No matter what you like to do, Melbourne is the city for you!
Full of wonderful things to see and do, no matter when you visit, whether it is spring, summer, winter or autumn, weekend or weekday! Here are 101 activities, places and sights in and around Melbourne, to cater to all, whether you are staying in Melbourne as a family, couple or on business.
If you're looking for things to do in Melbourne city, we've got you covered. From exploring the world-famous laneways to enjoying some of the best food and wine in the country, there's something for everyone in Melbourne.
Here are just a few of the things to do in Melbourne city:
Where to get your different cultural cuisines in Melbourne
Food in Melbourne is incredible, and the city's restaurants reflect this diversity. There are plenty of things to do in Melbourne City, whether you're looking for a casual meal or something more formal. Some of our favourite things include grabbing a coffee at one of the many cafes, going for an indulgent dinner, or sampling street food. Here are some of the best places to check out.
- Chinatown - for all kinds of Asian cuisines.
- Lonsdale Street - to get your fix of authentic Greek food.
- Richmond - Vietnamese eateries abound here, especially Church St.
- Carlton for Italian - Carlton’s Italian roots stretch back to the 1950s, and stay strong today.
- Head to South Yarra for a touch of France, old-school or a modern twist.
- Fitzroy for Spanish food, where a truly Spanish influence is obvious.
- The northern suburbs of Northcote, Brunswick and Coburg highlight the immigrant flavours of Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and other areas of the Middle East.
Cheap things to do in Melbourne
Finding fun things to do in Melbourne doesn't have to cost the earth. In Fact, there are plenty of ways to enjoy our great city without spending a lot of money. Here are some of our top picks for cheap things to do in Melbourne.
- Butchers Diner for burgers and meats 24/7 - Melbourne CBD
- Miznon for Israeli street food, pita and falafel to your hearts content - Melbourne CBD
- Dodee Paidang for conventional Thai food, popular with the locals - Melbourne CBD
- Jojo Little Kitchen, serving up steaming fresh Maylasian cuisine - Melbourne CBD
- Hector’s Deli, where you can get anything you like, as long as it’s a giant sandwich - Richmond.
- Biggie Smalls, where you can bite into a kebab with a twist - Collingwood.
Romantic things to do in Melbourne
Home to astonishingly beautiful parks and gardens, stunning Victorian architecture and a cosmopolitan atmosphere, Melbourne is the perfect city for a romantic getaway. Here are just some of the many romantic things you can do in Melbourne:
- Tempura Hajime - Seating just 12 people at a time, and with impeccable service, and serving mouthfuls of art, this hidden Japanese tempura house is a perfectly secluded and romantic dining experience.
- French Saloon - A wine-lover's haven with food to match. This sophisticated wine bar is off street level and serves until 1 am. Share some caviar over grower champagne and move to the balcony for an intimate, moonlit end to your evening.
- Ombra Bar - Dark, intimate and friendly; ditch the menu and let them take you on an Italian snack safari. it’s casual and fun with sharp service preserved, as well as plenty of wine and craft beer to keep you company.
Things to do in Melbourne for kids
Melbourne is a great city for kids, with plenty of things to see and do. If you're looking for things to do in Melbourne with kids, here are some ideas for things to do in Melbourne today.
- Pizza for Kids: Serving up super-sized pizzas to the CBD, Duke’s Pizza has flavours to keep everyone happy. Pizzas come in two sizes: a 13-inch or 24-inch, the latter of which comes in an enormous 64-centimetre-wide box. A kid’s eyes are always bigger than their stomach, right?
- Kids doughnuts in Melbourne: A kids dream, Doughboys are Melbourne locals serving up some of the best doughnuts in the CBD. Inventive creations include salted caramel, butterscotch and creamed banana; berry with vanilla-bean icing and shortbread crumble and more.
- Kids Icecream: Gelateria Primavera: Borne from years of experience making gelato in Italy, combined with overseas travel and an open attitude to new spices and flavours, these guys offer a fresh take on the traditional techniques of this craft.
