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With a fascinating history, modern and preserved architecture, an abundance of nature and a vibrant nightlife, the greatest things to do in Melbourne, Australia have a broad appeal. The contemporary Central Business District (CBD) is lively with a hip and trendy culture, but low-key beach vibes are just a tram ride away.
What To See in Melbourne, Australia
If you are looking to truly experience the city, our list of Melbourne attractions is the perfect place to start! Use our top picks for the best things to do in Melbourne, Australia to plan your vacation.
In addition to sharing our tips for what to see in Melbourne, we also provide pertinent information for visitors – like where to stay and how to get around.
The Best Things To Do in Melbourne, Australia
Looking for attractions and activities to add to your Melbourne itinerary? Our list includes the top things to do in Melbourne based on our personal experience from numerous visits. Rather than just rattling off a list of the best things to see in Melbourne, we include detailed information and helpful links. Our ultimate guide to Melbourne, Australia Things To Do includes everything you need to know!
Be sure to Save, Pin or Bookmark this Australia travel blog post to plan The Best Melbourne Trip!
#1 Get the Best Melbourne View from Eureka Skydeck
The Eureka Skydeck boastfully claims to be the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere – and, as such, it is one of the top Melbourne points of interest! Visitors are whisked up 88 floors in less than 40 seconds to an observation room that offers a 360-degree view of the city and beyond. Tickets are required to visit the Eureka Skydeck viewing platform, which can be purchased in advance.
Visiting Eureka Skydeck
A must-do Melbourne sight, visiting the Eureka Skydeck should be one of the first things visitors do when they get to the city.
The 88th-floor observation deck (975 feet) is enclosed with floor-to-ceiling windows for views of the city, Port Phillip Bay and the Dandenong Ranges. Viewfinders are free to use and help pinpoint Melbourne landmarks. General admission tickets are not time-stamped, so once inside the observation deck, visitors are free to stay as long as they want.
We took our time during our visit and lingered to enjoy the unique vantage point. We highly recommend stepping outside onto the small Terrace, which allows guests to feel the rush of the wind (the views, however, are obstructed with fencing).
Top Tip: Thrill-seekers should also put The Edge Experience on their Melbourne To-Do List. The all-glass box moves on a track to hover outside the building – and is one of the most hair-raising Melbourne activities. Lasting five minutes, The Edge enables visitors to see straight up to the sky, out to the sea and down to the city streets. Visitors who want to experience The Edge can purchase the upgraded option when buying advance tickets.
#2 Hop Aboard a Yarra River Cruise
For another unique Melbourne city perspective, hop aboard a Yarra River Boat Cruise. Taking a Yarra River Cruise is one of the best things to do in Melbourne, Australia to get acquainted with the landscape and history.
Yarra River cruises, which are offered by a range of companies, take passengers up river, down river and all the way to Williamstown on Port Phillip Bay. Top choices include Melbourne sightseeing cruises, dinner cruises and sunset cruises. A classic Melbourne Highlights Cruise includes a trip up river (passing several gardens and historical locations) and then down river (past the ports, the Docklands and Bolte Bridge).
The Highlights Boat Cruise of Melbourne
When we were deciding what to do in Melbourne, Australia, a Yarra River Boat Cruise that featured Melbourne Highlights was at the top of our list. The boats have outdoor space where passengers can stand (but you won’t be able to hear the on-board commentary). While Kris stayed outside in the sunshine, I grabbed a seat inside by an open window where I could listen to the historical facts and information about the sights – and still have an unobstructed view.
On the up river portion of the tour, guests learn about the fascinating history of the river. While heading downriver from the CBD, the boat has to clear three extremely low bridges: Queens, Kings and Spencer Street (which is simply impossible when tides are high). Once past the bridges, the cruise continues beyond the posh Southbank, under the massive Bolte Bridge and past the Swanson Dock container-ship terminal.
Top Tip: The Highlights Cruise is actually two different boat trips combined on a single ticket – an Up River Cruise and Down River Cruise. The two cruises can be booked separately (Up River or Down River), but the combo Highlights Cruise is heavily discounted. Not a particularly fast or fancy boat, the easy-going cruise features some of the Best of Melbourne, Australia sights.
