28 Awesome Things To Do In Melbourne

(Jun, 2020)

There’s no shortage of things to do in Melbourne. Here’s our list of the city’s best highlights.

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      Things to do in the CBD

      NGV, Melbourne

      Admire the art at Australia's most popular gallery

      Southbank

      The National Gallery of Victoria is Australia’s oldest and most popular gallery. In the wake of Victoria’s Gold Rush (1851), the NGV was established in 1859 due to Victoria’s newfound wealth.

      It’s home to permanent displays of Australian art, as well as international pieces dating back to the 14th century. A large part of it is free, otherwise, they have major international displays that rotate throughout the year.

      On A Boat, Melbourne

      Captain a boat down The Yarra River

      Collins Landing Wharf

      We don’t recommend swimming in the Yarra river, but we do recommend hiring a boat and setting sail. With ‘On A Boat’ you can rent a boat, put on your captain’s hat and sail down The Yarra. You don’t need a license, and you can BYO food & drinks. Just make sure the skipper stays sober.

      State Library of Victoria

      Explore the State Library of Victoria

      City Centre

      As the oldest public library in Australia, The State Library of Victoria is filled with lots to check out. The library is home to over 2,000,000 books and 350,000 photographs, including diary entries from the city’s founders, John Batman and John Fawkner.

      Make sure you make it to the Latrobe Reading Room, with its very impressive dome.

      Socail media and marketing shoot at Holey Moley Newtown, in Sydney.
      Socail media and marketing shoot at Holey Moley Newtown, in Sydney.

      Play your mates at pop culture inspired mini-golf

      City Centre

      Remember playing putt-putt when you were younger? Holey Moley has brought it back, this time with holes inspired by pop-culture – think Game of Thrones, The Simpsons & more. Plus they have a fully decked-out cocktail bar. You’ll find a 27 hole course in the city centre, and another one down at Crown Casino.

      Bartronica, Melbourne

      Drink beer & play retro arcade games

      City Centre

      Retro gaming has surged the past couple of years, with gamers finding great nostalgia in playing their childhood games. Bartronica takes that fun and combines it with drinks. This retro gaming bar is filled with pinball machines, arcade games and classic shooters – like Time Crisis.

      Grab a drink and challenge your mates to a game.

      Melbourne International Comedy Festival

      Have a laugh at a comedy club

      Various venues

      Melbourne is home to lots of regular comedy nights, many of which are free (or super cheap at least.) One of the city’s most popular nights happen at Spleen Bar every Monday night. Or when March comes by, head along to massive The Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

      Crown Flames, Southbank

      Watch the flames at Southbank

      Southbank

      Who doesn’t like a fire show? Visit the Southbank promenade after dark to enjoy the gas brigades fire show. 8 massive towers line the river outside Crown Casino, and every hour they shoot massive flames into the sky. It’s a great thing to witness, and it’s totally free! Locals will refer to it as ‘the flames.’

      Rooftop Bar, CBD

      See the sights from a rooftop bar

      See the sights from a rooftop bar

      Melbourne opened Australia’s first rooftop bar back in the 1960’s. It was the Pamplemousse (French for grapefruit) and was ‘where you’d find food with a world of difference.’ It’s no longer around, but Melbourne now has rooftop bars all over the place. The most popular one is literally called ‘Rooftop Bar,’ but there are several more to visit.

      Om Nom, Adelphi hotel, Melbourne (2)

      Be wowed by these delicious desserts

      Adelphi Hotel, 187 Flinders Lane, City Centre

      After exploring Melbourne’s restaurant scene, you’ll want to finish with some dessert. Enter Om Nom, the world’s first dessert hotel. Located within the Aldephi Hotel, Om Nom serves up magical looking desserts with incredible tastes. They are some of the best desserts you’ll find in Melbourne.

