Melbourne is a very cool city peppered with fabulous street art, chic neighbourhoods, sleek architecture and rooftop bars. In addition to modern city living, you can lose yourself in nature just outside the metropolitan area. With so much on offer, a trip to Melbourne is sure to keep you busy.
Whether your preference is food, nature, wineries, entertainment or all of the above, read on to find the best spots to track down.
Top spots to check out in Melbourne
Image: Visit Victoria
"Fitzy", as it’s called locally, is a trendy and artistic neighbourhood known for its bohemian vibes. The area attracts young professionals and students thanks to its unique bars and restaurants. You can also find street art dotted around the suburb, as well as galleries in many of its terraced houses.
Brunswick Street is popular for shopping and nightlife, while Gertrude Street offers more eateries, art and design.
Best for: Food and drink, street art, trendy shopping.
How to get there: You can take a train to Fitzroy from Flinders Street station (20 minutes), walk from Flinders Street station (35 minutes), or catch a tram from Southern Cross station (22 minutes).
Top things to see and do: Spend a night on the town on Brunswick Street, find the trendiest bars to grab a cool cocktail, discover local street art, spend an afternoon in a cafe people-watching, and relax in Fitzroy Gardens.
How long do I need? Half a day.
Recommended tour: Join a street artist on a Fitzroy Street Art Tour and get to see the best examples in the area, learn about the underground art, and visit the Rose St. Artists' Market.
2. Flinders Street Station
Standing tall in the heart of the CBD, Flinders Street Station is one of Melbourne’s most iconic structures. It’s a popular rendezvous spot for locals and travellers alike, who arrange to meet under its famous row of clocks.
The station is one of the busiest in the Southern Hemisphere. The upper floors were built to house a gym, library and lecture hall and a ballroom.
Best for: History.
How to get there: Walking is possible from anywhere in the CBD (maximum 40 minutes), take a train from Southern Cross station (7 minutes), or catch a tram on the City Circle loop.
Top things to see and do: Grab a bite to eat on the main concourse, hop on a train to enjoy some of the sights outside the city, or join a tour to learn about the building’s history.
How long do I need? 30 minutes is enough to view all of Flinders Station.
This popular and dynamic public square in Melbourne’s CBD was designed as a focal point for the city’s cultural and civic activities. As well as year-round attractions and events, it is home to an array of restaurants, bars and specialty stores.
Whatever time of year you’re visiting Victoria’s capital city, you’ll find something of interest going down at “Fed Square”.
Best for: Entertainment, events, art, culture.
How to get there: Walk from Flinders Street station (1 minute), catch a train from Southern Cross station (7 minutes), or take a tram on the City Circle loop.
Top things to see and do: Visit the Ian Potter Centre to view Australian art, discover the ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image), grab a bite to eat and get involved in an event.
How long do I need? Half a day.
Recommended tour: Take a minibus ride with a Cultural Melbourne City Tour from Fed Square and learn more about Melbourne’s cultural highlights.
4. Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most scenic drives and runs along the Victorian coastline between Torquay and Allansford. The road stretches for 243km and is included in the Australian National Heritage List.
Today the route is famous for its natural rock formations, predominantly the Twelve Apostles, as well as prime surf spots, charming towns, and a chance to see wildlife up close.
Best for: Scenic sights.
How to get there: Drive from Melbourne to Torquay for the start of the Great Ocean Road (1 hour 20 minutes). Taking a tour is also a popular choice.
St Kilda is a buzzing beachside suburb that attracts backpackers, families and fitness lovers. You’ll find joggers running down the boardwalk and travellers filling the trendy restaurants and bars on Acland and Carlisle streets.
The once glitzy resort area is now a popular spot for music and festivals, and provides a relaxed vibe on the edge of the city.
Best for: Foodies, relaxation, families.
How to get there: Trains and trams are available from Flinders Street station (30 to 40 minutes) or Southern Cross station (25 to 35 minutes).
Top things to see and do: Stay for sunset and spot fairy penguins, chill out on St Kilda Beach, jump on some rides at Luna Park, visit the St Kilda Sea Baths and take a walk along the pier.
How long do I need? Half to whole day.
Recommended tour: A St Kilda Seaside Walking Tour enables you to learn the history of the area, see art deco buildings and meet some of the local penguins.
6. Yarra Valley
The Yarra Valley is a well-known wine production region close to Melbourne. The area is filled with lush, green land and vineyards, and is one of the most popular areas to visit from Melbourne for a day trip.
There are over 80 cellar doors you can visit; but as well as a wine tasting, you’ll also find mouth-watering food, scenic sights, breweries and art galleries.
Best for: Food and drink lovers.
How to get there: Driving to the Yarra Valley from Melbourne CBD takes 1 hour and 15 minutes. You can also take a , or take the train to Hurstbridge, Lilydale or Belgrave and then catch a bus.
Recommended tour: On a you can learn wine tasting techniques, try wines at four wineries and enjoy a delicious lunch.