Best cocktails in Melbourne
Sample local sips and global flavors at one of Melbourne's many top-notch bars. Sip on a classic old-fashioned at the American-style Bourbon Street, go for a fruity number at Bar Americano, or try something new at Tokyo Tina. Whether you want to party the night away or just enjoy a quiet drink with friends, you're sure to find the perfect spot in Melbourne.
For those who want to explore beyond the typical tourist spots, head to one of Melbourne's many hidden bars. Start at Eau de Vie, where you can choose from over 500 different types of whiskey, or go to Bad Frankie for some creative cocktails. If you're feeling adventurous, try The Everleigh – Melbourne's most secretive bar that requires a password to get in.
- The Everleigh - Challenging but not impossible to find on Gertrude St, they serve up all the classic cocktails from the golden era.
- 1806 - Their carefully constructed menu begins in the year 1806, when the word "cocktail" was first defined in print. There's a classic mix to represent each decade since. Find them at Exhibition St.
- Lui Bar - With the best views of any cocktail bar in the CBD at Level 55 of the Rialto Tower, the exclusive venue has a strict dress code and opulent interior, serving up innovative cocktails.
Rum/whisky bar in Melbourne
- Port of Call - Sharing with you a collective love of rum, mixed with the spice of the Caribbean.
- Whisky and Alement - Melbourne's first serious whisky bar and still a contender for the best.
Best nightlife in Melbourne
Get dressed up to the nines and get ready to enjoy Melbourne’s thriving nightlife scene. From world-class clubs and bars to intimate wine bars and live music venues, there’s something to suit everyone’s taste. For a truly unique experience, check out one of Melbourne’s many hidden bars. These speakeasies are often located behind unmarked doors or down alleyways, and they serve up some of the best cocktails in town.
- Bond - More stylish than most, dress to impress to get through the door. Once inside, chill out and have a few drinks in a booth and then make your way to the central dance floor for a good time.
- The Albion - Boasting an impressive rooftop bar, with some great CBD views. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays there's a DJ and live music to make the most of your weekend.
- Brown Alley - If you’re looking for an extensive range of dance tracks, Brown Alley has you covered - techno, R’n’B and some seriously deep house. Don’t go if you’re not keen to party!
- The Toff in Town - one of the swankiest bars in town, you will climb the stairs at vertical laneway Curtin House and find a private booth bar to the left and an excellent band space to the right.
Most quirky bars in Melbourne
- Mjølner - a Viking themed bar, you can toast Valhalla and all things Norse here. Hardware Street, CBD.
- Storyville - You will feel like you have stepped into a Brother’s Grimm tale in this fairytale themed bar. Lonsdale Street.
- IceBar - Australia’s only IceBar, located in Federation Square. Even the glasses are made of ice!
- Arbory Afloat - Everyone's summer go-to, the floating bar and restaurant has come to Melbourne's Yarra River for its third consecutive season.
- Ponyfish Island - Descend from the Southbank pedestrian footbridge to Ponyfish Island, a riverside bar that’s latched underneath the busy thoroughfare.
Best bars to catch a live gig in Melbourne
- The Palias has been rocking Melbourne’s music scene for over 90 years. The iconic theatre is located in St Kilda, right next door to Luna Park, and has played host to some of Australia’s (and the world’s) most famous acts – The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, Kenny Rogers, John Farnham, Chris Isaac, and Jimmy Barnes.
- Bennetts Lane Jazz Club - Located in CBD Melbourne, there is dreamy live jazz from international and local acts every night, ranging from traditional to modern persuasions.
- Cherry Bar - Located on AC/DC Lane, don’t be fooled, it’s not all rock (although there is plenty of it). There is a variety of live music, and many talented musicians have stepped onto its tiny, tiny stage at some point in their career.
Sights to see in Melbourne
With iconic landmarks including the Arts Centre Melbourne, Flinders Street Station and the Eureka Skydeck, there is no shortage of things to see in Melbourne. For a bird's eye view of the city, take a ride on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel or catch a show at the Princess Theatre. Nature lovers will appreciate a stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens and a visit to Healesville Sanctuary. Families will enjoy spending time at Luna Park and visiting SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium.
