Melbourne is the capital city of Victoria in Australia. Victoria is in the southeastern part of the country, and Melbourne sits at the mouth of the Yarra River, where the river flows into Port Phillip Bay.
Melbourne is a rapidly growing city of nearly 5 million. According to an index in The Economist magazine, the climate, good infrastructure, political stability, education, business conditions, and health care services have helped Melbourne rank as the world's most livable city for seven years in a row.
The city also attracts millions of visitors every year from within Australia and other countries, making it one of the most popular Australian destinations. The City Circle Tram is a free streetcar service in Melbourne's central business district. The historic trams, liveried in maroon and gold, pass significant tourist attractions and link with the city's broader network of trams, trains, and buses. This makes it easy for visitors to enjoy Melbourne's many attractions.
Flinders Street Station
Flinders Street Station is an iconic building on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets in the central city. It is the central railway station for the train network that services the suburbs of Melbourne. Opened in 1854, Flinders was Australia's first railway station.
By 1926 it was the world's busiest train station, surpassing Gare Saint-Lazare in Paris and Grand Central Station. In 1922 some 200,000 passengers passed through the station in just one day.
Interesting facts about Flinders Street Station:
- Legend tells of a ghost who haunts platform 10. Witnesses claim to have seen a man holding fishing gear and looking out at the Yarra River before vanishing into thin air. The ghost is known as George, but many say he is the spirit of Ernest Leahy, a man pulled from the river in 1902 after a boating accident.
- There is an abandoned ballroom on the station's upper level. The last dance was held there in 1983.
- The station boasts Australia's longest platform. Platform 1 is 708 meters long, reportedly the fourth-longest in the world, stretching two city blocks.
- The building's famous row of clocks, on its outer facade, dates back to the 1860s and continue to display train departure times. Once operated manually operated by a railway officer, who changed the times an average of 900 times every day, the clocks now run automatically.
Melbourne's Chinatown dates back to the first Australian Gold Rush in 1851 when prospectors from China arrived in the country. Located at the eastern end of Little Bourke Street, Chinatown extends to the corners of Swanston and Spring streets.
A pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood of laneways, alleys, restaurants, and markets, Melbourne's Chinatown is the oldest continuous Chinese settlement in the West and the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere.
The neighbourhood is home to the Chinese Museum, which is home to Dai Loong and the Millennium Dragon, the largest Chinese dragon in the world.
Queen Victoria Market
The Queen Victoria Market is the largest open-air market in the city. Also called the "Vic Market" or "Queen Vic," the market features many stalls selling all kinds of items from meat, seafood, fruits, and vegetables to crafts, plants, souvenirs, clothes, jewellery, toys, shoes, pets, hardware tools, watches, gadgets, and lots more.
A popular place with locals and tourists, this historic icon has been at the centre of fresh produce shopping since 1878. In addition to the magnificent food halls, market stalls sell everything from clothing, art, and toys to that hard-to-find unique souvenir five days a week. Tours are available, and special events such as night markets, music concerts, and other functions are often held during summer.
First opened as a retail market in 1874, the Queen Victoria Market is protected as Melbourne's largest and most intact 19th-century market. The Meat Hall, constructed in 1869, is still largely unchanged and is the oldest of the original buildings. Visitors can get the feel of what it was like to shop on a 19th-century street by visiting the stalls along Elizabeth and Victoria streets, which were built between 1882 and 1891.
If you go, be sure to pick up a jam doughnut! The market is famous for its van selling hot doughnuts filled with jam.
Named in recognition of The Eureka Stockade, the 1854 rebellion of prospectors in the Victorian goldfields, the Eureka Tower stands 91 stories above the ground in the heart of Southbank. The skyscraper's gold crown and gold-plated windows add to the theme and literally sparkle when the sun catches the top of the building. On the 88th floor, Skydeck affords the highest public view in any building in the Southern Hemisphere. Adding to the experience is The Edge, a glass cube that slides out three meters from the building for vertigo-free visitors.
Get a view of Melbourne from the Eureka Tower Skydeck. The tower was the world's tallest residential skyscraper until a tower surpassed it in Dubai. It is the second tallest building in Australia. The Skydeck is the entire 88th floor and is the highest public viewing area in a building in the Southern Hemisphere. A small outdoor viewing area called The Terrace is closed in high winds, and another area called The Edge, a glass cube projecting three metres out from the building.
This tower is the highest viewing platform in the entire southern hemisphere. Need more reasons to come here? Alright! This tower is 91 stories above ground, and the viewable distance from the gold plated top covers a 360-degree panorama of the city and its mountain ranges. There is The Edge – a glass cube that slides 3 meters away from the tower for those who love going beyond the lines.
Melbourne Cricket Ground
Birthplace of test cricket, the main stadium of the 1956 Olympics, home of Australian football, a heritage dating back to 1853 and a capacity of 100,000 – MCG is definitely a must-visit among the best Melbourne tourist attractions. The curator of the stadium organises a daily 75-minute tour to take visitors for a trip down a memory lane. Summers host cricket, and winters have football matches for sporty day outs. One can also rent tennis courts in the stadium.
