Melburnians take their title of ‘the world’s most livable city’ very seriously. Which is great for you because it means they put on a hell of a show for travellers and locals alike.
Think great food, laneway art, pretty epic architecture and great shopping – you name it, Melbourne’s got it! Check out our 10 best things to do in Melbourne.
You can thank us later 😉
1. Eat as Many Doughnuts as You Can Get Your Hands on
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again. Melbourne has an incredible doughnut scene. We’re talking French toast delights from Doughboys Doughnuts in the CBD, vegan red velvet masterpieces from Doughnut Time, and the best hot jam doughnuts you might ever taste from the back of a van at Queen Victoria Market.
2. Road Trip Down the Great Ocean Road Like it’s 1999
Stretching a whopping 244 kilometres along winding coastal roads, The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s greatest road trips – and for good reason. For a perfect weekend of sun, surf and beers, grab your mates, choose a worthy Spotify playlist and hit the road. ‘Cos, is there anything more Aussie than the beach?
You’ll travel from Torquay to Warrnambool, get the chance to surf, wander through rainforests and even catch a glimpse of a koala or two.
3. Learn to Haggle at the Queen Victoria Market
It’s the place to be if you love a bargain and want the chance to haggle with the best of them. Fresh fruit, great food, live music, handcrafted goods, and a lot of cheap goodies (that’ll surely come in handy at some point, right?) are all in abundance.
Depending on the time of year, you might also be able to hit up the twilight market in summer or the winter market in, yep, you guessed it, winter.
Deservedly one for our list of things to do in Melbourne.
4. Take a Walk on the Wild Side at Werribee Open Range Zoo
It might not be Africa, but it’s pretty darn close. Giraffes, zebras and rhinos all roam free here. There are free buses that take you around the open range section of the zoo, but for a few extra bucks, you can jump in a small, close-up encounter tour where you’ll get close enough to touch these majestic creatures.
While you’re there, why not check out the iconic Werribee Mansion and Victorian State Rose Gardens for a bit of Downton Abbey-style fun? Both of these attractions are free and are only a two-minute drive from the zoo. Yes!
5. Play Picasso at the National Gallery of Victoria
Let your inner artist free as you critique masterful artwork of every shape and form. Don’t know the first thing about art? That’s okay, even a novice can appreciate the spectacular displays on show at the NGV.
The exhibitions are constantly changing, but regardless of the season, the NGV is a must-see, even if it’s just to appreciate the gallery’s incredible foyer.
6. Pretend You’re Hermione Granger at the State Library of Victoria
Named one of Melbourne’s most Insta-worthy destinations, the State Library of Victoria is designed to impress.
Gaze upon Australian artwork that depicts its relatively short, yet rich history, view literary displays that will have every book nerd drooling, and wander the aisles of perfectly displayed books. Your inner Hermoine Granger will be squealing with delight 🤓
7. Get a Drink From one of the City’s Best Bars
The nightlife in Melbourne is sick. We’re talking the likes of StoryVille (a fairy tale-themed bar), The Berlin Bar (where you can be rich or poor in wartime Germany) or Bar Americano (the best cupboard-size bar you’re likely to find this side of the equator).
You might be nursing a killer hangover in the morning but the pain will totally be worth it.
8. Catch a Game of AFL at the MCG
If you don’t catch a game of real Aussie footy at the MCG you haven’t really been to Melbourne.
Visiting in summer? Don’t stress, you can catch a game of cricket instead. The meat pies and beers are reason enough to go, but if you’re a sporting fanatic, you will not be disappointed.
9. Tackle Your Fear of Heights in a Hot Air Balloon Over the Yarra Valley
Known for its cool-climate wines, sprawling vineyards and rolling hills, the Yarra Valley is a little slice of heaven only about an hour out of Melbourne’s CBD.
A sunrise balloon ride over the region will give you the best vantage point. Make sure you also hit up a cellar door or two once your feet are back on solid ground. A must for our list of things to do in Melbourne.
10. Join the Flocks of Tourists Down Hosier Lane
Melbourne’s laneway art has got it going on. A few biggies to check out are AC/DC Lane, Degraves Street, and of course, the infamous Hosier Lane.
These little alleyways do get pretty crowded, so getting up early might not be a bad idea. But trust us, the hype is well-deserved.
Has our list of the best things to do in Melbourne got you keen to come and visit?
This post was originally written for and published on Topdeck Travel’s blog, The Collective.