If you’re planning a trip to Melbourne, but have no idea where to start I’ve put together this guide of 41 things to do! It’s a guide to the best places to visit for sightseeing and shopping, the best bars and restaurants in town and a few other fun, adventurous, weird and wonderful things to try.
But first, watch this…
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1. Queen Victoria Markets
Visit the historic Queen Victoria Markets in Melbourne’s CBD. Buy freshly baked pastries, cheeses and cured meats or stroll the seemingly endless market stalls selling everything from fresh fruit and plants to jewellery, clothes, ugg boots, hats and toys.
2. Cat Cafe
Get cosy with the delightful rescue cats at Australia’s first Cat Cafe on Queen Street. These happy and well-loved felines are living the high life in the comfy surroundings of the Cat Cafe Melbourne, just waiting for you to come and visit so they can play with you and totally ignore you should the mood strike. Grab a coffee and a snack and lose an hour cuddled up to some sweet kitties.
3. Melbourne Skydeck
Take things to the next level and get yourself up to the absolutely incredible Melbourne Skydeck for the BEST views of Melbourne and beyond. Try to get there before sunset so you can stake out a good spot to watch the sunset, then try your hand at night photography once things get dark and the lights come alive. You can also take part in The Edge experience, pushing you 3 metres out from the building, suspended almost 300 metres above the ground!
? We booked our tickets for Melbourne Skydeck here.
4. Brother Baba Budan
Squeeze into the quirky-cool surrounds of Little Bourke Street’s one and only Brother Baba Budan. Get there early and grab one of Melbourne’s best cups of coffee and a glazed donut to start your day off right.
5. Rooftop Bars
Take your pick of the many incredible rooftop bars in Melbourne, get yourself up there and get a drink in your hand, pronto!
6. Drinking History Tours
Melbourne is famous for its hidden laneways and bars, but how do you find the best ones? Enter Drinking History Tours and their team of professional barflies/guides. Their hidden bar tours include visits (and drinks) at 3 bars, plus visits to street art laneways and historic sites. You’ll also hear some cracking yarns along the way. Did you know Melbourne’s legal drinking age was 3 years until about 1906? Their free app gives guests access to geo-tagged images at each stop and online maps of Melbourne’s best bars. Tours last 3 hours and cover the City and Fitzroy areas every Thursday through Saturday with private tours also available. It’s more fun than a walking tour, classier than a bar crawl.
7. Sun Moth Canteen & Bar
Slow down the pace and slip into the mellow world of Sun Moth Canteen & Bar, hidden down Lonsdale Street. The place is super laid back and a mellow oasis away from Melbourne CBD’s busy streets. Grab a cup of coffee and a homemade lamington or try something delicious from the lunch or breakfast menu like chicken and masa dumplings in broth with shredded chicken and greens.
8. Street Art Walking Tour
Melbourne is bursting with incredibly talented artists and you don’t need to visit a gallery to see all of them. Take a stroll around the streets and soak in the bright, quirky, brilliant creations of Melbourne’s best street artists. You can DIY a tour around Melbourne by strolling around by yourself or join a guided tour.
9. +39 Pizzeria
Sink your teeth into the best Italian food in Melbourne at +39 Pizzeria on Little Bourke Street. Try the incredible trio of bruschetta including basil pesto, cherry tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella + garlic, Roma tomato, red onion, basil and E.V.O + cream of mushrooms, parsley and a touch of parmesan. Follow it up with the best pizza, and pasta outside of Italy, and a dreamy glass of Italian red wine.
10. Night-time photography
Pack your tripod and your DSLR Camera and hit the streets of Melbourne’s CBD after dark for some awesome long-exposure shots of beautiful buildings and trams whizzing by. There are also some great spots for nighttime photography at Southbank after dark and, of course, Melbourne Skydeck which I’ve listed above.
11. Shop around the clock
The shopping in Melbourne is ridiculous, but start in the best place possible… the Bourke Street Mall, home to big-name brands like Myer and David Jones, H&M, Zara and more. From here, fan out into Lonsdale and Swanston streets then move out to boutique shops outside the CBD.
