From hidden laneways to late-night eats, artisan coffee sips, splashes of artwork down lively streets or blockbuster sporting events, there’s no shortage of sights to see and things to do in Australia’s liveliest hub.
Take on the hustle and bustle like a true local with our top 10 things to do that are just so Melbourne.
1. Get artsy
See the best murals and stencil art on a street art walking tour with Blender Studios. Wander the city’s laneways to see an ever-changing outdoor gallery of urban art. Check out the murals, stencils, paste-ups and installations in the CBD laneways (Hosier Lane, AC/DC Lane, Duckboard Place etc) or head out to the backstreets of Fitzroy and Collingwood to see some of the city’s best artists’ work (including Adnate’s 50 metre mural on a public housing tower).
2. Hop on a tram
Catch a tram to inner neighbourhoods down Gertrude and Smith Street (recently named the world’s best street) in Fitzroy and Collingwood, Sydney Road in Brunswick, Lygon Street in Carlton or Fitzroy and Acland Streets in St Kilda.
3. Grab a brew
Know your coffee lingo (pourover, cold drip, magic, single-origin) and bring a reusable cup to one of the many artisan coffee roasters such as Padre, Seven Seeds, St Ali, Industry Beans, Market Lane and Proud Mary.
4. Scout the best rooftop bars
Bar hop across rooftops from the city to neighbourhoods – iconic Rooftop Bar at vertical laneway Curtin House, Spanish fare and wines at Bomba rooftop, overlook the leafy streets of Bourke and Spring and Parliament House at Siglo and Imperial Hotel, enjoy a slice of Regional Victoria in the heart of the city at the Rooftop at Farmer’s Daughters. Look back to the city skyline at Johnny’s Green Room in nearby Carlton or Naked Upstairs in Fitzroy and watch the sunset over the bay in St Kilda at Captain Baxter.
5. Dig into the latest eats
Join the queue for the next food craze…Melburnians aren’t afraid to wait for the best croissant at Lune Croissanterie or similarly crispy rings of deep-fried choux pastry from Moon Cruller, gelato even on a cold wintery day from Pidapipo in Carlton or Gelato Messina in Fitzroy.
6. Catch a show
See a show in the East End Theatre District. No matter if you’re after big-name musicals or local comedy gigs, literary talks or live music, opera or dance, book a seat, don your glad rags, and experience the bright lights, regal facades and hushed halls of this premier arts district. You’ll find all six of the precinct’s major theatres in the area bounded by Spring, Lonsdale, Flinders and Swanston Streets. Tickets are available for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Moulin Rouge! The Musical and Frozen the Musical.
7. Experience the nightlife
Walk down a laneway, up a flight of stairs, or through a hidden bookshelf at 3 am for a cocktail. Melburnians will rug up and embrace the chill or kick on well after the sun sets after-dark to the city’s many late-night bars and dining. Whether it’s 24-hour ramen at Shujinko, a blood sausage or devilled egg roll at Butchers Diner or Mexican fare at Bodega Underground.
8. Shop til you drop
Support local makers, creators and producers at local markets such as Rose Street Artist’ Market, Prahran Market, South Melbourne Market and Queen Victoria Market. Spend a whole day jumping from store to store within the CBD covering ground from Flinders Lane to Collins St (including Block and Royal Arcades and laneways) to Bourke Street Mall and follow the elevated walkways to Emporium Melbourne and Melbourne Central. Then hop over to QV Melbourne for boutique and high-end brands. There are over 1000 stores within two city blocks.
9. Find an event
Attend a world-class major event any time of the year from sporting events such as the Australian Open, The Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne Cup Carnival and the AFL to blockbuster arts and culture exhibitions at the NGV and ACMI or the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.
10. Visit some iconic Melbourne spots
There’s so much to see and do in Melbourne and beyond from striking public spaces, state-of-the-art museums, unique wildlife, heritage sites, glorious examples of gold rush architecture, and more. Journey through a world of wildlife at Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo or Healesville Sanctuary; check out the sights from the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere at Eureka Skydeck 88, enjoy a sky-high experience like no other on the Melbourne Star or jump aboard Australia’s favourite steam train, Puffing Billy.
Feature Image: @nakedforsatan_
Find more Australia travel inspiration on So Where Next.