Modern yet orderly, carefree yet sophisticated, Melbourne is the 2nd most populated city in Australia! If you are preparing for your trip to Australia and want some info on the things to do in Melbourne we’ve got your back.
Things To Do In Melbourne: 19 Must-Try Activities!
1. See some mini penguins at St Kilda Pier
The town of St Kilda is independent of the city of Melbourne, but thanks to the expansion of the city, today it is fully integrated into the city. Therefore, it is a bit further from the center but has a lot of life.
In this town, there are many cool bars and restaurants, although one of the best things to do is go on the pier of this town at sunset every day! Since the 1950s when the pier was created, a colony of the world’s smallest species of penguins (they measure a maximum of 40cm) called Fairy penguins have settled here and can be seen every day when they return from fishing.
There are volunteers around but it is recommended that you be careful and respect them when they are leaving the sea. They are the cutest thing you will see in this area!
2. Luna Park
Without leaving St Kilda, visit the oldest amusement park in the city, Luna Park. This old amusement park, operating since 1912 and still in operation today, is more of a pride for Melburnians and one of the best things to do in Melbourne
The entrance is unlike the one in Sydney which is free but you have to pay for the attractions separately.
In Melbourne you have to pay 5 AUD to enter, but if you want to ride the Great Scenic Railway, the roller coaster that has the characteristic of being the longest running, without interruptions, in the world.
3. Visit the beach huts on Brighton beach
The beach huts on Brighton beach have recently become a very important attraction in the city and especially for tourists who frequent Instagram.
These booths, each one different and unique, are equipped with a living room, kitchen and some even have showers. They are private enough so do not miss the opportunity to take some beautiful photos with these booths in the background.
4. Stroll through Flinders Street Station and Federation Square
Probably, and without being wrong, Melbourne Central Station is one of the busiest buildings and also most photographed by tourists.
The building of Flinders Street Station or the central railway terminal, is dated to 1910. Its facade is spectacular and super photogenic. It is located in one of the most vibrant and cultural areas of the city.
Surrounding the geometry of Federation Square, you will find buildings, restaurants, churches and green spaces to sit and enjoy the sunny days. In this square of course, you will not get bored as there will be fights with the local birds who can steal your food just like the monkeys of Asia.
5. Ian Potter Center
Located between the ACMI Museum and Federation Square, one of the things to do in Melbourne is to visit the Ian Potter Center!
If you like art galleries, you are in the perfect city for it. This museum of contemporary art is totally free (yes, like the vast majority of museums in the city) you can enjoy several floors with current art, although for us the best part of this museum was the area dedicated to aboriginal art. Don’t miss this museum in Melbourne if you want to find out more about the art of the Australian aborigines.
6. Enjoy the free transport in the city center
One of the things that surprises people about Melbourne is that in the center of Melbourne the tram is free as long as you move within the city limits. You can take it whenever you want. To know when you enter the free zone, the marquees of the city will indicate it to you. In this way you only pay as soon as you leave the non-free area.
7. Tour the city center on Tram 35 for another free yet adventurous ride
This tram, in addition to being free and being a circular route, runs through the center on a very interesting route. In addition, it must be added that an audio guide is included for the journey so it is ideal to do it on the first day and get a general idea of the city.
8. State Library Victoria
Victoria Bookstore is not only the largest library within Melbourne, founded in 1856, this huge bookstore is worth a visit by tourists to appreciate its architecture and especially its octagonal room.
The room is impressive in itself, but in addition, in the corridors of the upper floors of the room they usually have permanent exhibitions and others that vary, both are very interesting.
And if you want to rest for a while, you can have coffee in the library cafeteria, which is very cute and they have free Wi-Fi!
9. ACMI, Australian Center for the Moving Image
The ACMI is a museum located near Federation Square and inside has an exhibition on audiovisual art in general.
It is very difficult to explain what you will find inside this museum, since it is a mix between film history, visual effects and many interactive exhibitions. One exhibition called ” The Clock ” by artist Christian Marclay stands out. Both the non-permanent exhibitions and the museum itself are totally free.
10. Eat, Shop, and Tour The Queen Victoria Market
One of the essentials of the cities is the markets, so visiting Queen Victoria Market should be on your list of things to do in Melbourne without hesitation.
Built in 1878, Queen Victoria Market is one of the largest markets in the city of Melbourne, as well as one of the busiest. Here, you can buy and eat food from all over the world, you can also buy fruit or souvenirs at a good price. The market is very large and you can try almost everything you can imagine.
