Top 5 Melbourne Must-Do's
Melbourne, the cultural capital of Australia, is a dynamic metropolis with a bustling centre, unique inner-city neighbourhoods, lush parks, and nearby mountain ranges where you can experience Australian natural beauty at its finest. Along with being one of the world’s most liveable cities (seriously, look it up!), multicultural Melbourne is a hub for tourists from all over the world.
From museums to vintage stores, beaches to festivals, laneways to restaurants, and galleries to nightclubs, you will never run out of things to do in Oz’s most ‘European’ city. But to help you narrow things down on your next visit, here’s our pick of the top 5 must-do’s in Melbourne!
1) Wander Through Laneways
An aimless stroll through the many laneways of Melbourne is the best way to see what this city has to offer. Cozy cafes beckon, so pull up a chair and people watch for a while - a classic Melbourne pastime. It’s hard to find a bad cup of coffee in Melbourne; the city boasts about being a world leader in coffee culture, and locals are proud coffee lovers/snobs. Cafes all over the world even brag when they employ Melbourne baristas!
After a bit of caffeination, get out and explore some of Melbourne’s famous street art! The city council has designated specific areas as approved for street artists, and the art here is of incredibly high quality and changes often. It’s a great way for budding street artists to get experience in the artistic side of graffiti, and having structured locations for this unique creative outlet reduces the levels of graffiti elsewhere, as well as adding an edgy vibe that tourists and locals can enjoy. Must sees are Hosier Lane, AC/DC Lane and Centre Place.
2) Shop 'till you drop
If you’re after a bargain or rare find, you’ll be pleased to learn that Melbourne is renowned for world-class shopping. Chapel Street is popular with local and international celebrities for its excellent range of high-quality clothing. The former Melbourne Government Post Office now functions as a great shopping mall. Bridge Road in Richmond is a hotspot for outlets, great food at budget prices, and excellent homewares. Fitzroy is well-known for its eclectic, vintage pieces. And one of the most important streets in the city is Bourke Street (located close to Federation Square), a must-visit on your trip to Melbourne!
Finally, don’t miss the Queen Victoria Markets. Home to some of Melbourne’s tastiest produce stalls and delis, you’ll find A+ cheeses, olives and smoked meats here. These markets have been a crucial food hub since 1878, and the building is an epic example of Victorian architecture. You’ll also be able to pick up plenty of artisanal goods made by local creatives, and gifts for your friends back home!
3) Party after dark
Looking for something to do when the sun goes down? You’re in the right spot. You’ll find some of Australia’s best nightlife here, so if you’re a party animal or simply like to enjoy a drink, Melbourne has a wide variety of cool bars, music venues, and nightclubs open til dawn.
Before heading out on the town, why not check out the insane views from the Eureka Skydeck at sunset? The highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere sits on the 88th floor of the Eureka Building - a skyscraper named in recognition of the 1854 Eureka Stockade Rebellion. Adding to the Gold Rush theme, the building's gold crown and gold-plated windows seriously sparkle when the sun shines on the building. The view from the Skydeck is one of the most amazing panoramic views and photo ops in the city – you can even see the Dandenong Ranges National Park on a clear day!
Melbourne is famous for its live music scene, particularly rock bands. There are always some local or international artists playing at any given time. Some popular spots to catch a band include the Corner Hotel, the Evelyn Hotel, the Spotted Mallard, the Post Office Hotel, the Ding-Dong Lounge, the Esplanade Hotel and the Palais Theatre. Melbourne is also a great place to seek out jazz clubs, warehouse parties in industrial settings, and rooftop bars. Something for every night owl!
4) Explore trendy St Kilda
Prepare to have fun in St Kilda, Melbourne’s favourite beachside neighbourhood. With its historic buildings, seaside restaurants and cafés, beaches and exciting nightlife, St. Kilda is the perfect place to kick up your feet by the seashore. Experience live music in lush open spaces or heritage-listed venues or get dizzy on the rollercoasters at Luna Park. Luna Park opened in St Kilda way back in 1912, and the Scenic Railway started operating in the same year. This ride even holds the record of being the world’s oldest continually operating rollercoaster, and while it looks a little rusty by today’s standards, it’s an interesting look into what themes parks were like 100 years ago.
5) Travel along the Great Ocean Road
A trip to Melbourne wouldn’t be complete without visiting some of the magnificent surrounding areas! The most popular journey from Melbourne is definitely a road trip along the Great Ocean Road. Driving along this Heritage-Listed 243km stretch of southern coastline provides access to several major landmarks like the 12 Apostles, a set of limestone stacks rising from the sea. Built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932, and dedicated to all those who lost their lives in WWI, the Great Ocean Road is actually the world’s largest war memorial. Roadtripping will also take you to Otway’s Rainforest, where you will find some of Australia’s best rainforest scenery. Picture tall trees, ancient fern gullies, and beautiful waterfalls, and you can start to imagine the beauty of this ancient corner of Victoria.
Planning on spending a gap year or working holiday Down Under? Oz Intro Melbourne is our ultimate working holiday group tour and starter package made just for you! As well as doing EVERYTHING on this list of Melbourne must-dos, our team will sort all your admin essentials, help you find paid work, assist in organising your onward travel, and ease you into life in Oz. Oh, and did we mention you’ll be doing all this with an experienced group leader and instant crew of friends? There’s no better way to kick off a year of adventure in Australia!