Melbourne is a city that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a foodie, art lover, or sports fanatic, Melbourne has something to offer you. However, with so many things to see and do, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this ultimate bucket list of things to do in Melbourne.
From exploring the city’s vibrant neighbourhoods and amazing street art to sampling its delicious cuisine, these are 35 activities that you won’t want to miss!
Top 30 Best Things to Do in Melbourne
Melbourne is a vibrant, multicultural city that is renowned for its art, food and fashion. Founded in 1835, today Melbourne is home to over 4 million people from all over the world and is consistently ranked as one of the world’s most livable cities. Discover what makes it so special. Start planning your trip to Melbourne today!
1. Visit the Queen Victoria Market
The Queen Victoria Market is one of the largest and most iconic markets in Australia and a must-visit for any traveller to Melbourne. The market is divided into a number of sections, with over 600 stalls selling everything from fresh produce, meat, seafood, clothing and souvenirs. In addition to its many stalls, the Queen Victoria Market also has a number of restaurants, cafes and fine food shops.
You’ll find it open every day except Monday and Wednesday, and while you are there take advantage o one of the unique tours they offer. Find their market discovery tours here or participate in a self-guided audio tour around the city to learn more about it.
2. Explore the Melbourne Zoo
Home to more than 320 animal species, the Melbourne Zoo is Australia’s oldest zoo and a great place to learn about the wildlife of Australia. The zoo is located in the heart of the city, and a popular destination for tourists and locals alike looking for things to do in Melbourne. The zoo has a wide variety of animals, including lions, tigers, giraffes, and elephants. As well as a number of gardens and exhibits.
The zoo is open every day of the year and offers a variety of educational programs for both children and adults. Whether you’re looking to learn about animals or just enjoy a day out, the Melbourne Zoo is a great place to visit. To skip the line on weekends or during school holidays, grab your pass early here.
3. Stroll through the Royal Botanic Garden
The Royal Botanic Gardens are located in Melbourne Central and offer a beautiful respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. With more than 38 hectares of gardens to explore, the Royal Botanic Gardens are one of the largest public gardens in Australia. The gardens feature a wide variety of plant life, as well as sculptures, fountains, and ponds. The gardens are open daily, and you can visit them for free.
However, what visitors often don’t realize is that the gardens were a significant cultural site for the Kulin Nation Aboriginal People. You can learn more about their rich history, culture and connection to the plant life within the gardens by taking an Aboriginal Heritage Walk through the space.
4. Take a ride on the Melbourne Star
The Melbourne Star is a giant Ferris wheel that offers panoramic views of the city. Located in the Docklands precinct, the Melbourne Star is one of the tallest structures in Australia. The wheel has 21 air-conditioned cabins, each of which can accommodate up to 25 people. The ride takes approximately 30 minutes, and it is a great way to see the city from above.
5. Explore the National Gallery of Victoria
The National Gallery of Victoria is one of Australia’s oldest and largest art museums. The gallery houses a collection of more than 70,000 works of art, ranging from ancient Egyptian artifacts to modern Australian art.
The gallery also has a number of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. In addition to its artwork, the National Gallery of Victoria also has a library, cafe, and shop. The gallery is open every day except Christmas Day, and it offers a variety of free guided tours.
6. Visit the Melbourne Museum
The Melbourne Museum is located in the city centre and is one of the largest museums in Australia. Located in the Carlton Gardens, the museum houses a collection of more than 17 million artifacts. The museum is divided into a number of galleries, each with its own focus. The galleries include Aboriginal art and history, natural history, science, and technology.
In addition to its exhibits, the Melbourne Museum also has a planetarium and IMAX theatre. The museum is open every day except Christmas Day, and it offers a variety of educational programs for both children and adults. As a cultural hub, it should not be missed.
7. Explore the Melbourne Cricket Ground
The Melbourne Cricket Ground, or MCG, is one of the most iconic sports stadiums in Australia with a capacity of more than 100,000 people. Located in Yarra Park, the stadium is home to the Australian Football League and the cricket team. If you are a true fan, you can choose a time to walk the field and get exclusive access to the stadium.
Otherwise, we would encourage you to go see an AFL game if have never experienced one at the MCG before. When you watch a game at the MCG, you’re not just watching a sporting event – you’re experiencing a piece of Melbourne culture. The atmosphere at the ground is electric, and the fans are some of the most passionate in the world.
