Once the capital of Australia, Melbourne is one of the liveliest cities in the place down under. There are so many things to do in Melbourne that everyone is sure to find something they enjoy.
From walking around and admiring the street art to relaxing at a cafe and sipping some of the world’s best coffee, and from hiking some of the most scenic trails to driving the seaside cliffs of the Great Ocean Road, Melbourne is one of the best vacation destinations for the solo traveler or the group.
There are so many more things to do in Melbourne than the Botanic Gardens.
If this is your first time in Australia, also check out tips for traveling Australia, my Australia travel guide, and 10 places to visit in Australia (that aren’t Sydney).
Here are ten things to do in Melbourne (that aren’t the Botanic Gardens!)
Queen Victoria Night Market
Sample All the Delights at Queen Victoria Market
Queen Victoria Market stretches over two city blocks in Melbourne, Australia. The massive market has everything from gourmet foods, produce, and even specialty shops clothing, gifts and stationery, sporting goods, and souvenirs.
Queen Victoria Market is one of the best places in Melbourne to grab some lunch and shop for yourself or others.
If you’re planning a trip for the summer or winter, definitely head here for their Night Market on Wednesday nights! A fun mix of global street foods, live music, delicious cocktails, and artisanal shopping awaits.
See the State Library of Victoria
I know a library doesn’t sound that interesting, but the State Library of Victoria is not just any library.
The State Library of Victoria was established over 150 years ago in 1854, which makes it the oldest library in Melbourne, Australia.
The library is a functioning library, museum, and art gallery. Visitors can explore the historical reading rooms, admire the artwork in the Cowen Gallery or Keith Murdoch Gallery, and learn about the world’s largest Chess Collection.
In addition, visitors can take classes or attend talks at the State Library of Victoria.
If you want some more budget-friendly to do in Melbourne that will keep your wallet happy, check out these free things to do in Melbourne.
Take a Street Art Tour
Melbourne has some of the best street art. Get your camera ready and head out to explore some of the most Insta-worthy spots.
Some great street art in Melbourne can be found at Caledonian Lane, Blender Lane, Upper West Side Street, Duckboard Place, Meyers Place, Presgrave Place, and so much more.
Sample All the Coffee
Melburnians love their coffee, so it is no surprise that it is easy to find many places with the best coffee in Melbourne.
For something more simple, try the coffee at Patricia or Bonnie. If you fancy a more artistic cup of coffee, then Axil Coffee Roasters or Dukes Coffee Roasters is the best place in Melbourne for coffee. Sensory Lab and Market Lane Coffee at Queen Victoria Market offer some of the best pour-over cups of coffee in Melbourne, Australia.
For more on Melbourne’s coffee culture, check out this guide to coffee culture around the world.
Head to St. Kilda for Nightlife
St. Kilda is one of the best places in Melbourne for live music. The area has numerous bars, restaurants, and live music venues that can keep anyone going for twenty-four hours.
Republic is great for seaside drinks and food, Memo Music Hall and Palais Theatre both are great music venues, and St. Kilda Sea Baths and St. Hotel are great night spots with live music and great cocktails.
Brighton Bathing Boxes
The Brighton Bathing Boxes are one of the most photographed attractions in Melbourne, Australia.
These colorful bathing boxes line Brighton Beach. There are a few other great things to do in Brighton Beach like relax on the sand, sit down at one of the restaurants, or stroll along the Bay Trail.
Drive the Great Ocean Road
One of the best things to do in Melbourne is to drive the Great Ocean Road.
Spanning over four hundred miles, the Great Ocean Road is packed with empty beaches, amazing hiking and biking trails, and plenty of activities to fill an entire week. Whether you decide to drive a bit or the whole thing, you are sure to enjoy the amazing views of Melbourne’s southern cliffs and bluffs.
Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation
When in Melbourne, Australia, you are not going to want to miss Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation.
This twenty-five-acre bio park can have you getting up close and personal with koalas, dingoes, wallabies, birds, and reptiles. For an even more fun adventure in Melbourne, book an evening tour or a Keeper for a Day.
*Image courtesy of Koorie Heritage Trust
Learn About Aboriginal Culture at Koorie Heritage Trust
The Koorie Heritage Trust offers a great learning experience when visiting Melbourne.
The Koorie Heritage Trust offers exhibits, events, educational culture talks and lessons, and collections with artifacts to help non-Aboriginal people learn about the Aboriginal culture and people.
Wander through Melbourne’s Arcades and Laneways
One fun thing to do in Melbourne is to roam the arcades and laneways.
Whether you are looking for great shopping, tasty restaurants, or relaxing cafes, Melbourne has over forty arcades and laneways to choose from. Some favorites are the artistic AC/DC Lane, Hardware Lane, Block Arcade, and Cathedral Arcade.
If you want more ideas on tasty restaurants around the arcades and laneways, check out the best places to eat in Melbourne.
Have you visited this hip city before? What fun things to do in Melbourne would you add to this list?