10 Intriguing Things to Do in Melbourne

This is our list of the most intriguing things you should do when you’re in Melbourne. Compiled and written by a local!

Including the best spots for photographers! With many detailed tips from someone who has been living in Melbourne for more than 20 years!

Save the best Melbourne Activities and Tickets from GetYourGuide HERE

Check back regularly, as we’ll add more tips and activities. Please note that all opening times and prices are subject to change.

1. Embark on a Magical Evening: Dinner Cruise on the Yarra River

Imagine gliding through the sparkling waters of the Yarra River, with Melbourne’s skyline twinkling like a string of pearls in the night. This isn’t just a fantasy; it’s your invitation to an unforgettable dinner cruise experience in Melbourne.

Features (subject to change):

  • 3-hour cruise for dining and sightseeing.
  • Check for available starting times.
  • Scenic dinner cruise through the heart of Melbourne.
  • 4-course meal with a variety of beverages.
  • Views of Melbourne’s landmarks from the Yarra River.
  • Board at Southbank Promenade.
  • Smooth and hassle-free embarkation.
  • See Federation Square, Flinders Station, Rod Laver Arena.
  • Landmarks beautifully lit at night.
  • Gourmet meals by top chefs.
  • Tasting platter, main course, dessert, and cheese platter.
  • Selection of Australian wines, beer, and spirits.

Check Availability Here

2. View Amazing Street Art at Hosier Lane

Melbourne is famous for its many narrow laneways, as well as its gritty street art scene. As a result, the city has a spattering of bright laneways with walls covered in murals, quotes, and more.

Much of the graffiti is political, and some are just for fun, but there’s no denying it makes for a great sight and an even better backdrop for photos!

  1. Tip: Be sure to keep an eye out for wedding parties who use the laneways as a backdrop for photos, and give them right of way!
  2. Tip: If going on a street art tour, don’t be afraid to snap pictures of any street art you see before the tour – knowledgeable tour guides can probably identify it and tell you more about it.

The most famous of all of Melbourne’s street art lanes is Hosier Lane, probably the most popular street art spot in the city. It’s not unusual to see works by famous street artists or even wedding parties getting their photos taken in front of the colorful, art-covered walls.

Hosier Lane is opposite Federation Square and, being a public street, is open all day, every day.

The graffiti there is ever-changing, so don’t be surprised if the pieces you like only last for a day or two! With pieces so beautiful, it’s sad to imagine them being painted over – although knowing they’ve been recorded in countless Instagram posts is certainly comforting.

Tip: Check the most stunning Hosier Lane Tours HERE

If Hosier Lane graffiti piques your interest in street art, you’re spoiled for choice elsewhere in Melbourne. The city is practically brimming with brilliant street art, including some pieces from world-famous artists such as Merda and Adnate.

Its popularity has led to many different street art-themed tours in Melbourne. However, our pick of the lot is the creatively named Melbourne Street Art Tours. This is the only tour in the city that is led by true street artists, and the fee that you pay goes back to supporting the artists who decorate the laneways.

No one knows more about the art and the messages behind it than the artists themselves!

Of course, a tour is not strictly necessary, and half the fun is just meandering around the city and spotting murals in unexpected places. No matter if you’re a street art aficionado or simply appreciate the color and pizazz it brings to the city, you’re bound to love the works in Melbourne.

3. Great Ocean Road and Wildlife Tour

If there is only one thing you consider doing from Melbourne, then it’s a tour to experience the Great Ocean Road and its incredible landscapes.

Departure and Journey

Start your adventure with a pickup from your Melbourne CBD (Central Business District) accommodation. Dive into the Great Ocean Road experience with a full-day tour, enhanced by a multilingual app. Travel in comfort in an air-conditioned vehicle, discovering coastal landscapes and witnessing koalas and birds in their natural settings.

Coastal Highlights

Visit Torquay Surf Beach, where you’ll enjoy iconic beaches and coastal vistas, including a view of the famous Bells Surfing Beach. Relish the ocean’s fresh air and capture stunning coastal photos.