Melbourne is the sporting capital of Australia, so it's no surprise that a sports stadium numbers among the city's top tourist attractions. With a capacity of 100,000 and a history dating back to 1853, the MCG is considered one of the world's greatest stadiums.
As the main stadium for the 1956 Olympic Games and 2006 Commonwealth Games, the birthplace of Test Cricket, and the home of Australian Rules Football, "the 'G" is woven into the fabric of Melbourne. Daily 75-minute tours take visitors for a trip down a memory lane of great moments in sporting history and incorporate the National Sports Museum, including the Australian Gallery of Sport and Olympic Museum. You can also catch a game of cricket in summer or football during winter.
Directly opposite the MCG is Melbourne Park, home of the Australian Open tennis tournament, held every January. You can hire a tennis court, and many concerts are held here during the year.
Docklands is a large inner suburb situated along Victoria Harbour, about 2 km from Melbourne's Central Business District. Melbourne’s waterfront features prominent buildings, including the Etihad Stadium, Seven Network broadcasting centre, Costco, and Harbour Town at the Waterfront City. Waterfront City is an entertainment and shopping hub with restaurants, cinemas, bowling alleys, boutiques, and amusement fairs.
Docklands is Melbourne's newest waterfront entertainment precinct. With the highest concentration of green-star rated buildings in the Southern Hemisphere, the satellite village is filled with cafés, restaurants, tourist attractions, and parklands. The view from the giant observation wheel, Melbourne Star, is spectacular, and the area is also home to Etihad Stadium, the Junior Wonderland amusement park, and the Icehouse, a world-class ice sports venue. An art and vintage market is also held along the waterfront every Sunday.
Take a ride on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel and take in the view of the city, Port Phillip Bay, and Dandenong Ranges.
Luna Park in St. Kilda
Luna Park is a historic amusement park on the banks of Port Phillip Bay. It opened in 1912 and has been operating continuously ever since.
The park features the world's oldest operating roller coaster, the Scenic Railway. Opened in 1912, this roller coaster is one of only three in the world that require a brakeman to stand in the middle of the train.
Built a year later than the Scenic Railway, the Magical Carousel features a large Limonaire Freres band organ in its centre, which was made in 1909. There are 68 horses and chariots, and each horse has a name.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Half a million plants are spread over 40 hectares of green land – the Royal Botanic gardens are visited by around 1.5 million people annually. One of the most popular Melbourne tourist attractions, this garden runs horticulture courses for next-gen gardeners. It also organises Aboriginal heritage walks through the rich history of indigenous Australians.
In the heart of green parkland extending south of the Yarra River, about two kilometres from the CBD, the Royal Botanic Gardens are among the finest of their kind in the world. Established in 1846, the gardens encompass two locations: Melbourne and Cranbourne.
The Melbourne Gardens cover an area of 38 hectares with more than 8,500 species of plants, including many rare specimens.
The Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden is designed to encourage the next generation of gardeners, and the Aboriginal Heritage Walk is a popular tour that looks into the rich heritage of indigenous Australians. Visiting the gardens is one of the best free things to do in Melbourne. In summer, live theatre is a highlight of the gardens, and a moonlight cinema is set up under the stars. This is also a popular spot for a picnic by the lake or a traditional high tea at The Terrace cafe.
In the high-end neighbourhood of South Yarra, you’ll find the Royal Botanic Gardens. This is a lush, green oasis just steps from the heart of Melbourne, but it feels a million miles away. Within the Royal Botanic Gardens, you can stroll along the Australian Forest Walk, admiring local species and plant life along the way. Breathe in deeply while in the Rose Collection, a colourful array of blooms with a very romantic atmosphere. For a special treat, head to Ornamental Lake. On the shore, you can join a brief guided tour from a punt, a small boat that lets you see the garden from a new perspective.
Shrine of Remembrance
Located on St Kilda Road, the Shrine of Remembrance was established as a memorial site for the 114,000 men and women of Victoria who served and died in the Great War from 1914-1918. Today, it is a memorial to Australians who have served in all wars.
Sitting majestically in Kings Domain gardens, the Shrine was built after the First World War to commemorate Victorians involved in the Great War, either abroad or at home. Today, it serves as a poignant reminder for all servicemen and women and is the central focus for ceremonies on ANZAC Day, held on 25 April, and Remembrance Day, held on 11 November each year. Guided or self-guided tours are available daily, and lighting on the building is particularly beautiful at night.
An aperture on the sanctuary's roof allows a ray of light to shine on the word love, which is inscribed on the Stone of Remembrance at precisely 11 a.m. on Remembrance Day, 11 November.
Babies and toddlers will enjoy their day at the Melbourne Zoo. Meet Mali and her baby brother Ongard, the first elephant born at the Zoo in 2010. See other wildlife animals like the Tree Kangaroo, Brown Bear, Snow Leopard, and many more.