7. Phillip Island
Phillip Island sits off the southern coast of Victoria and is a popular day trip from Melbourne. It's most famous residents are the fairy penguins. Visitors gather at dusk to watch the penguin parade as penguins emerge from the water onto the land.
You can also visit an area known as The Nobbies to see a colony of fur seals, as well as the famous ex Grand Prix track, for car and motorcycle racing.
Best for: Scenic sights, nature, wildlife.
How to get there: Drive from Melbourne (2 hours 15 minutes), or take one of several tours that are available.
Once part of the shipping industry, Melbourne Docklands is now a harbour development that sits on the water surrounded by high-rise buildings. It is dominated by the colourful Melbourne Star observation wheel and offers a wide range of activities and experiences.
Many people visit Docklands to catch a sports game at Etihad Stadium, go shopping or dine at one of the waterside restaurants.
Best for: Entertainment, dining, water activities.
How to get there: Walk from Southern Cross station (13 minutes), catch a train from Flinders Street station (15 minutes) or take a tram from Flinders Street station (20 minutes).
Less than an hour outside Melbourne you can escape the bustling city and surround yourself with nature. The beautiful Dandenong Ranges is a low range of mountains that reaches a height of 633 metres at Mount Dandenong.
Enjoy breathtaking scenery along the many walking and hiking trails, and drop into the hilltop villages and local arts and crafts centres.
Best for: Nature, active travellers.
How to get there: Drive from Melbourne (1 hour and 10 minutes from the CBD) or catch the train from Belgrave station.
A famous and much-loved part of Melbourne culture is its colourful, bustling city laneways that connect the major streets throughout the CBD. Covered in street art and filled with cafes that lure you in with the smell of fresh coffee, the laneways offer a special Melbourne experience that is tucked away from obvious view.
Delicious food, trendy locations, hidden corridors and cool bars add to the unique and artsy atmosphere.
Best for: Cafe lovers, street art.
How to get there: The laneways are woven throughout Melbourne CBD and can be reached on foot from Flinders Street station (20 minutes maximum).
Valid on select dates. Sample rate available on stays at the 4-star Great Southern hotel for $63. Other rates include the 4-star Best Western Atlantis from $98 per night and Travelodge Docklands for $106 per night.
Valid for travel until on select dates. Includes 10% discount on elevate, getaway, freedom and business fares across Australia, Bali, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Port Moresby or Pacific Islands. T&Cs apply.
Valid on select dates and activities like whale watching, sailing, jet ski, scuba diving, kayaking, parasailing, fishing and more. Must book two or more people in single order. Destinations are Sydney, Perth, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Melbourne. T&Cs apply.
Valid for use on select purchase. Minimum spend of $100 applies on activities like whale watching, sailing, jet ski, scuba diving, flying experiences, kayaking and more. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and all major cities across Australia. T&Cs apply.
Valid for travel on select dates in 2020. Sample fare is for a 3-night Sapphire Coast cruise. Destinations include Moreton Island, Isle of Pines, Noumea, Mare, Vanuatu, Fiji Islands and more. T&Cs apply.
Valid for travel on select dates in 2019 with Virgin Australia, Tigerair and more. Sample fare is Brisbane-Sydney with Jetstar. Other destinations include Newcastle, Cairns, Melbourne, Townsville, Darwin, Prosperine, Gold Coast and more. T&Cs apply.
Valid on shared transfers in Melbourne with Skybus. Sample price is from the airport to Melbourne City, Southbank Docklands and St. Kilda. Includes Wi-Fi on board, kids travel free and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 50% off experiences + extra 10% off with code
Valid on all dates, including over Christmas on activities like skydiving, quad biking, bridge climbing, canyoning, hot air ballooning, helicopter scenic flights, abseiling, scuba diving, cruises, ghost tours and more. T&Cs apply.
Valid on select experiences and activities like skydiving, scenic helicopter flight, kayaking, whale watching and more. Destinations include Sydney, Byron, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Darwin and Perth. T&Cs apply.
Valid on select dates and activities like whale watching, sailing, jet ski, scuba diving, kayaking, parasailing, fishing and more. Destinations are Sydney, Perth, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Melbourne. T&Cs apply.
Stephanie Yip is the travel editor at Finder and has been writing about travel and lifestyle for over a decade. She has written for Travel Weekly, Escape, Thomas Cook Magazine, Showpo, The Nibbler and Hostelworld. She was also the editor of kids magazine DMAG. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Technology Sydney and has visited over 50 countries (and counting). She has a passion for sharing her experiences and knowledge of travel and helping readers stretch their dollars while on holiday.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
Important information about this website
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of major banks, insurers and product issuers.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product. You should consider whether the products featured on our site are appropriate for your needs and seek independent advice if you have any questions.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or "Advertisement" are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options and find the best option for you.
The identification of a group of products, as 'Top' or 'Best' is a reflection of user preferences based on current website data. On a regular basis, analytics drive the creation of a list of popular products. Where these products are grouped, they appear in no particular order.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.