One of the most liveable cities in the world, Melbourne is not only a popular destination for students but is also a tourist hotspot. Whether you’re a student looking for a break, a visitor looking for fun or even a local looking to fall back in love with the city, here is a list of some of the best things to do in Melbourne!
Day trips from Melbourne
If you’re tired of all the hustle and bustle of the city, taking a day trip is one of the best things to do in Melbourne. The city is in close proximity to a number of breathtaking locations that you absolutely must take the time out to vist. Some of the best locations for a day trip from Melbourne are:
An hour and a half drive away from Melbourne, Philip Island is a great place for you to get to see indigenous Australian wildlife. The island also has a beautiful landscape and is great for anyone who loves to be in nature. It is also the location of one of the most popular things to do in Melbourne, which is watching the famous Penguin Parade that happens every day at sunset.
The Mornington Peninsula is a beachfront getaway and taking a day trip to the are is one of the best things to do in Melbourne in the summer. While the area is fairly empty during the winter months, its beaches, vineyards and gold courses make it an incredibly popular summer destination for both tourists and locals who would like a quick trip away from the city.
A trip to Yarra Valley is one of the best things to do in Melbourne for wine lovers. The Valley is a wine area in Australia located east of Melbourne, and its cool climate region has allowed it to be one of the top producers of Chardonnay, sparkling wine and Pinot Noir. If you head down to the valley, make sure to enjoy a wine tasting at one of their many vineyards.
Great Ocean Road
A trip that could take anywhere from 1-3 days, the great ocean road tour is one of the best things to do in Melbourne. The drive is along one of Australia’s most scenic routes, with breathtaking views across each stretch of land that will make you want to stop for pictures every chance you get. Some things you’ll get to see on the way are the famous 12 Apostles, Torquay and the fishing village of Port Fairy.
Moving to the city? Check out the top 10 places to live in Melbourne!
Tourist attractions in Melbourne
Whether you’re a tourist or even a local, sometimes one of the best things to do in Melbourne is to take in the sights of the city. Melbourne is a very popular tourist destination, and rightly so! The city is not only a great place to live but is also a great place to kick back and have fun. So if you’re ever in the city, here are some absolute must-visit attractions.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Taking a stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens is one of the best things to do in Melbourne on a nice sunny day. The Gardens were established in 1846 on the south bank of the Yarra River and cover over 38 hectares of land are covered with trees, flower bushes, shrubs, lawns and small lakes. While you’re here, you can also visit the Shrine of Remembrance, dedicated to all the lives lost in World War I.
National Gallery of Victoria
If you’re an art fan, spending a day at the National Gallery of Victoria is one of the best things to do in Melbourne. Established in 1861, the gallery is home to over 70,000 different artworks that span over thousands of years and thus exhibit a range of different styles and influences. The best part about the gallery is that entry is free for all!
Another great venue for art lovers, spending a day at Federation Square is one of the best things to do in Melbourne if you want to be at the epicentre of the city’s art and culture. Packed with art galleries, exhibitions, great restaurants, trendy bars and home to a number of different events, Federation Square is one of the most lively locations in the city.
On the 88th floor of Eureka tower sits the Melbourne Skydeck. The Skydeck is the largest observation deck in the entire southern hemisphere, and getting a glimpse of the city on a clear night is one of the best things to do in Melbourne. Equipped with a fully functioning bar, the Skydeck is the perfect place for a romantic night out with someone special.
Fun things to do in Melbourne
You didn’t think sports and surfing were all that Melbourne had to offer, did you? Sightseeing is great, but nothing beats once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The city is packed with a long list of different activities for you to make sure you have a koala-ty time. Here is a list of things to do in Melbourne that you need to check off your bucket list before your time in the city is over.
Watch a game at MCG
The Mecca of Cricket; the Melbourne Cricket Ground is perhaps one of the world’s most iconic stadiums. It is not only the birthplace of test cricket but has also been the home ground of Australian football for years. For any sports fan, catching a game at MCG will be one of the most memorable and exciting things to do in Melbourne.
