Voted ‘most liveable city’ time and time again, it’s no wonder that tourists flock to Melbourne, Australia. Nearly everyone will find their perfect attractions and adventures in this dynamic city that truly keeps on giving; it’s a one-of-a-kind place.
If it’s your first time in Melbourne, you might be wondering what the heck it is that makes this city so renowned. Or maybe you’ve just moved to Melbourne, and you want to spend some time seeing what all the fuss is about? To see all of the best attractions on your Melbourne itinerary, seven days is the ideal amount of time – so we’ve put together this week-long itinerary to showcase some of the best things to do and see in Victoria’s state capital.
There’s a reason Melbourne held onto the mantle of the “World’s Most Liveable City” for so many years in a row! It’s got everything. You can be transported from the city to the coast in a short amount of time, from the mountains to the countryside, and this Melbourne itinerary will go over everything you need to experience the best this incredible destination has to offer!
The capital of the south-eastern state of Victoria, the appeal of Melbourne doesn’t seem to be losing any steam. Each year, the city welcomes 12 million domestic and international visitors and rapidly overtakes Sydney as the must-see Australian city.
Day 1 - G’DAY & WELCOME!
Chances are you would have flown all night to arrive in Melbourne in the morning.
Arrive at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport.
Depending on where you’re staying, there are a couple of ways to get there. You can take a cab, ride-share or SkyBus.A typically ride-share/taxi fare from the airport to the CBD is around $55+ and includes the compulsory airport fee for CityLink tollway charges.
SkyBus operates five services from Melbourne Airport providing passengers fast airport transfers to Melbourne City, Docklands and Southbank, St Kilda, Frankston and bayside suburbs and Melbourne’s western suburbs, so depending on where you are headed, SkyBus may be your cheapest option.
If you’re staying in the CBD, take the SkyBus to Southern Cross Station and use the SkyBus Link, a free city hotel shuttle, to take you to your final destination.
Check into your home away from home, whether it be a hotel, hostel or apartment rental. Freshen up, change and store your bags. To be honest, the jet lag is brutal! I felt like I was going to sick until I washed up and ate a good meal, so let’s do that!
Melbourne is one of the great coffee capitals of the world, and they take their coffee very seriously here. See what the fuss is about by grabbing a cup at one of the city’s hundreds of artisan coffee shops.
Get your coffee and brekky (Aussie shortened for breakfast) at Axil Coffee Roasters (Shop E6/121 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC 3004 or 50 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000). Take your time, enjoy the atmosphere and let the laid-back vibe of the city wash over you. Or eat your brekky and get your coffee takeaway.
Stroll on Spring Street at your leisure and stop by the Parliament House.
Most people think Sydney is the capital of Australia, but it is, in fact, Canberra, a city located in the ACT (Australian Capital Territory), 170-miles southwest of Sydney and 410-miles northeast of Melbourne.
Following Australia’s Federation in 1901, the country needed to establish a capital city. Sydney, Australia’s first city, and Melbourne, Australia’s largest city at the time, both wanted the honour. Since neither city would yield, the compromise was made to establish an entirely planned city outside any state, like how Washington D.C. is established.
Then turn down Bourke Street and head to at Melbournalia (5/50 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000). This aussie-centric gift shop stocks locally made arts, prints, crafts and clothing. The perfect place to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs that support local artisans.
Lunchtime! Melbourne has a very large Asian and Greek population so expect to be enjoying lots of ethnic delicacies while in Melbs. I’d recommend Wonderbao (4/19-37 A'Beckett St, Melbourne VIC 3000) for some of the best-steamed bao buns you’ll ever eat or ChangGo Korean BBQ (70 Little La Trobe St, Melbourne VIC 3000) for a kimchi pancake and bibimbap bowl.
Go into the State Library of Victoria—it’s free to enter, but you’ll have to go through a security check—and wander the beautiful building admiring the architecture, its extensive collections, and exhibitions.
The State Library of Victoria is Australia's oldest public library and one of the first free libraries in the world. Snag a seat in the La Trobe Reading room or on their front lawn. Note: The State Library lawn is one of LeBraun, and I’s favourite places to relax with a coffee, meet up with people, or simply enjoy some people watching.
