Melbourne is a hip, dynamic metropolis, with an exciting city center, inner-city neighborhoods that is 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:
David Zhou’s formal Chinese restaurant
What is it?
Fluffy pork buns. Silky, thin tofu skin. The sweetest pork dumplings. There’s nothing like a mid-morning dumpling feast to get you started for the day ahead.
David’s does all-you-can-eat yum cha on weekends, and you’ll want to make sure that you can indeed eat as much of the generous yum cha as you can.
Much of David’s dishes are inspired by Shanghainese cuisine. The Peking duck pancakes are a dream and the scallop dumplings are wonderfully silky.
David Zhou’s formal Chinese restaurant has had a 2012 make-under. Gone are the plush banquettes and novelty lamps, replaced with distressed school chairs, share tables, and a pristine whitewash paint-job. Your placemat is the menu, and it’s spruiking regional-style share dishes. Tick, tick, tick. Our waiter even has an asymmetrical flop of hair.
There are some great dishes: braised eggplant, spicy, soft and tangy with garlic, chili and black vinegar; a bowl of chilled, hard-boiled quail eggs, steeped in oolong tea with fragrant wolfberries giving them a slight aniseed kick, and little school prawns, flash-fried for crunching down whole. But what’s with the rush? There’s no angry mob waiting for our seats, and yet everything hits the table instantly, out of order and with no explanation.
Mains arrive immediately, while run-of-the-mill dumplings and (better) stuff-’em-yourself pork buns (sweet steamed bread with a spoonable cube of gelatinous pork belly) bring up the rear. A worrying indication that they’re the only dishes cooked to order. Speed doesn’t do favors for chewy pork ribs, or for the sections of sake-poached chicken, which are strangely clammy, ice-cold from the fridge.
But then, it’s a great room, the wine starts at $35 and the menu steers creative over classic. If you’re in the ’hood and in a hurry, it’s not a bad option.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Mother Church of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and one of the architectural glories of Melbourne’s St.Patrick’s is an integral part of Melbourne, and its history tells us much about the State’s birth and growth.
Situated on the fringe of the city grid, close enough to the heart of Melbourne to be a powerful presence and breathe with a life of its own and it is one of the amazing places to visit in Melbourne.
The beauty of the Cathedral speaks of the glory of God. It’s peace reaches to our innermost heart, and its welcome to those who pass by is a God who is ever compassionate to us, his people. We are delighted to share a precious part of our faith, culture, and heritage with you. The original front door of St Patrick’s Cathedral was a double-arched doorway with a pillar dividing it.
This was removed before 1868. Its replacement was considered too narrow for ceremonial processions, and it too was replaced by the present doorway in 1939. Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral, which stands majestically on Eastern Hill, has long established itself as a church edifice of superb grandeur and arguably one of the truly significant cathedrals of the world.
Idle in the afternoon away by the Bluestone cobbles at a Degraves Street or Centre Place cafe and become part of a Melbourne postcard scene. Centre Place might supply the stereotypical images of Melbourne’s laneways, but even chockablock with happy snappers the laneway-of-all-laneways satisfies and surprises and it is one of the nicest places to visit in Melbourne.
Changing stencil art and graffiti provide a sensory overload best dealt with by squeezing into Jungle Juice for an international coffee. Soups, sushi, and crepes will tempt you, but you might want to save room for the delights on offer at Degraves Street, just across Flinders Lane.
Take your friends from out-of-town to Degraves Espresso, a quintessentially Melbourne cafe experience. Despite the Parisian vibe, cast by the café umbrellas in the shadow of the impressive Majorca House, the dining on Degraves veers towards the Italian, with IL Tempo and Andiamo feeding many. Savor the sugar at Little Cupcakes. An air of creativity blows up from the Degraves Street Subway and the Platform Artist Group’s underground displays.
Arts Centre Melbourne
If you are a lover of theatre, arts, drama, and other dance/musical shows, the Southbank & Arts Centre at Melbourne (previously known as Victorian Arts Centre) should definitely be on top of your must-visit places. Standing tall at a height of 182m, this center was open to the general public during 1984 and has distinct zones within it for various performing arts.
Some of the famous venues here are Hamer Hall, State Theatre, Playhouse, Fairfax Studio, and Galleries and it is one of the best places to visit in Melbourne.
You can find legendary pop music artists, ballet dancers from across the globe, exhibitions of exquisite handcrafted clothes and accessories, famous stage plays and other events of great interest staged here at regular intervals. You can also take up one of the many guided tours available here to know more about this place.
Location – Southbank district.
Timings – Depend on the timings of a particular show.
Price – Varies as per show.
