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10 things to do in Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria, Australia.
For many people living or traveling in Australia, Melbourne is one of their favorite cities.
It is cosmopolitan, vibrant, artistic, and conveniently located near Victoria’s vineyards and national parks and the iconic Great Ocean Road.
Many backpackers settle in Melbourne, sucked in by the city’s energy and choosing not to leave.
Plenty of Australians also love Melbourne, raving about its nightlife, its cuisine, and its culture.
I finally visited this famous city for the first time, and I can understand why people love it so much. Though I only stayed for one weekend, I had lots of fun experiences in and around the city and gained lots of insights thanks to my local friends.
So for anyone traveling in Australia and wondering what to do in Melbourne, here are 10 fun things to do in Melbourne.
10 Things To Do In Melbourne, Australia
There are so many fun things to do in Melbourne, from visiting the beach to touring vineyards to exploring the city.
1. Tour the Markets
Markets are an amazing way to see lots of art, design, culture, and cuisine all packed together in an accessible and affordable space.
Queen Victoria Market is the city’s best market. It is open from 6 am to 3 pm (closed Mondays and Wednesdays, and there are endless stalls to browse through.
From handmade Australian hats to classic touristy trinkets, to a gourmet food market, there is plenty of entertainment here.
2. Admire the Art
Melbourne is a notoriously artsy city, and engaging in the art scene is one of the best things to do in Melbourne.
From colorful graffiti art to art museums and galleries, to theater and shows, there is no shortage of artistic talent roaming through the streets of Melbourne.
For interesting art museums and galleries, check out:
- Australian Center for Contemporary Art
- Heide Museum of Modern Art
- Centre for Contemporary Photography
For graffiti and street art, head to:
- Union Lane
- Caledonian Lane
- Hosier Lane
- Rose Street
- Johnston Street
3. Indulge in the Food
Many big, multicultural cities have lots of delicious food options, and Melbourne is no exception. There are restaurants galore, so just eating is one of the best things to do in Melbourne!
My friends took me to Little Africa, a tiny eastern African restaurant where we tasted lots of flavorful and filling dishes.
If you want a classic Aussie meal, hit up one of the many cafes selling avocado toast and buckwheat pancakes.
I ate at a delicious classic Australian cafe called Operator 25, and at a unique vegan cafe called Matcha Mylkbar, and I highly recommend both.
For a sweet treat, try the fresh, warm, handmade doughnuts from the doughnut van at Queen Victoria Market.
4. Check out the Landmarks
As one of Australia’s most famous cities, Melbourne is packed with significant landmarks.
On a sunny day, you can stroll through the city and check them all out.
Some of Melbourne’s best landmarks that showcase the city’s history and architecture are:
- Federation Square
- St. Paul’s Cathedral
- Melbourne Museum
- Flinders Street Station
- Victoria State Library
- Melbourne Cricket Ground
- National Gallery of Victoria
5. Explore the Parks
Green spaces are essential in big cities. They open up space and release some of the congestion by providing a bit of greenery.
Melbourne has some really nice parks that make the city feel more welcoming.
You can walk or jog, snooze in the shade, play sports, or have a picnic in a park while visiting Melbourne.
Some of the city’s best parts include:
- Flagstaff Gardens
- Fitzroy Gardens
- Royal Botanic Gardens
- Alexandra Gardens
- Carlton Gardens
6. Experience the Party Scene
Enjoying the nightlife is one of the best things to do in Melbourne for those who love to party.
There are crazy, bass-thumping night clubs for the real partiers and plenty of cool, classy bars for those who just want a cocktail or a casual drink.
Some popular nightclubs include:
- Spice Market
- The Toff In Town
Some cool cocktail bars include:
- Lily Blacks
- Eau De Vie
- Boilermaker House
Another one of the best things to do in Melbourne is to visit a rooftop bar. There are plenty to choose from and you can enjoy a birds-eye view of the city and a fun atmosphere.
Some of Melbourne’s best rooftop bars include
- Transit Rooftop Bar
- Rooftop Bar (the name is straight to the point!)
- Union Electric Bar
7. Enjoy the Viewpoints
Melbourne has a gorgeous skyline, so checking it out from an elevated viewpoint is a sight to behold.
If you’re a sucker for aerial views over a city, add some of these viewpoints to your list (in addition to the rooftop bars!).
Shrine of Remembrance: This historical monument dedicated to Australian soldiers who fought in previous wars has a top floor viewing platform with a lovely view of the Melbourne skyline. This viewpoint is also FREE!
Eureka Skydeck: This viewpoint is not free; it costs $23 but for those who want a lavish experience, it is worth it. This is the city’s tallest skyscraper, and after buying a ticket you can soar to the 88th floor to enjoy a crazy view. (Book your ticket in advance here!)
8. Hit the Beaches
Because Melbourne is such a massive metropolis, it can be easy to forget that there are beaches here.
In the summer, Melbourne’s beaches become a safe haven from the heat, so head down to St. Kilda in the southeast of the city to sunbathe, swim, and enjoy the coastline.
Another great beach in Melbourne is Brighton Beach, which is famous for its long row of colorful, painted beach huts.
So in the summertime when the sun is actually out, hitting the beach is one of the best things to do in Melbourne!
9. Visit Plenty of Cafes
Melbourne’s cafe scene is famous in Australia.
Aussies are basically obsessed with coffee, and Melbourne has a reputation for having loads of trendy cafes selling top-notch brews.
Even if you aren’t a coffee drinker, you have to check out a few of Melbourne’s quirky cafes just to soak in the hipster vibes and roasted coffee bean aromas.
And if you aren’t a coffee drinker, you’ll probably become one while staying in Australia.
Some of Melbourne’s best cafes include:
- Industry Beans
- Tall Timber
- Axil Coffee Roasters
- The Kettle Black
- Cup of Truth
- Dukes Coffee Roasters
10. Go on a few Day Trips
There are so many amazing day trips from Melbourne so you can branch out and see some cool areas in Victoria.
This beautiful peninsula located just to the southeast of the city is an easy and stunning day trip.
There are lots of picturesque beaches, hikes, and lookout points.
There are also lots of vineyards and wineries where you can do tastings. Going wine-tasting is one of the most fun things to do in Melbourne on a rainy day (and it rains a lot in Melbourne!).
The Great Ocean Road
Probably the most famous trip to do from Melbourne is the Great Ocean Road, and I can definitely say this was one of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever done!
Some people prefer to camp along the Great Ocean Road and spend a few days soaking it all in, but you can easily do it in a day from Melbourne.
If you don’t have a car, either rent one for the day or book a tour! (Check out this top-rated Great Ocean Road day trip from Melbourne from Get Your Guide)
Before traveling to Australia…
- You will need a tourist visa! Visit iVisa.com to apply for your visa online.
- Consider buying travel insurance! I recommend Squaremouth Insurance.
- Check Hostelworld for the best and most affordable places to stay in Melbourne and around Australia.
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If you are interested in living and working in Australia, check out my Guide To Working Holiday Visas In Australia (First and Second Year)
For more inspiration about places to travel in Australia, check out these articles!