- Flinders St Station - Stand beneath the clocks of Melbourne's iconic railway station, as tourists and Melburnians have done for generations.
- Eureka Skydeck - Nothing you have ever experienced will prepare you for the awe-inspiring views from the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere at Melbourne's Eureka Skydeck.
- Federation Square - As a home to major cultural attractions, world-class events, tourism experiences and an exceptional array of restaurants, bars and specialty stores, this modern piazza has become the city's meeting place.
- Queen Victoria Markets - Discover a wide variety of fresh, quality produce & specialty shopping. Melbourne's iconic Market, Queen Victoria Market has been operating since 1878.
- State Library Victoria - It was established in 1854 as the Melbourne Public Library, making it Australia's oldest public library and one of the first free libraries in the world.
- Take a helicopter ride over the city!
- Enjoy a hot air balloon ride over the city
- Swim at St Kilda’s iconic sea baths
Things to do in Melbourne with kids
- Melbourne Aquarium - Dive into one of Melbourne's top attractions and walk through our crowd-favourite oceanarium tunnels, get hands-on in the Discovery Rockpools and marvel as our King and Gentoo Penguins dive in and out of the water within their icy habitat.
- Luna Park - Luna Park is an iconic amusement park located in St Kilda, Melbourne, with unique rides, delicious food and holiday events for the perfect family fun day
- Adventure Playground, St Kilda - Chock full of play areas including a big aeroplane, trampolines, tree for climbing, go-kart path, chook house, ride on dinosaur, various swings and slides, real flying fox, cubby house, climbing frames, pirate ship, little basketball court, big tepee, big wooden castle with lots of nooks and crannies and a great tunnel slide.
- Scienceworks, Spotswood - Scienceworks is a popular science and technology museum that features modern interactive exhibitions, the Melbourne Planetarium and the Lightning Room.
- Picnic on the Yarra River with your own hired boat with GoBoat - Rent a GoBoat and enjoy the unique experience on the Yarra River. Be your own captain, choose your own experience and your own crew. No license required!
- MCG - Watch a game of AFL or Cricket at the iconic MCG (Known as “The G” by locals).
- Marvel Stadium - Just a few minutes walk from our front doors, catch a game of AFL, see a live concert, NRL or UFC!
- Spring Racing at Flemington Racecourse - don your best outfit and get out on the racetrack for some fun in the sun this spring racing festival.
- Caulfield Race Course - Not to be outdone by the race that stops the nation, Caulfield Race Course hosts many amazing race days during the racing season, including the Caulfield Cup.
- Australian Open at Rod Laver Arena - For all the die hard tennis fans, experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Australian Open here in Melbourne.
Best Sports Bars in Melbourne
- The Imperial - The incredible rooftop bar, scrumptious English food menu and impressive beer and wine list, not to mention their comprehensive display of live sport from around the globe, make the Imperial your go-to sports bar in the city. Bourke Street, CBD.
- The Great Northern - Whether you’re an AFL fanatic, a Union supporter or a UFC watcher, The Great Northern has your sporting needs covered - Rathdowne Street, Carlton.
Cafes for best coffee in Melbourne
- Patricia - Roasting their own beans and brewing with care, the team knows its stuff inside out, happily sharing its love of coffee with customers. Even during the busiest times, the atmosphere remains relaxed.
- Altius Coffee Brewers - A laid-back cafe peddling Market Lane coffee.
Cafes for best treats in Melbourne
- Lune Croissanterie creates almost mathematically perfect croissants in their climate-controlled lab, each crisp and golden with visible layers of delicate pastry. Collins Street.
- Brunetti Myer Melbourne offers a selection of their famous European-style cakes, savouries and gelato, as well as great coffee.
Culture/Art/Music in Melbourne
- Laugh your way through a stand-up comedy show at the Comic’s Lounge.
- Wander through the latest exhibit at National Gallery of Victoria.
- See a show at the Princess Theatre.
- Take a tour through Melbourne’s most decorated, hidden laneways.