#3 Watch a Footy Game at the MCG
For sports fans, attending a Footy game at the MCG might very well be one of the absolute best things to do in Melbourne, Australia. It was certainly a highlight for us (so much so that we have attended multiple AFL games while visiting the city!).
Australian Football, Aussie Rules Football, Footy, AFL – figuring out what to call it is as difficult as figuring out how the game is played. However, Melbourne was the birthplace of the sport (with the first game played in 1858) and watching a match is one of the top Melbourne things to do!
The place to watch AFL is at the MCG (which stands for Melbourne Cricket Ground, but is often shortened even further to simply ‘The G’). The historic stadium is one of the largest in the world and dates to 1853. Home of the Melbourne Cricket Club (another favorite Melbourne game, which we don’t find nearly as thrilling), the MCG hosts numerous games, events and concerts. If there are no events during your Melbourne visit, consider taking a tour of the MCG.
Understanding Aussie Football
As a fan of American college football (or gridiron, as Aussies call it), at first, footy seemed chaotic and out right comical. To me, it looks like three sports – soccer, rugby and American football – happening at once in a ridiculous and reckless manner. Although there seems to be a complete lack of regulation on what looks like a rough game of Hot Potato, watching the fast-paced game is actually one of the exciting things to do in Melbourne…once you understand it.
Basic Rules of Australian Football
Each team has 18 players on the field (and their uniforms consist of incredibly short shorts and no pads or helmets). Players can tackle and shepherd (push, bump or block) the opposing team members in an attempt to keep or gain control of the ball. A player is awarded a Mark if they cleanly catch a ball that has been kicked at least 15 meters. A Mark grants the player a five meter protected radius, allowing them time to set up the next play. In almost all other cases, the ball is live and the players ‘Play On.’
Points are scored with Goals and Behinds. Four posts stand at each end of the field; the middle two taller than the outer two. To score a Goal, a player must kick the ball through the two middle posts, which earns their team six points. A Behind is scored when the ball goes through the middle and outer post, scoring the team one point. The player can only travel with the ball for a distance of 15 meters before kicking, tossing or hand-balling (punching the ball as a type of pass) to another player or bouncing the ball on the ground as a way of passing it to themselves.
Easy enough, right? Now, go to StubHub to see if there is a game at the MCG during your Melbourne visit!
#4 Drinks in the Melbourne CBD
Melbourne nightlife is lively (and sometimes the day drinking is, too!). There seems to be endless options when it comes to drinking in Melbourne – from the riverside to rooftops and plenty of places in between. Visitors looking to party late into the night – or those who just want a good beer at the end of a long day of sightseeing – can find it in the Melbourne CBD.
The Best Melbourne Bars
The city’s iconic bars are one of the top things to see in Melbourne, Australia. For a classic Australian pub experience, visitors should check out historic spots, like Captain Melville or the legendary Cricketers Bar. The Melbourne rooftop bars are incredible and shouldn’t be missed! Our top recommendations for rooftop bars are the nostalgic Madame Brussels and contemporary Rooftop Cinema. For unique craft cocktails, visit one of the themed bars, such as the eerie Croft Institute or East-Vs-West Berlin Bar. The riverside is a great place to relax and unwind; our top picks Ponyfish Island and The Arbory.
Melbourne Craft Beer
A tip for beer lovers: The Melbourne craft beer scene is among the best anywhere in the world! Little Creatures, which is brewed in nearby Geelong, ranks as one of our all-time favorite brews. Most bars have heaps of craft beer available, so ask the bartender what local beers are on tap. Or, better yet, learn about Melbourne breweries on a Beer and Brewery Tour.
#5 Take a Melbourne Day Trip to Brighton Beach
Brighton is an affluent Melbourne beach town with chic cafes and posh stores, but the most popular attraction in town are the Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes. Situated in a line, the colorful Dendy Street Beach Bathing Boxes are one of the top things to see in Melbourne! The small, wooden structures, which were originally used as ladies’ changing rooms, have no water or electricity, yet have fetched sale prices beyond $250,000.