      Strike Bowling, Melbourne 1

      Verse your mates at ten-pin bowling

      Various locations

      Remember playing ten pin bowling as a kid? We do, but it was in a pretty dated venue. Strike isn’t anything like that. Along with bowling, they have a bar, some good tunes, and also have some great specials throughout the week.

      Adelphi Pool, Melbourne

      Swim in a pool that hangs over Flinders Ln

      187 Flinders Lane, City Centre

      Walk down Flinder’s Lane and you’ll see a pool that extends 2 metres above the street. This is the Adelphi Pool. The pool is open throughout the year and maintains a nice 22-degree heat. While it is free for guests staying at the hotel, it will cost for visitors. But keep an eye out for special events that happen from time to time.

      The Windsor Afternoon Tea

      Indulge in a long-held Melbourne tradition

      Various locations

      Melbourne’s tea rooms started in the late 19th century, as a more acceptable form of socialising, rather than the debauchery at the local pubs.

      There are several restaurants and hotels in Melbourne that still continue this tradition. The most widely recognised is The Hopetoun Team Rooms, established in 1889. But you can also visit The Windsor or The Langham for your high tea fix.

      Sealife Aquarium (9)
      Sealife Aquarium (9)

      See the sharks, crocodiles & penguins

      Various locations

      With over 10,000 different critters, you can see a lot of ocean life at the Sea Life Aquarium. There are penguins, rays and even crocodiles. With 12 zones, there is a lot to see.

      Chinatown, Melbourne

      Devour some dumplings in Chinatown

      City centre

      Melbourne’s Chinatown is the longest-running continuous Chinese settlement in the world. It takes up several blocks in the city centre, and is filled with heaps of Chinese restaurants. You’ll also find several bars – Berlin, Manchuria, Union Electric – as well as plenty of Asian desserts and bubble tea. The Chinese Museum is also worth a visit – it documents Chinese settlement during Melbourne’s gold rush.

      Old Melbourne Goal (4)

      Wander the cells of the Old Melbourne Gaol

      377 Russell St, City Centre

      Ned Kelly was Australia’s most notorious gang leader in Australia’s history. After a shoot out with police, he was hanged at the Old Melbourne Gaol. The gaol was the scene of 132 other hangings, up until 1929 when it ceased operation. If you go there now, you can wander around the old cells, see the stocks and even take part in a night-time ghost tour.

      Visit the cat cafe

      30 Guildford Ln, CBD

      Cats & coffee, that’s the promise of Melbourne’s (and indeed Australia’s) first cat cafe. Originating in Taiwan, they gained popularity in Japan, as a way for visitors to spend time with some friendly felines. They eventually found their way to Melbourne, and now you too, can sip on a latte and pat one of their resident cats. There is a small entrance fee, and bookings are necessary.

      Catch some theatre

      We love a good show, and there are plenty to see in Melbourne; from lavish musicals to small independent one-person shows. grand theatres like The Princess Theatre, Regent Theatre and Her Majesty’s Theatre all showcase performances from massive production companies. While smaller venues like The Butterfly Club have independent shows, often from just a single person.

      See a list of current shows in Melbourne.

      Spend an evening at Meyer's Place

      Bourke St, City Centre

      Melbourne is the city of laneways, and the city is full of them. Many are covered in street art, filled with hidden bars & restaurants. While we recommend visiting all of them, our favourite is Meyer’s Place. At the top end of Bourke St, this laneway has a fantastic vibe, plus it’s home to some awesome venues.

      There’s Pizza Pizza Pizza, a New York pizza joint with a secret bar out the back. Right next door is San Telmo, masters of Argentian BBQ. And across the laneway is Loop Roof, a luscious rooftop bar that stretches over 2 levels.

      Enjoy Melbourne's live music scene

      From Prince doing spontaneous shows at Bennet’s Lane, to Lady Gaga dancing on the bar at the Cherry Bar, Melbourne has some great musical stories. The city has spawned bands like AC/DC, Jet and & Crowded house – and it continues to deliver. With a strong music scene there are plenty of opportunities to catch a gig. See a list of upcoming gigs here.

