Things to do in Melbourne

Whether you’re making the most of the glorious weather, or feeling the chill, Melbourne’s rep as a dreary rainy city are unfounded – there’s heaps to see and do. As Australia’s unofficial cultural capital, the galleries and museums in Melbourne are world-class. In the CBD, head to Old Melbourne Gaol to see Ned Kelly’s armour and death mask and check out the famous racehorse Phar Lap at Carlton’s Melbourne Museum. Don’t miss the Victoria Police Museum for the lowdown on Melbourne’s underworld gangs and there’s plenty of cultural venues in Southbank and Federation Square.

On the flip side, there’s nothing quite like the roar of the crowd at an Aussie Rules match. Melbourne is home to half of the 18 national teams on the AFL premiership ladder, so choose a side, pop on a scarf in team colours and barrack with 70,000 others at Etihad Stadium in Docklands or at the MCG. While you’re in the sporting mood, get outdoors and enjoy the variety of green spaces in Melbourne – Victoria isn’t known as the ‘Garden State’ for no reason – or better yet, make like a local and go for a run around the Tan track in the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Just an hour to 90 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD are a variety of areas of lush natural beauty to explore for a day trip or overnight. Take a ride on the Puffing Billy steam train in the Dandenong Ranges, check out the art and the Hanging Rock at the Macedon Ranges, swill cool-climate wines and sample gourmet goodies in the Yarra Valley and see the little penguin parade on Phillip Island.

And don’t forget Melbourne is renowned as a shopping mecca where you can uncover unexpected delights from art to zines in CBD laneways and arcades, browse craft and produce markets, and find unique finds in vintage emporiums and designer boutiques. For more things to see and do in Melbourne, read on.

Melbourne Cricket Ground

The hallowed MCG ground is world-renowned as the birthplace of Test cricket and the symbolic home of Australian Rules football, which was invented in Melbourne. It’s also the site of blockbuster music concerts and the occasional visit from religious figures.

Queen Victoria Market

This grand dame of markets and precursor of supermarkets is Melbourne’s one-stop produce, meat, poultry, deli, bakery, flower, fish and general merchandise shop. The heritage Queen Victoria Market takes up two city blocks and is a must-visit.

Federation Square

The site of world-first art galleries and other cultural attractions, Federation Square is an innovative space and fave meeting place for Melburnians. On any given day you’ll find heaps of free entertainment and other activities to engage your mind and body.

Chapel Street

Melbourne’s renowned Chapel Street is a mecca for shopping, nightlife and eating out. The 2 kilometre stretch traverses vintage finds to upmarket boutiques and cosy cafes to nightclubs for the ultimate entertainment precinct both day and night.

Eureka Tower

From Eureka Skydeck 88, the highest public vantage point in the Southern Hemisphere located within the residential Eureka Tower, you can spy all the way to the Dandenong Ranges by day and watch the cityscape light up at night.