Take a boat ride across the Yarra
If you’re for a relaxed adventure, taking a boat ride across the Yarra river is one of the best things to do in Melbourne. There are tons of different services that offer cruises along the river. The average length of a boat is around 2 hours, and after a long and stressful week, a calm ride on the open water may be just what you need.
Watch the sunrise from a hot air balloon
The early bird catches the worm! If you’re looking for a sight to remember, watching the sunrise from a hot air balloon is one of the best things to do in Melbourne. The city has a long list of different companies that can take you for a ride above the city where you can take in the breathtaking view of the skyline bathed in the warm glow of the morning sun.
Visit Queen Victoria Market
A historic landmark spanning two city blocks; Queen Victoria Market is a vibrant and bustling inner-city area with over 600 small companies selling everything from Australian fruit and vegetables to local and imported gourmet cuisine, apparel, and souvenirs. A trip to the market is one of the best things to do in Melbourne if you want to take a peek at their indigenous goods.
Take a stroll through Degraves Street
A tiny street with a lot to offer, Degraves Street is the trendiest area in Melbourne. The city is known for its happening “laneways”, and Degraves Street is the prime example of why they’re so famous. If you want to experience the appeal of a classic laneway yourself, a walk through the street is one of the best things to do in Melbourne.
Plan a day at the Melbourne Zoo
Koalas, kangaroos, wombats and quokkas - Australia’s wildlife is truly one of a kind! One of the best things to do in Melbourne is to spend a day at the zoo and get to see all the country’s indigenous species in one place. A full round of the zoo will likely take you anywhere from 2-4 hours, and with over 5000 animals, the zoo is the perfect place for a day out.
Catch a show at the Astor Theatre
The Astor Theatre is a magnificent, old-fashioned cinema in the heart of the city and is the only single-screen cinema that is still operational in the city. If you want to an evening to feel like you’ve been transported back into the 50s, catching a show at the theatre while you’re decked out in your finest is one of the best things to do in Melbourne.
Stop by Australia’s first ice cave
Need some rest and relaxation? Visiting Australia’s first-ever ice cave should be at the top of your list of things to do in Melbourne. The Mornington Peninsula which has always been famous for its hot springs has recently also expanded to include an ice cave where you can enjoy some ice therapy by sitting in a cave that is around -20°C and then plunging yourself into some hot water.
Wondering how you’ll fund all these fun adventures? Check out our blog on part-time jobs in Melbourne and start saving up!
Places to eat in Melbourne
A things to do in Melbourne blog would not be complete without adding some of the top spots to grab a meal! The city is known for certain signature dishes and we’re here to tell you what they are and where to find them. The next time you’re in the city make sure to stop by these eateries.
“The best croissant in the world.” That’s the promise that Lune Croissanterie makes to its customers. People from all over the world have flocked to Melbourne just to get a taste of what this bakery has to offer. Even if you need to wait in a long line, eating a croissant needs to be on your list of things to do in Melbourne.
Bench Coffee Co.
If you’re a self-professed caffeine addict, then grabbing a coffee at Bench should be one of your top things to do in Melbourne. The city has time and time again been awarded the title of having some of the best coffee in the world, and after one sip of Bench’s coffee, you’ll know why. With a minimal, modern aesthetic, this is one of the trendiest cafes in the city.
The Birmingham Hotel
A breaded piece of chicken bathed in tomato and cheese, baked to perfection and then served with up a side of fries, the parma is one of Australia’s signature dishes. Originally an Italian dish, the dish has been heavily modified to suit Australian palettes and is now one of their staple dishes. If you want a taste of the best parma in the city, grabbing a meal at The Birmingham Hotel should be on your list of things to do in Melbourne.
Bun Bun Bakery
Owing to its large Vietnamese population another non-indigenous dish has become a Melbourne staple. Bahn Mi, a traditional Vietnamese sandwich can be found all over the city in different Vietnamese restaurants. If you want a taste of the Bahn Mi in the city, grabbing a bite to eat at Bun Bun Bakery is one of the best things to do in Melbourne.
That was our curated list of the best things to do in Melbourne! We hope you found this blog helpful and discovered something about the city that you didn’t know before. For more information about the city, check out our Melbourne student guide and prepare yourself for your next visit.