Located on the Yarra River and along the waters of Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne is a city of style and elegance. As Victoria’s capital, Melbourne hosts glamorous festivals, events, and attractions that serve as a magnet for tourists. You can experience sports, luxury bars, and eclectic shopping during your visit, as well as enjoy plenty of art.
Explore Melbourne’s laneways, experience the city’s arts and culture scene, learn more about its Aboriginal culture, and cheer on the city’s sports teams. Prepare yourself for an adventure and discover the hidden gems the city has to offer. Now let’s dive into some of the fun things to do in Melbourne that’ll help you explore it like a local.
Go on a Boat Ride across the Yarra River
The Yarra River is an iconic waterway that defines Melbourne’s identity. It is a perennial river found in south-central Victoria. There is religious and cultural significance to Aboriginal communities in this region, and the traditional country of the Wurundjeri people is included within it.
The nearby Herring Island offers a tranquil atmosphere. Ride a vintage river boat or stroll across the Travellers Bridge. In March, visitors can enjoy the thrills of Moomba, Australia’s largest free community festival.
You can also canoe or kayak your way through all or part of the Yarra, or simply have a picnic alongside its banks.
Enjoy Melbourne Street Art
Melbourne is known as the artistic capital of Australia due to its thriving and evolving street art scene. Melbourne’s world-renowned street art scene is bound to delight your eyes, whether it’s extensive murals, vivid woodblocks, edgy stencils, or fleeting graffiti.
For those who love art and colours, Union Lane offers a dizzying assortment of colours. For those who prefer a more sophisticated and elegant touch, Drewery Lane has murals. Tattersalls Lane is a local treasure filled with vibrant colours while AC/DC Lane features musicians alongside its street art.
You can traverse the town and see the largest mural art in town – Everfresh Fitzroy mural, a black and white graphic mural. Hosier lane, where colourful murals, stencils, and posters all adorn its ever-changing canvas, is undoubtedly the pinnacle of street art.
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Spend Time at the Royal Botanic Gardens
Spread over an expanse of 38 picturesque hectares, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is an oasis in the heart of hustling and bustling Melbourne city. From lush green lawns to serene lakes and magnificent trees, it offers a soothing ambience to everyone. You can explore over 10,000 diverse plant species from all over the globe, including perennials, rainforest flora, succulents and rare and endangered species.
With over 10 million visitors annually, the park is a kaleidoscope of colour and texture where you can discover and be delighted by something new every day. With shady trees and picnic shelters, it’s a great place to relax, take a coffee or hang out with friends. There’s also a great spot in the shade overlooking the buildings in the park.
Try the City Circle Tram
Enjoy a free and convenient ride on one of Melbourne’s beloved heritage trams while witnessing some of the city’s beautiful zones. All the sightseeing will happen at a sedate pace so you can enjoy each part of the journey.
The route will go circularly, covering all parts of the city centre. An impressive feature of the tour is the audio commentary, with simple explanations of city monuments including Docklands and City Museum.
Simply wait at any city circle tram stop along the route to relish the City Circle Tram journey.
Go on a Shopping Spree at Queen Victoria Market
Delight in an authentic shopping experience at Queen Victoria Market, which is the heart and soul of Melbourne. You can savour fresh produce, hand-made and unique products, skincare, plants, souvenirs, clothing and more from over 600 small businesses. Get a taste of Melbourne’s best independent makers, creators, designers, and artists at String Bean Alley, and explore fresh cheese at the Dairy Hall.
It is the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere and celebrates many cuisines, cultures, and ethnicities through vibrant festivals including the Indian and African festivals. Indulge yourself in Melbourne’s nightlife by attending the Night Market in Queen Victoria Market, featuring international street food, live music, festival bars, and speciality shopping.
Explore the Fitzroy Gardens
It is well worth a visit to Fitzroy Gardens if you are looking for a quick escape from the busy city life in Melbourne. This is a Victorian-era landscape that is layered with diverse plants and Melbourne’s most historic and iconic garden. The Park is a real treasure nestled in the city, with expansive lawns, tree-lined avenues, a framework of garden structures, and ornamental shrubs.
The shaded avenues, The Fairies Tree, The Pavilion, the many fountains and statues, including Diana and the Hounds, make strolling through the park an enjoyable experience. Captain Cook’s Cottage, a miniature Tudor hamlet, and the Scarred Tree are among the attractions in this tranquil garden.
