Melbourne is packed with attractions, from laneways and street art to lush parks and grand galleries and museums, all wrapped up in a vibrant atmosphere.
Queen Victoria Market
Queen Vic Market provides an authentic shopping experience right in the heart of the city. The market is home to hundreds of small businesses and is the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere. As well as a large range of fresh produce, you can discover your new favourite cheese in the Dairy Hall. Sit and enjoy a meal at one of the many cafes, or just grab a coffee and croissant to go.
The huge range of speciality shopping includes locally-made art, clothing, homewares, jewellery, skincare, plants, books, pet supplies, and flowers. The market is proudly plastic bag and straw-free. If you don’t bring your bag, basket, or shopping trolley, you can buy a reusable bag or hire a trolley. If you can’t make it to the market, shop online with same-day delivery to more than 150 suburbs for meat, fish, poultry, fruit and vegetables, bread, eggs, deli, nuts, organics, coffee, tea, wine, and craft beer. Click and collect is also available.
From history and culture to science and nature, Melbourne Museum offers adults and kids alike an array of experiences to explore the various aspects of life. Over some galleries, visitors can walk among the skeletons of prehistoric animals, learn about the origin and evolution of life in Victoria, stroll through a living rainforest, discover the story of the famous racehorse Phar Lap, dive into the world of ancient marine animals, and much more.
There is also the Children’s Gallery, a place for babies to 5-year-olds to explore, play, and learn. The museum also houses the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, a space dedicated to celebrating the history, culture, achievements, and survival of Victoria’s Aboriginal people. The Melbourne Museum is open daily except on Good Friday and Christmas Day.
Melbourne Star Observation Wheel
Melbourne Star is the Southern Hemisphere’s only giant observation wheel, offering 360-degree views of the city, and a sky-high experience like no other. Standing at 120 meters tall, this is Melbourne like you’ve never seen it before.
One of only four giant observation wheels in the world, Melbourne Star is a must-see attraction for locals and tourists alike. Hop into one of 21 spacious, temperature-controlled cabins and take it all in as your audio commentary offers a quick history of the various landmarks below.
Through floor-to-ceiling windows, you’ll enjoy unobstructed vistas reaching up to 40km, from the city and Port Phillip through to picturesque Mount Macedon and the stunning Dandenong Ranges. Day rides visuals of the city to sea, while night flights sparkle under the bright lights of the city.
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is the name given to two adjacent buildings next to the Yarra River in South Wharf. Throughout the year, it hosts everything from meetings, conventions, and exhibitions, to concerts, trade shows, and gala dinners.
The Convention Centre consists of a 5,564-seat hall (Plenary Hall) that can be divided into three separate theatres, 30 meeting rooms of various sizes, and a grand banquet room. The Exhibition Centre has a pillarless space of 39,000 square metres, all contained on one continuous floor with easy connection to outdoor entertaining areas, as well as meeting, gala, and concert spaces.
Laneways and arcades
Melbourne’s famous laneways are buzzing with shopping arcades, street art, cafes, bars and boutiques, all with their own individual character and charm.
Degraves Street and Centre Place
Loved equally by tourists and locals alike, this iconic Melbourne laneway is packed with tiny shops, hole-in-the-wall cafes and Euro-style restaurants.
Melbourne’s most iconic street art laneway draws throngs of tourists, with every centimetre covered in a colourful riot of murals.
The Nicholas Building
Known as a ‘vertical laneway’, this heritage building is home to an eclectic selection of small businesses and attractions.
A range of independent designers are tucked into shoebox-sized stores in Manchester Lane, from fashion to footwear.
Melbourne music walk
Melbourne is widely known as one of the world’s great music cities and has more live music venues per capita than any other city in the world. The city itself has featured in many music video clips for bands like AC/DC and The Cat Empire.
