Consistently voted one of the most livable cities in the world, Melbourne is Australia’s quirky capital of cool and all things culture. We’re here to share some of our favorite things to do in Melbourne on your next visit!
Known for its vibrant street art and endless coffee shops, figuring out what to do in Melbourne doesn’t have to be a task. It is a city that will draw you in with its laidback way of living and easy access to nature.
Visit the museums and learn about the local history before escaping to the beaches of St Kilda, or the beautiful scenery of Philip Island and Wilson’s Promontory. You could even drive the Great Ocean Road.
To inspire your trip to Australia, here is our list of the best Melbourne attractions!
Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Australia (Travel Guide)
30 Amazing Things to do in Melbourne, Australia
Table of Contents
1. Take a Train to Flinders Street Station
Constructed in 1909, Flinders Street Station is one of the most easily recognizable Melbourne attractions.
As this is the central station, you’ll get quite acquainted with Flinders Street if you’re getting around on Melbourne’s easy to use public transport system.
The station is part of Melbourne’s Victorian Heritage register. It’s a wonderful sight to see in itself, even if you aren’t catching a train here!
2. Explore the city on a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus
Another great way to see Melbourne is by the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus, we always spend our first day exploring the city this way. Figuring out what to do in Melbourne has never been easier!
It allows us to see the most popular sites along with getting our bearings of where things are. Book your City Sightseeing Melbourne Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour today.
3. Take a Walk Through the Royal Botanic Garden
When you need to escape the city, take a wander through the Royal Botanic Garden, one of the best things to do in Melbourne.
The gardens date back to 1846 when the land here was first cultivated and preserved as Melbourne began to grow from its early colonial roots into the city you find today.
The gardens are home to a vast array of species from across Australia and other parts of the world. With so much greenery, it makes a lovely change from the urban streets of Melbourne.
Recommended Tour: Melbourne Gardens and Days Gone By Private Tour
4. Take in the view from the Eureka Skydeck
If you are looking for one of the best views in Melbourne you must head up to the Eureka Skydeck. Peer down from the edge of the world’s first glass cube located on the 88th floor that suspends visitors 300 meters high above Melbourne.
The Eureka Skydeck will showcase Melbourne unlike you’ve never seen it before, simply breathtaking during the day and stunning at night.
If you are a photographer or just someone who loves sunrises or sunsets you need to check out the sun & stars ticket.
This ticket enables you to catch the morning sunrise then come back for the famous sunsets over Melbourne all while staying late to watch the city light up in front of your eyes.
Get your Eureka Skydeck 88 Admission Ticket today and experience one of the best views of Melbourne.
5. Take a river cruise
There’s no other way to discover the beautiful city of Melbourne but on a river cruise on the Yarra River.
It twists and winds nearly 250km north-east of Melbourne and is a fantastic way to see the city and its surrounding area.
Cruise upriver out of the city for greenery, downriver for cityscapes, or join one of the many cruises that offer a dinner and a show.
Taking a river cruise in Melbourne is one of the best ways to experience many of Melbourne’s major attractions like the Botanical Gardens, Federation Square, Southbank, Docklands, and much more.
Sit back and watch the scenery go by, each river cruise offers an interesting and informative commentary of Melbourne.
We suggest taking advantage of the sunset cruise where you can enjoy a glass or two of Australia’s ever-popular wines while enjoying the cityscape as the sunsets. Its defiantly one of the best things to do in Melbourne.
Below are the top 3 river cruises in Melbourne:
- Half-Day Melbourne Highlights Tour Including Yarra River Cruise From Melbourne
- Highlights of Melbourne Cruise
- Spirit of Melbourne Dinner Cruise
6. Learn about the native wildlife at the Melbourne Zoo
Modeled after the world-famous London Zoo, the Melbourne Zoo is Australia’s oldest zoo.
Located within Royal Park 2.5 miles north of the center of Melbourne this zoo contains more than 320 animal species for Australia and around the world.
The Melbourne Zoo is one of the best laid out zoo’s in the world featuring an African rainforest featuring gorillas, mandrills, pigmy hippos, and parrots.
The Asian Rainforest has tigers and otters and you cant forget about the Australian bush section that is home to koala, kangaroos, emu, echidnas, and endangered hairy nose wombats.
The main reason why we love the Melbourne Zoo is that this zoo is world-leading in their education programs for visitors and school kids that encourage young minds to conserve animals.
Book your adventure today to the Melbourne Zoo.
7. Shark Dive Experience at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
For those thrills seekers, you must gear up and take a bucket list shark dive at the Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium.