Enjoy your 2 1/2 - 3 hour exploration of Australia’s cultural capital on their Melbourne Sights tour.
NOTE: If you’d prefer to take a bus tour, hop on City Sightseeing Melbourne’s Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus. With two routes, the double-decker bus hits most landmarks and attractions, complete with pre-recording informative audio. Hop on and off at any of the stops or simply relax and enjoy the two routes through Melbourne.
Routes begin around 9:30 a.m. daily from Federation Square. Check the website to purchase tickets and get the most up-to-date tour information. Last tours are around 4:10-4:30 p.m., depending on the route.
Grab an early dinner at The Hardware Society Melbourne (118-120 & 123 Hardware St, Melbourne VIC 3000) in Hardware Lane, Melbourne’s most European-style red brick paved laneway lined with restaurants, cafes, and shops.
By this point, you’ll be exhausted. Head back and relax in the hotel, but try to stay awake until a reasonable hour, otherwise, you’ll be waking up at dawn. This is the best way to cope with the dramatic time change.
Day 2 - Let’s Get Cultural
Our early bedtime combined with the excitement of exploring Melbourne had us waking up around 6:30 a.m. but take your time and adjust this day accordingly. Hopefully, you’ll wake up as refreshed and ready to go as we did.
Grab coffee and brekky near your hotel. Melbourne’s coffee culture is for real, so it’s hard to find a bad cup. That is unless you go to a Starbucks or giant international chain.
Some excellent spots are:
- Brother Baba Budan - 359 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
- Axil Coffee Roasters - Shop E6/121 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC 3004 + other locations
Melbourne is the undisputed cultural capital of Australia, so today, we’re going to get some culture! There are museums in Melbourne a-plenty, so choose a couple and spend the day exploring and learning.
If you’re interested in art:
- National Gallery of Victoria— Known as the NGV, the art museum was founded in 1861, and it’s now the oldest, largest, and most visited art museum in Australia. Entry is free (except for some travelling exhibitions) and focuses on the international works in the collection.
- Ian Potter Centre: NGV— Containing over 20,000 Australian Indigenous and non-Indigenous paintings, sculptures, photography, fashion and more.
If you’re interested in history:
- Shrine of Remembrance—Standing tall over Kings Domain, The Shrine of Remembrance is a war memorial built to honour the servicemen and women of Victoria who served in World War 1 but not commemorates all Australians who served the war. Its museum collections feature uniforms, letters, photographs, stories, and even a gallery of medals.
- Old Melbourne Gaol— Operating as the city’s prison from 1842 to 1929, the gaol (Australian spelling of jail, as in prison) held and executed some of Australia’s most notorious criminals like Ned Kelly.
- Immigration Museum—Housed in a Renaissance Revival space, the museum focuses on Australia’s immigration history from the Gold Rush to post-WW2 and beyond. Today roughly 28% of Australia’s residents were born overseas, and more than 250 languages are spoken in Melbourne.
If you’re interested in sports:
- National Sports Museum & MCG— Go behind the scenes with a tour of Melbourne’s premier sporting stadium—The Melbourne Cricket Ground affectionately referred to as the “G”—with a guided tour and learned the history and significance of the city’s iconic arena.
- Then head to the National Sports Museum and discover rich stories of Australia’s sporting history. The museum has tons of memorabilia and interactive elements.
Where you eat lunch entirely depends on which museums you decide to explore. I’d recommend somewhere close by, and quicker so you can spend more time in the museums before they close.
Melburnians love an excellent hangout, so join in by checking out one of Rooftop Bar’s classics (Curtin House, 252 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000). The laid-back backyard bbq-style bar has fantastic views of the city.
Just a few streets over are some of the best dumplings in the city. Mmm…Shanghai Street Dumpling & mini Juicy Bun (342 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000) is the bomb! There’s always a queue, but the kitchen moves quickly. If you don’t want to wait, they also do takeaway. If you get takeaway, enjoy down at Fed Square, taking in the scene.
