazing marmosets from South America.

Contact:

Address: Elliott Ave, Parkville VIC 3052, Australia

Phone: +61 1300 966 784

8. Scienceworks

Scienceworks Melbourne Pin

Scienceworks is an iconic science museum in Melbourne, Australia. It has been a must see for visitors to the city for decades and provides an exciting educational experience for people of all ages. With interactive displays, this museum puts a fun spin on science and technology learning.

One of the best features of Scienceworks is the Planetarium, where you can take a seat and explore the night sky. From the stars and planets to constellations, you can learn about astronomy while taking in stunning visuals projected onto the dome-like ceiling of the theater. The museum also offers workshops that allow children to get hands on with some scientific experiments such as making robots or exploring electricity and magnetism with an interactive exhibit called the Lightning Room.

Contact:

Address: 2 Booker St, Spotswood VIC 3015, Australia

Phone: +61 3 9392 4800

9. Eureka Skydeck

View from the Eureka Skydeck in Melbourne Pin

The Eureka Skydeck in Melbourne provides visitors with an amazing experience as they ascend 88 floors to reach the top of the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere. Once at the top, guests can enjoy spectacular views of the city from the Skydeck platform and observation areas.

The building also features a ‘the Edge’ – a unique glass cube that extends out three meters from the side of the tower, providing jaw-dropping views directly downward.

The other highlights at Eureka Skydeck include interactive displays which provide interesting facts about Melbourne’s history and key landmarks found around its cityscape. There’s also a range of dining options available if you get hungry after all that sightseeing.

Contact:

Address: 7 Riverside Quay, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia

Phone: +61 3 9693 8888

10. Immigration Museum

Immigration Museum in Melbourne Pin

The Immigration Museum in Melbourne is a unique and powerful experience for visitors. Located in the historic Old Customs House building, it tells the stories of migrants who have made their home in Australia since the 1800s. The museum traces the history of immigration to Australia through interactive displays and audio-visual presentations that bring to life moving personal stories from both past and present generations.

Travelers can explore themes such as identity, family relationships and cultural diversity while taking an insightful journey into what it means to be part of a multicultural nation like Australia.

The exhibits feature photographs, artwork and artifacts which help illustrate the events throughout history that shape today’s society. There are also art installations and multimedia displays that provide you with a deeper understanding of how people have adapted over time to this new land throughout different eras.

Contact:

Address: 400 Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Phone: +61 131102

Best Flights To Melbourne

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Melbourne. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Melbourne.

11. State Library Victoria

State Library Victoria Pin

Visiting the State Library in Victoria is an experience like no other. The library was founded in 1854 and since then has been at the center of cultural life in the city. The building is architecturally stunning, with its grand dome roof, Corinthian columns and elegant staircases; it’s easy to understand why people from near and far travel to see it.

The library houses a vast collection of books - over two million titles - along with digital resources for visitors to access. There are also dedicated spaces for study, reading or just simply relaxing; you can even find places where you can attend free events such as poetry readings or music performances.

Contact:

Address: 328 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Phone: +61 3 8664 7000

12. Old Melbourne Gaol

Old Melbourne Gaol Pin

If you're looking for a fascinating journey back in time, then Melbourne's Old Gaol is the perfect place to explore. This infamous gaol was built in 1841 and served as the main holding facility for prisoners over the next 90 years. It saw many of history’s most notorious criminals pass through its doors, including Ned Kelly, a legendary Australian folk hero who was hanged there in 1880.

A visit to the gaol brings one face-to-face with the grim reality of the penal system during this era. Cells are still intact and visitors can gain insight into what life behind bars must have been like for those convicted of serious crimes. The museum houses various relics from its dark past such as irons used on notorious inmates and death mask casts from executed prisoners.

Contact:

Address: 377 Russell St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Phone: +61 3 9656 9889

Booking.com

13. Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum Pin

Melbourne Museum is one of Australia's leading cultural institutions and one of the best places to visit in Australia for anyone looking to explore the wonders of Melbourne. The museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts, artwork, and historical pieces from across the world. Located in Carlton Gardens and opened in 2000, it was awarded the Best Tourism Development Project by the Australian Tourism Industry Council.

The museum features several permanent galleries that tell the story of Victoria's land, people, art and the history of Melbourne. Visitors can learn about Indigenous culture in the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre or marvel at natural history displays including dinosaur fossils at the Museums Discovery Centre. Another popular attraction is the Planetarium with digital domes showing movies about space exploration and other scientific topics.

Contact:

Address: 11 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia

Phone: +61 131102

14. Fitzroy Gardens

Fitzroy Gardens Pin

Fitzroy Gardens is a beautiful urban oasis situated right next to bustling Collins Street, it is a haven of lush vegetation and winding paths that provide respite from the hustle of the city. The park free to enter and is home to many different species of trees, including elm, oak, myrtle and beech as well as shrubs like acacias and roses. The gardens also feature a picturesque lake with plenty of ducks - perfect for an afternoon picnic.