Swim among sharks, stingrays and other magnificent marine creatures in one of the best oceanariums in the world.
We’ve done this in places like Las Vegas and to tell you the truth it will surely get your heart pumping.
You’ll be within an arm’s reach of large nurse sharks, sea turtles, and schools of brilliantly colored fish. Scuba certification is required and an expert guide will accompany you to ensure a safe and educational dive.
Book your Shark Dive Experience today at the Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium.
8. Take a sunrise or sunset hot-air balloon ride
If you are looking for a once in a lifetime adventure in Melbourne you need to take flight aboard a hot-air balloon.
You are going to love every minute of it, it will provide amazing views of Melbourne, the Yarra Valley and the surrounding area. The whole trip will be comfortable as you move peacefully through the air.
The experienced pilots will point out highlights throughout the whole adventure, making it one of the best outdoor activities in Melbourne that you will do on your visit there.
Below are the top 3 hot-air ballon tours:
- Melbourne Balloon Flight at Sunrise
- Yarra Valley Balloon Flight at Sunrise
- Yarra Valley Balloon Flight and Winery Tour
9. Shop at the Queen Victoria Market
Named in honor of Queen Victoria, who presided over Britain’s Victorian Empire, Queen Victoria Market is one of Melbourne’s most iconic sites.
Dating back to the 1860s, the market is home to hundreds of different stalls and stands. It’s so large, in fact, that it’s the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere.
You can shop for almost anything at Queen Victoria Market. Taking a leisurely stroll through the endless lines of stalls is one of the best things to do in Melbourne.
Recommended Tour: Melbourne Bargain Shopping Tour
10. Watch a Cricket Game at the MCG
The MCG – or Melbourne Cricket Ground – is one of the world’s most legendary sporting arenas.
If you’re here in summer, one of the best things to do in Melbourne is to watch a cricket game. The big international matches are the best, especially if Australia are playing their rivals England at the Ashes!
If you’re a sports enthusiast, you can take a guided tour of the MCG to see more of the stadium’s inner workings and see where sporting history has been made through the last century.
Recommended Tour: 1/2 Day Sports Lovers Bus Tour of Melbourne with Tour Options
11. Melbourne Star Observation Wheel
When visiting Melbourne there’s one attraction you simply cannot miss. The Melbourne Star (previously Southern Star) is a giant Ferris wheel that takes up the skyline located in the Docklands.
It is the only giant observation wheel in the Southern Hemisphere and it provides great views of the city at all times of the day.
Some visitors even say the views from the Melbourne Star are some of the best in the world from a Ferris wheel sorry the London Eye but its true.
There are two great options for booking your Melbourne Star experience:
12. Join a Street Art Tour
Melbourne’s reputation for quirky coolness really begins on the streets, because many of the urban areas are tapestries for street art and graffiti artists.
There are murals all over the city, so if it’s your first time here, one of the best things to do in Melbourne is to join a street art tour. You’ll be guided around by a local to all the most colorful and intriguing street art spots.
If you’re not up for a tour, head to Hosier Lane, next to the central Federation Square. There you can find some of the best murals in the city.
Recommended Tour: Melbourne Street Art Tour
13. Chill Out Around Federation Square
Federation Square is one of Melbourne’s best-known public squares and meeting points. It’s located close to Flinders Street Station, so it’s always busy and bustling.
Around the square, you can find plenty of places to relax and chill out during your Melbourne tour. You can call into the Ian Potter Centre found in the square if you want to see some incredible Australian artwork.
14. Go on a Coffee Crawl
Some cities are known for their bar crawls or nightlife, and while Melbourne has these aplenty, the city is perhaps better known for its coffee.
There are coffee shops on literally every corner of the city, so one of the best things to do in Melbourne is to go on a coffee crawl.
Explore the city as you pop from one coffee shop to the next, trying different styles and strains in an always unique setting.
15. Discover the craft beer side of Melbourne
If you are looking to experience a few great craft breweries in Melbourne you will not be disappointed.
There are great breweries throughout the city that offer great seasonal beers, single kegs, and even wine, ciders and cocktails.
A few of our favorites are Moon Dog Craft Brewery, Colonial Brewing Co, Westside Ale Work, and the Temple Brewing Company to name a few.
We strongly suggest joining a craft brewery tour as this will allow you to not only experience Melbourne’s amazing craft breweries but it will give you a look into brewing in Australia and its always fun to drink with a new set of friends.
Book your own Melbourne Craft Beer Walking Tour today.
16. Have a drink at Australia’s only IceBar
The coolest place in Melbourne is the IceBar. This is Australia’s only IceBar located right in the heart of Melbourne where you can enter a winter wonderland all year round.
