Melbourne is a hip, dynamic metropolis, with an exciting city center, inner-city neighborhoods that are full of unique character, and lush green parks and mountain ranges where you can enjoy Australian nature at its finest.
The city is known for its many laneways, its cultural diversity, excellent dining options for all budgets, and amazing street art. It’s also known for being the coffee capital of the world, and for being regularly voted as the world’s most livable city!
Let’s explore the best things to do in Melbourne:
Drink the world’s best coffee
It’s official: you’ll find the world’s best coffee in Melbourne, as voted by over a thousand users on website booking.com.
Melbourne beat out many of the world’s most renowned coffee cities, such as Rome and Vienna, for the title; you’ll certainly know why once you see how committed Melbourne baristas are to their craft.
It’s hard to find a bad cup of coffee in Melbourne: the city touts itself as a world leader in coffee and café culture, and the inhabitants are proud to be coffee snobs! Cafes in London even advertise that they have Melbourne baristas, as Australian and New Zealander baristas essentially brought high-quality coffee to the city.
Melbourne even plays host to a coffee expo, and the 2014 world barista champion Pete Licata (from the USA) has described a coffee culture in Melbourne as “incredible”. If you’re a coffee-lover, you’ve come to the right place!
You’ll find great coffee just wandering through the laneways of the city, and there are actually tailored tours available to coffee aficionados: check out Hidden Secret Tours or Melbourne Coffee Tours for details.
According to Yelp, the best cup of coffee in Melbourne can be found at Patricia on Little Bourke Street: it’s a tiny hole-in-the-wall place with no seating and a line-up to get in, but likely the best coffee you will ever taste! The staff is also friendly, and the place deserves the hype.
Read more at https://www.thecrazytourist.com/
Melbourne public transport
Despite the local penchant for griping about the city’s public transport, Melbourne remains one of the best-connected cities in Australia. Like most major cities, we’ve got buses and trains, but what Melbourne is known for is its extensive tram network.
Whether you opt for a tram, catch a bus or take a train, you can get pretty much anywhere in Melbourne car-free. All you need is an adventurous spirit and a myki card – Melbourne’s reusable public transport ticket you can buy or top-up at metropolitan train stations as well as at some tram stops and bus interchanges.
Best for: Visitors hopping between CBD attractions or visiting the inner suburb
Price: Free to $4.30 per trip (with a daily cap of $8.60)
Melbourne’s most iconic form of public transport is a novel treat for visitors. But because they’re not as common as trains or buses, there are a few tricks to using them right. You need to tap on (that is, hold your Myki card against the card reader) on trams, but you don’t have to tap off. In the free tram zone (the Melbourne CBD; listen for announcements) you don’t need to tap on at all.
This makes trams ideal for sightseeing in the city, and they travel out to some of the coolest inner-suburban hangouts as well. Trams sometimes stop suddenly, so make sure you hold on!
Best for: Those traveling longer distances or going out to the ‘burbs.
Price: $4.30 per trip (with a daily cap of $8.60).
Melbourne’s trains are trams’ beefcake older brother. They ferry people from the outer edges of Melbourne right through to the inner suburbs and CBD. Depending on where you are and where you’re going trains are sometimes a quicker option than trams or buses.
But they can be packed to bursting during peak hour, so avoid traveling during the morning or evening commute if possible. Tap on at the station before boarding and tap off as you leave the station – and remember to press the button on the train door to get on and off.
Best for: Going further and getting closer.
Price: $4.30 per trip (with a daily cap of $8.60).
Buses are the unsung heroes of Melbourne’s rail-dominated public transport system. They might not have the same cachet as trams, but they cover more ground. You won’t find a tram that will take you directly to Australia’s biggest shopping center, Chadstone, but a bus will.
There are more routes for buses than trams, they travel further out into the suburbs, and they travel across the city more directly than other public transport options. Be sure to tap your Myki both on and off when using buses, and take your backpack off before boarding.