The evening is yours. Do something off the Optional Evening Activity List at the bottom of this post, or go wherever the night takes you.
Day 3 Hipster's Paradise
Let’s get some brekky! In Fitzroy, there are hundreds of cafes and restaurants to choose from, but we’d recommend Vegie Bar (380 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065) for spot-on veggie, vegan and raw meals, or Lune Croissanterie (119 Rose St, Fitzroy VIC 3065) for some of the world’s best croissants. They’re renowned for their amazingly crusty, buttery, layered and buttered croissants, pastries, and croissant sandwiches.
Hipsters love their coffee, and Fitzroy is home to a lively, artisan coffee scene.
If you didn’t order coffee with breakfast, order some takeaway from one of their trendy shops. We’d recommend Industry Beans (3/62 Rose St, Fitzroy VIC 3065), Young Bloods Diner (60 Rose St, Fitzroy VIC 3065), Stagger Lee’s (276 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065), or Newtown Specialty Coffee(180 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065), but honestly you can’t go wrong.
Visit the Rose Street Artists’ Market (60 Rose St, Fitzroy VIC 3065). The market is open every Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m, and hosts up to 120 local artisans selling everything from photography, potter, clothing, plants, gifts, home decor, and more!
Time to get your shop on! Brunswick Street is packed with one-off boutiques, secondhand stores, antique shops, edgy record stores, and more. Stroll down the street, hopping into shops, and getting lost among the road art-lined laneways. In Fitzroy, there are fantastic murals around every corner, including some of the city’s most famous artists.
Keep in mind that most shops will close around 5 p.m., so try and budget your time accordingly. Continue shopping and exploring this area, turning east on Gertrude Street then north on Smith Street.
Happy hour anyone? Check out Naked for Satan (285 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065), one of Fitzroy’s best-known bars serving up Spanish specialties like pintxos, then head upstairs to enjoy their rooftop bar, Naked In The Sky, with great views towards the CBD and surrounding suburbs. Or check out The Everleigh (150-156 Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC 3065), its old-world decor and its extensive classic and custom cocktail menu.
Stick around the area for dinner, doubling back to a spot that looked interesting for perhaps heading to Cutler & Co (55-57 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, Yarra, Victoria 3065) or Charcoal Lane (136 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, Yarra, Victoria 3065) for seasonal, fresh and Australian-flair meals in cozy spaces.
Off the optional evening activity list at the bottom of the post, I’d recommend checking out the Queen Vic Night Market if it’s on or simply walking down Swanson Street or along Southbank.
Day 4 Wild Life
What’s a trip to Australia without seeing some kangaroos? Kangaroos are synonymous with Aussie life, but they definitely prefer less inhabited area, so the best way to guarantee you’ll see them during your time in Melbourne is to visit them at the zoo.
The Melbourne Zoo is only 4-km (2.5-mi) north of the CBD. Royal Park and Visy Park/Royal Parade are the two closest tram stops, roughly a 15-min ride from the CBD.
It’s the oldest zoo in Australia and houses more than 320 animal species. Aussie highlights include kangaroos, koalas, little penguins, crocodiles, fur seals, Tasmanian devils, pelicans, wombats, and platypuses. There’s also elephants, orangutans, tigers, and a reptile house. Grab a map when you arrive, as it lists the free keeper talks, animal interactions, and feedings throughout the day.
Head back into the city and Madame Brussels (59 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000), a bar designed as a rooftop garden party complete with faux grass and tennis attire. Madame Brussels is one of the regular spots as it was just across the way from our apartment. Enjoy happy hour on the terrace with a cocktail and some snacks.
I love getting lost in the laneways of the CBD, especially in the evening. The air is buzzing with activity, people out and about, and discovering hidden gems. I’d recommend spending the evening getting lost in the laneways.
Day 5 Shopping
Start your day the Melbourne way with coffee and a pastry. Melbourne is Australia’s total fashion capital. The streets are filled with fashionable people, and the shopping centre’s are full of vintage to sale to off the runway fashions. By now, you’ve noticed that Melburnians are very stylish, so join in the fun and hit the shopping centres.
