What's on in Melbourne
With a population of 5 million, Melbourne is the most populous city in Victoria and the second most populous city in Australia. Melbourne is Australia’s multicultural and cultural hub—a city for everyone.
Prior to the arrival of European settlers in the region, indigenous Australians had been living in the Melbourne area for more than 30,000 years. The city was founded on 30 August 1835 and was named Melbourne by Governor General Richard Bourne on 10 April 1837.
With more than a quarter of its population being born overseas, Melbourne is now home to people from more than 200 countries and more than 230 languages are spoken in the city. A visit to Melbourne is a visit to the world itself.
Melbourne is a city full of opportunities, places to go, things to see. Some all-time favourites among locals and visitors alike include:
- The Melbourne CBD: The heart of the city, home to many major attractions. Federation Square, Bourke Street Mall, the State Library, and the legendary Queen Victoria Market are all part of the major central business district.
- The Crown: A huge entertainment complex next to the beautiful Yarra River. Here you’ll find multiple restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, shops, cinemas, and even a casino.
- Docklands: A large inner suburb in Victoria Harbour, just about 2km from Melbourne’s CBD. This spectacular waterfront features prominent buildings, such as the Etihad Stadium, Seven Network broadcasting centre, and Harbour Town at the Waterfront City.
- Luna Park in ST. Kilda: A legendary amusement park that has been operating non-stop since 1912. It features the world’s oldest operating roller coaster.
- Chinatown: Located at the eastern end of Little Bourke Street, Melbourne’s Chinatown dates all the way back to the first Australian Gold Rush in 1851. Melbourne’s Chinatown is full of picturesque laneways, seasonal markets, and unique restaurants.
Other popular destinations include:
What's on in Melbourne during January
Welcome to 2020. Now Christmas is out of the way, this year is set to be jam-packed with amazing events, buzzing festivals and plenty of family-friendly fun. To kick off the New Year in style, here are some of the best things to do in Melbourne in January 2020.
Melbourne Zoo Outdoor Film Festival: Jan 1st to Jan 14th
This year, Melbourne Zoo is hosting its very own after-hours outdoor movie fest. Movies headlined by David Attenborough and Leonardo DiCaprio focus on environmental sustainability and marine conservation. Throwdown your picnic rug in the heart of the zoo, visit the animals as the settle down for the night, and help support the fight against wildlife extinction. Zoo admission ticket includes free entry to the event.
Legends in Concert Jan 9th to Jan 26th
Legends in concert brings some of the biggest celebrity tribute acts from Las Vegas to the heart of Melbourne. Kick back and enjoy realistic reincarnations of your favourite musical artists including Lady Gaga, Diana Ross, Elton John, Dusty Springfield, the Village People, Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash, and of course, Elvis Presley. Entering its fourth year, hugely entertaining nights filled with music and dance are guaranteed.
South Melbourne Night Market: Jan 8th to Feb 5th
South Melbourne Night Market returns to keep you entertained throughout the summer months. This buzzing market is loaded with amazing things to do. Enjoy free live music, fill up on cheese and wine, take one of the many cooking classes, let the kids enjoy the art space or face painting, and much more. The market is a huge explosion of gastronomic delights, exotic tastes, and fashion, beauty and crafts galore. The perfect way to spend the warm summer nights.
VIDA Melbourne Latin Festival: Jan 10th to Jan 19th
Get ready to enjoy two weekends filled with sizzling Latin fun. The Vida Melbourne Latin Festival brains a mix of live music, movies, cabaret entertainment, and delicious food. More than 40,000 people join this free event every year on St Kilda road for lots of family-friendly fun. Enjoy soaking up the vibrant atmosphere with some Spanish beer while the kids go wild in the kid's area. An absolute must-visit for those who love salsa, both the dance and the dip.
NGV Kids Summer Festival: Jan 11th to Jan 19th
NGV is the ultimate kids summer festival in Melbourne. Every age group from toddlers to tweens will find something educational and entertaining to enjoy. Everything from kids disco parties to arts and craft sessions are here. Older kids will enjoy the indigenous hip hop projects, and family movie afternoons are the perfect time to get a little downtime in together. What better way for kids to spend the summer than having tons of memory-making fun.
