15 Things to do in Melbourne
With so many things to do in Melbourne, this list barely scratches the surface. No matter what you choose to do, there is something for everyone.
Founded in 1835, Melbourne is the capital of the state of Victoria. This city is known for its rich history and vibrant cultural diversity. Considered by many to be the most European city in Australia, Melbourne’s heavy Asian influence gives it a unique differentiator when compared to its European counterparts. The relationships between food and culture, art and culture, and daily living and culture make Melbourne so special.
Good food, good drinks, world famous exhibitions - you name it, Melbourne has it.
So, slip on your Archies Arch Support Thongs, and get ready to explore some of the best things to do in Melbourne!
Get to the Top of Eureka SkyDeck
Eureka SkyDeck Tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. Located in the Southbank precinct and very close to the Central Business District (CBD), the tower is the highlight of the Melbourne skyline and visible from miles away. Completed in 2006 and standing 297.3 m (975 ft) high, the Eureka Skydeck is the second tallest building in Australia, only recently surpassed by the residential skyscraper Australia 108 (completed in 2020).
Tickets to visit the top of the Eureka Skydeck start at $18 (AU). The ride up alone is worth the price of admission. Ascending at high speeds, it only takes the lift roughly 45 seconds to travel 88 floors!
When you exit the elevator, you will find an impressive 360° view of the city and the Yarra River Valley. For the bravest of souls, a glass cage dangles over the streets below, allowing you to experience the panorama as if you were floating in the sky.
Sunsets are more crowded but well worth the view and added price of admission. However, a visit any time of day is sure to take your breath away and leave you in awe of this beautiful city!
Take the City Circle Tram
You can ride any tramway free of charge in the CBD of Melbourne, but simply riding the Tramway does not make our list of ‘Things to do in Melbourne.’
The best way to navigate the city is the old City Circle Tram. This old-school tram is also free to ride and makes stops throughout the CBD.
These 85-year-old trams have been well-preserved and accommodate both tourists and locals alike for unique rides through the heart of Melbourne. The antique wooden finish and unique style will transport you back nearly a century.
The trams provide audio guides that offer insights and facts about the landmarks you pass. The City Circle Tram is a great way to learn about the city while getting a first hand tour!
Equally as beneficial, the City Circle Tram can be used as free transportation, allowing you to hop on and off as you please throughout Melbourne’s most iconic landmarks!
Tour the Street Art Scene
Melbourne is world renown for its street art scene. The city has allocated specific streets of the CBD for graffiti artists to use as their canvas. Streets neighboring the designated area have also been touched by artwork and now street art extends to nearly every district of the metropolis.
The two MUST SEE spots are Union Lane and Hosier Lane (both located in the CBD). A stroll through these lanes will take you on an ocular adventure you will not soon forget!
AC/DC Lane is also noteworthy, obviously, renowned for its classic rock themed graffiti.
Guided tours are available as well. Tours showcase the best artwork found throughout the “legal” areas. However, if you are up for an adventure, you can wander around and with a bit of luck you are sure to come across some hidden gems!
If you’re a fan of the strange, the beautiful and the obscene, you must visit these areas and check out the work of Melbourne's famous street artists!
Have a Day in St. Kilda
Only a 30-minute tram ride from Melbourne’s CBD, the beachy atmosphere of St. Kilda offers a stark change of pace from the hustle and bustle of downtown Melbourne.
Ackland St., the main street of St Kilda, offers a range of coffee houses, restaurants, crafty shops and bookstores. Perfect for a stroll, the warm and charming feel of St. Kilda will put a smile on anyone's face.
Every Sunday, the St. Kilda Esplanade Market will delight you with its many food stalls and local creators. You will find the market next to the main square.
With a short walk, you can enjoy St. Kilda beach and a breathtaking view of the Melbourne skyline.
At night, grab an ice cream cone and watch the Fairy Penguins coming out of the rock breakwater.