- Melbourne’s Rooftop Cinema at Rooftop Bar is the perfect way to catch a flick with your bestie. Showcasing classic films, nostalgic favourites and recent releases in a completely unique environment, amongst Melbourne’s beautiful nightlight skyline.
- Opera or the ballet at the State Theatre.
- Stroll through the historic Abbotsford Convent.
- Visit the Melbourne Museum.
- See a documentary on the big screen at IMAX.
Music Festivals in Melbourne
With some of the world's biggest and best music festivals, Melbourne is the perfect place to let your hair down and enjoy some world-class tunes. From the likes of Stereosonic and Future Music Festival to more intimate boutique festivals such as Pitch Music & Arts Festival, there's sure to be a music festival in Melbourne that suits your taste.
- Melbourne International Arts Festival - running for 3 weeks in October, the Melbourne International Arts Festival encompasses dance, circus, theatre, contemporary and classical music, visual arts, film and more.
- Moomba Festival - showcasing a jam-packed, family-friendly program of events and activities along the banks of the Yarra, you can check out carnival rides, world-class water skiing and wakeboarding down the river, performances from talented artists, catch the wacky Birdman Rally and much more at Moomba Long Weekend in March.
- Melbourne Fashion Festival - Taking place in March, this is Australia's largest fashion event, and an annual celebration of fashion, beauty, business and creative endeavour for everyone to enjoy.
- Melbourne Food and Wine Festival - Every March, food and wine lovers in their thousands flock to events that fill Melbourne's labyrinthine network of restaurants, laneways, lights-turned-down basements, dizzying rooftops and spill into spectacular regional Victoria.
- International Flower and Garden Show - The Southern Hemisphere’s largest and most loved horticultural event returns every March at the heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens.
- Melbourne International Comedy Festival - The city will light up with laughs for three and a half weeks when the Melbourne International Comedy Festival takes over town.
- Melbourne International Jazz Festival - celebrate the energy, collaboration and constant evolution of jazz music and culture with 10 days of show-stopping performances. At grand theatres, tiny clubs, street corners and unexpected places all over the city local legends and international jazz stars will shake up everything you think you know about jazz.
- St Kilda Festival - Australia's largest free music festival, showcasing the best of homegrown talent against the glorious natural backdrop of the St Kilda foreshore.
Nature/Parks in Melbourne
Home to breathtakingly beautiful parks and gardens, Melbourne is the perfect place to reconnect with nature. Stroll through the fragrant herbs and flowers of the Royal Botanic Gardens, enjoy a picnic in one of the city’s many leafy parks, or take a walk or cycle along the Yarra River. No matter what you're looking for, you'll always find something fun to do in Melbourne's beautiful green spaces.
- Royal Botanical Garden - A picturesque haven for recreation and an important resource for education, conservation, science and horticulture.
- Flagstaff Gardens - The Flagstaff Gardens have been reserved as parklands since 1862, and today the stretches of lawn are the lunch spot of choice for local office workers.
- Treasury Gardens - provide a tranquil green edge to Spring Street and are a picturesque segue to the Fitzroy Gardens, just over Lansdowne Street.
- Alexandra Gardens - On the south bank of the Yarra River, the Alexandra Gardens connect to Kings Domain, the Domain parklands and the landscaped Royal Botanic Gardens.
- Carlton Gardens - Designed for the Melbourne International Exhibition of 1880, the Royal Exhibition Building and surrounding Carlton Gardens are World Heritage listed.
- Dandenong Ranges National Park - Established in 1882 the Park has grown to some 3500ha, and is famous for its Mountain Ash Trees (the tallest flowering tree in the world) and lush fern gullies.
- Melbourne Zoo - Australia’s oldest zoo, it contains more than 320 animal species from Australia and around the world.
- Fitzroy Gardens - Fitzroy Gardens is one of Melbourne’s most historic and beautiful Gardens.
- Yarra River Cruises - See Melbourne from a different view with a River Cruise!