FOMO Festival: Jan 12th
Fomo 2020 makes its way into Melbourne on January 12th. This year, some of the world's biggest musical stars including Lizzo are headlining. Other acts including Jax Jones, Brockhampton, Rico Nasty, Meduza, Madeon, Ninijirachi, Whipped Cream and Chilli it are also bringing Melbourne to life with their beats. It's the perfect place to get into the music festival spirit with awesome music, mouth-watering eats, and a variety of entertaining activities to enjoy. This one is strictly for 16 years and older, so not suitable for the kids.
Midsumma Carnival: Jan 19th to Feb 9th
Smack bang in the middle of summer is Australia's premier LGTBQ arts and cultural festival, Midsumma. This is an all-inclusive festival running from January 19th to February 9th. January 19th is the biggest day of the event. Hugely entertaining performances, stalls, outdoor eats, music and so much more makes for a colourful day out for all. Under-18s have their very own area where they can escape from the heat of the day and enjoy some younger generation focused fun and games.
Australian Open: Jan 20th to Feb 2nd
The Australian Open is Melbourne's biggest sporting event to kick the year off in style. Be a part of the action and get ready to cheer on your favourite players. Throughout the tournament, other awesome entertainment opportunities can be found period on the 19th of January, Jessica Mauboy takes to the AO stage as part of the Girls Day Out. The perfect time to get together with your mum, daughter, sister and aunts for an afternoon filled with live music and celebrations.
Fatboy Slim: Jan 24th
This year, world-famous DJ, Fatboy Slim will be taking the Sidney Myer music bowl by storm. Located right on the edge of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Fatboy Slim will be pumping out some of his biggest and best chart toppers. Get ready to dance the night away and lose yourself among thousands of others at this one night only performance. Why not grab a group of your closest friends and make a weekend of it. What could be better than that?
Melbourne in February
As the excitement of January fades away, we move into the month of romance. February is loaded with cultural delights, iconic music and fresh fashions. Here’s our top pick for things to do in Melbourne in February.
Celebrate a second New Year in Melbourne at the Chinese New Year Festival in Melbourne’s Chinatown. 2020 is the year of the metal rat, with this cultural celebration bringing a true taste of the East to the heart of Melbourne. Wander beneath the traditional lanterns lighting up Chinatown Square. Learn how to play mahjong. Kickback with an Asian movie in the outdoor cinema. Gawp at the dragons of the dragon parade. And of course, treat yourself to mouthfuls of traditional and fusion Chinese street food. What's not to love about celebrating New Years Eve twice?
Ride Melbourne: Feb 9th
On your marks' get set, ride. On February 9th, take part in Melbourne's free community cycling event. Make your way round the the Jayco Herald Sun Tour Royal Botanic Gardens circuit along with lots of family friendly fun and entertainment. Dig into delicious food from the food vans, take part in a cycling safety workshop, let the kids enjoy many of the free kids activities, and soak up the live music at this charitable event. If you want to take part in the bike ride, you need to register early. But if you don't want to, there's plenty to keep you busy throughout the day.
Latin Valentine: Feb 14th
What better way to spend the day of love than surrounded by the language and music of love. Latin Valentine brings an evening of music, dancing and much more together for a truly memorable way to celebrate love. Be serenaded by Mariachi Los Romanticos, quench your thirst with authentic Latin infused cocktails, and dig into regional street food made for mouth watering moments. Whether you're single or a couple, this all-inclusive night of love celebrates all things Latin with tropical beats, delicious eats while raising the heat.
Ego Expo: Feb 15th to Feb 16th
If fashion is your thing and you see every street is a catwalk, you are going to love Ego Expo. Celebrate Australia's street culture as it collides with high fashion in it's own unique style. Stock up on more than fifty different streetwear brands, covering everything from fashion accessories to sneakers and apparel to must-have trinkets. Celebrate independent designers and global brands. Enjoy some amazing street food and take part in the Ego basketball court Slam Dunk competition. It's a truly amazing way to spend the weekend while indulging in a little bit of retail therapy. Don't miss out. It's only on for one weekend.
Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival: Feb 23rd
Hot on the heels of the Chinese New year is the Melbourne Japanese summer Festival. Taking place in Federation Square, it brings everything Japanese to town. Get ready to cosplay your way through the day with sumptuous sushi, traditional Japanese eats, traditional performances, and the ever cute world of J-pop. Whether you appreciate the more traditional cultural side of Japan or are a huge Kawaii freak, this is the best Melbourne meets Japan Festival of the year.
Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road: Feb 22nd
Due to popular demand, Elton John has extended his tour to include AAMI Park on February 22nd. Get ready to spend an evening listening to some of the world's most iconic tracks performed by the man himself. Can you feel the love tonight? You sure will when you attend the Farewell yellow Brick Road Concert. Tickets for this concert are selling out fast, so if you want to have the chance to hear Elton sing in person, now's the time to start planning.
What's On In Melbourne This March?
- Make the most of the extended daylight hours before the clocks go back. Seeing off the end of summer are some of Melbourne's best festivals. From food and drink to flowers and fashion, there is literally something for everyone to enjoy throughout March.
Moomba Festival: March 6th to March 9th
Moomba is by far the biggest long weekend Festival held in Melbourne. This annual iconic weekend is absolutely filled to the brim with activities and events to enjoy on the edge of the Yarra River. Throw yourself into a hive of live music, carnival rides, amazing food, performances and much more. One of the biggest highlights of Moomba Festival is the Birdman Rally. Get ready to be amazed as humans try their hardest to fly as far as they can over the Yarra. When they succeed, it's amazing. But when they fail, it's hilarious!
Turkish Pazar Festival March 7th to March 8th
Bringing a taste of Turkey to the heart of Melbourne is the Turkish Pazar Festival. Make your way to Queen Victoria Market and enter a world that transforms into a Turkish Street Market. Sounds, colours and tastes come together to create a unique sensory experience not to be missed. Sink your teeth into traditional Turkish cuisine, including kebabs, gözleme pancakes and Turkish Delight. Cultural and traditional Turkish music performances keep everyone entertained. Have your fortune told and sip on a glass of rocket fuel coffee made over a hotbed of sand.
Light Up Melbourne Festival: March 19th to March 22nd
Light up Melbourne is the city's largest lantern Festival. make your way to the North Bank of the yarra river at Birrarung Marr and watch as everything is back to life by giant lanterns taking all shapes and forms. It's the perfect place to see off summer and welcome the arrival of autumn with live music and entertainment, market stalls and street food. Make sure you have plenty of power on your phone so you can snap some Instagram-ready shots of the 27 m dragon lantern. The carnival-style amusements will keep everyone entertained as they try their luck to win prizes. The perfect place for young and old alike.
Melbourne Food & Wine Festival: March 19th to March 29th
Welcome to a foodie's paradise in the heart of Melbourne. Eat, drink and take part in one of the many cookery workshops or classes. Discover new tastes from around the world with a variety of traditional and fusion foods. Put your wine connoisseur skills to the test as you sample your way around the globe. From vegan dishes to meat-feasts, literally every single taste bud is catered for. The highlight of the festival is the world's longest lunch, which takes place in in the treasury Gardens over 3 hours. Over 1600 people sit down together to break bread. If food is your thing, you are going to love this festival.
Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show: March 25th to March 29th
Celebrate your love of gardening at Melbourne's premier flower and garden show. Take part in one of the floral design workshops and make your way around the boutique gardens. Be inspired by the hanging baskets and the great hall of flowers as you take in the award-winning floral displays. Show Gardens bring landscape designer ideas to life. Make your way around them and enter a brand new world with each one. One of the highlights of the show are Gardens by Twilight. Enjoy a glass of prosecco or wine and and view Carlton Gardens in a whole new light. After a relaxing wander, make your way to food village and enjoy some delicious gourmet treats. This is an absolute must for anyone with green.