A walk through the Fitzroy Gardens reveals many interesting features such as Cook’s Cottage – one of the oldest surviving Australian homes – originally built by James Cook’s parents. There is also a stunning formal garden full of ornamental plants, statues and hedges ideal to stroll around or take photos.

Contact:

Address: Wellington Parade, East Melbourne VIC 3002, Australia

Phone: +61 3 9658 9658

15. Dandenong Ranges National Park

Dandenong Ranges National Park Pin

If you want to take a day trip from Melbourne, Dandenong Ranges National Park is a stunning park located in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. This breathtaking national park covers an area of 16,843 hectares and is home to over 1000 species of plants and animals.

Nestled among the lush forest and rolling hills, visitors can explore miles of trails winding through the landscape. The diverse range of vegetation provides a colorful backdrop for hikers who will be treated to spectacular views from hilltops such as Mount Dandenong and One Tree Hill.

The park also offers recreational activities for all ages, including bird watching and wildlife spotting, walking along nature trails, cycling routes for all levels of ability, horse riding and bush camping sites available throughout the year. There are also plenty of picnic spots with gas barbecues or fire pits perfect for having an outdoor feast with family members or friends.

Contact:

Address: School Rd, Tremont VIC 3786, Australia

Phone: +61 131963

16. St. Patrick's Cathedral

St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne Pin

St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne is a magnificent piece of architecture. Located in the Melbourne CBD area, it has long been an iconic landmark for many who have visited or lived there. Constructed between 1858 and 1897, this grand edifice was designed by William Wardell and his assistant Henry Kemp, two prominent architects of the time.

The Cathedral stands tall with its distinct Gothic Revival style which features stained glass windows and detailed masonry work. Inside, you can admire its grand interior with its elaborate mosaic floors and altar area adorned with golden statues depicting religious scenes that tell stories from the Bible. Its ceiling is especially impressive as it is constructed with timber sourced from native forests found within Australia.

Contact:

Address: 1 Cathedral Pl, East Melbourne VIC 3002, Australia

Phone: +61 3 9662 2233

17. St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne Pin

St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne is an iconic part of Australia’s cultural landscape. It is the seat of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne and stands majestically on Flinders Street in Central Melbourne where it can be seen from all around. Built to serve as a place for spiritual renewal, St Paul's has become a symbol of resilience and strength throughout its history.

The original structure was designed by William Butterfield and built in 1848 with materials shipped from England, however it was destroyed by fire only three years later. The second St Paul’s Church was constructed between 1853 and 1880, but it too suffered considerable damage due to a severe storm in 1901. The current building was finally completed in 1939 after nearly two decades of rebuilding efforts.

Today, St Paul’s remains one of Melbourne’s most popular Melbourne tourist attractions thanks to its grand architecture and fascinating history. The interior of St Paul’s Cathedral features high vaulted ceilings with stunning stained glass windows depicting stories from the Bible. The pews are crafted from timber and richly upholstered with red fabric offering comfortable seating while worshippers take part in services every day.

Contact:

Address: Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Phone: +61 3 9653 4333

18. Flinders Street Station and Federation Square

Flinders Street Station Pin

Flinders Street Station is one of Australia's most iconic landmarks in the city of Melbourne. Built more than a century ago, the station has been a hub for public transport for millions of commuters every day. It stands as a symbol of the city's development and evolution, having seen many changes over the years since its establishment in 1854. Its architecture is well-known around the world, with its yellow façade and distinctive green clock tower making it an instantly recognizable landmark throughout the country.

Just steps away from Flinders Street Station is Federation Square, also known as 'Fed Square'. Opened in 2002 to mark 100 years since Australia became a federation nation, Fed Square has become popular spot for locals and tourists due to its vibrant atmosphere filled with shops, eateries, cultural attractions and event spaces.

Best Flights To Melbourne

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Melbourne. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Melbourne.

FAQ

Q: What is Melbourne most famous for?

A: Melbourne is renowned for its vibrant arts and culture scene, making it a hub for artists and creatives from all over the world. The city is most famous for its street art, with captivating murals adorning the walls of laneways and alleys throughout the central business district. Hosier Lane, one of Melbourne's most iconic laneways, attracts tourists and locals with its ever-changing collection of graffiti masterpieces. This open-air gallery reflects Melbourne's commitment to fostering artistic expression and has become a symbol of the city's creative spirit.

Furthermore, Melbourne is also widely recognized as a culinary destination with an eclectic food scene that caters to all tastes and budgets. Vibrant neighborhoods like Fitzroy and Brunswick are known for their trendy cafes and restaurants offering food from around the world. Additionally, Melbourne hosts numerous food festivals throughout the year where visitors can indulge in a variety of dishes while enjoying live music and entertainment.

Lastly, Melbourne's love for sports cannot be overlooked as it consistently draws massive crowds during major sporting events such as Australian Football League (AFL) matches held at iconic stadiums like the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

Q: Is it easy to get around Melbourne without a car?