12. Walk along the Yarra at night
Southbank comes alive after dark with street performers, artists and bars and restaurants packed with people. It’s a great spot for photography, getting amongst the local vibe and people-watching, of course.
13. Visit a Jazz Bar
2022 Update: Ruby’s Music Room is temporarily closed while relocation to a new venue takes place.
Catch the best live jazz in town at Ruby’s Music Room on Little Lonsdale Street. If you don’t know it exists, you won’t find it, which makes Ruby’s even cooler than it already is. Step through the bright yellow entrance and you’re thrown into the heart of New Orleans.
14. Catch a live gig
There are few things more memorable than catching one of your favourite musicians in a new city while you’re visiting. Check their tour guides and see if your holiday dates coincide with their tour dates. Otherwise, find a great live music venue in Melbourne and settle in with a drink to soak in some new music. Find Melbourne’s Best Hidden Gems For Music Lovers here.
15. Hot air balloon ride
For a once-in-a-lifetime experience and something you will absolutely never forget, splurge on an incredible hot-air balloon ride above Melbourne CBD at sunrise. It’s the kind of thing you’ll remember forever and show you a side of the city you would never have seen otherwise. Global Ballooning offers great packages for hot air balloon rides in Melbourne and the Yarra Valley.
? Book an incredible hot air balloon ride with Global Ballooning here
16. Drinks at Union Electric
Head to Union Electric after dark for an insanely good Espresso Martini! While you’re there, work your way through their divine cocktail menu too.
17. Eat Dumplings in Chinatown
Yes. Yes. Yes. Grab a bottle of wine and take it along with you for a night of spectacular dumplings, fried rice and noodles. Get yourself down to Ants Bistro in Corrs Lane, Chinatown. It’s just off the main drag and a little more quiet and peaceful, but offers great service and damn good food.
18. American Doughnut Kitchen
Operating out of a vintage bus converted into a sugar-lovers nirvana, American Doughnut Kitchen is a Melbourne institution. They serve the BEST jam-filled doughnuts of your life!
19. Gelato Messina
Don’t have time for Gelato? You need to take a long hard look at yourself and work out what the hell is wrong with you. Go immediately to Gelato Messina in Fitzroy and order 3 scoops. Now.
20. Melbourne Museum
Visit the Melbourne Museum, right near Carlton gardens. It’s $15 for adults and your offspring get in free!
21. South Melbourne Market
Take a trip to the South Melbourne Market, a covered myriad of food and general goods stalls. The market has been around since 1867 and offers everything from fantastic food to unique locally hand-made items you just couldn’t find anywhere else.
22. Op Shopping
Melbourne fashionistas have to offload their unwanted clothes at some point, right? Prowl around Melbourne’s best op shops and dig for their pre-loved items.
23. Visit Chapel Street
Head to one of Melbourne’s most well-known shopping, dining and entertainment districts, Chapel Street. Stroll along window shopping the high-end store and stop for lunch at a cosy cafe. It’s a great spot for style spotting and getting immersed in Melbourne’s cool fashion scene.
24. Hosier Lane
If you’ve ever looked through photos of Melbourne, chances are you’ve seen a photo of the iconic, blue cobblestone streets of Hosier Lane and brilliant street art covering just about every surface possible. The artwork changes regularly, so take a visit and soak in the talent of Melbourne’s street artists.
25. Bar hop in St Kilda
Get out to St Kilda and have yourself a bar crawl, trying the best drinks at the best bars with the very best views and cool decor. Be sure to put Pontoon, The Espy, and Freddie Wimpoles on your list.
26. Coffee Crawl
Take your body to the limit by filling it with as much espresso as it can possibly handle. Make a list of Melbourne’s best cafes then map out a coffee crawl for yourself. Start early and rage all day, fuelled by liquid happiness.
27. Ride the free tram around the city
Did someone say free? Hop aboard the free tram loop that runs around the city and past all the places you want to visit. It’ll save you money on transport, keep your legs from burning out and can be a great way to take in the city without breaking a sweat.