Unique Stops

Enjoy morning tea, then marvel at the Pole House, a renowned architectural wonder suspended 40 meters high. Don’t miss snapping a photo at the Great Ocean Road sign, and enjoy observing koalas and parrots.

Apollo Bay Visit

Arrive at Apollo Bay, where lunch options abound. Explore the town, swim at the beach, and immerse yourself in a forest walk amidst the world’s tallest trees.

Natural Wonders

At Gibson Steps, see the 12 Apostles from the beach, weather permitting. Then, explore these famous limestone formations up close. Continue to Loch Ard Gorge for more breathtaking views, including the jagged razorback formation and remnants of the Island Archway.

Concluding the Tour

Conclude your journey with dinner options in Colac, reflecting on a day filled with natural beauty and unforgettable sights.

Tour Features
  • Pickup from your choice in Melbourne CBD
  • Roundtrip air-conditioned transportation
  • Morning tea
  • Tour of koalas and parrots in their natural habitat
  • Guided forest walk
  • Coastal highlights tour

4. Under the Sea at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium


  • Cost: Adults $33.60, children from $22.50
  • Open: Monday – Friday: 10:30 am – 5:30 pm; Weekends, school holidays and public holidays: 9:30 am – 6 pm.
  • Crowds: It can get very busy on weekends and during school holidays. Tips to dodge the crowds: Be there very early, go mid-week or avoid school holidays. An alternative to being early: Arrive in the afternoon when most visitors start to leave. An alternative to save time;  buy your entrance ticket in advance and skip the line. Click on the Sea Life picture above for your ticket.
  • Website: SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
  • Tickets: Melbourne Sea Life Entrance Tickets (we recommend buying online in advance. It’s hassle-free!)

Both the young and the young at heart are bound to love discovering what lives under the sea at Melbourne Aquarium. The SEA LIFE aquarium is great fun for all ages and also emphasizes conservation and sustainability, helping guests leave with a greater appreciation of marine animals.

Make sure to reserve your ticket(s) online for a hassle-free adventure without waiting times:

The Aquarium is set out over four levels and features 14 different themed zones for visitors to enjoy. These include areas such as the Bay of Rays, which features different stingrays, the Coral Atoll with its bright and unique tropical fish, and the Sea Horse Pier.

Perhaps the most famous and beloved exhibitions, however, are those that allow visitors to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s aquatic life.

The Rockpool allows visitors to touch different species including, sea stars and shark eggs. There is also the Penguin Playground, where you can have a front-row seat to the cute and quirky penguins.

  1. Tip: Check out the brochures at your hotel or tourist information stand, as they usually include a 20% off voucher!
  2. Tip: Arrive early to miss the crowds as well as waiting lines, and also have the opportunity to see the crocodiles being fed. Try to be there about 10-20 minutes before opening time.
  3. Tip: If you drive, park at the parking garage at 474 Flinders Street and ask the staff to validate your ticket for a big discount.

If you prefer your sea life to be of the frightening variety, check out the viewing levels over the mighty Pinjarra – one of the largest saltwater crocodiles in Australia. While it is perfectly safe, one look at their massive teeth and prehistoric skin is likely to get your heart racing!

The SEA LIFE Aquarium is committed to being informative as well as entertaining, so there are plenty of opportunities to learn more about sea animals and how to protect our oceans and seas. The exhibits have informative signs, and there is also a 4D show which is suitable for all ages.

In addition to just visiting the aquarium, there are also several additional activities that Sea Life offers at an extra cost. These include the Shark Dive Xtreme – which, as the name suggests, sees you dive with some of the aquarium’s resident sharks – and the behind-the-scenes ‘Penguin Passport’ tour.

The Aquarium also hosts various events throughout the year, so it is worth checking out the website to see what is happening during your visit. For example, the aquarium has semi-regular ‘SEA LIFE Nights’ where you can mingle with cocktails and canapes against the backdrop of the beautiful aquarium.

No matter whether you go for an event or just to spend a couple of hours meandering amongst the exhibits, Sea Life is great fun for all ages.

