The 50 Absolute Best Things to Do in Melbourne

The best things to do in Melbourne, Australia

Planning a trip to Melbourne? Here’s everything to tick off from from rooftop bars, buzzing laneway cafes to the best day trips and vintage markets!

1. Eureka Skydeck. Score a view of the entire city (either during the day or at night) and even step out on the edge!

2. Picnic in the Royal Botanic Gardens. A picturesque haven right in the middle of the city. Although there’s many other gardens the city has to offer including Edinburgh and Fitzroy gardens.

3. Walk through the Block Arcade. And don’t forget to stop at Hopetoun Tea Rooms which represents some of central Melbourne’s most charming late 19th century history (also they do really great cakes).

4. Stop for coffee in the laneways. I recommend Degraves lane – it almost feels like Europe with a hipster spin. For a very real Melbourne vibe, head to Hardware lane.

5. Shop at Queen Victoria Market. Cheese, wine, collectables, coffee and some more cheese.

6. Indulge at Gelato Messina. Best gelato in town. Whilst we’re on the subject of gelato, stop by Scroll Ice Cream too! It’s literally what it sounds like.

9. Find the best coffee in the city. People take their coffee very seriously here (aka everyone’s a coffee snob) & it’s dubbed some of the best in the world. Head to Market Lane Coffee and I’m sure you’ll find out why!

Glamping at St. Jeromes Hotel
via melbournegirl.com.au

10. Glamp on a rooftop in the city. Only at St. Jeromes Hotel!

11. Visit Cat Café. For fellow cat lovers, you’re in for a real treat. Note: you’re not allowed to actually eat in the cafe (strangely enough), just pat & play with the cats.

12. Watch a movie old-school. Head to the Astor Theatre to watch a movie in a grand old cinema!

13. Day trip: Great Ocean Road. You don’t have to go the full length, instead stop at Lorne for a burger and a Sunday session.

14. BBQ on an Aqua Donut. Want to up your picnic game? Well why not hire a giant, floating, BBQ-friendly water donut. Yep, Aqua Donut really exists.

15. Visit the Dandenong Ranges. The Serene Mount Dandenong ranges are a one hour drive from Melbourne. Think stunning landscape, hikes, and view points. For a real treat, book a meal at Sky High.

16. Wander around Abbotsford Convent. Read my adventure here!

17. Watch penguins at St Kilda Beach. After dark are when all the penguins come out to play and you’ll be able to catch them in their natural habitat, standing only metres away.

18. Outdoor cinema. There’s a few outdoor cinemas in Melbourne (Open Air, Moonlight cinemas and Shadow Electric to name a few) which run all through summer.

19. Walk along the Yarra River. The Yarra River flows west for more than 240 km from its source in the Yarra Ranges, through rural and suburban Melbourne to the city center. You can also hire a boat or canoe for something a bit different.

Matcha Mylkbar Smoothies
Matcha Mylkbar Smoothies

20. Eat brunch everywhere. If there’s one thing you should know, Melbourne has a HUGE brunch scene. My top recommendations are Top Paddock, Barry, Kitty Burns, Stables of Como & Matcha Mylkbar. Oh & there’s also a happiness (yes, happiness) cafe called Serotonin Dealer.

21. Dinner at Chinatown. Dumplings galore + BYO wine! I mean what more could you want?

22. Drink at a rooftop bar. Melbourne is rather well known for its rooftop bar scene. Some of my favourites are Rooftop Bar at Cookie (great for day and night drinking), The Carlton, and Naked in the Sky.

23. Hop on a city circle tram. See Melbourne’s best sights and jump on and off as you please. It’s free!

24. Catch a game at the MCG. The Melbourne Cricket Ground is Australia’s largest stadium. Catch a game of AFL football (‘the footy’) if you’re here during the season.

25. Discover street art. Melbourne is popular for its Graffiti Lanes and the street art along its laneways. The most popular can be found at Hosier Lane.

26. Go glamping in the bush. Not up for camping? No worries, me neither. Read about my stay here.

27. Visit Werribee Mansion. Half an hour from Melbourne you’ll find Werribee Mansion Hotel & Spa, a reflection of the 19th century Victorian era. Along with exploring the gardens and grounds, you can also choose to stay the night in luxury!

28. Spend some time on Brunswick st. The ‘hipster’ street of Melbourne where you’ll find quirky vintage stores, bars and restaurants.

29. Find the Pink Lake. Not too far from the CBD, Melbourne has its own pink salt water lake! However I do believe it’s only pink during Summer.

30. Shop vintage at Campberwell Market. There’s plenty of little designer treasures to be found.

Freakshakes

31. Indulge in a freakshake. If there was a trophy for inventing the most creative, diabetes-inducing dessert, this is it. Find them at Muharam cafe, Johnny Pump & Cafe Lafayette.

32. Go for drinks and food at Welcome to Thornbury. Melbourne’s first permanent food truck park that is popular no matter the time, day or weather. Although it’s best on a sunny afternoon in my opinion!

33. Day trip: Daylesford. The spa town capital of Australia. Pamper yourself at a day spa or spend the night at a bed & breakfast.

34. Visit the Peninsula Hot Springs. Victoria’s first natural hot springs and day spa centre.

35. Check out the colourful beach huts at Brighton Beach. And if it’s a nice day, why not spend it at the beach!

36. National Gallery of Victoria. See the NGV’s impressive international and Australian exhibitions. Check the website for the current exhibition.

37. Visit Werribee Open Range Zoo. Along with Melbourne Zoo, there is also Werribee Zoo. It’s African themed with safari tours but more excitingly, you can also choose to book a Slumber Safari!

38. Get out of town to The Grampians. The Grampians National Park is more than 1600 square kilometres of breathtaking scenery. The region’s waterfalls, rolling hills, rugged mountains and lots of wildlife! Great for a day or weekend trip.

39. Join a free walking tour of Melbourne. Pay as much as you think the tour was worth.

24 hour ramen, Melbourne

40. Eat 24-hour Ramen from Menya Sandaime. From only $11.80 a bowl.

41. Buy a 3 metre pizza from Crinitis. Yes, THREE metres.

42. Hot air balloon ride during sunrise. It’s worth the ridiculous wake up call time.

43. Do the 1,000 steps. Also known as the The Kokoda Track Memorial Walk, it’s a popular walking trail within the Dandenong for fitness enthusiasts. Grab some food and raw treats at Evolve Fair Food Store after to refuel.

44. Visit Docklands. Docklands is the CBD waterfront extension filled with cafes, restaurants and parklands. It’s also home to the Star Observation Wheel, Etihad Stadium and Icehouse.

45. Check out events at Federation Square. A vibrant arts and cultural space that people gather at quite regularly. There’s always something going on.

46. Walk along Southbank. Southbank is filled with cafés, restaurants, and street entertainment. It’s a pretty spot for any meal and/or time of day.

Ponyfish Island

47. Drinks at Ponyfish Island. If there’s one bar you visit, let it be Ponyfish Island! It’s basically a bar sitting in the middle of the Yarra river.

48. Go shopping. Head to Emporium for the best shopping complex (a mix of high & low street labels), Brunswick and Gertrude St for vintage and quirky, & the Paris end of Collins street for designer labels.

49. Freak out over the froyo at Yo-Chi. I swear it gets better every time.

50. Day trip: Yarra Valley. The wine region of Victoria filled with wineries, a gourmet food scene and inspiring arts. I would recommend a 1-night stay so you can also catch a hot air balloon ride in the morning!

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