28. Flinders Street Station
If you haven’t been to Melbourne before, or haven’t visited in a while, it’s worth taking a walk past Flinders Street Station. It really is pretty cool and a great spot for some iconic photos of Melbourne.
29. Make your own Gin
Don’t mind if I do! Visit the Bass & Flinders Distillery and take a Gin Masterclass. A small class of booze-lovers are taken through the technique of how to make the delicious drop and get to craft a bottle all of their own. The class also includes nibbles and Gin tastings too.
30. Madame Brussels
Located on Bourke Street, Madame Brussels Cocktail Bar has a fantastic garden-party-themed rooftop bar with an excellent cocktail menu, cupcakes and a great snacks menu too.
31. Visit an Art Gallery or two
Do something refined and cultural by visiting some of the local art galleries in Melbourne, filled with beautiful and interesting artworks.
32. The Block Arcade
The Block Arcade on Collins Street is a heritage shopping arcade in the CBD, it’s absolutely beautiful to see and a great spot for photographs too. Take a stroll along the arcade and stop for a cup of coffee and a piece of cake while you’re there.
33. Yarra Valley Wine Tasting
Strap yourself in for a day trip to the Yarra Valley filled with wine tastings and fantastic food. You can either hire a car and designate someone as the sober driver, then make your way around the various wineries in the Yarra Valley Wine Region or sign yourself up for a Winery Tour and get your booze on.
34. Taco Truck
If you love tacos as much as I do, hunt down the infamous Taco Truck and get your paws on some sweet taco action. What do they sell? Tacos, of course! Everything from fried chicken to crispy bean ‘n’ cheese. Mmm MMM.
35. Sun Theatre
If you find yourself caught in a rainy old day, take some time out to catch a movie at the historic Sun Theatre in Yarraville. The Sun originally opened in 1938 and has a really cool old-school interior that’ll transport you to the roaring 40s.
Man, I freaking love fro-yo and there is none better than the all-natural stuff being served up at Yo-Chi. Their amazing flavours range from liquorice, lemon myrtle and passion fruit right through to salted butterscotch, chai, dark chocolate and coconut and Persian delight. Load a cup of the good stuff up with your favourite toppings then get your feast on!
37. Lily Blacks
Hidden down a Melbourne laneway is the super-cool cocktail bar, Lily Blacks. With a pre-prohibition era vibe and a cocktail list dreams are made of, Lily Blacks is definitely worth a visit. Try the Screaming Soda of Trombo Blanca tequila, vanilla, ginger and lemon or the Coco Cubano of Goslings Rum, lime, toasted coconut, mint and sparkling.
38. Brighton Beach
Go to Brighton Beach and soak in the sunshine, it’s the home of the famous Brighton Bathing Boxes and a great spot for iconic photographs of Melbourne. It’s also a great place to grab some fish and chips and eat on the beach or simply stroll along with your feet in the water.
39. All Day Donuts
Treat yourself to a trip to donut heaven and go to All Day Donuts in Brunswick. It’s a really cool place to hang out and get a feel for Melbourne’s uniquely cool, chilled-out vibe. Try the OG Glaze, Rose Creme with raspberry sprinkles and Lime Brûlée. You’re welcome.
40. Catch a show
Because it’s such a cultural hub and a major Aussie city, there are loads of big shows and other cool acts that swing through. Catch some stand-up comedy from one of your favourites or get tickets to a theatre show like The Lion King, Dirty Dancing or Strictly Ballroom.
41. Underwood Wine Bar
For wine lovers, visit the intimate space that is Underwood Wine Bar. Work your way through the list of local wines and beers, perfectly paired with a divine cheese platter. What more could you want?
Where to stay in Melbourne
Planning a trip to Melbourne? Booking.com and Agoda are fantastic websites for finding accommodation. Below are a few of our recommendations and options worth looking into:
|Peppers Docklands||Super comfortable|
|Space Hotel||Awesome rooftop|
|Mantra City Central||Read our review!|
|Adara Richmond||Read our review!|
If you plan to hire a car we recommend booking it here
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