5. Go Back in Time at the Melbourne Museum

Blue Whale Skeleton by Rodney Start, CC BY

  • Cost: Adults $15 (concession/children free), extra cost for some exhibits. Buy tickets online ahead of time to avoid the queues.
  • Open: 10 am – 5 pm every day, except Christmas Day and Good Friday. Check the website for current exhibits.
  • Crowds: The museum is usually at its quietest in the late afternoon mid-week. It can be busy on the weekends and during school holidays.
  • Website: Melbourne Museum

The City of Melbourne has several great museums, however perhaps the most famous is the simply named Melbourne Museum which features a seemingly endless collection of historical artefacts as well as interactive exhibits and displays. Throughout the year the museum also plays host to many traveling exhibits, meaning there is always something new to see and discover.

  1. Tip: Pre-book tickets online to save time and money!
  2. Tip: The museum is very large, so a walking tour can be a great way to get orientated. Check the board near the museum entrance for the next tour time.
  3. Tip: You can buy a combined ticket with the museum and IMAX to save money on both attractions.

The Melbourne Museum features many permanent exhibits, including a World War 2 exhibit that gives a moving insight into life during this difficult time, and a dazzling array of taxidermy animals in the natural history section. Another fascinating exhibit is about the human mind, providing information about the workings of the mind, and the history of psychiatry.

Tip: Book a ticket for the TITANIC EXHIBITION in advance, as you should expect long line-ups for this particular exhibit, especially during the school holidays:

Many of the exhibits are interactive and immersive, making it an enjoyable day out for everyone, including families with young children.

The most famous and popular exhibit of all is that of Phar Lap, an Australian racehorse who captured the hearts of the Australian people in the 1920s.

Bought at a dirt-cheap price due to being seen to have no promise, the chestnut thoroughbred would go on to become Australia’s greatest race horse and bring joy to people during the Great Depression.

6. Soak up the Atmosphere at the Melbourne Cricket Ground

The MCG at Night by Sascha Wenninger, CC BY-SA cropped

  • Cost: Tickets to tour the stadium are $25 for an adult, $21 for concession card holders and $14 for children. Sporting event tickets vary, but AFL tickets start from $25 for an adult.
  • Open: Guided tours between 10.00am and 3.00pm every day, and the Sports Museum is open from 10.00am to 5.00pm.
  • Crowds: The stadium has a capacity of over 100,000, so it is very busy on game day! Touring on non-game days is quieter.
  • Website: Melbourne Cricket Ground
  • Best Tour: MCG Behind the Scenes Tour

Australia is a proud sporting nation, and there’s no more famous stadium in the nation than the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Holding up to 100,000 passionate sports fans, it is the home of Australian rules football but has hosted a wide range of events from papal visits to mega-concerts. There are daily stadium tours, or attending an event there is likely to be an unforgettable experience.

The stadium was built in 1853 as the home of the Melbourne Cricket Club, and it remains one of the most famous and beloved cricket pitches in the world.

However, the stadium is perhaps even more famous amongst fans of Australian Rules Football (AFL), with the stadium hosting the grand final every year.

  1. Tip: If you’re attending a game, bring your own food as the options are available are pretty limited, and very expensive.
  2. Tip: If attending in summer, try to get a seat in the Southern Stand, which is the most protected from the sun.
  3. Tip: Take public transport on game day, as it gets extremely busy and parking can be a nightmare!

Attending AFL games at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is surprisingly affordable, with general admission tickets starting from $25 for adults with concessions available. It’s a true Aussie experience to attend a match, with bonus points if you indulge in a beer and pie while you watch.

For non-Aussies, the rules might seem a bit strange, but it’s all about the atmosphere! The season runs between April and September each year and tickets must be purchased through Ticketek. If there are no games on, never fear!

The stadium is open for guided tours, which depart regularly between 10am and 3pm every day. On the tour you will learn about the history of the stadium and the noteworthy events it has been host to, such as the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and the 1986 Papal visit.

You’ll also get behind-the-scenes access to areas such as the locker and changing rooms (book in advance):

The MCG is also home to the National Sports Museum, which boasts an impressive collection of sporting memorabilia across sporting codes and events.

The Museum is not just a collection of memorabilia, though, as it also features a number of interactive exhibits which are great fun for the whole family and allow you to see how your sporting skill measures up against Australia’s best athletes.

