What to do in Melbourne to make the most out of your stay.
You’re set to visit Melbourne, so now it’s time to decide what you want to do and how you’re going experience all of Melbourne’s culture.
From scenic coastal drives to wino and foodie faves to the hidden laneways that Melbourne’s city centre is renowned for, these are the top activities in and around Melbourne that you shouldn’t miss.
Top things to do in Melbourne
The Great Ocean Road
When in Melbourne, you can’t miss doing the popular day trip along the Great Ocean Road. Discover hotspots such as the famous Twelve Apostles, Otway National Park and the beautiful Apollo Bay.
If you don’t care to drive it yourself, there are more than enough opportunities to book a day tour.
Phillip Island is where you’ll get the chance to see the famous colony of little penguins. The scenic drive will take you past the Koala Conservation Centre, Seal Rocks and the coast that looks out to Western Port and French Island. End your day by watching the Penguin Parade along the beach and follow the paths created so that you can walk directly beside the little fellas.
Melbourne’s famous laneways
Melbourne is a city best explored with the help of local, and with so many narrow streets and laneways, it's much easier to leave the car behind and explore on foot. There are many hidden restaurants, bars and venues tucked away down laneways that many visitors miss out on altogether. Explore the CBD withe a local and get a taste for Melbourne’s culture by trying dumplings, checking out its eclectic shops, sipping coffee and tasting chocolate bfore topping off the day with a glass of bubbly on a rooftop.
Image: Visit Melbourne
The City Circle Tram
The city of Melbourne loves its trams and you can try out the experience with the no. 35 City Circle Tram that runs around the CBD and Docklands.
Designed for tourists or those new to the city, you can take a ride in one of the heritage trams with an audio tour pointing out the landmarks as you pass them. Best of all, the ride is absolutely free - in fact, all trams within Melbourne's Free Tram Zone are completely free. It gets you between most of the CBD's major sites like Federation Square, the Docklands and Bourke Street Mall.
Want to make your tram journey even more exciting? Hop aboard the colonial tramcar restaurant and enjoy a meal while touring around the city.
Eureka Tower Skydeck
There is no better way to see spectacular views of Melbourne than from the top of the Eureka Tower. Head to the Skydeck for unbeatable views of the city from the Southern Hemisphere’s highest viewing platform.
If you dare, try the Edge Experience where you can walk out into a floor-to-ceiling glass cube 300 metres above the ground. Don’t miss out on the excitement of seeing Melbourne from above and book your tickets now.
Yarra Valley wineries
The Yarra Valley is Australia’s coolest wine region, and is only an hour from Melbourne's CBD.
Vineyard hop and enjoy a scrumptious lunch which you can experience on an easy and relaxing day tour. You’ll not only try some of the region’s best wines but you can also sample its fruits and juices too. Lunch is a mini degustation menu, which is paired with wine, gourmet cheeses and chocolates.
Image: Visit Melbourne
Known for its colourful beach boxes, Brighton Beach is just a tram ride away from Melbourne’s CBD. Spend the day soaking up the sun and posing in front of the painted beach boxes. Photoshoots from tourists and locals alike are not uncommon, so you won’t look out of place.
Melbourne street art
Often referred to as Australia’s cultural capital, there’s no shortage of street art to be found around the city. The CBD is home to many laneways where street artists can show off their creativity.
Be sure to take a tour with a local who can show you the best spots. They will lead you through the ever-changing laneways packed with colour and tell you the stories behind some of the murals.
Image: Melbourne Zoo
Situated in Parkville, just north of the city centre, Melbourne Zoo is home to all kinds of Australian wildlife, as well as critters from all around the world.
If you’re hoping to spot local creatures, you’ll be able to see Australian fur seals, little penguins and platypus. You’ll also find lions, gorillas, tigers, zebra and Asian elephants here.
Image: Luna Park Melbourne
Luna Park Melbourne
No visit to Melbourne is complete without a visit to St Kilda’s iconic Luna Park.
The beachfront theme park has been open since 1912, and over the years has treated visitors to rides on the ferris wheel, dodgems, the carousel, and the world’s oldest continually operating roller coaster, The Great Scenic Railway.
Image: Melbourne SEA LIFE Aquarium
See up to 10,000 different aquatic creatures right in the centre of Victoria’s capital at Melbourne SEA LIFE Aquarium. There are 12 different habitat zones to explore at the aquarium, ranging from mangroves and coral caves to the penguin playground and shipwreck explorer. There’s also interactive experiences available like shark dives.
You can pre-book tickets if you're prefer to skip the line.
Image: Melbourne Museum
Get a bit of background on the culture, history and lifestyle of Victoria at the Melbourne Museum.
There are eight exhibition galleries (include one for children), and highlights include a full blue whale skeleton, an aboriginal culture centre and a living rainforest. If you’d like to catch a film or documentary, IMAX Melbourne is also located at the museum.
Image: Federation Square
A modern urban square in Central Melbourne, Federation Square has become a hub for cultural activities.
It’s home to restaurants, galleries and museums and sits in an ideal spot across the street from Flinders Station and next to the Yarra River.
Must-see Melbourne sports events
Melbourne-areas AFL teams
Victorians live and breathe Australian rules football, or AFL, so much so that of the 18 current teams in the league, the city is home to nine teams with a tenth in Geelong.
Where do they play? Melbourne Cricket Ground, Docklands Stadium, Melbourne; Kardinia Park, Geelong
When do they play? March through September
Image: Melbourne Storm
The Storm is Melbourne’s rugby league (NRL) team, founded in 2007 and the first to be based in Victoria. They’ve won two premierships (1999 and 2012), and were runners-up twice (2006, 2008).
Where do they play? AAMI Park, Olympic Boulevard, Melbourne
When do they play? March through September
Image: Melbourne Victory
Melbourne Victory is the city’s soccer club, playing as part of the A-League, and has been in competition since the league began in 2004. The team was an A-League premier in 2007, 2008 and 2014.
Where do they play? AAMI Park, Olympic Boulevard, Melbourne and Etihad Stadium, Harbour Esplanade, Melbourne Docklands
When do they play? April through October
Image: Victoria Racing Club
The race that stops a nation, Melbourne Cup is the most prestigious horse race in Australia. The race sees a fleet of the country’s fastest thoroughbreds compete for 3,200 metres and a few million dollars.
Where do they race? Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne
When do they race? 3pm on the first Tuesday in November
Image: Australian Open
The first of four Grand Slam tennis events each year, the Australian Open is one of the world’s largest tennis events. Founded in 1905, the open has seen tennis greats like Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal vie for championship.
Where to they play? Melbourne Park
When do they play? Mid-late January