      Things to do in the north

      Ukiyo, East Brunswick

      Try this mind blowing escape room

      54 Moreland Rd, Brunswick

      Escape rooms started popping up in Melbourne a couple of years ago, but Ukiyo blows most of them out of the water. It’s difficult to describe, but it’s 50% escape room, 50% video game, and 100% immersive.

      You’re tasked with helping this young prince discover what happened to his best friends. The Prince, who you engage with throughout the challenge, talks to you using artificial intelligence. And it’s all set in a beautiful Japanese setting. It’s one of our favourite things to do in Melbourne.

      Wander the funky suburb of Fitzroy

      It’s no surprise that Melbourne’s oldest suburb is now one of its liveliest. Fitzroy is Melbourne’s bohemian capital, with bustling restaurants, cafes, and bars – it has a strong vegan theme. There is plenty to see just by traveling up Brunswick St. The Everleigh and Naked for Satan are our favourite bars there. Jump on public transport and it’s only 

      Things to do in the east

      The MCG, Melbourne

      Watch a game of footy at 'The G'

      Brunton Ave, Richmond

      AFL is the nation’s sport, and it was born here, in Victoria. Over 100 years later, it is played all across the country but it still calls Melbourne home. Head along to The Melbourne Cricket Ground – referred to as the MCG, or just simply The G – to catch a game. If there aren’t any games on, you can take a tour of the grounds or visit the sports museum.

      Drinkng wine at Yarra Valley, Victoria

      Visit the wineries at The Yarra Valley

      Head 32kms out of Melbourne and you’ll find The Yarra Valley, Victoria’s original winemaking region. With over 70 wineries dotted throughout the valley, it’s perfect for a vineyard crawl. Don’t want to drive? Book a wine tour and be chauffeured around to sample some of the valley’s best drops.

      Things to do in the south

      Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne (3)

      Wander the most beautiful gardens in Melbourne

      Birdwood Ave, South Yarra

      Back in 1844, Melbourne’s first Lieutenant Governor, decided that several plots of land should be reserved for parkland. Now, The Royal Botanic Gardens is one of the city’s greatest assets.

      Filled with 50,000 individual plants representing 8,500 different species, the botanic gardens are free to visit and a great way to spend the afternoon.

      Photo by www.olisansom.com
      Photo by www.olisansom.com

      Join a screening at this immersive cinema experience

      Various locations

      This isn’t like a normal cinema. All you’re given is the secret location and the theme; the rest is all a surprise. Underground Cinema pop-ups throughout Melbourne and shows classic films, surrounded by theatrics that tie into the movie. Live jazz, SWAT teams, and real camels; these guys go all out.

      Luna Park, St Kilda

      Visit the beachside suburb of St Kilda

      Melbourne’s most popular beachside suburb is filled with things to do. Whether you lounge by the seaside, ride the roller coaster at Luna Park, or visit one of the many restaurants on Acland Street. Come by after sunset to see the adorable fairy penguins come home to roost on the pier.

      South Melbourne Dim Sims

      Devour a classic dim-sim at the South Melbourne Markets

      326 Coventry St, South Melbourne

      The humble sim-sim was invented in Chinatown, in Melbourne’s CBD back in the 1940’s. Since then it has become an Australian staple. It’s a dumpling-style snack, featuring minced meat (usually pork) encased in a pastry wrapper, and then either steamed or deep-fried. To try one, visit South Melbourne Market Dim-Sims; they’ve been perfecting the recipe for over 60 years.

      The Tan, Melbourne

      Take a jog (or walk) around Melbourne's most popular track

      Originally built as a horse-riding track, The Tan is Melbourne’s most popular running track. Stretching for 3.8 km it runs the outskirts of The Royal Botanical Gardens. It’s a peaceful path to walk, or join all the other Melbournians and run a couple of laps.