Find out more at https://www.thrillophilia.com/
Ecau De Vie
Exclusively known for its bar food and amazing night-life experience, Ecau de Vie in Melbourne offers some of the best drinks and dishes from the world to its guests.
Highlights – Whiskeys and cocktails offered here are considered to be the best among all the bars in Melbourne. The best thing that you will find here is that the staff members are quite knowledgeable about the menu and will suggest some great drinks for you that you would have never heard of earlier! You have to reserve here in advance on all the days because the bar gets too crowded within a short time of opening.
Location – 1, Malthouse Lane, Melbourne CBD. Price for two – Close to 90AUD. Specialty dishes – Oceanside Cocktail, Nitrogen Espresso Martini, Smoky Rob Roy, espresso zabaione, Kingston, 4 cheese sandwiches and many more.
Karting Racing Session
30 adrenaline-filled laps of kart racing
State of the art timing system
Impeccable service and customer care
Jump in your go-kart and start racing! Your karting session gives you 30 laps of track time to race against your opponents. We utilize a state of the art timing system and printouts of your times are available at the end of your go-kart racing session.
Experience the adrenalin of go-kart racing like never before! Incomparable service and customer care has earned the position of Number One corporate and groups specialists title and undisputed leader in the field. We guarantee what no other karting venue can offer – a real-life race experience’. That’s why customers return time and time. This karting experience includes 30 laps per person (maximum 20 minutes) on the race track.
- This experience includes 30 laps for each person (maximum 20 minutes).
- Monday – Friday: 10.00am – 9.00pm
Saturday – Sunday: 10.00am – 9.00pm
Relaxing Floatation Tank Session
- Float with no effort in a zero-gravity environment
Purest magnesium salt bath to ease aches and pains
Soundproof, light proof and stress proof!
These state-of-the-art float tanks remove all visual, audible and physical stimulations to give you space to really relax. For 60 minutes, lie back and float on a relaxing Epsom salt bath, which will ease any aches and pains, while you let your mind truly relax with no distractions.
60-minute floatation session in a private room
Towels and earplugs provided
Shampoo, conditioner and hairdryers available
Float away to a complete state of relaxation! Floatation tanks are designed to eliminate all outside distractions in the form of sound, sight, temperature, tension and gravity so that you can enjoy a deep sense of relaxation. The water and air temperatures are matched to your own, so even the temperature won’t distract you! The Epsom salt solution allows you to easily float in the water, removing any sensation of gravity – it’s a feeling not possible anywhere else!
- Each session lasts for 60 minutes
Opening hours are 12pm – 9pm on Monday – Wednesday, 10am – 9pm on Thursday – Friday, and 9am – 9pm on Saturday – Sunday
Find out more at https://www.redballoon.com.au/
Welcome to Thornbury
What is it?
An old car factory was converted into a huge permanent beer garden and food truck park called Welcome to Thornbury.
Fun fact: if you ask any Melburnian what their favorite car is, the answer will be “a food truck”. Like food cooked on a barbecue, there is something inexplicably tastier about food that’s been made in a truck. For the biggest range of meals on wheels visit Welcome to Thornbury. There’s room for up to seven food trucks on-site, and roughly 80 different trucks rotate through the venue every month, including Mr. Burger, Fancy Hank’s, Super Taco and Levain Doughnuts. Try your darndest to eat from every truck, but remember there’s no shame in failing.
This venue is dog-friendly, so either bring your dog or go to have a squiz at everyone else’s adorable doggos.
Straddling the divide between Northcote and Thornbury, Welcome To Thornbury is a venture by the crew who brought you Mr. Burger, pizza joint Homeslice, Brunswick Mess Hall and Fancy Hank’s.
With the help of architects and designers from Therefore Studio, they’ve transformed a former car manufacturing factory into Melbourne’s first permanent bar and food truck park. Rock up on any day of the week and you might have to jostle for a table: WTT has been known to attract up to 5,000 hungry punters on a sunny weekend day. Our tip: bring at least six mates, order something from each food truck (there’s a huge number on rotation) and try a bit of everything while sipping on sangria.
The indoor space houses multiple bars and a beer hall, while the outdoor space hosts park-style seating and plenty of foliage.
“We wanted to transform this derelict space into something the area could be proud of,” co-owner Daragh Kan says. “A beautiful park-like environment, where you can enjoy a drink and grub from Melbourne’s best food trucks.”
Space is a convenient spot to keep track of and try all the food trucks you’ve been curious about but hasn’t been able to check out. Each day up to six different food trucks will set up show at the site, and punters can expect a combination of old favorites like Dude Food Man, Gumbo Kitchen and Soul Kitchen Pizza, as well as newer additions to the mobile edibles game like Super Taco, Bibimbap, Pizza Wagon and Senor Churro.