From music venues to busking hot spots and historical sites, this walk will take you on a tour of the city’s music highlights. We hope you feel inspired to catch a show or visit one of Melbourne’s record stores. This walk is approximately 3.5km and takes around 90 minutes.
Sights on this walk
Arts Centre Melbourne
Home to the State Theatre, Playhouse, and Fairfax Studio, the Arts Centre also houses the Australian Music Vault, a free exhibition showcasing Australia’s music scene.
Hamer Hall hosts performances from a broad range of local and international concerts from rock, pop and jazz through to classical and chamber music.
Built in 1929 as a grand picture palace, the Forum also spent some time as a Christian revival center. Today, it’s one of the best places in Australia to see live music.
AC/DC Lane was the first street in Australia named after a rock band. As street-naming rules don’t allow the use of a forward slash, the City of Melbourne retrofitted the giant lightning bolt you see today.
Cherry Bar’s live music and late-night license make it a favorite hangout for local and international musicians after their shows; just ask Lady Gaga, who famously danced on the bar!
Loop Project Space & Bar
Drop into Loop Bar any time after 4 pm to be mesmerized by its ever-changing program of live audio-visual performances and workshops.
An impromptu concert took place on the Parliament House steps in 2010 during the Save Australia’s Live Music (SLAM) rally, to protest regulations that were forcing city music venues to close.
The Princess Theatre has been used for entertainment since 1854, staging the world’s most successful productions, including Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Cats.
This lane is named in honour of Chrissy Amphlett, the charismatic singer for the Divinyls who sadly died of breast cancer in 2013.
Her Majesty’s Theatre
One of Melbourne’s most iconic venues for live performances, Her Majesty’s has been entertaining Australia since 1886.
This historic 1928 Comedy Theatre hosts comedy shows, musicals and drama, with seating for 1000 people.
The ‘vertical laneway’ known as Curtin House includes several bars and restaurants along with living music venue The Toff in Town.
The Toff in Town
This intimate performance space has featured artists such as Ed Kuepper, Bill Callaghan, Pete Murray, Paul Kelly, Martha Wainwright, Rowland S Howard and Robert Forster.
Bourke Street Mall
A popular busking spot, the Bourke Street Mall is where some of Melbourne’s musicians started their careers, including The Pierce Brothers and Tash Sultana.
Melbourne Town Hall
The Town Hall was a popular spot for celebrity welcomes, including the Beatles in 1964 and ABBA in 1977. It’s also home to the largest grand organ in the Southern Hemisphere.
Australian artists such as Paul Kelly, Hunters & Collectors and You Am I have filled the room at the iconic Max Watt’s, along with international artists like the New York Dolls, Foo Fighters and The Strokes.
More to explore
See more of Melbourne’s immense music scene. Catch a gig at 170 Russell, The John Curtin Hotel, Trades Hall, Colour Club, Last Chance Rock ‘n’ Roll Bar, The Drunken Poet or Transport Hotel. Or head to record stores Heartland Records, Wax Museum Records, Basement Discs, Rocksteady Records and White Rabbit Record Bar.
Birrarung Marr and Federation Bells
Visit Birrarung Marr on the Yarra, public space and significant site for Aboriginal artists and communities. Find the Federation Bells nearby, a set of 39 bronze bells created for Australia’s 1901 federation centenary. Compose music for the Federation Bells using its online composer.
Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Kings Domain
Surrounded by parklands, the Sidney Myer Music Bowl opened in 1959. With a capacity of 12,000, this outdoor venue caters tothe all tastes, from philharmonic orchestras and Christmas carollers to heavy metal bands and DJs.
Melbourne Recital Centre
Combining architectural innovation and acclaimed acoustic perfection, Melbourne Recital Centre showcases musicians, artists and ensembles in its two world-class performance spaces.
Looking Out, Looking In
City of Melbourne’s Looking Out, Looking In Spotify playlist series is curated by local musicians to showcase Melbourne’s diverse and emerging music scene.
Read more about this topic at https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/Pages/home.aspx.