St. Kilda can offer the perfect beach escape when visiting Melbourne. Loaded with fun places to visit, St. Kilda is a must when looking for things to do in Melbourne!
Eat out in Fitzroy
You can find the Fitzroy suburb just Northeast of the CBD. The preserved, post-colonial style makes visiting the area feel like a trip in a time machine.
Amateur photographers will find an infinite source of photogenic spots. Preserved historic architecture mixed with modern style allows you to frame the perfect shot of old meets new.
As you probably guessed from the section title, photos are not the main draw of the Fitzroy suburb. Fitzroy’s food scene is well known among Melburnians of all ages.
Boutique restaurants present gourmet dishes plated by stellar local and international chefs. Paired with the perfect wine, Fitzroy is guaranteed to provide you a meal your tastebuds will never forget.
Coffee houses and independent shops offer numerous activities and exploration options for a daytime visit. For a very “local” experience, have a glass of Orange wine at Neighborhood Wine, or enjoy Mexican food above an indoor skate park at the Beach Burrito Company.
English writer Virginia Woolf once wrote, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” That being said, a trip to Fitzroy is sure to make you think, love and sleep better than you ever have before!
Party on Chapel Street
Chapel street may be one of the most hyped streets in all of Melbourne. However, that hype is most assuredly earned and not unwarranted.
Considered by some to be the epicenter of Aussie counterculture, the area is filled with alternative places and people. Wandering the area during the day offers a vibe that is hard to find anywhere else in Melbourne. Full of independent creators and second-hand shops, the atmosphere more closely mirrors Berlin than other parts of Melbourne.
Nighttime seems to strip some of the daytime mystique and offers a vibrant bar and club scene. A little less reserved than other nightlife in Melbourne, Chapel Street is home to many of Melbourne’s most famous bars and clubs.
If you’re a party animal or just want to sip a few cocktails and people watch, Chapel Street is another must you have to put on your list of things to do in Melbourne.
Sunbath at Brighton Beach
Depending on where you’re staying, Brighton Beach can be a bit of a hike. It’s about a 25-minute drive Southeast of the Central Business District.
It’s almost a certainty that you have seen a picture of Brighton Beach’s famous, colored beach houses. The blue cabin with the Australian flag is ingrained in most people’s memory.
Besides strolling along the row of cabins and stopping for the occasional photoshoot, the beach itself is gorgeous. The backdrop of the Melbourne skyline against the bright waters almost feels surreal. The houses adjacent to the beach aren’t bad to look at either and are home to many of Melbourne’s elite.
While Melbourne is not home to the most famous Australian beaches, Brighton Beach is definitely a world class beach and well worth the trip out of downtown.
Explore the Queen Victoria Market
Visitors of all ages enjoy the year-round Queen Victoria Market. Highlighting the best of local produce, seafood and clothing, the Queensland market really does have something for everyone!
If you can’t wait to take your purchases home and cook, food trucks line the outside of the market and offer delicious Melbourne Street Food.
Meandering the seemingly endless rows of Melbourne’s small businesses is not only a great way to spend a morning or afternoon, but also a fantastic way to experience Melbourne’s culture.
Walk along the Yarra River
The Yarra River runs East to West splitting Melbourne in two. The river banks of the Yarra offer countless miles of serene trails that are perfect for walking, jogging and biking.
Depending on where along the river you find yourself, you’ll be surrounded by tranquil forest or well-manicured parks.
In cities as large as Melbourne, the sound of running water can provide a pleasant break from the drone of city life. If you’re visiting Melbourne from a rural area, the pristine green areas surrounding the Yarra may offer some resemblance of home.
For a faster paced trek, try Bike rentals along the Capital City Trail.
Visit the Melbourne Zoo
Hopefully you have a pair of Archies because comfortable footwear is a must. A full day of walking is in store as you stroll amongst 5,000+ wild animals spread across 22 hectares of land.
The Melbourne Zoo is Australia’s oldest zoo and rated by most sources as the best.