8. Visit the South Melbourne Market
Operating since 1867, the South Melbourne Market is an institution in the city. It is open every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and features over 150 stalls. You’ll find everything from produce, flowers, and baked goods to home goods, clothes and shoes, as well as independent cafes and restaurants. This variety makes the South Melbourn Market a great place to visit for boutique shopping or to simply stock the fridge.
9. Visit St. Kilda Beach and the St. Kilda neighbourhood
Spend an afternoon in St.Kilda – it is one of the best things to do in Melbourne. This trendy pocket of the city is known for its many bars, cafes and shops, as well as its namesake beach. St.Kilda Road and Acland Street, are two of the most famous shopping streets. St. Kilda beach is just a short walk away. It is a sandy stretch which is a great place to relax, soak up the sun and catch a sunset.
In addition to its many amenities, you can see a colony of Little Penguins that call the St. Kilda Pier home. The best time to see them is around dusk, however, sometimes they can be difficult to spot on your own so to ensure you see them, go with a local.
10. Visit the Eureka Skydeck
The Eureka Skydeck is located in the Eureka Tower, one of the tallest buildings in Australia. The Skydeck is the highest observation deck in the Southern Hemisphere, and it offers 360-degree views of Melbourne. In addition to its breathtaking views, the Skydeck also has a number of interactive exhibits. The Skydeck is open every day except Christmas Day, and it offers a variety of ticket options for both adults and children.
11. Go on a day trip to Phillip Island
Phillip Island is a beautiful island located just off the coast of Melbourne. It makes a great day trip for animal and nature lovers. The Penguin Parade, Seal Rocks, Koala Reserve and Churchill Island Heritage Farm are some of the most popular attractions on the island. However, you can also go hiking, cycling, or bird watching on your own in Nobbies National Park. The island is accessible by ferry from the Melbourne CBD or by car.
For a day trip, we would recommend going with a tour operator to capitalize on your time. You need a car to explore the island and most attractions like the Penguin Parade and Koala Reserve require admission, so most people find it easier to go with a guide. We like this full day tour here. You’ll be guaranteed to see koalas and penguins all in one day.
12. Visit Flinders Lane
Located steps from the iconic Flinders St Station, Flinders Lane is one of the most iconic streets in Melbourne. It is home to a range of fashion boutiques, art galleries and cafes. It’s also the perfect place to people watch, as it is always abuzz with activity.
From vintage clothing stores to high-end fashion boutiques, there is something for everyone. And if you get tired of shopping, you can always enjoy a coffee or bite to eat at one of the many cafes lining the street.
13. Visit Luna Park
Luna Park is one of Melbourne’s most iconic tourist attractions. Situated on the foreshore of Port Phillip Bay in the suburb of St. Kilda, Luna Park has been entertaining locals and visitors since 1912. The amusement park is home to a variety of rides and attractions which are great fo the whole family, including the world-famous Scenic Railway roller coaster.
Luna Park and Melbourne fun, go hand in hand. It is open every day of the year, making it the perfect destination for a day out or a weekend away.
14. Visit the Old Melbourne Gaol
The Old Gaol is of the most impressive historic sites in Melbourne and offers visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the history of Australia’s Justice System. The Gaol was built in 1845 and was in use until 1929. During this time, it housed some of Melbourne’s most notorious criminals, including Ned Kelly and bushranger Harry Power.
Today, the Gaol is open to the public for tours and educational programs. Visitors can explore the cells, walk through the execution yard, and see the remains of the gaol’s original bluestone walls. The Melbourne Gaol is a must-see for anyone interested in Melbourne’s history.
15. See street art in Melbourne
Melbourne is well-known for its vibrant street art scene, and Hosier Lane is one of the most popular destinations for anyone looking to check out some incredible artwork. The lane is constantly evolving, with new pieces being added on a regular basis, and there is always something new to see.
In addition to the standard graffiti tags, Hosier Lane is also home to a number of more intricate murals and stencils. You might even see artists in the midst of creation while you are there.
16. Try the coffee
Melbourne is known for its coffee culture, and for good reason. The city has a long history of coffee production, dating back to the early days of European settlement. Today, Melbourne is home to some of the best coffee roasters in the country, as well as a thriving cafe scene. Locals even claim to have invented the Flat White.
Try Proud Mary for its single-origin coffees, which are sourced from all over the world. Another good option is Code Black Coffee Roasters. This unique roastery offers a range of specialty coffees, including cold brews and nitro coffees. Code Black is also home to Australia’s first coffee beer, which is definitely worth trying!
