02 May Top 10 things to see and do in Melbourne
Explore Melbourne with our Top 10 guide of things to see and do, which includes some of our most beautiful buildings and landmarks, museums, galleries and historical locations. This is a hitlist of tourist spots not to be missed!
Laneways and arcades
Melbourne is a labyrinth of laneways and arcades that hide some of our most famous cafes, restaurants, bars and shops. On top of that, their walls are often the playing ground for many local and international street artists. With this in mind, and the fact that some of our arcades are among the most beautiful buildings in Melbourne, our laneways and arcades are not to be missed.
For the most beautiful representations of the wealth exuded during the Marvellous Melbourne era of the 1880’s head to the Block Arcade and the Royal Arcade. These two arcades features boutique shops and cafes including very popular Hopetoun Tea Rooms in the Block Arcade.
For street art tick off the ever hectic Hosier Lane first, then head to ACDC Lane, Duckboard Place (keep an eye out for the Banksy rats), Presgrave Place and Union Lane. In and around China Town (Little Bourke Street) is also a hotspot for street art particularly Croft Alley and Stevensons Lane. But for a slightly lesser known spot, head to Loveland Lane across from the Queen Victoria Market. Be sure to keep an eye out for the miniature works by one of our favourite street artists, Tinky.
The National Gallery of Victoria, more commonly known as the NGV, houses the premier local and international art collection found in Melbourne. Be sure not to miss the Australian collection, which can be found at Federation Square in the Ian Potter Centre a short 10 minute stroll from the main building of the NGV on St Kilda Road. The permanent collections of the NGV are for free, whereas temporary exhibitions are ticketed but are usually well worth the entrance fee.
If you’re a lover of markets go no further than the largest open air market in the southern hemisphere, the Queen Victoria Market. Here you’ll find a huge variety of items for sale from fresh produce to souvenirs, clothing, household goods and pretty much anything else you can think of. Whilst visiting make sure you pop into the Deli section of the market for delicious cheese, meats, sandwiches and drinks. And on most Wednesday nights, don’t miss the Night Market that features live music, unique stalls, drinks, lots of food and a party atmosphere.
If you find yourself falling in love with our wonderful city and wanting to know more about her past, head straight to the Melbourne Museum. Here you’ll find an incredibly insightful Indigenous history and cultural section of the museum, a very in depth general colonial Melbourne history section and even a natural history section complete with dinosaurs.
Another great location to learn more about our city is the beautiful 19th century built State Library Victoria. Here you will find a vast collection of books and other media, as well as a Victoria state history museum that features the body armour of the infamous Ned Kelly. Be sure to check out the lovely reading room!
Sitting at the top of Bourke Street, Parliament House is where you’ll find our Victorian State Parliament politicians regularly bickering about this and that. If that interests you, check to see if it is a sitting week and if so, you can go watch our Premier Dan Andrews and co in action. If it isn’t a sitting week, there are regular tours of the building throughout the day. The steps of the Parliament House are a great place to sit and people watch, as well as being a regular spot for protests in Melbourne to start or finish.
If you’re looking for a relaxing way to spend a sunny day, look no further than our premier gardens in Melbourne the Royal Botanical Gardens. With 36 hectares of parks, gardens and lakes to explore, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to experience all the gardens have to offer. If you have the time, we highly recommend you check out the Aboriginal Heritage Walks where you will get an interesting insight into the practical use of native plants and trees, as well as native foods.
The Shrine of Remembrance is Victoria’s National war memorial built after WW1 as a dedication to the men and women who served for our country. The Shrine is now a place to remember those who have served during all wars and conflicts Australia has been involved in. It houses an in depth war museum downstairs, a beautiful sanctuary including a marble Stone of Remembrance and a terrace balcony boasting some of the best views of Melbourne!
For lovers of sport, particularly cricket and Australian Football aka AFL aka Aussies rules aka Footy, the Melbourne Cricket Ground locally known as The G is the place to go. The stadium holds over 100,000 people and is the home of many of our big sporting events, as well as large concerts. There is a sports museum inside where you’ll be able to find out about the olympic games Melbourne hosted in 1956, as well as more information about the kooky sport we only play here in Australia.
Step back in time and jump on one of Melbourne’s number 35 trams that bounces its way around the city offering a free tour as it goes. Stopping at locations like the Parliament House, Docklands and Federation Square, it is an easy way to tick off a few of our main attractions.