Visiting the zoo is not just for families. Visitors of all ages are guaranteed to have a good time. Learn more about both domestic and foreign animal species and the conservation efforts taking place here in Australia.
For ticketing and more information, check out the Melbourne Zoo’s website.
Enjoy a Footy Game at The G
Depending on the timing of your stay, you may luck out and have the opportunity to see the Melbourne Football Club take the field.
Conveniently located adjacent to the Central Business District, the Melbourne Cricket Ground or simply, “The G,” is a world class stadium complex seating over 100,000. It is the largest stadium in the Southern Hemisphere and 11th largest globally.
Games at The G are unparalleled in the sporting world. The energy and noise level is sure to leave your heart pounding, win or lose!
For the up-to-date event scheduling, check out Melbourne Cricket Ground’s website.
Visit the National Gallery of Victoria
Melbourne is the art capital of Australia. Melbourne’s rich cultural presence cultivates artists, which has led to phenomenal art museums and galleries.
For art lovers, the National Gallery of Victoria is a must visit. Revolving collections typically play host to various forms of art ranging from local aboriginal art to international masterpieces.
The rotating exhibitions make every trip different. The National Gallery is designed to create both a viewing and learning atmosphere, granting visitors the ability to not only view masterpieces but also learn about their origin and the artist who created them.
If you are planning a visit or need more information, visit the National Gallery of Victoria.
Have a Day in the Royal Botanic Gardens
Melbourne is home to numerous parks and green areas, however, most lack in comparison to the Royal Botanic Gardens. Sprawling across 38 hectares (94 acres), the Royal Botanic Gardens offer a bounty of scenic vistas.
Originally, the park was founded in 1846 in a swampy lagoon on the south side of the Yarra River. Since then, the site has transformed into an oasis in the middle of urban Melbourne.
With paved walking trails surrounding manicured gardens, lagoons and greenery, it is all too easy to spend an entire afternoon wandering the park.
The park is open from 7:30AM to 5:00PM daily and is a must visit for any and all who enjoy reveling in the beauty of the outdoors.
Listen to Live Music on Bourke Street
Bourke Street is one of the main arteries of Melbourne, pumping people to and from the heart of the business district. This bustling section of Melbourne is filled with shopping destinations and restaurants but also recognized for its street music scene.
While you can find street musicians scattered throughout the entire Central Business District, only the best buskers in town play on this street.
Musicians from all around the world will sing to your soul with classic covers and original songs. Musicians play from dusk till dawn, so no matter when you’re ready to get your groove on, they’ll be there!
And don’t forget to tip!
Meet Local Artists at The Rose St. Artists’ Market
No good trip to Melbourne is complete without a souvenir, and there is no better souvenir than local art created within city limits.
The Rose Street Artists’ Market is open every Saturday and Sunday and gives visitors a chance to meet local artists and purchase their art. What better place to fully immerse oneself in Melbourne’s vibrant art culture?
The market is located in the heart of the Fitzroy district. Artists and designers showcase a plethora of art and designs in the form of jewelry, paintings, crafts and clothing.
Local creators love to discuss their artistic choices and styles and are typically open to negotiation on their pieces.
Absorb all you can of this vibrant atmosphere while you are here, and be sure to take home a keepsake to remind yourself of this experience!
Melbourne is an incredible city with an abundance of things to do and a wide range of culture. The fifteen things we have chosen are just a select few of so many noteworthy activities.
From free public transportation to beautiful parks and amazing sites, Melbourne is a city that must be fully explored to understand. Listen to live music, explore endless street art and taste the world renown cuisines. The stark cultural contrast between the art scene and the atmosphere at athletic events is only a small example of the range this city has.
Hopefully, your stay is long enough that you will be able to genuinely immerse yourself in the wonderful atmosphere and fully absorb everything Melbourne has to offer.
Leave your comfort zone and try new things in this wonderful city. After submerging yourself in the Melburnian lifestyle, you likely won’t want to leave!