Facts about Brighton Beach Boxes
A few of the Brighton Beach boxes are more than 100-years-old. Today, most are used to store beach-going equipment and provide owners a place to rest in the shade on long days at the beach. The beach boxes are somewhat of a novelty, but they are colorful, so don’t forget your camera to capture this top Melbourne attraction!
Brighton Coastal Walk
Brighton is one of the most beautiful beaches in Melbourne – and one of the best ways to see it is on a coastal walk! From Melbourne Flinders Station, ride the Sandringham Train to the last stop (called Sandringham) and follow the coastal path north to Dendy Street Beach and the famous Bathing Boxes. The 3.5 km trail through the foreshore reserve provides fantastic bay views. A clear view of the distinctive Melbourne skyline – as well as a distant glimpse of the Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes – can be seen from Green Point.
#6 Tour the Parliament House Melbourne
The stately Parliament House is a Melbourne must-see – and it’s open to visitors for free! The Melbourne Parliament House is where Victoria politicians create laws. When Parliament is in session, visitors can view the proceedings from the public galleries, which is one of the unique things to do in Melbourne.
When Parliament is not in session, free tours are offered that put visitors in the seats of the politicians in the Legislative Assembly Chamber, the Legislative Council Chamber and the central reading room of the library.
Find more Free Things To Do Melbourne in our blog post: 5 Free Tours in Melbourne, Australia.
#7 Go on a Fitzroy Pub Crawl
Exploring the historic districts is one of the best things to do in Melbourne – and Fitzroy is one of our favorites! Located northeast of Melbourne’s CBD, Fitzroy has been around since 1839 and features some of the best preserved Victorian-era architecture in the city. The neighborhood also boasts a dizzying number of bars – and, as such, is one of our top picks for fun Melbourne places to visit. A leisurely walk from the city (or a quick ride on the tram) puts this area within easy reach for visitors.
Recommended Fitzroy Bars
Fitzroy was founded by the working class – and there is no bar that better embodies the spirit of the district than The Workers Club. The cozy corner pub is sure to have footy on the telly and live music in the back. Hipsters huddle around the worn wooden tables and graffiti-style art covers the walls, making the place feel a little more edgy than some of Melbourne’s classic and historic pubs. With a regular line up of events and specials (check out the Monday beer and burger deals), it’s easy to understand why there is always a crowd.
Veer off the main drag, Brunswick, to find a pub gem: The Rainbow Hotel. The Rainbow Bar Fitzroy has been around almost as long as Fitzroy itself and features more than 100 brews (in both bottle and draft). The tap selections include a rotation of the best local beers. With so many choices, we relied on the friendly bar staff’s suggestions and weren’t disappointed. Even though it’s just a block from the main street, it is no doubt a neighborhood joint.
There is more to do in Fitzroy than visit pubs! Some of the top things to see in Melbourne are featured on a Fitzroy tour. Join a Melbourne local tour guide for a historic neighborhood walk.
#8 Walk from Port Melbourne to St. Kilda
While there are plenty of sights in Melbourne’s CBD, it’s hard to resist a peek at Port Phillip Bay, which is just a short tram ride away. The waterfront is one of the best places to go in Melbourne on a sunny day.
A paved path, Bay Trail, follows the beaches in Melbourne, Australia 4.4 km between Port Melbourne to St. Kilda Pier. Walking the path is one of the top things to do in Melbourne, Australia for sunshine and a sea breeze. It’s also the perfect opportunity to visit the beachfront suburbs, each of which have small entertainment districts and the distinct vibe of coastal living. Getting There and Back: To Get to Port Melbourne from the CBD, ride Tram 109 from Collins and Elizabeth Streets to Station Pier. From St. Kilda, take Tram 16 or 12 back into the city.
The mostly residential suburb of Port Melbourne was once the city’s main hub of transportation (the Spirit of Tasmania still sails from the mainland to Tasmania daily from the historic Station Pier). The once seedy area has recently undergone major gentrification, turning it into a prominent district, while retaining some of the historic character.