7. Shop ‘Til You Drop at the Queen Victoria Market

  • Cost: Free
  • Open: Open every day except Mondays and Wednesdays. Opening times vary (see the table below)
  • Crowds: It can be crowded on the weekends but is usually quieter mid-week. Early morning is the best time to dodge the crowds.
  • Website: Queen Victoria Market
  • Great Tour: Queen Victoria Market Ultimate Foodie Tour

Built in 1878, the Queen Victoria Markets are a Melbourne institution. Featuring a fresh produce section as well as a great selection of goods, including clothing, souvenirs and bric-a-brac, there’s more than enough to spend a few hours exploring here. The market is in the centre of Melbourne, surrounded by Peel, Franklin, Victoria and Elizabeth Streets.

Getting there: The easiest way to get there is to catch the tram, which stops just outside and is free to travel on. In keeping with Melbourne’s reputation as a bike-friendly city, there is free parking for bikes at the market.

The fresh produce section is popular amongst local Melbournians, who purchase fruit, vegetables, dairy and more from stallholders.

It’s a great place to pick up some local ingredients to cook a tasty homemade meal. If you don’t plan on cooking during your visit to Melbourne, it’s still worth having a look around and doing some people watching.

The upper level, by contrast, is a dazzling array of stalls selling things from children’s toys to second-hand books. There are also many stalls devoted to ‘Australiana’ souvenirs, including ugg boots and other goodies.

If you are looking for a place to pick up souvenirs – whether cheap and cheerful or higher quality – the Queen Victoria Market is a great place to go.

  1. Tip: The best time to go is either early in the morning (to beat the crowds) or late in the afternoon (to get the best discounts).
  2. Tip: Bring cash to the market – there are ATMs on-site however, the lines can be incredibly long.
  3. Tip: Don’t buy items from the first stall you see, as prices vary and you can also haggle to get a bigger discount.

It couldn’t be a Melbourne attraction without a nice café nearby, and there are several good ones on the outer edges of the Queen Victoria market. The cafes are very popular with visitors to the market and brunch-loving Melbournians.

There are also several food trucks, the most popular of all being the American donut truck – the hot jam donut is an absolute must, although you may have to brave a long line-up if you go around lunch time.

In recent years the Melbourne council has invested a lot of money into jazzing up the Market, and there is currently a lot going on.

In the summer and winter months, there is extended night trading where Queen Victoria Market opens on Wednesdays from 5 pm – 9 pm, with food trucks, buskers and some different stallholders including up and coming young clothing designers.

8. Enjoy Nature at the Royal Botanic Gardens


As the second-most populous city in Australia, there’s no denying that Melbourne can get overwhelming. It is an expansive concrete jungle that is abuzz 24/7, so it is not unusual to find yourself craving a little bit of peace after a while.

Luckily, there is a calming green oasis right in the middle of the city, in the form of the Royal Botanic Gardens.

The gardens stretch over two different sites (one in Cranbourne and one in Melbourne), with the Melbourne Gardens covering more than 38 hectares. Since it began in 1846, the Garden has been an extremely popular place with locals and visitors alike, and each year more than one million people stop by the gardens to enjoy the plant life and serenity.

  1. Tip: Although there are a couple of cafes, the gardens are perfect for bringing your own picnic lunch.
  2. Tip: You can access the park from all sides. Parking available on St. Kilda Road close to the Shrine of Remembrance.
  3. Tip: Climb to the top of the Shrine of Remembrance and enjoy the fantastic view over Melbourne City.

The Royal Botanic Gardens are undoubtedly home to a dazzling variety of indigenous Australian plant species, as well as introduced varieties.

In total, there are more than 10,000 species growing in the gardens. Not only do they make a beautiful sight, but a visit to the Botanic Gardens is also quite the learning experience, with plaques denoting all the different varieties.

One unique feature of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne is that it is home to the State Botanical Collection, an exhibit which has over 1.5 million preserved plants, fungi and algae. It is the most complete and comprehensive botanical library in the entire country.