Top Attractions in Melbourne
There’s so much to see and do across Victoria, that you might not know where to start. To help, we’ve put together a handy list of the state’s top attractions – striking public spaces, state-of-the-art museums, unique wildlife, heritage sites, glorious examples of gold rush architecture, and more.
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne Gardens
Attracting over 1,900,000 visitors annually, Melbourne Gardens is a treasured part of cultural life and a valuable asset to the heritage-rich city. With its stunning vistas, tranquil lakes and diverse plant collections, the Gardens are a place of continual discovery and delight.
Enjoy the Aboriginal Heritage Walk, a Free Guided Walk, a ride on the Garden Explorer or Punting on the tranquil Ornamental Lake, all set against a beautiful backdrop and just moments from the city.
These beautiful gardens are home to amazing and diverse plant collections such as camellias, rainforest flora, succulents and cacti, roses, Californian species, herbs, perennials, cycads, and plants from Southern China. Guilfoyle’s Volcano offers visitors a fabulous precinct to explore. The Gardens are also a natural sanctuary for native wildlife.
The Children’s Garden has everything that children could want to help them discover the natural world, with plant tunnels that they can crawl through, rocks that they can climb and a bamboo forest in which they can hide. Visitors can unwind at one of two cafés, The Terrace or Jardin Tan. Or find botanical-inspired souvenirs and gifts at the Gardens Shop.
State Library Victoria
One of the world’s great libraries, the State Library of Victoria is the state’s premier reference and research library and a gateway to the world’s information. The Library houses items that showcase Victoria’s cultural life, past and present, and makes them available to the community through a range of services, exhibitions and cultural programs.
The State Library of Victoria was founded in 1854, largely through the efforts of several prominent Melbourne citizens such as Sir Redmond Barry and Lieutenant-Governor Charles Joseph La Trobe, the vision for the original library was ambitious – to contain the ‘best of everything and become ‘a great emporium of learning and philosophy, of literature, science, and art’.
The Library’s collection goes well beyond books. It holds thousands of significant items reflecting Victoria’s cultural and social heritage, including historical documents such as John Batman’s journal, unique objects such as Ned Kelly’s armour, and paintings such as William Strutt’s Black Thursday, February 6th, 1851.
The balconies encircling the beautiful Domed Reading Room have now been transformed into exhibition areas.
Eureka Skydeck 88
Nothing you have ever experienced will prepare you for the awe-inspiring views from the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere at Melbourne’s Eureka Skydeck 88.
Eureka Skydeck 88 is Melbourne’s must-see attraction. Two dedicated lifts propel visitors to level 88 in under 40 seconds. Only Skydeck 88 can take you to The Edge, a switchable glass cube that slides out from the building, with you inside.
Apart from the unforgettable panorama, Skydeck 88 entertains the entire family with a host of activities and fascinating facts. Located in Southbank, Eureka Skydeck 88 will change the way you look at Melbourne and beyond.
When Scienceworks opened in 1992, its vision was a place for young people to play with science. Scienceworks linked Melbourne’s industry, heritage and applied technology in one place: a new building looking across the arena to the century-old Pumping Station, all under the grand arc of the West Gate Bridge.
Today, Scienceworks is bursting with things to challenge curious minds of all ages. In just one visit, you can stroll among the gigantic machines that kept the city running, enjoy electrifying theatre in the Lightning Room, let your little ones roam safely in enclosed spaces, wander through immersive exhibitions and drop into deep space in the Melbourne Planetarium.
Like its visitors, the team at Scienceworks is always asking questions. How does it work? Why does it do that? How is our world-changing? Join them on an expedition to understand the mysteries of the universe and our everyday lives.
Werribee Open Range Zoo
Experience an African adventure just 30 minutes from Melbourne. Get onboard a guided safari across the unique open range savannah and spot rhinos, giraffes, and zebras. On the walking trails come face-to-face with a pride of lions, visit one of the world‘s largest gorilla exhibits, see cheeky monkeys at play and discover a family of hippos in their wetland home.