In Melbourne, most stores are open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., with slightly shorter weekend hours. Friday night in Melbourne’s “late night shopping” night with stores remaining open till 9 p.m. Australia encourages an excellent work-life balance, and therefore storekeepers and workers stick close to traditional daytime business hours. How nice is that!
Join the crowd and start heading towards the Melbourne Cricket Grounds. It’s about a 15-minute walk from Flinders Street Station.
Arrive at the G, walk around, grab snacks, and settle in for an exciting evening. Aussie Rules is the craziest sport ever. It’s like a mix of rugby, soccer, football, volleyball, and quidditch…like for real!
Day 6 Free Day / St Kilda
Every trip needs a free day, an opportunity to do whatever else you may want to do or see while you’re there. You may have passed an area you’d like to spend more time exploring, passed a museum or restaurant you’d like to check out, simply want to walk along the river and just generally enjoy Melbourne’s vibe. Now’s your time. If you need a suggestion, how about heading to St. Kilda! Especially if it’s a beautiful warm summer day.
Trams run from Southern Cross Station and Bourke Street to St. Kilda, which take about 20-25 minutes.
While St. Kilda won’t fall on the list of the world’s most famous beaches like Sydney’s Bondi Beach or Queensland’s White Haven, it is Melbourne’s most famous beach!
Especially in the warmer months, the area is buzzing with activity. The esplanade boardwalk is alive with people walking, biking, and rollerblading. Sunbathers take in rays on the beach while others try their hand at kitesurfing and other water sports. Relax for a while and enjoy your final day in Melbourne.
Lunchtime! If you’re feeling all-day breakky and an extensive menu of favourites like mac & cheese, schnitzel, burgers, salads, pastas, and more, check out La Roche (185 Acland St, St Kilda VIC 3182). It’s on the cheaper end of dining in the area, serves large portions, and an excellent graffitied wall space. Or head the opposite direction toward Albert Park and check to try Fitzrovia (155 Fitzroy St, St Kilda, Port Phillip, Victoria 3182). Lunch rolls, salads and cakes in a buzzy atmosphere.
The main streets in St. Kilda are Fitzroy Street and Acland Street. Each is lined with various interesting shops, tempting bakeries, restaurants, cafes, and pubs. Go check them out.
Most people say, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere,” but it is 5 o’clock here, so let’s grab a schooner at one of the area’s hip bars. Many even have terraces with great views. Note: St. Kilda is known for its gorgeous sunsets, so snag a seat by the window or outside if you can!
At night there are more than just stars in the sky around St. Kilda, and they come in the form of little penguins! Around 30 minutes after sunset nightly, the penguins waddle to and from their burrows to hunt for fish.
Your time in St. Kilda would not be complete without spending time in Luna Park, an old school amusement park that opens in 1912 and has been operating continuously ever since. Ensure to take a ride on Scenic Railway, the oldest continually working roller coaster in the world.
Day 7 Cheers Australia
Adjust the following timeline based on your departure time. Melbourne Airport recommends you complete check-in a minimum of 2 hours before your international flight. Flights to USA destinations open 4 hours before ensure departure.
Last morning in Melbourne! Grab a good breakfast, check out of your residence, hop the SkyBus or hail a taxi heading to MEL.
Depart Melbourne and Australia! By now, you’re in love with Australia, and you’ll be sad to leave, but I hope you made unforgettable memories! If you’re not leaving Australia yet, hop a flight or drive on to your next destination. Happy travels!
3 Days in Melbourne Itinerary. If it is your first time visiting the city, you'll find it is entirely possible to experience Melbourne in three days, although 5 days is ideal. Here's an itinerary to work with to see as much of the city in as little time as possible.
The average price of a 7-day trip to Melbourne is $1,735 for a solo traveler, $3,116 for a couple, and $5,842 for a family of 4. Melbourne hotels range from $38 to $143 per night with an average of $86, while most vacation rentals will cost $210 to $420 per night for the entire home.
The best times to visit Melbourne are between March and May and September and November. These shoulder seasons feature moderate temperatures and tourist crowds, plus lower airfare rates.