A: Melbourne is known for its excellent public transportation system, making it incredibly easy to navigate without a car. The city boasts an extensive network of trams, trains, and buses that connect various suburbs and major attractions. Trams are particularly iconic in Melbourne and offer an efficient way to travel within the central business district (CBD) and surrounding areas. With frequent tram services running along major streets like Swanston Street and Bourke Street, locals and tourists can easily hop on and off at desired stops.

Apart from trams, Melbourne's train system is another reliable mode of transportation that covers a vast area across the metropolitan region. Trains provide connections between the CBD and outer suburban areas, as well as neighboring cities like Geelong or Ballarat. The train network offers a convenient way for commuters to travel longer distances quickly, with express services available during peak hours. Additionally, numerous bus routes serve areas not accessible by trams or trains. Although they may take slightly longer than other modes of transport due to traffic conditions, buses ensure comprehensive coverage throughout Melbourne.

Q: Does Melbourne have beaches?

A: Contrary to popular belief, Melbourne boasts a stunning coastline with numerous picturesque beaches that cater to all preferences.

One of the most famous beach locations in Melbourne is St Kilda Beach. Located just six kilometers from the city center, this sandy stretch offers beautiful views of Port Phillip Bay and an array of recreational activities.

Further along the coast lies Brighton Beach with its iconic bathing boxes. These colorful wooden huts have become an emblematic symbol of Melbourne's beach culture and attract countless visitors each year. The beach itself provides a tranquil atmosphere for leisurely walks or picnics by the shoreline.

Q: Is Melbourne known for its nightlife?

A: Melbourne has earned a reputation for its vibrant and eclectic nightlife. Renowned as one of the world's most livable cities, Melbourne truly comes to life after dark.

One of Melbourne's standout features is its thriving music scene. From intimate jazz clubs to large-scale concert arenas, the city offers a diverse range of performances that cater to all musical genres. For those seeking a more relaxed evening out, there are numerous rooftop bars where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city skyline while sipping on handcrafted cocktails. Additionally, Melbourne boasts an array of underground clubs that attract both local and international DJs who spin beats until the early hours.

Q: What are the best things to do in Melbourne for free?

A: Melbourne offers countless opportunities for exploration and discovery without breaking the bank. Firstly, take a leisurely stroll through the iconic Royal Botanic Gardens. Spanning over 94 acres and home to more than 8,500 plant species, this urban oasis provides a tranquil escape from the bustling city streets.

Another budget-friendly gem is Federation Square. Situated at the heart of Melbourne's cultural precinct, this public space serves as a hub for art exhibitions, live music performances and various community events throughout the year. Here you can marvel at architectural wonders such as the ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) or grab a bench with panoramic views of Flinders Street Station and Yarra River. Don't forget to check out Hosier Lane nearby; this famous street art destination showcases some of Melbourne's most vibrant murals and graffiti masterpieces – all completely free to admire.

Lastly, don't miss out on exploring Melbourne's diverse neighborhood markets which offer an authentic taste of local flavor without draining your wallet! The Queen Victoria Market is an absolute must-visit; it is not only one of Melbourne's oldest markets but also one of its largest.

Q: What are the best things to do in Melbourne for couples?

A: Melbourne offers a plethora of activities that are perfect for couples looking to spend quality time together. One of the must-do experiences is taking a leisurely stroll along the iconic Yarra River. The river not only offers stunning views of the city skyline but also provides opportunities for romantic boat cruises where couples can enjoy a tranquil evening while sipping on wine and indulging in a delicious meal.

For art enthusiasts, Melbourne has an array of world-class galleries and museums that are sure to delight couples with their diverse exhibits. The National Gallery of Victoria is home to an extensive collection of artworks spanning various periods and genres, making it an ideal destination for art-loving duos. Additionally, couples can explore the enchanting street art scene by embarking on a self-guided tour around various neighborhoods such as Fitzroy and Collingwood, where they can marvel at colorful murals adorning the walls.

Foodies will also find themselves spoiled for choice in Melbourne. The city has numerous trendy cafes and restaurants serving delectable delicacies from all corners of the globe. Couples can embark on gastronomic adventures by trying out unique dishes at hidden laneway bistros or opt for fine dining at renowned establishments helmed by acclaimed chefs.

PLAN YOUR TRIP TO MELBOURNE

Book Your Hotel In Melbourne

You can book your hotel in Melbourne with Booking.com as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hotel, they also return the cheapest rates for accommodations like hostels, guesthouses and apartments.

Book Your Flight To Melbourne

Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights to Melbourne. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know you get the best rates.

Need a Rental Car In Melbourne?

Here is a budget-friendly car rental resource. No matter where you’re traveling, you’ll be able to find the best — and cheapest car rentals in Melbourne here.

Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Melbourne?

If you are looking for a convenient and affordable option to get to and from the airport in Melbourne, here you will find all the answers to book your next airport transfer in Melbourne.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never travel to Melbourne without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you visit Melbourne. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m taking a trip. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Australia:

Be sure to visit our Australia Travel Guide for even more travel tips.

More Australia Travel Resources