For those looking for even more adventure, book into an encounter. Feed a giraffe, stroke a serval, see amazing animals on the Savannah from an open vehicle plus many more to choose from. If you are looking for an evening experience the new Sunset Safari offers a three-hour program that includes dinner, safari, and entertainment, or for visitors looking for unique accommodation, check out the overnight glamping experience, Slumber Safari.
Children under 16 years of age receive free entry every weekend, during Victorian Government school holidays and on Victorian public holidays.
All zoo visitors and members must book a ticket online in advance.
Zoo visitor numbers will be limited to a maximum of 1500 people per day and all visitors (including babies and children aged 0-4) and Zoo Members are required to book a ticket online in advance.
Zoo Member tickets will be free but must be booked online in advance.
The Australian Music Vault
The Australian Music Vault is a free exhibition showcasing the Australian music story, interactive and digital experiences, iconic objects from the Australian Performing Arts Collection.
Explore the musical influences on the Australian ‘sound’, see costumes worn by international stars, and unlock the stories of hip hop in Australia.
The exhibition includes a highly interactive digital experience allowing visitors to listen to interviews with musicians, promoters, and behind-the-scenes people sharing their stories within the engagement zones.
To make sure that you have an enjoyable and safe experience there have been some adjustments including QR code contact tracing.
The Wheeler Centre
Australia’s first Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas, the Wheeler Centre, opened in February 2010. The Centre is located within a newly renovated wing of the State Library of Victoria, in the heart of Melbourne’s bustling central business district, in the burgeoning cultural precinct close to Melbourne and RMIT Universities.
The establishment of the Centre is at the heart of an ambitious Victorian Government initiative which saw Melbourne designated as a UNESCO City of Literature in 2008 and joins the UNESCO Creative Cities Network alongside Berlin, Montreal, Seville, Edinburgh, and other global creative cities.
The Centre is a hub and home for writers and key literary organizations, including the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, Writers Victoria, Express Media, Small Press Network, Australian Poetry, and the Emerging Writers’ Festival.
It provides shared meeting rooms and workshop spaces to foster collaboration, hot desks for short-term use by other writers and organizations as required, and access to a large performance space with a seating capacity of 250.
All tickets can be booked at the website. Bookings are strongly recommended. Through a year-round program of talks and lectures, readings, and debates, the people at The Wheeler Centre invite you to join the conversation.
Luna Park Melbourne
Step through the famous Mr. Moon mouth to soak up the carnival atmosphere and rides that have entertained visitors for an unbelievable 108 years.
Brave the heights of the Great Scenic Railway for spectacular views of the city and stunning Port Phillip Bay, or view the amazing glow of the 6,000 lights adorning the magical and heritage Luna Park Carousel.
Try out your skill at the dodgems, enter the House of Horrors if you dare, or simply get spinning, zooming, twirling, and shrieking on the many rides and attractions with an Unlimited Ride Ticket.
Soak up the spectacular festival vibes while enjoying delicious food and drinks, it’s all about having fun a Luna Park. Can you even fit this all in one day?
Every weekend, Victorian School Holidays and all Public Holidays excluding Christmas Day (25 December).
Old Melbourne Gaol
Step back in time to Melbourne’s most feared destination since 1845, Old Melbourne Gaol.
Shrouded in secrets, wander the same cells and halls as some of history’s most notorious criminals, from Ned Kelly to Squizzy Taylor, and discover the stories that never left. Hosting day and night tours, exclusive events, and kids activities throughout school holidays, the Gaol remains Melbourne’s most spell-binding journey into its past.
The Old Melbourne Gaol is a two-minute walk from Melbourne Central Station. Or catch the free City Circle tram to stop number seven on the corner of La Trobe and Russell Streets.
Read more about this topic at https://www.visitmelbourne.com/.