17. Go on a day trip to the Yarra Valley
The Yarra Valley is one of Australia’s most renowned wine regions, and for good reason. The valley is home to some of the country’s best wineries, producing everything from Pinot Noir to Chardonnay. And it’s not just wine that the Yarra Valley is known for. The region is also a popular spot for hiking, cycling, and bird watching.
Visitors can explore the valley’s many trails, taste local produce at farm-to-table restaurants, and even go hot air ballooning. Whether you’re a foodie, a nature lover, or just a fan of good wine, the Yarra Valley is definitely worth a visit. Spend a weekend or if you are short on time, a day tour from Melbourne with suffice.
18. Visit Sea Life
The Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is one of the city’s top tourist attractions. Visitors can see over 10,000 aquatic animals up close. This includes Australia’s only sub-Antarctic exhibit, which houses penguins, seals and other cold-weather creatures. In addition to its wide variety of exhibitions, the Melbourne Aquarium also offers educational programs, behind-the-scenes tours and a 4D cinema.
Get your entrance ticket here so you are prepared and get ready to see sting rays up close, a walk through a seahorse paternity ward and see one of Australia’s largest saltwater crocodiles.
19. Visit the Royal Arcade
The Royal Arcade is the best of Melbourne’s arcades and one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Built in 1869, the arcade was designed to connect the two major shopping streets of Collins and Elizabeth Street. Today, the Royal Arcade is home to a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as a number of historical artifacts.
Anyone looking for things to do in Melbourne can come to admire the Royal Arcade’s Victorian Renaissance architecture and take photos of the imposing clock tower with its two mythical statures.
20. Do a Great Ocean Road trip
The Great Ocean Road road stretches for nearly 300 kilometres along the southeastern coast of the country, from Melbourne to Adelaide. It is a popular road trip and weekend getaway destination known for its incredible scenery, numerous beaches, national parks and charming towns and villages. The centrepiece of the area is the Twelve Apostles, which is a group of mythical limestone cliffs that rise out of the sea. See a list of must-see Great Ocean Road attractions here.
21. Visit Federation Square
Federation Square (also known by locals as Fed Square) is a public space in Melbourne, Australia. The square is located adjacent to Flinders St Station and the Princess Bridge on the Yarra River. It is one of the city’s main meeting places so you’ll always find something on at Fed Square, whether it is a concert, festivals, exhibitions, or rallies.
Federation Square is also home to a number of galleries and art exhibitions, and close to popular Melbourne attractions, including the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Aquarium, and Eureka Skydeck 88. Therefore, it is unlikely you will miss stumbling across Federation Square on your trip to the Victoria capital.
22. Hit the Crown Casino
The Crown Casino is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is one of the largest and most popular entertainment complexes in Australia. The casino is located in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD and offers a wide range of gambling options, from slots and table games to poker and sports betting. If gambling is not your thing, that’s ok. There is also a wide range of restaurants and bars, and many live entertainment acts which frequent the large complex. For dinner and drinks on a Saturday night, dress up and head here.
23. Visit Brunswick Street
This vibrant street is lined with an eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes, and bars, all serving up delicious dishes. Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty meal or a light snack, you’re sure to find something to suit your taste on Brunswick Street.
In addition to its great food, the street also has a lively atmosphere, a heap of vintage shops and live music venues, making it the perfect place to spend an evening out with friends like a local.
24. Visit Scienceworks
Scienceworks is Melbourne’s interactive science museum. It has a range of interactive exhibits that explain the science behind some of Melbourne’s most iconic landmarks, including the Yarra River and the Great Ocean Road. Visitors can also explore the universe in the Planetarium, or take a Spinball Whizzer ride. Scienceworks is also home to an environmental park, where you can learn about native plants and animals. With so much to see and do, Scienceworks is a great day out for both kids and adults.
25. Visit the Immigration Museum
This museum is set in the beautiful Old Customs House and tells the stories of those who have migrated to Australia from all over the world. The museum is located in the heart of the city, and it is easy to get to by public transport.
It is divided into several galleries, each of which tells a different story and covers topics such as the history of immigration in Australia, the reasons people migrate, and the challenges of settling in a new country. There are also interactive displays and exhibits, which make the museum fun for both adults and children.
26. Pay a visit to Lygon Street
Lygon Street runs through the heart of the city’s vibrant Italian quarter and is home to an array of cafes, restaurants and bars. Visitors can enjoy authentic Italian cuisine, listen to live music and browse the many shops lining the street. Besides food, Lygon Street is also home to a number of important cultural institutions, such as the Italian Museum and the La Mama Theatre. With its rich cultural heritage and vibrant atmosphere, Lygon Street is an essential part of any visit to Melbourne.