They provide a parka and gloves, so no worries about not being prepared to sit in a place where everything is made out of ice.
Enjoy one of their many special cocktails while chilling out or take it to their game room where you can play different games against friends that are made out of ice.
We love the ice hockey table. Brrrr it will be cold but the fun inside will warm you up.
Chill out and have a drink today in Melbourne’s Icebar.
17. Go on a Neighbours Tour
Melbourne has long been the setting for Australia’s most famous TV show, Neighbours. While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, the show is a deeply engrained part of Australia culture.
While you’re in the city, one of the best things to do in Melbourne is to go on a Neighbours tour.
You can see the legendary Ramsay Street, where all the action took place; you can go backstage at current sets, learn about this cultural phenomenon and the influence it’s had on Melbourne’s image over the years.
18. Explore the Past at Old Melbourne Gaol
One of the best things to do in Melbourne is to visit the Old Melbourne Gaol. Australia is inseparable from its prison history. In the Old Melbourne Gaol, you can learn about the city’s history of crime and punishment.
Dating back to the early 1800s, the gaol was one of the first public buildings to be constructed in Melbourne.
For decades, this was where the most notorious criminals in the state of Victoria were held. In the museum, you’ll learn about their infamous stories.
The most famous prisoner held here was the legendary Ned Kelly, the bushranger known for taking on the law in outback Victoria.
19. Visit the Immigration Museum
Melbourne’s history is also inseparable from immigration, because this is a city that was built on immigration from abroad.
The museum is housed in the Old Customs House, one of the first public buildings built in Melbourne.
You can learn the stories of the different groups of immigrants that have come to reside in Melbourne over the last 200 years – from the first British settlers through to Greek refugees escaping Europe in the 20th century.
Recommended Tour: ArtVo Immersive Gallery Experience
20. Build something amazing at Legoland
If you are looking for some great fun in Melbourne you should check out the Legoland Discovery Centre.
This incredible center has a huge area where kids and adults can go mad building Lego cars to test them out on the race track or building Lego buildings to see if they can withstand the earthquake tables.
There are even Lego building classes where you have the chance to learn some insider tips on how to design something amazing.
We also suggest taking in a movie at its 4d movie theater or taking a ride on its two Lego built amusement park rides.
It does not matter what age you are a visit to Legoland Discovery Centre in Melbourne will bring out the inner child within you.
21. Take a helicopter flight
Experience the thrill of seeing Melbourne on a scenic helicopter flight. Jump aboard as you explore this diverse city from 1000 feet in the air.
During the flight, as you admire the breathtaking views from your own window, your pilot will highlight many of the most popular locations to visit in the area like the Docklands, Eureka Tower, the MCG, Eureka, and much more.
This is one of our most favorite things to do in Melbourne. This adventure gives you amazing views of the city and provides the best views of the coast and its surrounding areas.
There’s a wide range of scenic helicopter flights to choose from depending on your likes. Treat yourself today and see what the views of Melbourne looks like from the sky.
Top 3 helicopter tours in Melbourne:
- Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay Helicopter Tour
- Mornington Peninsula and Port Phillip Coast Helicopter Tour
- Private 12 Apostles and Great Ocean Road Scenic Helicopter Tour from Moorabbin
22. Relax at St Kilda’s Beaches
One of Melbourne’s most famous suburbs is St Kilda, where you can enjoy beautiful beaches and glorious views over Melbourne Harbor.
This is where the city meets nature; you can walk along the esplanade and soon be relaxing on the soft sands of St Kilda.
There are great restaurants, markets, and plenty of pubs in St Kilda, making this a favorite spot for travelers and backpackers. St Kilda has a particularly notorious nightlife, too, if you’re looking for an evening out in Melbourne!
Recommended Tour: Melbourne Highlights with Brighton Beach and St Kilda Tour
23. Enjoy the Rides at Luna Park
In St Kilda, you can find one of Melbourne’s most iconic and timeless attractions, Luna Park. This historic theme park dates back to 1912 and has been entertaining the crowds ever since.
Luna Park is best known for its somewhat unusual entranceway, which consists of a giant smiling moon face.
There are plenty of modern rides and attractions, but the highlight is the Great Scenic Railway. This wooden rollercoaster is the second-oldest roller coaster in the world.
24. Watch the Penguin Parade at Philip Island
Take a trip to Philip Island, off the coast of Melbourne, where you can find a genuinely iconic natural sight.
This beautiful little island is home to a resident population of penguins. During the day, they’ll be out fishing and hunting for food along the rocky coastline.