From Station Pier, we jumped on Bay Trail and walked east to start our trek from Port Melbourne to St. Kilda. The paved path is shared by bicyclists, joggers and walkers and follows the sandy coastline 4.4 km to St. Kilda Pier. The relaxing walk from Port Melbourne to St. Kilda took us about an hour.
Once we arrived in St. Kilda, we walked the stretch of the historic St. Kilda Pier. At the end of the pier is the Little Blue Restaurant, also known as the St. Kilda Pier Kiosk. (The original building, built in 1904, burnt to the ground in 2003; the current structure is a replica.) Beyond the restaurant is the breakwater, which protects the harbor and is easily accessible via a path. One of the fun things to do in St. Kilda is to go see the colony of 12-inch-tall Little Penguins that lives on the breakwater, which are often spotted at dusk.
Other sights in St. Kilda are a range of boutique shops, hip cafes and restaurants and the Luna Park amusement park. Spending an afternoon in St. Kilda is one of the fun things to do in Melbourne – especially on the weekend.
Only want to visit St. Kilda? No problem! To get from the Melbourne CBD to St. Kilda, just hop on a Tram 12 or 16.
#9 Join a Melbourne City Tour
There are so many things to see in Melbourne! Although not a particularly old city, Melbourne has an interesting past and numerous sights. Many top Melbourne tourist attractions are located in the CBD – like the Royal Exhibition Building, Federation Square and Flinder’s Street Station. The stories that go along with the sights tell the history of Melbourne. Joining one of the Melbourne walking tours is a great way to get acquainted with the city.
Sightseeing Tours Melbourne
There are numerous Melbourne tours, including highly-rated tours on Viator. Let a knowledgeable Melbourne tour guide lead you to the best spots in the city. In addition to guided Melbourne walking tours (like this one!), visitors can learn about the city on Bike Tours, Foodie Tours and even Coffee Culture Tours.
Prefer to move at your own pace? Follow our step-by-step Free Self-Guided Walking Tour of Melbourne.
#10 Eat Dumplings in Melbourne’s Chinatown
If you are wondering what to do in Melbourne city for food, put dumplings on your list! Dumplings are a Melbourne specialty – and there is no better place than Chinatown to indulge in the classic fare.
Chinatown occupies a stretch of Little Bourke St. in the northeastern section of the CBD and is one of the most popular places to visit in Melbourne. Ornamental gates, hanging lanterns and a string of Asian restaurants, shops and businesses line the street. Visitors can sample a variety of dumplings on a Chinatown food tour – or opt for the All-You-Can-Eat dumpling experience at the Dumpling House in Chinatown.
Dumpling House in Chinatown
Located on a dimly lit laneway in a brick building, the Shanghai Dumpling House entrance is marked with a bright sign. There was no kitschy decor inside the brightly-lit space, in fact, there was barely any decor at all. Tables are pushed close together (maximizing the number of diners) and drink lists are taped to the wall above the booths. All just part of the experience! The busy restaurant is orchestrated by the hostess, who sits at the desk. She will direct you to a table and will take your payment on your way out.
The All-You-Can-Eat option is not listed on the regular menu and requires a minimum of 4 dinners, so inquire with the waitstaff. Once ordered, platters of food will start arriving at your table in an unstoppable stream. For us, first it was spring rolls, then it was pumpkin dumplings, followed by mixed vegetable dumplings, pork dumplings, shrimp dumplings and fried dumplings. Fried rice, fried noodles and pork buns were also delivered to the table.
We attempted to keep up with the hurried pace, devouring the contents of the plates to make room for more. Our favorite dishes were the fried beef and pork dumplings and the steamed pumpkin dumplings. The pumpkin cake was interesting and a nice sweet end to the meal. Honestly, there wasn’t anything delivered to our table that I didn’t like!
#11 Ride the Free Melbourne Tram 35
Whether your feet need a break or you just need to get to the other end of the CBD, catch a free ride on the City Circle Tram #35. The old, wooden tram cars rattle in a loop around the city and include a brief, pre-recorded commentary that provides quick facts and details about many Melbourne sights. Definitely one of the best free things to do in Melbourne!