Check Out the Melbourne Cricket Ground
The iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, also affectionately called the MCG by locals is the largest stadium in Australia. It can accommodate 100,000 spectators, making it the world’s largest cricket stadium and the 10th largest stadium in the world. The wintertime is perfect for catching an Australian football game, and the summer is ideal for watching cricket test matches.
Furthermore, there are plenty of opportunities at the MCG to check out the famed Long Room, Ron Casey Media Centre, and enjoy strolling through the arena. A visit to the MCG wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Cricket Victoria Bill Lawry Centre, Ponsford Stand and City Terrace with its panoramic view of the city.
Visit The National Gallery of Victoria
Explore the impressive collection of art at the National Gallery of Victoria, also called the NGV, in Melbourne, which features both local and internationally renowned artists. It encompasses a rich history and a diverse range of classic and contemporary works. In the heart of Melbourne’s city centre are the NGV’s two magnificent galleries; the NGV International and the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.
Australia’s oldest public museum offers an impressive visual treat to the eyes from international historic exhibitions, events, tours, programmes for kids, fashion, late-night openings and performances. You can immerse yourself in the marvellous collections ranging from indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities to European, Asian and Oceanic art of all periods.
Take Fun Snaps at ArtVo
How would you feel if you were a part of art? ArtVo, the immersive trick art gallery, provides you the chance to experience that once-in-a-lifetime experience. With 6 enormous rooms, 11 themed zones, and 3D artworks, the museum will take you into a world of awe-inspiring optical illusions.
The museum allows visitors to interact with King Kong, challenge a dragon, and walk throughout magical lands with hanging cliffs while experiencing traditional art in a modern setting.
Immerse yourself in various displays, locations and famous paintings while touching and interacting with realistic art that comes alive.
Enjoy Breathtaking Views from the Eureka Tower
The Eureka Tower provides breathtaking views of Melbourne, where key landmarks can be spotted and pictorial views of the city are available. It offers the fastest elevator rides in the Southern Hemisphere and is located beside the Yarra River in Southbank. You can ascend 285 meters up 88 floors in just 38 seconds to explore the elegance of Melbourne’s top attractions from above.
This building provides an incredible 360° view of Melbourne through a glass cube that can be switched out from the building. Observe the city unfold below the giant glass windows on the Eureka Skydeck while enjoying the sunset.
Explore the Dandenong Ranges National Park
In the lush rain forest of Dandenong Ranges National Park, you can enjoy a slice of nature right on the doorstep of Melbourne. The picturesque suburbs and quaint hilltop towns of the Dandenong Ranges offer miles and miles of peaceful forest walks. You can choose from more than 30 walking excursions and bush walks of varying difficulty levels.
Enjoy a 1000-step climb up Kokoda Walk, taking in the stunning views of Melbourne and the Yarra Valley. The forested slopes are also home to a range of animal species that you will encounter as you stroll through Ferntree Gully, Sherbrooke Forest, Doongalla Forest, and Mt Evelyn Forest.
In Spring, the colours of the seasons make the villages in the region come alive, and in summer, the tallest flowering tree in the world, Mountain Ash, cover the volcanic hillsides.
Experience Tranquillity at the Shrine of Remembrance
Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne was built as a memorial to commemorate and honour the valiant lives and sacrifices of World War I’s war heroes. In its current form, the monument serves as an iconic landmark that honours all Australians that have served during any war. A visit to the shrine in Melbourne is a must-do if you like tranquil settings and beautiful views.
Visit the Melbourne Zoo
Located just minutes from the city, the Melbourne Zoo offers an opportunity to experience over 300 species of animals from around the world in splendidly landscaped surroundings. You can explore lush rainforests, see the sleek Sumatran tiger, take a hike on the Trail of Elephants, or even watch orangutans swing from tree to tree.
Get up close to the Australian Fur Seal and Victoria’s native penguin species by checking out the aquatic world. Discover the unusual wildlife of Australia, including koalas and kangaroos, set against stunning native flora. Take a bush track and observe wombats and emus.
Drop by at St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Located on Eastern Hill in the heart of bustling Melbourne, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is an integral part of the city. The Cathedral’s majestic structure boasts a traditional format. Constructed with sandstone and bluestone in the Gothic-Revival architectural style, it features ascending columns, gleaming mosaics, and marble decorations.
Witness the most impressive sacristy of the sanctuary, no less than seven chapels within, which is the tallest and largest church edifice in the entirety of Australia.
You can also hear sacred music in the Cathedral, thanks to its excellent acoustics and highly regarded organ – a popular place for musicians and choral groups.