Melbourne is no doubt the cultural capital of Australia. We’re known for our multiculturalism, friendliness and tad of quirkiness. Let’s waste no time for my personal list of the must-go and must-do places and events in Melbourne City! May the countdown begin!
10. ART: Melbourne Arts Theatre
Reason: This is Melbourne’s own version of the Eiffel Tower. It looks absolutely stunning. A must-go.
“I love the Arts Centre, its in the soul of Melbourne, its Arts precinct in St Kilda Road, easily accessible by public transport and with good, if pricey food and drinks available. Very popular is the tram bar or curbside coffee shop. The State Theatre and Hamer Hall are both theatre spaces where seating is comfortable and views un-obscured. There are changing performances, some with extended seasons and some once off. It worth seeing something here for a quintessential Melbourne experience. There is a groovy bar at the Southern end, along with Cafe Vic and a performing arts exhibition space with changing exhibits.”
9. LITERACY: State Library of Victoria
Reason: You’re probably wondering why I included a library for this list. To be fair, the State Library is a great place to relax in your trip at Melbourne. The Victorian architecture is lovely and there’s a place for you to play games, read books and even an art gallery! For all free.
“I have always been to the excellent cafes, Mr Tulks and Moat either side of the library and the book store. The best attraction is the old library reading room and the doom. Very interesting exhibitions about the history of Melbourne and Victoria like Ned Kelly, local Aboriginal chiefs, settlement, AFL history. It is an absolutely beautiful building. Entry is free.”
8. NATURAL SCENERY: Royal Melbourne Botanical Gardens
Reason: Basically Melbourne’s own version of Central Park. This is the best place to go if you want to enjoy the environment. There are beautiful flowers and trees, with an abundant of Australia’s indigenous native plants. Spacious and lively place.
“Never miss the Melbourne Botanical Garden if you are visiting Melbourne. Walk along the lovely YARRA river from the city end, just below the Concert Hall (HAMMER HALL) end, go pass the boat houses the Garden is on your right, about 15 min. walk. Have lunch in the KIOSK there, take minimum an hour to walk around and you will see a wealth of plants and trees from all over the world. Even you may have your afternoon nap on the lawns near the artificial lake or in one of the shelters which are scattered around the garden. Generally speaking, it is a VERY safe place to relax and enjoy the nature. PLEASE do NOT miss this treasure in Melbourne.”
7. ARCHITECTURE: Federation Square
Reason: Nice cafes, free wi-fi. The Federation Square is rated even better than New York’s Time Square in America. There’s nice parks around the place, heaps of spots to sit and chill out. There’s also street performances and the Yarra River nearby = Great scenery!
6. POLITICS: Parliament House of Victoria
Reason: This is a hidden gem in Melbourne. Not many people go to the Parliament House because they think it’s closed for politicians only, but to your surprise it’s actually open to the public. There are free public tours that they offer everyday and they will show you around basically the whole place!
“Beautiful Victorian Architecture, a public gallery where you can watch proceedings when Parliament is in session. The Upper House is more ornate than the Lower, but the detailed work of both is a joy to discover. Tour guides tell you the history of the building, how Parliament works, and share bits of info on Parliament members through the years. The tour guides add their own personality–ours was funny, the next group had a very staid, but more informative guide. The tours are free. You do have to go through security and leave any large bags.”
5. CULTURE & FOOD: Queen Victoria Market
Reason: This is a must-go place. There’s a nice mix of local people buying fresh fruit and vegetables and tourists. You should always go and buy a doughnut there and I’ll advise you to go on Sundays, where it’s always busy and full of performances. Sometimes if you are lucky enough it’s open at night time (called Night Market) and there’s even more food to try and buy!
“Totally love this place as it sells a variety of goods.
Souvenirs are beautifully made with affordable prices.
Variety of fresh food that showcase the diversity of Australia’s community…chocolates, honey, dairy products, seafood, fruits, vegetables, pastries, etc.
Clothes for the young and adults; for all seasons. Perfect as gifts as well.
Just the right environment to catch up with friends over a cup of coffee.”
4. SPORTS: Melbourne Cricket Ground (Attend an AFL match)
Reason: This is the best place to explore Melbourne’s sport culture, where there will be tens of thousands of crowds gathering every weekends to watch a football match. Wonderful atmosphere!
“One of the world’s most iconic and stunning sporting venues. a must-do for any sports fan – go to an Aussie Rules or cricket game here, even if you don’t understand either game, as it is a wonderful experience! Amazingly easy to get to compared to most huge stadia in the world. Shame they serve awful beer at many of the events due to sponsorship commitments etc.”
3. SIGHTSEEING: Eureka Skydeck 88
Reason: This is another stunning place to see the whole of Melbourne, literally. If you pay extra you get to go to this place where you get a 360 degrees experience (you can see the night-view by looking down), and it’s amazing.
“Absolutely a must to go to. The view is sensational. The Sky Deck is a little scary at first, but well worth going on. There is no rush to look around and leave. Plenty of seating scattered throughout where you can just sit and take in the breathtaking views. There’s a café & souvenir shop as well.”
2. ENTERTAINMENT: Melbourne Crown Casino
Reason: Nothing as big as Las Vegas but still a nice place to go, even with young ones. There is a Village Cinema or gaming arena that you can take your kids with and loads of other stuff. Plenty of fine dining restaurants and if you’re over 18, you can go inside the actual casino. Everything looks nice, just remember to not gamble too much 🙂
“I had no idea that a casino of such high standard existed in Australia until I ended up at the Crown Casino in Melbourne. This casino is massive, just as big (if not, bigger) than a lot of casino’s in Las Vegas. Its pristine and beautifully decorated with so much to do/see. Countless restaurants and bars/nightclubs, lots of high end shops, three hotels with spas, a bowling alley and cinemas. We managed to get lost a few times, but we were okay with this as some of the decor is truly breathtaking. I would suggest going for dinner in Southbank (walking distance) prior to hitting up the casino.”
1. SHOPPING: Melbourne CBD: Melbourne Central, The Emporium; Flinders Street Station:
Reason: There’s nothing much important travelling to Melbourne than visiting the actual Central Business District! The streets in Melbourne are very wide compared to other cities and it’s all clean and neat. CBD includes areas like Chinatown, QV, Melbourne Central, Emporium, etc. Melbourne Central and the Emporium are full of shopping centres with gift shops, clothing stores and a whole bunch of food places to eat in. Everything was only built recently and it’s all connected (you’ll know what I mean when you go there). Happy shopping!