Whether you already live here, you’re moving here, or you’re just visiting for a short time, don’t miss these tour destinations of Melbourne—including world-class museums, gardens, historic sites, nightlife, sports, and shopping. Below, we’ve put together a list of 20—but rest assured that there are many more places worth a visit in Melbourne.
1. National Gallery of Victoria
This art museum is the oldest in Australia and has two locations in Melbourne across the Yarra River from each other. It holds more than 70,000 pieces of art. Don’t miss the Great Hall and the incredible stained glass ceiling. It’s known for its extensive collections of aboriginal and Australian art.
2. Melbourne Zoo
This zoo is open 365 days a year, so there’s no excuse not to stop by—unless it’s not your thing, of course. If it is, the zoo features animals from Australia like the koala, kangaroo, wombats, and Tasmanian devils, of course, and it also features exhibits of animals from Africa, Asia, and an aquarium.
3. Royal Botanic Gardens
This spectacular outdoor oasis was founded in 1846. Sprawling over 38 hectares, the gardens include more than 8,500 species of plants, including many native to Australia. Don’t miss the Children’s Garden or the Aboriginal Heritage Walk. In the summer, you can enjoy a series of outdoor concerts.
4. Federation Square
This public space opened up in 2002 to commemorate 100 years of Australian federation and to provide a much needed central square that Melbourne never had. Year-round, this indoor and outdoor performance space hosts thousands of events and is right across the street from Flinders Street Station, a major transportation centre.
5. Parliament House
Victoria’s Parliament is open for tours even when the body is not in session. See where the lawmakers come together and don’t miss the stunning chandeliers and mosaic interiors. This building, which first began construction in 1855, still has not been deemed officially complete.
6. Queen Victoria Market
This popular market has been serving locals and tourists alike for well over 100 years since 1878. Check out the food stalls and other merchants selling clothing, souvenirs, and toys. You can also catch a concert or other event here. It’s open late on Wednesdays seasonally for the night market.
7. Block Arcade
This architectural marvel on Collins Street stuns tourists with its airy wrought iron and glass ceiling. Peruse the shops and have tea at the Hopetoun Tearoom. Other arcades nearby on Flinders and Bourke Streets are also worth visiting.
8. Eureka Tower
This tour stands 91 stories tall above the Southbank neighbourhood. It is named after the rebellion of gold miners in 1854. The Skydeck on the 88th floor offers the highest view in Australia.
9. Melbourne Cricket Ground
If you love sports, don’t miss an opportunity to take in a match of cricket or football at one of the best cricket stadiums in the world. It is the principal venue of the Australian Football League and seats 100,000 fans. The National Sports Museum is also located here.
Formerly an industrial area, this new arts district is full of attractions including cafes, restaurants, and performance halls, including the Playhouse, Fairfax Theatre, Hamer Hall, and the State Theater. It’s located on the Yarra River right by Flinders Street Station and includes a scenic promenade and footbridge.
11. Melbourne Museum and Royal Exhibition Building
The Melbourne Museum features exhibits on the culture and history of the city. Check out the Phar Lap exhibit, about Australia’s fastest racehorse, and the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Next door is the Royal Exhibition Building, which was the first Commonwealth Parliament building in Australia in 1901.
12. Captain Cook’s Cottage in Fitzroy Gardens
Captain James Cook, the British explorer, was the first European to reach Australia. His cottage was relocated from Yorkshire to Melbourne within Fitzroy Gardens. Learn more about the life of Captain Cook and explore the grounds surrounding the cottage.
13. Shrine of Remembrance
This shrine was built as a memorial to soldiers who served in World War I and is located in Kings Domain Park. Tours are available, and memorial events are held annually on Remembrance Day in November.
14. Luna Park
Luna Park in St. Kilda overlooking Port Phillip Bay is a historic amusement park first opened in 1912. It includes the oldest roller coaster in the world, the Scenic Railway, and the famous Magical Carousel. It also includes some brand new rides built for high-speed
Melbourne’s Chinatown was first established in 1851 during the gold rush and is the oldest Chinese settlement in the West. Besides the restaurants and markets, you can visit the Chinese Museum to learn more about the heritage and culture of the Chinese community. The restaurants in Chinatown are not just Chinese; you’ll also find Thai, Japanese, Indian, Malaysian, Vietnamese and Korean cuisine.
16. St. Paul’s Cathedral
On the banks of the Yarra, St Paul’s Cathedral is the seat of the Anglican Primate of Australia. This distinctive limestone and sandstone church is open for visitors and hosts services and concerts throughout the day.
17. Hedgend Maze
Just outside Melbourne in Healesville northeast of Melbourne, is the amazing Hedgend Maze. Worth a day trip, the area includes 20 acres to explore: the giant maze of hedges, native plants maze, a lookout tower, mini-golf, and giant checkers.
18. Tesselaar Tulip Festival
For a month in spring spanning September and October, the Tesselaar Tulip Festival in Silvan (east of Melbourne) showcases spectacular displays of blooming tulips. The festival also includes jazz concerts, Dutch weekend, Irish weekend, and Turkish weekend. Don’t miss this photographer’s paradise and one of the most scenic, colourful events in the country.
19. Port Melbourne
The geography of Melbourne makes it clear that it had huge potential to be a port city from its earliest days. You can stroll or bike along the Bay Trail by the port and see the ships, the pier, and the beach and check out some seaside restaurants and bars. The port is where cruise ships dock to pick up and unload passengers.
20. Immigration Museum
The Immigration near Flinders Street honours the city’s rich heritage of the many ethnic groups that settled here. Located in the old customs house, the museum features multicultural exhibits and programs including community forums.
Travel In Style
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