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10 Best Things to Do in Melbourne, Australia

Discover the top 10 best things to do in Melbourne, Australia, from vibrant street art to scenic Yarra River cruises. Explore now!

Melbourne, Australia’s cultural capital, is a vibrant city with many activities and attractions for every type of traveler.

Whether you’re a foodie, art enthusiast, nature lover, or sports fan, this dynamic city has something to captivate your interest.

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Here are the 10 best things to do in Melbourne, showcasing the city’s diverse offerings.

Get ready to explore Melbourne’s charming coffee culture, rich history, and vibrant arts scene, ensuring an unforgettable experience in one of Australia’s most exciting cities.

What to do in Melbourne

1. Join a 1-hour Yarra River Cruise

Embark on a captivating 1-hour journey along the Yarra River and discover Melbourne from a unique perspective.

This river cruise offers you the opportunity to see the city’s skyline and its beautiful surroundings from the tranquil waters.

Glide past iconic landmarks and lush riverside gardens while listening to the informative commentary onboard about Melbourne’s rich history and vibrant culture.

2. Enjoy great City Views from the Shrine of Remembrance

When you visit the Shrine of Remembrance, you immerse yourself in a profound piece of history and enjoy spectacular views of the city from its balcony.

This iconic landmark, dedicated to honoring the men and women of Australia who have served in armed conflict, offers a serene and reflective experience.

As you step onto the balcony, the panoramic views of Melbourne unfold before you, providing a unique perspective of the city’s skyline.

3. Stroll through Melbourne Botanical Garden

Take a leisurely walk through the Melbourne Botanical Gardens and immerse yourself in a world of lush greenery and tranquil landscapes.

This sprawling oasis in the heart of the city offers a peaceful retreat from the urban hustle and bustle.

Walking along the winding paths, you’ll discover a diverse collection of plant species from around the globe, beautifully arranged in thematic gardens and stunning displays.

4. Sunbath at one of Melbourne’s Beaches

Soaking up the sun at one of Melbourne’s beaches is one of the best things to do in Melbourne for locals and visitors alike.

Melbourne’s coastline offers a variety of sandy retreats perfect for relaxing, sunbathing, and swimming.

From the vibrant and bustling St Kilda Beach, known for its picturesque pier, lively atmosphere, and proximity to cafes and restaurants, to the more serene and expansive stretches of sand at Brighton Beach, famous for its colorful bathing boxes, there’s a spot for every type of beachgoer.

5. Sidney Myer Music Bowl

The Sidney Myer Music Bowl, an iconic outdoor performance venue nestled in the heart of Melbourne, Australia, becomes a hub of musical activity every summer.

Known for its vast, open-air amphitheater that allows audiences to sit both on seats and on the grassy slopes, it offers a unique concert experience that combines the joy of music with the beauty of the outdoors.

During the summer months, the Sidney Myer Music Bowl is famous for hosting a series of free concerts, making high-quality musical performances accessible to everyone.

6. Go shopping at Queen Victoria Market

Embark on a shopping adventure at Melbourne’s iconic Queen Victoria Market, a vibrant and bustling hub of culture and commerce.

Known affectionately as “Queen Vic” to locals, this historic marketplace has been at the heart of Melbourne’s life since 1878, making it not only a great place to shop but also a rich part of the city’s heritage.

As you wander through the vast expanse of stalls, you’ll find everything from fresh produce, gourmet foods, and artisan cheeses to unique clothing, handmade crafts, and souvenirs.

7. Melbourne Skydeck

The Melbourne Skydeck, formerly known as the Eureka Skydeck, offers an unparalleled view of Melbourne.

Located on the 88th floor of the Eureka Tower, a striking architectural marvel that stands prominently on the Melbourne skyline, the Skydeck provides visitors with breathtaking 360-degree views of the city and its surroundings.

For those seeking an extra thrill, the Skydeck features “The Edge” – a glass cube that projects three meters out from the building, with glass walls, ceiling, and floor, providing a heart-stopping experience of being suspended in the air above Melbourne.

8. Explore Melbourne Street Art

Melbourne, often hailed as Australia’s cultural capital, is a vibrant city bursting with creativity at every corner, especially when it comes to street art.

Exploring Melbourne’s street art is like embarking on an urban treasure hunt, where the city’s laneways and buildings serve as canvases for artistic expression.

The heart of Melbourne’s street art scene beats strongest in its laneways, with Hosier Lane being the most iconic.

9. Ride the City Circle Tram

Embark on a journey through the heart of Melbourne aboard the City Circle Tram.

This iconic tram offers a free way to explore the city’s rich history, culture, and bustling urban life.

As you ride the City Circle Tram, you’ll be treated to a loop around the city, passing through or near areas such as the Docklands, Flinders Street, Federation Square, and the Parliament House.