V/Line trains and coaches
Best for: Those days tripping from Melbourne or traveling to other parts of Victoria
Price: $4.30-$32.60 per trip
Where Melbourne’s trams, trains and buses fear to tread V/Line rushes in, no worries. Victoria’s V/Line trains and coaches are your tickets to the state’s beautiful regional cities and towns. In the Melbourne CBD V/Line, all services connect at Southern Cross Station, which in itself is easily accessed by tram or bus.
From here you can catch a train or coach to the goldfields of Bendigo or Ballarat; to the springs of Daylesford; to the shorelines of Geelong or Warrnambool; or even interstate to Adelaide. Importantly, not all V/Line services use Myki so check the ticketing info before traveling.
Read more at https://www.timeout.com/
The Australian Ballet
Founded in 1962, The Australian Ballet is one of the country’s flagship arts companies.
Each year the company performs classical and contemporary works by major Australian and international choreographers and new commissions that explore the development and future of this dynamic art form. The Australian Ballet’s diverse repertoire reflects the company’s vision: caring for tradition, daring to be different.
One of the busiest ballet companies in the world, The Australian Ballet annually presents approximately 200 performances in cities and regional areas around Australia, in addition to regular international touring. Versatility, technical excellence and a warm, friendly style are the trademarks of The Australian Ballet; qualities that have earned both critical and audience acclaim.
- Disabled access available, contact operator for details
- Car park
- Public toilet
- Restaurant – licensed
Explore Melbourne’s history through stories of people from across the world who have migrated to Victoria at the Immigration Museum.
From the reasons for making the journey, to the moment of arrival in a new country, and the impact on indigenous communities – these stories are sometimes sad, sometimes funny, but always engaging. The result is a thought-provoking and moving experience.
Take a fresh look at what it means to belong and not belong in Australia. Explore who Australians are and who others think Australians are.
Open daily, 10:00am to 5:00pm. Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day.
- Actively welcomes people with access needs
- Suitable for guests who depend on the use of a wheelchair in a seated position at all times
- Public toilet
Brighton Bathing Boxes
Dive into Port Phillip Bay under the watch of 82 distinctive bathing boxes, a row of uniformly proportioned wooden structures lining the foreshore at Brighton Beach.
Built well over a century ago in response to very Victorian ideas of morality and seaside bathing, the bathing boxes remain almost unchanged. All retain classic Victorian architectural features with timber framing, weatherboards and corrugated iron roofs, though they also bear the hallmarks of individual licensees artistic and colorful embellishments.
Thanks to these distinctive decorations, the boxes turn the Brighton seaside into an immediately recognizable, iconic beachscape that can transform by the hour according to season, light and color. Just try to resist pulling out your camera and snapping away.
Read more at https://www.thecrazytourist.com/
Check out the amazing street art
Melbourne is very well-known for its street art, is considered one of the street art capitals of the world.
The city council has designated certain areas as approved for street artists, and the street art here is of exceptionally high quality and changes regularly; it’s a great way for budding street artists to get experience in the artistic side of graffiti, and having structured locations for this amazing creative outlet helps to reduce the levels of graffiti elsewhere, as well as adding a great urban vibe that tourists and locals both enjoy. You’ll find a map of street art in Melbourne here.
There’s even a Melbourne street art tour, run by street artists, for people who’d like a deeper understanding of what they’re seeing, how it’s made and who is involved in this fascinating underground art scene.
Wander through laneways
An aimless wander through the many laneways of Melbourne is a wonderful way to see what this city has to offer.
City maps are available at the Federation Square Visitor Information Centre, and many hotels; some of the most interesting laneways include Centre Place, AC/DC Lane (named after the famous Aussie rock band!), Hardware Lane and Degraves Lane.
You’ll find plenty to see, do, buy and eat, and gain a new appreciation of Melbourne’s urban culture.