Shopping in Melbourne
Pound the pavement and give your credit cards a good workout at Melbourne's iconic shopping destinations. From high fashion to vintage stores and quirky boutiques, there's something for everyone in this stylish city. For those who love to shop till they drop, Melbourne's CBD is a shopper's paradise. The main shopping strip extends from Bourke Street Mall to Elizabeth Street and Little Collins Street, with plenty of side streets full of hidden gems. For designer labels and high-end fashion, head to Flinders Lane and Block Arcade. Or browse the racks at Chadstone Shopping Centre – Australia's largest shopping centre.
- Melbourne Central - brings together more than 300 retailers over five levels and is home to a range of Australian and international fashion.
- Bourke St Mall - Take a deep breath and dive into the bustling hive of commerce that is the Bourke Street Mall, located between Swanston and Elizabeth streets
- Spencer St Direct Factory Outlet - As Melbourne CBD’s only outlet store, with over 100 specialty stores, you're sure to find a bargain at Spencer Outlet Centre.
- Chadstone Shopping Centre - The Fashion Capital is Australia's number one retail, dining and entertainment destination for local and international visitors. Catch the free shuttle bus from Federation Square multiple times a day!
- Chapel St - Local designers, international brands and vintage treasures: you'll find it all that and more on Chapel Street.
- Emporium Melbourne - featuring Australia's first Uniqlo, the Emporium is the largest Australian designer precinct in the country with 30 unique food icons, all in the heart of the CBD.
Markets in Melbourne
Spend an afternoon exploring one of Melbourne's many fabulous markets. From fresh local produce to unique handmade goods, you'll find everything you need (and more!) at these vibrant community hubs. The laneways and arcades of Melbourne are legendary, and for good reason! These hidden gems are brimming with character, and home to some of the best shopping, dining and nightlife in the city. Stroll through the atmospheric lanes and explore the eclectic mix of shops, cafes and bars on offer.
- Queen Victoria Markets - Discover a wide variety of fresh, quality produce & specialty shopping. Melbourne's iconic Market, Queen Victoria Market has been operating since 1878
- South Melbourne Markets - Since 1867, South Melbourne Market has been a favourite amongst locals and visitors. It is the quintessential village market, a place where people come not only to purchase fresh food, but to meet, eat, drink, shop, discover, share and connect
- Sunday Market Arts Centre - more than 80 local artisans fill Arts Centre Melbourne's lawn to showcase their unique, handmade goods ranging from arts and crafts to freshly made delicacies.
- St Kilda Esplanade Market - Stretching from the Luna Park ‘big mouth’ and all the way down the Esplanade, its location among the beach and the palm trees is unique and picturesque. The market started out as a mobile art exhibition and has now grown to include special creations of all types.
- Richmond Farmers Markets - Every Saturday, Richmond's Gleadell Street is transformed into a bustling fresh food market, overflowing with seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh bread, herbs, flowers and other gourmet delights.
- Chinatown Day/Night Markets - On the second and fourth Saturday of every month, Heffernan Lane in Chinatown will be packed with the heady fragrance of hawker-style stalls selling dumplings and noodles, cakes and souvenirs.
Kick back and relax on one of Melbourne's many beaches. With over 100 beaches to choose from, you're literally spoilt for choice. From isolated bays to long stretches of golden sand, there's a beach to suit everyone. Here are just a few of our favourites
- St Kilda Beach - Summer isn't summer until you've spent a day by the seaside at St Kilda Beach, a short tram ride from the CBD. The foreshore is a hive of activity as walkers, joggers and rollerbladers race by, while kitesurfers, windsurfers and all-weather swimmers make the waters their playground.
- Elwood Beach - With a wide long expanse of coast, beautiful scenery and a number of drawcards surrounding it, Elwood beautifully caters to those who wish to at once remain close to the city; yet feel far enough away from its concerns of work and business on a hot summer day.
- Brighton Beach - Eighty-two charming little bright, multi-coloured bathing boxes line the foreshore at Brighton beach, which is an ideal spot for swimmers, sunbathers and surfers alike.
So there you have it, our top things to do in Melbourne city. We hope you enjoy your stay here and make the most of all that our great city has to offer!
What are your favourite things to do in Melbourne? Let us know in the comments below.