Find out more about the Melbourne City Circle Tram #35 in our post on Free Melbourne Tours.
#12 Shop/Eat/Socialize at Queen Victoria Market Melbourne
The buzzing halls of the Queen Victoria Market have all the ingredients – meat, fish, produce, prepared food, clothing and gadgets – of a thriving metropolitan market and is one of the must-see Melbourne experiences. While some markets like these become geared toward tourists, there is no doubt that this is where urban locals do their shopping, too. The QVM has indoor and outdoor booths taking up more than two city blocks.
Read our detailed blog post about Visitng the Queen Victoria Market.
#13 Stroll the Melbourne Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne were founded in 1846 and provide a tranquil retreat from the streets and skyscrapers of the city. Take a stroll and breathe in the fresh air in one of the most beautiful places in Melbourne. The Gardens are open daily from 7:30am to sunset and admission is free! Bonus Tip: One of the fun things to do at Melbourne Botanic Gardens is to have a picnic.
#14 Ramble through Melbourne Laneways
Melbourne’s Laneways are the minor streets found between the major thoroughfares. Created as side entrances, a means for deliveries and rubbish collection, the Laneways are now some of the best places to visit in Melbourne! The pedestrian passageways serve as enclaves for trendy urban bars, cafes and local specialty shops. The city Laneways are the focal point of the Melbourne street art scene.
Find specific details in our blog post: Melbourne Laneways
#15 Learn About the (in)Famous Ned Kelly
Ned Kelly is Melbourne’s most famous outlaw and his story is a favorite in Melbourne’s history. For those interested in learning about the legend, there are many Melbourne city places to visit that feature the Ned Kelly story.
Some of the best places to get a dose of Ned Kelly tales are the The Old Melbourne Gaol and The Treasury Building (which also displays Gold Bars that are pretty cool) and The State Library of Victoria. Actually, just go to visit the library, because it’s a stunning building, both inside and out!
#16 Spend a Day in Williamstown
Once home to the Victorian Navy, Williamstown is a little port town on the bay that has quite the historic past. Visiting Willamstown is one of the interesting things to do near Melbourne, Australia.
The picturesque streets are lined with historic buildings and the Commonwealth Reserve green space fronts the bay. Spending an afternoon in the historic town is a fun day trip from Melbourne. Williamstown, Australia is easily accessible by a Metro train or Ferry boat. Once in town, stop at the Hobson’s Bay Information Center for a booklet on Williamstown history, a town map and three outlined walking tours.
Williamstown Sights on the Waterfront
Before ships could navigate the Yarra River, Williamstown was a popular port. It was home to the Victorian Navy and many ship builders and remnants of that past can be seen along the shoreline. Walk the Gem Pier to see traces of the maritime history and take in the views of the Melbourne skyline from across the bay. The Timeball Tower on Point Gellibrand is another Williamstown sight. It was built in 1849 and used to ensure ships had accurate navigation for ocean crossings. It is one of only five working timeballs that remain in the world.
The Williamstown community is highlighted by many historic churches, schools and government buildings that are still in use today. Victorian-era mansions line the waterfront and Nelson Place is a beautifully preserved stretch of historic structures, including the old Customs House.
#17 Admire the Architecture of Melbourne Churches
The CBD is home to many religious buildings that rank as top places to see in Melbourne, for both their architecture and historical significance. We think these five religious buildings are the best in the city: St. Paul’s, The Scots’ Presbyterian Church, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Melbourne Synagogue and St. Mary Star of the Sea. Use this link to Google Maps to locate the religious buildings.
St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral stands catty-corner from Flinders Street Station. The Gothic building still appears grand regardless of the taller, modern buildings that now overshadow the spires and tower. It was consecrated in 1891 and features an ornate interior.
The Scots’ Presbyterian Church is in the middle of Melbourne’s CBD and parishioners have worshiped there since it was built in 1874. Stained glass windows depicting bible stories line the walls of the church, the oldest dating back to 1879.
St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral stands on land that was purchased in 1847 on the eastern edge of Melbourne’s city grid. The church was consecrated in 1897, but the spires weren’t completed until 1939. Golden light fills the wide interior of the church, however we thought the most impressive views of the church are from the east gardens.