Visit Flinders Street Station and Federation Square
The main entrance to Flinders Street Station is a picturesque cultural symbol of Melbourne you’ll find on many postcards or tourist brochures: this gorgeous building was opened in 1910, and it is listed on the Victorian heritage register.
Inside you’ll find Australia’s busiest railway station, a small shopping area with tasty food options, and easy walking access to Southbank.
Across the road, Federation Square is another Melbourne icon, with a unique and fascinating architectural design, making the Square quite unlike anything you’ve seen before.
Once you’re at the Square, make sure that you visit the Australian Centre of the Moving Image, which has hosted fascinating displays on subjects such as Claymation, and the Ian Potter Centre art gallery.
Melbourne is famous for its live music scene, particularly rock music.
There’s plenty of bands playing at any given time, and the city attracts international talent, including the up-and-coming variety.
It’s also the home of the legendary Australian singer-songwriter-poet-author Nick Cave.
Some popular spots to catch a band include the Corner Hotel, the Evelyn Hotel, the Spotted Mallard, the Post Office Hotel, the Ding-Dong Lounge, the Esplanade Hotel and the Palais Theatre.
Federation Square is an artistic and creative hub of Melbourne not to be missed. It hosts over 2000 events a year! These include cultural festivals, event launches, exhibitions, performances, forums, films, concerts, and fashion shows – and most are free.
Take in the architecture of the precinct. Visit one of the cafes or eateries and enjoy the ambiance of multicultural Melbourne.
Visit the galleries including Ian Potter Centre and the Australian Centre For The Moving Image, a world-leading center for experiencing the moving image in all its forms.
Enjoy the many events often held in Federation Square! Sit and watch a film on the massive screen.,It’s become a Melbourne thing to watch major sporting events on the big screen. Wander around the corner and enjoy the Yarra River. Check out the view from St Paul’s Cathedral steps – surely one of the best views in Melbourne!
Walk around the corner for a meal at Gazi, visit restaurants on Flinders Lane, or check out the restaurants on nearby Flinders Lane. Check out Flinders St Station as iconic Melbourne architecture.
Southgate and Arts Precinct
Southgate is a great precinct to enjoy the Yarra River, fine shopping and great restaurants and cafes. One can walk back and forth across the various bridges over the Yarra to enjoy a great city ambiance. Stroll along the promenade in Southgate. Stop and enjoy a coffee. Enjoy fine shopping. Then step into a fine restaurant for a gourmet experience.
Southgate is also the home of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition. Around Southgate are Arts venues such as Hamer Hall, The Arts Centre, and NGV.
Some of Melbourne’s best restaurants are to be found in Southgate including Pure South, Melba Brasserie, Hophaus Bier Bar Grill, The Meat and Wine Co., Koko, Tutto Bene, Red Emperor, World Restaurant and Bar and many others.
Allocate a day to spend in the glorious Yarra Valley! Just a short drive from Melbourne (under an hour) the Yarra is full of amazing lush scenery, world-class wine centers, outdoor activities and great cafes and restaurants. See our Best Yarra Valley Wineries article…
Head out to Healesville and call into Domain Chandon to see how the Moet and Chandon French connection does it in grand style! Sweeping views, spectacular grounds and facilities and excellent tours.
Then travel a short distance to Oakridge Winery and Restaurant for some of the best winery dinings in Australia. You have to love a winery with spectacular views!
Check out the amazing foodie haven at Innocent Bystander in Healesville, which features amazing wood oven pizzas, wine, cheeses, gourmet breads, and the sourdough fruit bread is a killer! Sit out on the deck or in the restaurant next to the winery. Even the menu for kids is gourmet!
Head to Levantine Hill for luxe dining or Bella Vedere for some Italian fine dining. Check out Punt Road Wines along the way to the Yarra Valley Dairy – another foodie haven. Grab yourself a cheese-tasting plate and enjoy the views. Head out to Yering Station, a massive and impressive winery – which also offers foodies fine dining, wine and much more.
Yarra Glen is another great stop and it’s worth checking out De Bortoli winery.