Located in the small suburbs of Elwood, this beach has undergone a complete transformation in the recent past to look swanky and clean with all kinds of facilities today.
Elwood Beach is one of the largest reserves and open areas in the Elwood suburb. It is a perfect location to bring kids to, as there are many activities to indulge in during the weekends and sunrise hours. Recently, the DSE (Department of Sustainability & Environment) invested close to 3million AUD to completely redevelop the beach. Today, the beach has great fridges, vegetation that is cared for, storm water-filtering techniques, sports & recreational clubs, kiosks, restaurants and all other basic amenities.
Location – 8km south of Melbourne CBD.
Life-Saving Club, Sailing Club, Football Club, swimming, surfing, fishing and wind-surfing (allowed at Point Ormond). Apart from this, fitness enthusiasts make use of the well-constructed walking, jogging and biking tracks of this beach to sweat it out during the early morning hours.
Find out more at https://www.thrillophilia.com/
What is it?
Moomba is Australia’s largest community festival and involves events like roller discos, skateboarding and BMX competitions, fireworks, puppet gardens, as well as the super-popular Birdman Rally.
Moomba makes the most of Melbourne’s still warm March weather with watersports, live music and moreover the Labour Day long weekend.
Watching the action of the Birdman Rally. Each year, competitors create their flying apparatus and hurtle themselves into the Yarra River – all in the name of charity.
Moomba Festival makes the most of Melbourne’s still warm March weather over the Labour Day long weekend. It’s Australia’s largest community festival and involves events like skateboarding and BMX competitions, fireworks, kids yoga, disco tours, drag queen storytime and so much more.
As with many events recently, there are some significant changes to Moomba 2021 but the good news is that it is going ahead.
There will be no parade, water skiing or (gasp!) Birdman Rally, but there will still be the Moomba Carnival (with rides and food trucks); roving performers and creative activations; a busking competition in the CBD (the winner gets a “golden ticket” to Melbourne’s best events); street art installations and pop-up concerts across the city; a “digital forest” at ArtPlay and a Moomba Conversation event at Library at the Dock (Docklands Library).
Additionally, Sidney Myer Music Bowl will host concerts from the Cat Empire, Spiderbait and Jebediah plus notable buildings across Melbourne will be lit in red (à la Dark Mofo we might add). The Australian Skate League National Championships will also go ahead at Riverside Skate Park.
And if you’re heading into the city for Moomba, you can do so for free. Public transport into the Melbourne CBD is free all Moomba weekend, including for V/Line services. To take advantage of the free transport, download a travel voucher from this website.
These will be accepted by transport authorities should they check your ticket – don’t use your Myki because it will still charge you as usual. Parking in the city will also be free, with free parking available in green sign spaces from noon Friday, March 5 until 11.59pm on Monday, March 8. Keep in mind the time limits in the spaces still apply.
Steps are being taken to ensure the safety of the event, including (free) ticketing to manage crowd sizes. Moomba takes place from March 5 to 8 2021.
Find out more at https://www.timeout.com/
Melbourne Central is one of the famous shopping malls in the city of Melbourne, offering unlimited entertainment to guests coming here. A shopping mall constructed over five levels, Melbourne Central is the one-stop solution for your fashion, dining, and entertainment requirements.
There are over 300 retail outlets in this mall with most of them being internationally recognized brands as well. The car parking lot of this place can accommodate 822 cars at a time. Level 3 of this complex is dedicated to clubs & bars; therefore, during the night hours, the ambiance is awesome here.
Location – Cnr La Trobe & Swanston Streets, Melbourne. Famous for – International fashion stores, great dining options, nightclubs, bars, kids’ stores, toys, sports & recreation, specialty stores, health & wellness, Beauty & personal care, and more.
City Circle Tram
The City Circle Tram service provides a free and convenient way to get around central Melbourne. Tourists, shoppers, office workers, and families can use the City Circle Tram to travel to major attractions, shops and city events. An audio commentary provides details of city landmarks and major attractions such as the City Museum, Parliament House, Docklands, Federation Square, Melbourne Aquarium and the Princess Theatre.
The City Circle route is serviced by heritage W class trams decorated in special maroon and green with yellow and gold trimmings.
Tourists can spend all day on a City Circle Tram! Information leaflets, including an ‘easy to understand map of the city is available onboard each City Circle Tram.
The City Circle Tram can be used as a ‘hop on – hop off service, this way tourists can enjoy each of Melbourne’s sites and have the added bonus of traditional Melbourne transportation. To catch the free City Circle Tram service (route number 35), simply board the tram at any of the specially marked stops on the route.
Find out more at https://www.redballoon.com.au/