The Melbourne City Synagogue (formally called the East Melbourne Synagogue) was built in 1877 in just six months and now remains the only synagogue in the city. The Ark is placed in the direction of Jerusalem and is faced when praying. Services are in Hebrew, men and women sit separately and men (including Kris during our visit) are required to wear kippahs.
St. Mary Star of the Sea is a French Gothic style church that was consecrated in 1925. When Melbourne was just a young city, the church could be seen from the port. We think the colorfully decorated interior makes St. Mary Star of the Sea the prettiest church in Melbourne.
#18 Visit the Melbourne Docklands
The Docklands, originally named Victoria Dock, were first developed on the banks of the Yarra River in the 1850s. They were used to accept migrants who were coming to Australia in droves during the gold rush. In the 1990s, the Victoria Harbour underwent a major revitalization project to create a waterfront live/work/tourist playground.
#19 Tour the Shrine of Remembrance
She Shrine of Remembrance is one of the top things to see in Melbourne. Built in 1934 to honor the Victorians who served in World War I, the Shrine of Remembrance has evolved and expanded to include an intriguing Melbourne museum featuring artifacts from all Australian conflicts.
One of the most interesting and informative things to do in Melbourne for free, visitors are invited to tour the shrine and on-site museum. Visitors who want more detailed information can join one of the two daily tours; guides share intriguing information on what is one of the most important places in Melbourne.
Things To See: Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance
As one of the best sights in Melbourne, be sure to take your time visiting the thoughtful displays.
The Beam of Light illuminates the word ‘Love’ on the plaque every half hour. (On Remembrance Day, which is celebrated on November 11, a beam of sunlight filters through the glass roof and hits the word ‘love’ at exactly 11 a.m. to mark the day and time in 1918 that the war ended.)
On the walls are the national flags and below them are handwritten books including the names of every Victorian who served abroad in World War I. Also not to be missed is The Reserve that encompasses 32 acres of land on which monuments, fountains and trees to commemorate the Victorians who have served. A monument to those who served in World War II, accompanied by an eternal flame and flags, stand at the front of the Shrine.
#20 Walk Sydney Road in Brunswick
Visiting Brunswick is another one of the fun things to do around Melbourne. Sydney Road has long been the main thoroughfare in Brunswick and it is lined with shops, eateries, government buildings and churches. Gentrification of the area has spurred the remodeling of historic hotels (a.k.a pubs) and the adaptive reuse of many of the buildings along Sydney Road. In addition to the restored hotels, there are vintage shops and an assortment of international cuisine due to the diverse culture in the area.
The neighborhood is further from the CBD than other inner suburbs (like Fitzroy and Collingwood), which puts it out of walking distance from the city. However, it is easily accessible via tram or train. We opted for the train (Upfield Line) and, disembarking at Jewell, we worked our way along Sydney Road, visiting a few pubs and shops along the way before catching the train at Anstey back into the city.
#21 Make a Day Trip to Seaford, Australia
Connected to Melbourne’s CBD by an hour-long Metro train, Seaford is a quaint, beach-fronting suburb and one the best day trips from Melbourne. The entire coastline is bordered by the Foreshore Reserve. Sandy paths – which extend 3 miles south to Frankston – weave through the protected vegetation, with several trails breaking off for beach access. If you happen to be visiting on the third Sunday of each month, don’t miss the Seaford Farmer’s Market!
Read More About How To Plan Your Complete Melbourne Itinerary!
Top Tips For Your Trip to Melbourne, Australia
We have covered the best things to do in Melbourne, but we have a few more tips for your trip!
Pro Tip: Consider using Travel Planning Printables (like we do) to get your vacation to Australia organized!
Melbourne Day Trips
We have highlighted some of the best things to do in Melbourne CBD and surrounding area, but are also top Australia sights easily accessible on a Melbourne Day Trip. The most popular Melbourne day tours include incredible scenery, local wine and wildlife.
The Great Ocean Road
An legendary shoreline drive, The Great Ocean Road features a stunning coastline and the iconic rock formations, called The Twelve Apostles. Find all the details of visiting the region in our blog post: Great Ocean Road Day Trip.
