Melbourne is located in Victoria, a southern state of Australia. Famously nicknamed “The Most Livable City”, there is so much to see and do in this historical and eccentric city. This beautiful city is known as the capital of fashion and coffee, and the home of arts and culture.
I have lived in Melbourne the majority of my life and even after travelling abroad, I always find myself coming back home. It is definitely one of the best cities in the world!
For visitors, here is a list of the top things to do and see, as well as a few local tips to make your visit even more memorable:
Explore life in Victoria and learn about Australian history and indigenous culture at the Melbourne Museum. Exhibitions highlights include the complete skeleton of a blue whale, the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, a living rainforest, the famous racehorse Phar Lap, and an IMAX theatre with the world’s 3rd largest screen.
During most of the year, the Melbourne Cricket Ground is host to Australian Rules Football (AFL) games on either Friday nights, or on the weekends. It is an unforgettable experience for an ‘out-of-towner’ to not only see a live AFL match, but be among some of the most passionate supporters in the world. During Summer, the MCG becomes cricket central with many one-day tests and series being held. Take a look into the history of Australia’s favourite sport by taking a tour at the ‘G’.
Located along the banks of the Yarra river, Melbourne’s Crown Casino is the largest casino and entertainment complex in the southern hemisphere. It is home to some of Melbourne’s most popular nightclubs and restaurants. It also boasts a Village Cinema, food courts, shops, an electronic games arcade and bowling alleys. Not to be missed is the pyrotechnic tower show which runs the length of the promenade and sets the river alight every hour on the hour from dusk.
Get your bearings and see Melbourne CBD from above at Eureka Skydeck, the highest viewing platform in the southern hemisphere. For those wanting a more thrilling adventure, you can take a step onto ‘The Edge’, a glass cube which projects 3 metres out from the building.
One of Melbourne’s most culturally iconic buildings is Flinder’s Street Station. Built in 1909, it was the first railway station in an Australian city and now is the central commuter station for the entire metropolitan train network in Victoria. With it’s predominant dome, arched entrance, tower and clocks, it is one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks.
Located just minutes from the CBD, Waterfront City at Docklands is a perfect place for families, with breathtaking views, and more than 100 restaurants. For kids of all ages, it is home to Wonderland Fun Park, Black Light Mini Golf, and Olympic sized rinks at Medibank Icehouse. The City Circle Tram will drop you at the Docklands’ doorstep.
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For those with a love of street art, a walk through some of Melbourne’s most secretly decorated streets is a must. Hosier and Rutledge Lanes, Union Lane, Caledonian Lane, Centre Place, Duckboard Place and AC/CD Lane are all worth taking a stroll down for their globally recognised urban art. Keep an eye out for some great bars, restaurants, cafes, clubs, shops and galleries that lie along these brick-canvas alleys.
Filled with bars and restaurants and located in the heart of the city, Federation Square is a quirky and hip place to grab a bite to eat, watch a televised sports event on the big screen, or just relax along the cobble-stoned stairs and take in the city. There is also a very helpful Visitor Centre, which can provide you with maps and guides to the city, and book you onto some day tours to see the other amazing places in Victoria, including Phillip Island and The Great Ocean Road.
The Shrine of Remembrance is a beautiful monument honoring all the men and women of Victoria who have served in a war, including World War 1. A trip to the Visitor Centre offers tourists with an in depth perspective of the effect of the war on Australia.
Grab a book or a picnic lunch and make an escape from the bustling city to the Royal Botanical Gardens. Take a tour, relax in the manicured gardens, or treat yourself to a Devonshire Tea at the gardens central cafe. Join indigenous guides every Tuesday through Friday for a walk through the gardens to discover the traditional uses for native plants.
Just opposite Flinders Street Station, peeps out a gateway into Melbourne’s infamous indie scene, Degraves Street. On any given day, a stroll down this small alleyway enlightens visitors with the hustle and bustle of tiny cafes and boutique shops, bakeries and soup kitchens. It is a wonderful place to grab a coffee or light lunch, and just watch the world go by as a true ‘Melbournian’.
Melbourne at night is a realm of entertainment with many upmarket restaurants, popular nightclubs, and relaxing rooftop bars to suit every taste around every corner. Some of the best bars and nightclubs can be found along Flinders Lane and AC/DC lane. When in doubt, ask around. You will find us laid-back Melbournians are happy to share some of our best kept bar secrets.
Look out for the free City Circle tram which operates a hop-on/hop-off loop around the CBD, and is an easy and affordable way to step back in time and ride a historic W Class tram cart to see the sights of Melbourne.
(myki) is Melbourne's ticketing system and can be used to travel on trains, trams and buses in the CBD and throughout metropolitan Melbourne. As a visitor, you can purchase either a myki for $6 and top up with your required value, or a newly introduced Visitor Pack, which contains a rechargeable myki card with enough value for one days travel in Zone 1, discounts to various attractions, a map and instructions.
Enjoy life in the slow lane or explore the many bikes paths and hire a blue bicycle from only $2.50 at one of Melbourne’s Bike Share stands found throughout the city.
Of course, there is no better way to experience a city than by foot and as Melbourne City is designed in a grid format, it is easy to navigate. So grab a map from the visitor centre and start exploring!
Melbourne Airport at Tullamarine is the main airport for all international and domestic visitors, and is located 23 kilometres from the City of Melbourne. When booking, be careful not to get confused with Avalon Airport, as this domestic terminal is quite a distance from the CBD.
The Skybus runs daily from Southern Cross station bus terminal, ferrying passengers from the CBD to the airport. If you have time allowing, the Skybus is the more affordable option of airport transfer, costing only $17 one-way, and is available 24/7.
A taxi ride will take about 25 minutes from the airport to the city, and depending on the time of day/night, will cost anywhere between $40-60.
Melbourne is known by locals as having “four seasons in one day”, so be prepared for the unexpected. It is not unusual to receive a beautiful, sunny morning in Melbourne with an afternoon shower or storm. In Summer, expect daytime temperatures to reach a sunny 28 degrees Celsius, and down to an average 16 degrees in the middle of Winter.
For what’s on in Melbourne, check out www.thatsmelbourne.com.au.
Would you recommend this destination: Yes
Overall rating: 5 out of 5