27. Go on a river cruise
The Yarra River has played a big role in the city’s identity and history, so if you are visiting the area one of the best things to do in Melbourne is to go for a river cruise to learn all about it. Cruising down the river allows you to see Melbourne’s skyline and some of its most iconic landmarks, including the Yarra River itself, the Royal Botanic Gardens, and Flinders Street Station from a unique vantage point.
28. Experience a festival in Melbourne
When it comes to festivals, Melbourne knows how to put on a good show. No matter what time of year it is, there’s always something going on. Some favourites include the Melbourne International Arts Festival in October, the Moomba Waterfest in March, the International Jazz Festival in June and the Melbourne International Film Festival taking place in August each year. For those who enjoy a good laugh, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is not to be missed in March.
29. Visit Parliament House
Parliament House is one of the oldest buildings in Melbourne. Located on the corner of Bourke and Spring Streets, it was built in 1856 and today is the seat of the Victorian parliament and houses the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council.
Visitors can take a tour of the building, watch debates in the chambers, or simply admire the architecture. Parliament House is an important part of Melbourne’s history and culture making it well worth a visit.
30. Experience the city’s nightlife
While Melbourne is well-known for its vibrant nightlife. For those looking for a truly unique experience, try Eau De Vie for creative cocktails and a relaxed 1920’s atmosphere. If you’re looking for somewhere to dance the night away, Carlton Club and the Angel Music Bar are both excellent choices. And for those who prefer a more low-key evening, bars like Bridge Hotel and Heartbreaker offer a cozy setting and a chance to catch up with friends.
31. Catch a show at the Forum
Located in the heart of the CBD, the Forum has been a staple of the Melbourne music scene for over a decade. Originally built as a movie theatre in the 1920s, the Forum was transformed into a live music venue in the early 2000s.
Since then, it has played host to some of the biggest names in music, including Foo Fighters, Muse, and Arctic Monkeys. The Forum is known for its excellent acoustics, making it one of the best places in Melbourne to see a live show.
32. Take a Spooky Tour of Pentridge Prison
The history of Pentridge Prison in Melbourne is a long and varied one. Built in the 1850s, the prison took over prisoners from the Old Goal once it was closed in the 1920s. It became known for its harsh conditions and several high-profile inmates. The prison was finally closed in 1997 after more than 150 years of operation. Today, the site is open to the public for tours and special events. Visitors can explore the prison grounds and cells to get a glimpse into Australia’s past.
33. Spend the Day at Brighton Beach
Brighton Beach is a beautiful sandy beach which is well known for its vibrant promenade, which is lined with colourful beach huts. The beach itself is over 3 kilometres long and is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing and surfing.
There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants close by, making it the perfect place to spend a day by the sea. It is located just over 10 kilometres from the city center but conveniently located to the CBD by train.
34. Visit Block Arcade
The Block Arcade was constructed between 1891 and 1893 and was one of the first shopping arcades in Australia. It is notable for its intricate glass-roofed atrium, which is adorned with stained glass and wrought iron. Today, the arcade is home to a number of luxury retailers, as well as cafes and restaurants including the famous Lady Hopetoun Tea Rooms. Like the Royal Arcade, the Block Arcade will transport you back in time.
35. Visit Melbourne’s Chinatown
Little Bourke Street is the heart of Melbourne’s Chinatown. This vibrant and colourful area is home to a variety of restaurants, grocery stores, and herbalists, as well as a number of temples and other religious buildings.
Chinatown is home to a large number of Chinese immigrants, who have brought their culture and cuisine to the area so try authentic Chinese food while you are there. Little Bourke Street is well worth a visit whether you are looking for authentic Chinese cuisine or just a fascinating place to explore.
Unlimited Attractions Pass
There are plenty of things to do in Melbourne, whether you’re looking for educational experiences or just ways to have fun. If you are someone who wants to see it all then consider getting an Unlimited Attractions Pass. You’ll get access to over 20 attractions over the course of 2, 3, 4, or 5 days with up to 40% savings on entry fees.
Start Planning Your Trip
Melbourne is a city that has something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a night out on the town, some family-friendly activities, or want to explore the city’s history and culture, Melbourne has it all. Add these 35 things to do in Melbourne to your bucket list and start planning your trip today.