So here is a zoo that hosts an Orangutan sanctuary that houses animals in its treetops. It also organises some innovative events like ‘roar and snores’ wild encounters and twilight music concerts. A history as old as 150 years, 320 species of animals in the state of art facilities, frog shows, and famous trail of the Elephant makes it one of the most entertaining zoos in the world.
Although the 22-hectare Melbourne Zoo dates back to 1862, the 320-plus species of animals have the best of modern facilities in state-of-the-art enclosures. The award-winning Trail of the Elephants is an insight into the lives of the resident Asian elephants in a traditional village garden setting.
Another highlight is the Orang-utan Sanctuary, where the animals live in their treetop home. With many wild encounters, including "roar and snore," twilight music concerts, and behind-the-scenes tours of some enclosures, Melbourne Zoo offers animal lovers a fun-packed experience.
Melbourne Museum and Royal Exhibition Building
A short tram ride from the CBD, the Melbourne Museum is surrounded by beautiful gardens and parkland. This modern purpose-built museum houses a diverse collection depicting society and cultures. Highlights include Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre; the Phar Lap exhibit about Australia's greatest racehorse; and the Children's Gallery, a series of hands-on activities designed to stimulate and engage youngsters.
Bunjilaka, aboriginal centre, Blue Box cube and a gallery exhibiting the societies and cultures of yesteryear – all this can be experienced while you take a free tram ride through the city. AAny list of Melbourne tourist attractions is incomplete without mentioning the gorgeous gardens and parkland on the way to this scenic luxury that holds everyone’s eyes forever. This building also hosted the first Commonwealth parliament in 1901.
Adjacent to the Melbourne Museum is the elaborate Royal Exhibition Building. Built-in 1880 to host Melbourne's International Exhibition, the building also held the first Commonwealth Parliament of Australia in 1901. Regular tours are available, and the building is still used for exhibitions and special events.
Do not forget
Board the tram from the city to Port Melbourne. Relax with a cuppa at one of the cafes. Take a stroll along the beach and enjoy the sea breeze. The Station Pier at Port Melbourne is the sea passenger terminal for cruise ships and navy ships.
Yarra River Cruises
Experience Melbourne from the water. Go on a sightseeing cruise on a ferry and enjoy spectacular views of the city as the ferry cruises by Williamstown and the Docklands. Tour companies offer cruises of different areas, including the port and Docklands, river gardens, Melbourne Heights, and twilight tours during the summer.
Chapel Street is made up of boutiques, shops, restaurants, and entertainment centres. Several sites of interest include the Prahran Town Hall, the Jam Factory, and Prahran Market. Nearby is the Melbourne Bowling Club, the first bowling club in Australia.
The Melbourne Museum
The Melbourne Museum features exhibits of art and textiles worldwide, including work from Egypt, China, and the Vikings. There are numerous galleries, including aboriginal exhibitions, a gallery for children, a theatre, a discovery centre, a souvenir shop, and a cafe.
The Melbourne Museum is part of Museums Victoria, including Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, IMAX Melbourne, Scienceworks, Melbourne Planetarium, the Immigration Museum, and the Royal Exhibition Building.
The Immigration Museum
The Immigration Museum on Flinders Street has a collection of resources and information relating to the history of immigration in Australia. It has education programs and excursions for schools students on immigration and diversity in Australia.
St Paul's Cathedral
Located on the corner of Swanston and Flinders Street diagonally opposite the Flinders Street Station, St Paul's Cathedral is a major landmark. It has a yellow-brown colour because it was built from sandstone and limestone.
St Patrick's Cathedral
Another major cathedral in Melbourne city is St Patrick's Cathedral. It is the tallest church in Australia, followed by St Paul's Cathedral. The construction of the bluestone church began in the late 1800s but was not completed until more than 30 years later, in 1939.
The South Wharf area includes the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre and Melbourne Maritime Museum. At South Wharf, you will find DFO, or Direct Factory Outlets, with lots of retail shops offering discount prices.
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
This area is made up of the Melbourne Convention Centre and Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Thousands of exhibitions and events have been held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre since it opened in the 1990s. The Exhibition Centre has an impressive 30,000 square metres of pillarless floor space.
- Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. 10,060. Gardens. ...
- Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) 8,864. Speciality Museums • Arenas & Stadiums. ...
- National Gallery of Victoria. 5,485. Art Museums. ...
- ArtVo. 1,059. ...
- Eureka Skydeck. 7,944. ...
- Dandenong Ranges National Park. 1,101. ...
- Old Melbourne Gaol. 3,209. ...
- Shrine of Remembrance. 5,906.
Melbourne is known for being one of the most liveable cities on earth. Often referred to as 'the Sporting Capital of the World', besides this it is also famous for its graffitied laneways, excellent coffee, cultural diversity and bayside location.
Melbourne is famous for its culture, and the National Gallery of Victoria is the jewel in the crown. It's not only the oldest public art gallery in Australia, it's also the most visited. Here, you can admire more than 70,000 works of European, Asian, Oceanic, and American art in two city locations.