Yarra Valley Wine Tasting
Sip and swirl your way through multiple vineyards in the top Melbourne wine regions. Find out more!
Phillip Island Penguin Parade
Enjoy Australia’s best wildlife – including koalas, kangaroos and the evening Penguin Parade. Book it now!
3-Day Melbourne Adventure Tour
A multi day tour from Melbourne that includes the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and the Grampians National Park. Get the Details!
Melbourne Sightseeing Tips
Need more recommendations for these things to do around Melbourne? We haven’t had the pleasure of partaking in these activities, but they come highly recommended by fellow travelers!
- Escape the city and immerse yourself in nature! Head to the Dandenong Ranges and hop on the 1000 Step Trail (which can be easily reached with public transport!) or hop aboard the historic Puffing Billy Steam Train and watch the scenic landscapes through the window. (Better yet, combine the steam train with a Yarra Valley Wine Tasting Tour – get the details!)
- Traveling with kids? You may want to check out these things to do in Melbourne with Kids: The Melbourne Aquarium, SEA LIFE Aquarium or the Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo (get tickets in advance!)
Where To Stay in Melbourne
In Melbourne, we stayed in hotels, hostels, Airbnb Apartments and even in houses while petsitting as International Housesitters. We think the best place to stay in Melbourne is in the city center – and there are many choices of accommodations – to fit all budgets – in the Melbourne CBD.
We have found that staying in Airbnb apartments is often less expensive than hotel rooms – with the added benefit of a kitchen and, usually, more space. (Not already a member of Airbnb? Use this link to create an account and save money on your first stay!)
However, for those who prefer staying in traditional accommodations, there are many Melbourne Hotels to choose from in – or close to – the city center. Check out these top-rated hotels (based on guest reviews!) for your upcoming trip: Quay West Suites, The Como and Rendezvous Hotel. Or, start your search for hotels on Booking.com – like we do!
Getting To Melbourne…And Around
Our preferred method of getting anywhere is by flying (we are JetSetting Fools, after all!) and when we do need to purchase plane tickets, we start our search for the best deals on airline tickets on Skyscanner. Most visitors arrive in Melbourne via plane at the Melbourne International Airport (MEL). From the airport, you can take the SkyBus, a mini-van shuttle bus or arrange private transfer into the CBD.
In the CBD and surrounding region, there is ample public transportation, including a network of trains, trams and buses, which all accept fares via the Myki Card. We aren’t keen on driving abroad, but renting a car can often save time and money (especially when traveling with more than two people) – and a car rental allows for greater discovery.
What To Pack for your Melbourne, Australia Trip
Melbourne Walking Shoes
With so many fun things to do in Melbourne, Australia, you will be spending quite a bit of time on your feet! Don’t forget to pack a pair of lightweight and comfortable travel shoes. I (Sarah) have traveled with these shoes by Columbia and Kris prefers wearing trail shoes by Merrell for city sightseeing.
Travel Camera for Melbourne Photography
We’re certain you’ll be snapping tons of photos during your trip. Rather than relying on your mobile phone to capture the sights, upgrade to an actual camera for higher quality photos). We travel with a Canon Rebel (which takes amazing photos!). It is a fantastic DSLR budget camera for beginners – as it comes bundled with loads of accessories.
Melbourne Map, Guidebook & Day Pack
We have provided our top tips for the best things to do in Melbourne – including tons of links for more information! However, we still think it is useful to have a guidebook and map for your trip! Whether you travel with a backpack or a suitcase, you will also want a great day bag to organize all of your everyday travel essentials.
Australia Travel Insurance
We think travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip to Australia, travel protected with World Nomads.
Need help planning your complete Australia Itinerary? Check out our Australia Travel Guides page for top tips and walking tours for other major cities in Australia, including Sydney, Gold Coast, Cairns, Brisbane, Hobart, Tasmania and Perth.
We want to know: What do you think are the best things to do in Melbourne, Australia? Is there anything you would add to our list? Give us your best tips and advice in the comments!
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