Melbourne is a beautiful coastal city, located on the Yarra River in the state of Victoria, Australia. Its bustling city centre has many charming old buildings, thousands of restaurants and coffee shops and plenty of cultural events, performed on the banks of the Yarra River and city streets.
Our Melbourne Musts:
Besides for spending hours wondering around this beautiful city, here are a few of the things that we think you must to do when visiting Melbourne.
1. Dinner and a walk along the Yarra River
Walking along the banks of the Yarra River in the evening is just magical, with all the lights, restaurants and the festive vibe, this is a great place to hangout. There is a wide array of restaurants to choose from, ranging from top end with world-famous chefs to casual and cosy. Make sure you see the Gas Brigade show along Melbourne’s Southbank where 8 towers along the Yarra River shoot the world’s largest fireballs into the night’s sky. This show takes place every hour right on the hour from Monday to Friday starting at 9:00 pm until Midnight. On Saturday and Sunday, the fire display starts from 8:00 pm until Midnight.
2. Visit the Queen Victoria Market
Never have I ever seen such a wide variety of fresh produce, fresh meats, cheeses, cured meats and baked goods at a market before. Everything looked so fresh and tasty! You can pick up some good deal’s at the end of the day, when store holders shout out reduced prices, trying to get rid of the stock for the day. The Queen Victoria market is a great spot for some coffee and a pastry while you watch the activities at the market. Click here to see their opening hours.
3. Street art in Hosier Lane
Melbourne is one of the world’s great street art capitals, there are many areas around the city where this expression of art is displayed for all to see, at approved outdoor locations. Hosier Lane is a great little lane where you can view this for yourself and watch some of the artists at work. It’s also a great spot for some Insta worthy photos, so be sure have your camera fully charged!
4. Drinks at a rooftop bar
Melbourne has many rooftop bars, most of them with great views of the city from above. We visited two rooftop bars, The Imperial Hotel Rooftop Bar in Bourke Street which has a great view of the Parliament building, yummy bar food and good selection of drinks. The second rooftop bar we visited was Madame Brussels which is described as “a rather fancy garden party”, here you will find a vast menu of cocktails, wines and bubbles. If you want to do a rooftop bar crawl, then take a look here for some more ideas.
5. Eat Italian in Lygon Street
For great Italian food, you need to go to Lygon Street! You will be spoilt for choice and will not be disappointed. This is another festive area with many great Italian restaurants, all opening up onto the leafy green street. Walk down the street and take a look at the menus and restaurants and choose one that suits your budget and mood. We had the best pizza we have ever eaten at one of the little restaurants here, it’s definitely worth a visit!
6. A walk along the beach front and coffee in St Kilda
Melbourne city centre is a short walk or a quick bus ride from the beach. A stroll along the beach front will clear your head and transport you away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. After your walk, pop in at St Kilda for a coffee, a suburb right next to the beach with many coffee shops and bakeries to choose from (and after your walk, you surely deserve a slice of cake, well that’s what we think)
7. Take a ride on the Free City Circle Tram
The free city circle tram is a great way to see the city for free, you can hop on and hop off at any of the stops around the city, or just stay seated and go around and around until you’re satisfied that you have seen all you need to see. Look out for the old heritage trams decorated in maroon and green with gold and yellow trimmings – these are the free trams.
8. Visit the Old Melbourne Gaol
The Old Melbourne Gaol was really interesting and makes for some great photos. Make sure you book into the tour of the City Watch House, located right next to the Gaol. As part of the tour, a Charge Sergeant will be your guide, they will ‘arrest’ you and treat you and the rest of the group as inmates. It’s quite a fun and interactive tour, after which you can take a look around the gaol and get some good photos. You can also find out all about Ned Kelly here and try on some replica armour.
9. Visit the Melbourne Library
If you want to see Ned Kelly’s original armour, then you need to head to the State Library Victoria, which is located a short walk from the Old Melbourne Gaol. This is Australia’s oldest library and it is really beautiful with its domed ceiling and Le Trobe reading room. There are loads of free cultural exhibitions at the library and it’s a great way to learn about the history of Victoria.
10. A day trip to the Yarra Valley
Melbourne is a short journey away from the beautiful Yarra Valley wine region. We did a day trip with a tour group, they pick you up in Melbourne city centre and take you to various wine farms in the Yarra Valley. Most of these tours include lunch and all your tasting fees. It’s a fun way to explore the region without having to drive and a great way to meet new people.
Melbourne is another lovely city of Australia with plenty to do and see, whether you enjoy the great outdoors or the hustle and bustle of a city. It is also a great base point if you want to travel to the nearby towns, Winelands, and sights.
See some more posts here of things to do near Melbourne