11. Shrine of Remembrance
The building honors those who died in the wars in which Australia has participated throughout its history, mainly in the first and second world wars, and shapes the Shrine of Remembrance
The Memorial is not only the building with a beautiful light entering from its roof, but there is also an exhibition in which you can learn more about the wars in which they participated, objects of the time, personal stories of fallen soldiers and more.
It’s very interesting as in addition to visiting the museum and the memorial, you can climb to the top of the building. From the roof of the Shrine of Remembrance you will have one of the best views of the city and a nice view of the botanical garden that is right next to it.
12. Visit the most beautiful Melbourne Botanical Gardens
Probably the most beautiful urban park in the city, you can easily spend a whole morning at the Melbourne Botanical Gardens. It is the perfect union of nature and the urban, surrounded by beautiful areas cared for to the smallest detail, with lakes and rooms with different plants from the world in perfect harmony.
If you go during the weekends, enjoy the great atmosphere of families and groups of friends having a picnic and making delicious food with electric grills.
The Melbourne Botanical Garden is called the most beautiful in Australia because you forget that you are in the middle of a big city!
13. Tour the Hipster/Artisanal neighbourhood called Fitzroy
The Fitzroy neighborhood is Melbourne’s most hipster and bohemian neighborhood.
In its busiest and liveliest streets such as Brunswick Street, Smith Street and Gertude Street, you can find alleys with graffiti, shops with ecological products and second-hand products, markets of artisan products, interesting restaurants and cafes and beautiful gardens.
It should be added that the architecture of Melbourne with colonial-style houses is beautiful and in this neighborhood it is very easy to find many, some renovated and others not, along with more modern buildings. A contrast worth visiting, take advantage of eating in the area in one of its restaurants.
14. Fitzroy Garden and Thomas Cook’s Cottage
After visiting the Hipster neighborhood, the best option is to walk around and discover the Fitzroy Garden, which is located within the same neighborhood.
This is where Thomas Cook’s parents built their cottage.
You can live in this house which is very small and cute if you compare it with the houses of today and see how the parents of the colonizer of Australia lived. They did not choose bad ground to settle down in as in the park there are other interesting points such as the Tudor Village and a miniature reproduction of a British village.
15. The Lanesways
The Lanesways is one of the free attractions to see in Melbourne during your visit. These narrow streets usually connect with large avenues and over the years art has been created around them.
It is very easy to find them in any corner of the city center. They are usually known for their amazing graffiti that is constantly changing. But many of them also have small stores, cafes, pastries, or small clothing stores that are located in these unique streets.
16. National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)
The NGV Museum or National Museum of the State of Victoria is the museum of contemporary art of the state of Victoria and besides being wonderful, it is completely free.
The museum building and its surroundings are very beautiful, but the entrance door, which is a curtain of water in the form of a waterfall falling through a glass wall, is most striking.
Inside the building they have different rooms and exhibitions of contemporary art, as well as different exhibitions on the English empire, on the indigenous art of the Australian people and on different cultures around the world. It is a highly recommended visit if you like art minimally.
17. Royal Exhibition Building
Very close to the Fitzroy neighborhood is this Exhibition Hall that has become the first building in all of Australia to be declared a World Heritage Site by the UN.
This building is the representation of the most glorious days of what was the industrial revolution in Australia. The park that is right in front called the Carlton Gardens is also beautiful, especially the path marked by huge trees that gives access to the Royal Exhibition Building.
As in every city we visit, we usually approach the Chinatown neighborhood. The truth is that they do not have an area as characteristic as it can be in other cities like San Francisco but you will realize that you are inside when all the signs are suddenly only in China and you see hundreds of trendy drink stores. Chinese tea or bubble tea.
You can also visit other neighborhoods like Little Italy in Carlton or the Greek Precinct.Don’t forget to stop by Richmond, where there is also a little Little Vietnam.
19. Yarra River
One of the best things to do in Melbourne is to stroll along the banks of the Yarra River at sunrise or sunset. The Docklands area is very beautiful, and it has a wonderful view with the skyscrapers in the background. If you are lucky enough to have an epic sunset, this is probably one of the best places. But if you are looking to not stop at walking in this area, you can do some activities such as kayaking on the Yarra River.
All in all, Melbourne has a lot to offer and makes things very easy to fall in love with. Enjoy it and savor one of the most cosmopolitan and lively cities in Australia.