When the sun starts to set, however, the penguins return in their hundreds to Philip Island.
Known as the Penguin Parade, it’s a truly epic scene as the penguins all march along the coast to prepare for a good night’s sleep.
Philip Island makes for a great day trip out from the city; just make sure you can stay until the early evening for the Penguin Parade!
Recommended Tour: Phillip Island Penguin, Brighton Beach, Moonlit Sanctuary from Melbourne
25. Go Hiking at Wilson’s Promontory
Another great day trip from the city will bring you to Wilson’s Promontory, one of the most scenic spots in Victoria.
This rugged peninsula is small but packed with beautiful views and vistas and plenty of great hiking trails.
Stay in the nearby campsites if you want to get away from Melbourne for a few days, and really immerse yourself in the local nature.
Recommended Tour: Wilsons Promontory Day Trip from Melbourne
26. Visit one of Australia’s best wine regions, the Yarra Valley
Located just one hour from Melbourne is the Yarra Valley and it is known all around the world for producing some of the best wines in the world.
So naturally, you can not visit Melbourne without taking a day trip out to the Yarra Valley.
The Yarra Valley is split into five different districts, Melba, Maroondah, Warburton Valley, Upper Yarra, and Dandenong Ranges.
Each area offers visitors the chance not only to sample some of the best wines in Australia but there’s also a great Cider & Ale & Spirits trail. Additionally, you can enjoy the walking or biking trails, gardens, picnics & playgrounds, local art shops, endless local places to eat and much more.
Top 3 tours for visiting the Yarra Valley:
- Yarra Valley Wine Tour with Local Harvest Tastings from Melbourne
- Melbourne Food and Wine Walking Tour
- Yarra Valley Gourmet Small-Group Ecotour from Melbourne
27. Spot native Australian animals at the Healesville Sanctuary
The Healesville Sanctuary is worth a day trip from Melbourne for any wildlife lover. This may be one of your only chances to view many of the animals who call Australia home.
This special wildlife sanctuary is set in a natural bushland environment that acts as a natural habitat for wallabies, wombats, dingoes, kangaroos, and over 200 native birds.
Enjoy guided tours throughout the whole sanctuary that highlights their successful platypus program enjoy educated bird presentation and much more when visiting one of Australia’s best wildlife sanctuaries.
Book your own wildlife adventure today to the Healesville Sancturary.
28. Road Trip the Great Ocean Road
One of the best things to do in Australia is to drive the Great Ocean Road. This scenic drive starts just along the coast from Melbourne, in Torquay, and runs all the way to Nelson in the west.
It’s 250 miles long and packed full of incredible natural sights. While you can’t drive from Melbourne and back in a day, it’s well worth taking your time to road trip along the coast, because this is one of the best drives in the world.
There are endless beaches, iconic sights such as the 12 Apostles rock formations, and countless seaside towns and coastal vistas to enjoy.
Short on Time? Take a Tour: Great Ocean Road Trip Tour from Melbourne
29. Go snowboarding or skiing at Mt Buller
When you think of Australia, you probably don’t think about snowboarding or skiing. But did you know one of the best snowboarding and skiing hills is just a short distance from Melbourne.
The closest major resort to Melbourne for snowboarding or skiing is Mt. Buller.
This park offers 850 hectares of pure riding pleasure, with 25 lifts that offer over 25 runs on the Northern slopes and as many on the Southern slopes.
There’s truly a run for everybody. For beginners, there’s a good selection of easy slopes and lessons are offered by professional instructors at the ski school.
For the moderate or advanced, there’s plenty of amazing runs that will keep you entertained for days.
After carving up the mountain enjoy numerous alpine restaurants or party it up into the late hours at its many amazing night-sports.
Book your Mt Buller Day trip from Melbourne today.
30. Soak in the Peninsula Hot Springs
Finally, it is time to slow down and relax. A visit to Melbourne won’t be complete without visiting the Peninsula Hot Springs.
Regenerate in the geothermal waters that flow naturally from deep below the earth’s surface infused with natural minerals and trace elements that detoxify the body and soul.
This natural thermal mineral waters flow into relaxing pools, private baths, providing an ultimate coastal oasis for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Enjoy the mineral springs bathing, the spa services, dining, or for those who may need more than one day relaxing spend the night or two at its lodge.
Peninsula Hot Springs is located 90 minutes from Melbourne and is a popular day trip or half-day trip.
When making your things to do in Melbourne list make sure to add in some time to relax at Australia’s ultimate wellness destination.
It’s time to relax and book your Peninsula Hot Springs retreat today.
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