An informative audio commentary provides insights into Melbourne’s landmarks and history, enriching your journey with fascinating stories and facts.

Operating daily with frequent services, the City Circle Tram ensures that you can hop on and off at your leisure, exploring the sights of Melbourne at your own pace.

10. Join a Free Walking Tour

Free walking tours in Melbourne offer an incredible opportunity to explore the city’s rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture.

Led by knowledgeable local guides, these tours take you through the bustling lanes and alleyways, revealing hidden gems and telling the stories behind the city’s most iconic landmarks.

You can meet fellow travelers, making it a social and educational experience.

With no upfront fees, these walking tours operate on a pay-what-you-feel basis, ensuring accessibility for all who wish to discover Melbourne’s charm.

11. Check out the Colorful Bathing Boxes at Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach is renowned for its colorful bathing boxes, a vibrant display of Melbourne’s coastal charm and artistic flair.

These iconic structures line the shore, each painted in bright colors and unique designs. They are popular subjects for photographers and a must-see attraction for visitors.

The bathing boxes have a rich history, dating back to the Victorian era, and have become symbolic of the beach’s lively community and cultural heritage.

A visit to Brighton Beach offers a chance to see these picturesque boxes up close, as well as to enjoy the serene beach atmosphere and stunning ocean views.

My Melbourne Hotel Recommendations

Melbourne boasts an extensive selection of accommodation options to suit any budget. Pullman Melbourne City Center is highly recommended for those searching for upscale hotels in a prime location.

YHA Melbourne Central and Selina St Kilda are the go-to spots for a more budget-friendly choice that also offers a great opportunity to meet other travelers.

1. Luxury Hotel: Pullman Melbourne City Center

The Pullman Melbourne City Centre is strategically situated in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, providing guests with easy access to the city’s tram lines, dining options, bars, and key tourist attractions.

The hotel boasts a variety of room categories, including the luxurious Premium Executive King Room.

This room features a spacious living area, a marble dining table, and breathtaking views of Melbourne’s skyline. Guests can also access the exclusive Elevate Club Lounge to socialize or work.

Additional highlights include a fully renovated gym and the Blossom rooftop bar, the highest rooftop bar in Melbourne CBD. The bar offers stunning views and a selection of wood-fired pizzas.

2. Budget-Friendly: YHA Melbourne Central

YHA Melbourne Central is a vibrant and budget-friendly accommodation located in Melbourne CBD.

It is clean and has modern facilities, including various room types to suit the needs of solo travelers, couples, and groups.

Guests can enjoy a range of amenities, such as a communal kitchen, lounge areas, a rooftop terrace, and free Wi-Fi, which makes it easy to meet fellow travelers and share experiences.

Its central location provides easy access to Melbourne’s top attractions, including the Melbourne Museum, Federation Square, and the bustling lanes and arcades known for their street art, cafes, and shops.

Click here to check prices and availability.

Frequently Asked Questions about the best things to do in Melbourne

What is the best time of the year for tourists to visit Melbourne?

The best time to visit Melbourne is during the fall (March to May) and spring (September to November) months. These seasons offer pleasant weather, vibrant colors in the parks, and a packed calendar of events.

Can I visit the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) even if there’s no game on?

Yes, you can visit the MCG for a tour that takes you behind the scenes, including the players’ dressing rooms and the MCC Long Room, and you might even walk on the arena itself.

Are there any free things to do in Melbourne?

Yes, there are many free things to do in Melbourne, including exploring the Royal Botanic Gardens, visiting the National Gallery of Victoria, and enjoying the street art in laneways like Hosier Lane.

What’s the best way to see Melbourne’s street art?

The best way to see Melbourne’s street art is by taking a guided walking tour. These tours lead you through famous laneways and hidden streets while explaining the history and stories behind the art.

Can I take a day trip to the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne?

Yes, the Great Ocean Road is accessible for a day trip from Melbourne, though it’s a long day. Many tours offer round-trip transportation and stop at key sights like the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, and surf towns like Lorne and Apollo Bay.

What unique shopping experiences does Melbourne offer?

Melbourne is known for its vibrant markets, such as the Queen Victoria Market, and its boutique shops in areas like Brunswick Street and Chapel Street. Don’t miss the Block Arcade and Royal Arcade to taste Melbourne’s historic shopping culture.

How accessible is public transportation for tourists in Melbourne?

Melbourne’s public transportation system, including trams, trains, and buses, is very tourist-friendly. The City Circle Tram offers free rides around the CBD, and a Myki card will give you access to the wider network. Consider downloading the PTV app for schedules and route planning.

Disclaimer: I was a guest at Pullman Melbourne City Centre and YHA Melbourne Central. As always, my opinions are solely my own.

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