Between Melbourne’s secret laneways and rooftops you’ll find endless busy bars, boutiques, restaurants, cafes, and more. Federation Square is where you come to soak up big culture. Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, or plan your trip to coincide with the Spring Racing Carnival or the Australian Grand Prix. Attending a sporting event is one of the best ways to experience local life, especially at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground.
There are plenty of unique things to see and do in Melbourne. The Melbourne Museum and the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building are two must-sees, for example. Also check out some Victorian landmarks, like St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Flinders Street Station.
Prefer being outside? Check out Kings Domain along the Yarra River, or visit the Melbourne Zoo in Royal Park. Pack a picnic, and spend an afternoon in Fitzroy Gardens. From Melbourne, you can also day trip to the Mornington Peninsula or to Philip Island to meet fairy penguins.
Places to Eat in Melbourne
- Dainty Sichuan
- Bistro Goemon
- Fomo Thai
- Thomas Olive
- Bar Economico
- Top Paddock
Unique Things to See and Do in Melbourne
- Visit the National Gallery of Victoria
- Explore the Heide Museum of Modern Art
- See the Australian Centre for the Moving Image
- Check out the Royal Exhibition Building
- Discover art deco at the Manchester Unity Building
- Wander bohemian St Kilda
- Dine or drink beer at a rooftop patio
- Ride the rollercoaster at Historic Luna Park
Melbourne Food Scene
Melbourne is hands down one of the best (or THE best) places to eat and drink in Australia. Locals are all about good food done right, and you’ll find virtually any kind of cuisine here. One of the best things to do is explore Melbourne’s rooftop bar scene – it’s legendary! Join the Emerson Sunday sessions in South Yarra, or check out Black Pearl on Brunswick Street for creative cocktails. Bellota in the southern part of the city has great wines, or head to Cumulus Up in Flinders Lane.
When it comes to fine dining, Attica is hard to beat. It’s listed as one of the world’s 50 best restaurants, and you’ll have fun discovering how it got this title. Check out Estelle Bar and Kitchen for gorgeous views, or try tapas at MoVida in Hosier Lane. Australia also has the largest Greek population outside of Greece, so it’s no surprise you’ll find a ton of Greek restaurants here. Press Room is one of the best!
And the locals know the value of fresh produce and high-quality food. In the centre of the city is Queen Victoria Markets, where you can find everything from fresh fruit to handmade fashions. There’s also South Melbourne Market, where you’ll find a wide array of Asian dishes. For more farmed goods and vintage bargaining, head to Sunday Camberwell Market east of the city.
Did you know…?
Vegemite was invented in Melbourne.
Did you ALSO know…?
Melbourne’s famous tramway system is the fourth largest in the world.
Getting around Melbourne
If you stay in the city centre, you’ll be able to explore much of Melbourne’s highlights on foot. The city is laid out on a grid, so navigating is quite easy.
Transport options include train, tram, bus, or bike. Purchase a Myki transport smartcard to save cash and access all public transit (there is a card for visitors as well). Travel by tram in central Melbourne, however, is free! Be sure to pick up a transit map to be aware of the Free Tram Zone.
Best time of year to travel to Melbourne
The locals recommend visiting Melbourne between March and May, and September and November. These are the shoulder seasons, so temperatures are moderate, and tourist crowds are minimal. Don’t forget, summer in Melbourne occurs between December and February, and temperatures skyrocket. Don’t be fooled by Melbourne’s location, either – wintertime (June to August) can get quite cold.
Ready to plan your visit to Australia? Check out these popular guides and trips.