Given that the Gardens are so large, we advise having a look at the website and choosing out an interpretive trail to help you make the most of your visit.

There are also guided tours, such as the Aboriginal Heritage Walk which departs at 11 am every day and goes for 1.5 hours. Note that there is an additional charge for this walk ($35 for adults, $12 for kids).

Nearly every child who grew up in Melbourne will have visited the Royal Botanic Gardens during their schooling, as it places a particular focus on educating and entertaining children. The Ian Potter Children’s Garden features over 5,000 square meters of plants and educational signage aimed especially at children.

During the school holidays, there are often special activities and events for families.

While the Garden’s main attractions are the flora around the place, it also has two different cafés so you can enjoy a coffee while overlooking the beautiful plant life, or have a meal at lunchtime.

There is also a gift shop where you can purchase souvenir s or just do some window shopping.

9. Get the Adrenaline Pumping at Luna Park

  • Cost: Tickets are $2 without rides, or $49.95 (adult)/ $39.95 (child) with unlimited rides. Single ride tickets are also available.
  • Open: 11 am – 6.00 pm on weekends, school holidays and public holidays (except Christmas). Official Opening Times
  • Crowds: It can get very busy, especially during the school holidays, public holidays and on sunny weekends. Go mid-week if possible to dodge the crowds and in the morning or early evening to avoid waiting lines.
  • Website: Luna Park Melbourne

Once upon a time, Luna Park operated amusement parks all over the world, with locations in other Australian cities including Sydney and Adelaide, as well as other international cities from Cairo to Berlin. Over time, however, most have closed down – but not the iconic Luna Park in Melbourne.

Luna Park Melbourne was built in 1912, making it the oldest amusement park in the country. Since then, it has operated almost continuously for more than 100 years, thrilling generations of visitors of all ages. Some of the attractions, such as the Ghost Train, have been around for decades, with the Carousel having been built in 1913 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. It features 68 hand-painted horses, each with its own distinctive looks.

  1. Tip: Leave your valuables at home (as much as possible) as you’ll need to leave your handbag to go on rides.
  2. Tip: On some rides, parents can ride for free with children under three years old, so there’s no need to buy an extra adult ticket.
  3. Tip: Purchase your ticket ahead of time to get a discount and use of the express queue.

While the Park has kept much of the charm of yesteryear, it has been fully modernized and has many impressive modern rides to thrill even the pickiest adrenaline junkie!

Super thrill rides include the Pharaoh’s Curse and the Enterprise, both designed to add a heavy dash of excitement to your visit to Melbourne. For those who like their fun a little more tranquil, there are also many slower-paced rides that are suitable for people of all ages, including small children.

The beautiful Carousel is a favorite, especially for the little ones, whereas older kids and their families can enjoy the water-based Twin Dragon.

Entry into Luna Park without rides is just $2, so it is fun just to go and soak up the fun, carnival-like atmosphere. There are many different food stalls, as well as skill games where you can give it your best shot to win carnival prizes!

Tickets to the rides can also be purchased individually for about $10 each, so if there are only one or two rides you wish to try, this can be more cost-effective than the unlimited ticket.

There are also several cafes and eateries inside the Park, so it is very easy to spend an entire day enjoying Luna Park Melbourne. Not only are the rides and amusements world-class, but there is the added charm of imagining what the Park must have been like over a hundred years ago.

10. Visit Eureka Skydeck 88 Tower

  • Cost: $15-22
  • Open: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Tickets: Eureka Skydeck Ticket (full day, incl. glass floor, recommended)

Even with a fear of heights, you’ll love this view, maybe except for the glass floor section. It’s just mind-blowing. You’ll get absolutely gorgeous sights in every direction.

The restaurant also has good views and great food. However, you need to book a table in advance, and it’s quite expensive.

Beat the lines – secure your tickets online now  for hassle-free entry:

Tips: Buy an Eureka Skydeck online ticket, which includes a full-day entrance and the glass floor section (this costs extra when you buy on the spot). That way, you can visit early in the morning to dodge the crowds and come back later when it’s dark.

It’s also cheaper to buy online in advance! Take as many photos as possible.

Special tip: Check the views from the toilets as well.


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