Melbourne is one of the coolest cities in Australia, both figuratively (it’s a hipsters paradise) and literally (it can drop to 6 degrees celsius in winter). With so many different things to do in Melbourne, you’ll never be bored and is one reason why it is a great spot for a city break. Read on for the top 12 things you can’t miss in Melbourne.
1. Melbourne Graffiti Lanes
Wandering through the graffiti lanes in this city is a quintessential Melbourne experience. Famous internationally for the variety and continual change and updates, Melbourne street art and graffiti lanes is something you can’t miss. Discover some of the best following this guide here.
2. Rooftop Bars
Another popular Melbourne experience is enjoying a drink (or two!) from a rooftop bar. There are so many different rooftop bars to take your pick of and you can sit back with a drink in hand and admire the cityscape views from above.
3. Laneway Cafes
Continuing on with its famous hipster reputation, Melbourne is littered with small laneway cafes, perfect to enjoy a coffee and avocado on toast in the middle of the bustling city. While it is very touristy, you can’t miss having breakfast at a cafe in Centre Place while you’re here.
4. Melbourne Shopping
This city is known as the best shopping destination in Australia (and is argued to rival other shopping destinations around the world). If you enjoy wandering through some of the best retail selections you’ll find, be sure to include a day shopping while here.
5. Eureka Skydeck
Located in Southbank, the Eureka Skydeck is worth the visit. The highest public viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere, look out over Melbourne from 88 floors above. I highly recommend visiting at sunset, where you can admire the golden light as it dips behind the city, reflecting in the glass panes.
6. State Library of Victoria
One of the best (and lesser known) photography spots in Melbourne is the State Library of Victoria. Bring your camera with you because the library’s appealing layout and design is best viewed from above.
7. Great Ocean Road Day Trip
One end of the famous Great Ocean Road begins near Melbourne, which makes it a popular day (or several day) trip for those visiting. If you want to see the 12 Apostles, this can be done in a day trip from Melbourne; however, be prepared for a long (but enjoyable) day. One of the Australian destinations you need to visit, you can read all about my experience doing this here: Just Another Little Chapter.
8. Brighton Beach: Brighton Bathing Boxes
There are a few Brighton Beaches around the world; however, a famous Australian one is situated just outside of Melbourne CBD. Here you will find the Brighton Bathing Boxes, which are known all around the world due to each having their own cute artwork painted on the front. Stopping at each and snapping photos along the way is one of the most popular things to do in Melbourne.
9. Flinders Street Railway Station
Australia’s oldest railway station, Flinders Street Railway Station is an iconic Melbourne landmark. As you can see in the photo this is a very busy hub, connecting city commuters, visitors and day trippers to the rest of Melbourne as well as being a popular meeting point for those meeting up in the city. If you stand across the intersection at sunset you can enjoy the golden light on the golden building.
10. Yarra River Cruise
A lesser known experience is to view the city from the water by jumping on a Yarra River cruise. Learn about the different suburbs and history of this city as you cruise along the Yarra River. When we visited in October 2019, we even had the entire boat to ourselves. You can book these experiences online or enquire in person, as we saw a few of these boat companies docked on the Southbank side of the Yarra River
11. Melbourne Star Observation Wheel
Another lesser known experience is to view the city from the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. Located in Docklands, complement this activity by riding a classic Melbourne tram here. This was a very relaxing way to see and learn (as there is commentary) about the city. You can also add the Sparkling Flights package and sip from a glass of wine as you look out from above.
12. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Play
And of course, Melbourne is currently hosting the world famous Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play. I highly recommend booking tickets (although you will need to book quite far in advance) as this play sells out. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is one of the most impressive I have ever experienced and Princess Theatre in Melbourne is the lucky theatre playing host.