The state capital of Australia’s Victoria, Melbourne is also the nation’s cultural heart. There are many excellent things to do in Melbourne, many of which are low-cost or free; a trip to Melbourne needn’t break the bank – you can actually spend the entire day here for less than $25!
A top place to visit at any time of the year, here are some of the best things to do in Marvellous Melbourne:
1) Discover the Street Art
Melbourne has a wealth of vibrant street art to discover. Stroll around the city and find your favorites. Maps are available to help visitors discover the major sites. There are always constant additions and changes, so even if you’ve enjoyed the street art previously, another visit is sure to yield new delights. Hosier Lane is at the art of the city’s street art scene, and other top spots include Finaly Avenue, Centre Place, Union Lane, Degraves Street and Palmerston Street.
2) Chill Out in Melbourne’s Cafes
Melbourne is known for its plentiful cafes. They offer the perfect place to sit and unwind for a while, resting your tired feet after pounding the pavements and sightseeing.
Grab a drink and a snack and watch the world go by, catch up with emails, chat with a friend or bury your nose in a good book. From swanky and trendy establishments to hole-in-the-wall style joints, Melbourne has plenty of cafés to suit every personality and mood.
3) Cruise the Yarra River
The Yarra River plays a central role in the city’s past. Learn about the river’s significance for Aboriginal groups in times gone by and admire the city from a different perspective.
Evening cruises are also popular when you can see the reflections of the bright lights shimmering on the waters.
4) Visit Melbourne’s Varied Museums and Galleries
As Australia’s cultural capital, it will come as no surprise to hear that Melbourne is home to a vast array of museums. Melbourne’s museums cater to diverse tastes and interests, with themes including history, art, transportation, nature, anthropology and more.
Start at Melbourne Museum for insights into life in Victoria and journey back in time at Cooks’ Cottage, Australia’s oldest building. Learn more about Aboriginal culture at Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre and hear the tales of those who wanted to make Australia their new home at the Immigration Museum. The Chinese Museum, Museo Italiano and Hellenic Museum showcase the culture, arts and traditions of different groups that today call Melbourne home.
Art lovers will enjoy the National Gallery of Victoria. Be awed by the imaginative and interactive pieces in ArtVo and, for something a bit different, swing by the Medical History Museum of the College of Surgeons’ Museum and Art Gallery. Scienceworks is ideal for curious kids. Others include the Fire Services Museum of Victoria, Victoria Police Museum, the National Sports Museum and Fox Classic Car Collection.
5) Soak Up the Views from the Melbourne Star
Ride the large Melbourne Star observation wheel for sweeping views across the city. You’ll find it at the city’s newest precinct of Docklands. Trips last for around half an hour, and day and night rides are available.
6) Explore Maze-Like Lanes
See a quaint and quirky side of Melbourne with a wander around the small alleys and lanes found around Collins, Flinders and Bourke Streets. Offering heaps of charm, there are plenty of surprises around almost every corner. Visiting the Royal Arcade and the Block Arcade are also highly recommended.
7) Snap a Picture at Flinders Street Railway Station
A popular meeting place for locals, Flinders Street Railway Station is also one of the top things to do in Melbourne for visitors. The building itself dates back to the colonial period. There are many photo opportunities. Some of the best pictures, however, include the famous clocks hanging outside of the main entrance.
8) Learn to Drive
Sure, there are many excellent things to do in Melbourne, but why restrict yourself to the city center if you don’t need to? If you’re dreaming of an Australian road trip and hitting, for example, the nearby Great Ocean Road, give yourself more freedom and learn to drive in Melbourne. If you already have a license from back home, you may want to take a few refresher classes to make you more confident when it comes to navigating Australia’s roads.
9) Experience Melbourne’s Festivals
Depending on the time of your visit you may be able to enjoy one of Melbourne’s varied festivals.With a rich program of events and celebrations throughout the year, there’s often something going on.
From music, sports, and food and drink to culture, history, the arts and more, do check the local calendar of events when planning your trip to Melbourne.
What are you looking forward to most about your stay in Melbourne?