Melbourne is often considered the cultural capital of Australia and it is one of the funkiest cities in Australia. From its cool architecture to its robust art scene with hip cafés and music makes it a very unique destination. Its narrow lanes, covered in world-class street art, hide beautiful cafés and beer gardens. The city and I mix well together and it’s my favorite spot in the country.
There’s so much to see and do in this place that today, I want to share with you some of my favorite things about Melbourne so you can know the best things to see during your visit!
The Best Things to Do in Melbourne
1. Take a street art tour
Hands down the highlight of my visit, I loved the street art tour run by graffiti artists from Blender Studies. It’s pricey at $69 AUD, but the cost of the tour helps support local artists and includes drinks and cheese at the end. I learned so much about the art scene in the city and developed a much deeper appreciation for why Melbourne attracts so many artists from around the world. I can’t recommend this tour enough.
2. Visit the State Library of Victoria
The State Library of Victoria is a historic institution that sees 8 million visitors a year. Originally built in 1856, the library has grown into an event space that’s a source of pride for city residents. Come here before it opens and you’ll see a queue of people ready to pounce on the open desks. The famous central rotunda with its octagonal shape, original dark wood furniture, and book-lined walls is definitely something not to miss. There are a number of free tours of the library to teach you more about its history and striking architecture.
3. Moonlight movies in the park
During the summer months, there are nightly movies (most of the major Hollywood features) in the Royal Botanic Gardens. Admission is $19 AUD to the movie, and you can bring food and wine for a little evening picnic. (Bring a jacket too, because it gets cold at night!)
4. Wander Queen Victoria Market
This outdoor market is a mix of food sellers and knick-knack vendors — think flea market meets food market. During the week, the food hall is the main draw, but the weekend offerings are bigger, as sellers fill up the outdoor vending space. When you’re in the food hall, be sure to get some free wine samples from Swords Wines; the staff is friendly and the wine is cheap (I bought two bottles for some afternoon drinking in the park!).
5. Take the City Circle tram
More than just a means of free transportation, the City Circle Tram provides “hop-on, hop-off” service between Melbourne’s sightseeing attractions, including Federation Square, the Old Treasury Building, Parliament House, and the Princess Theater. There’s a running recorded commentary as you pass or stop at a place of historical, cultural, or architectural significance.
6. People watch in Federation Square
Right along the route of the free City Circle train and across the street from Flinders Street Station lies Federation Square. This open square also serves up stellar people-watching. I like to take lunch here and just watch the city go by. Below the square on the river are also a number of restaurants and outdoor bars.
7. Admire Flinders Street Station
Flinders Street Station is a major landmark and popular meeting place in central Melbourne. Built-in the late 19th century, the station features Victorian architecture and large clock faces. It is said to be the busiest suburban railway station in the Southern Hemisphere, and it’s a lovely imposing building to admire.
8. Visit NGV Australia (180 St Kilda Rd)
Located in Federation Square, this is the home of the National Gallery of Victoria’s Australian art collection. Admission to the permanent collection is free (but fees apply to special exhibitions). It’s one of the best free activities in the city. The collection only takes a couple of hours to see.
9. Relax in the Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens contains gardens covering 86 acres and features thousands of flowers, shrubs, and trees from across the country and around the world. Hanging out here and wandering around is one of my favorite activities in Melbourne; I usually spend a good half-day walking around, relaxing, and reading! Free guided walks or self-guided audio tours are also available from the main visitors center.
10. Enjoy the cafés
The café culture in this city is part of its soul. Everyone here loves to have coffee or tea and a snack while doing some work or chatting in some arty café. Don’t miss doing this either. You can take the café tour with
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If you have ever been to Melbourne and you know some things to do which we didn’t mention in the article then please let us know in the comments section below. Also, do let us know your favorite thing to do in Australia.