When planning your travel itinerary, Melbourne should definitely be on your list of destinations not to miss. This city offers a wide range of experiences, from cultural and architectural highlights to stunning outdoor locations. Below is our subjective list of the top places to visit in Melbourne and its surrounding areas:
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Top 21 places to visit in Melbourne
City Circle Tram
|The City Circle Tram is a great way to see Melbourne.|
For both newcomers and Melbourne veterans, the City Circle Tram is an excellent mode of transportation to explore the city and take in the sights. This circular route in the Central Business District operates in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions, passing by numerous popular tourist destinations. With unlimited hop-on and hop-off service, it’s a convenient and cost-effective option as it’s completely free. Also Read: Best 17+ Australia Honeymoon Destinations for a Romantic Vacation in 2023
|Federation Square is relatively new, but it’s already become a central gathering spot for locals and visitors.|
While New York City boasts Times Square, Melbourne has its own vibrant gathering place known as Federation Square. Despite only being established in 2002, it has quickly become a popular hub for both locals and tourists seeking entertainment, food, and relaxation.
Situated in a central location, visitors can indulge in avant-garde artwork, a plethora of dining options, bustling bars, exciting events, and engaging people-watching. Additionally, it’s conveniently within walking distance of other notable attractions like Eureka Tower (as mentioned below). Located on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets in Melbourne, Victoria.
Royal Botanic Gardens
|You can enjoy the fountains and greenery of the Royal Botanic Gardens every day from 7.30 a.m. to sunset.|
The Royal Botanic Gardens is a popular attraction for both tourists and locals, offering over 8,500 plant species from all around the world. Visitors can plan their trip in advance by booking a guided walking tour of the Ornamental Lake or learning about the impact of climate change on the environment. Alternatively, visitors can simply drop in spontaneously and revel in the natural beauty of the gardens.
National Gallery of Victoria
|The National Gallery of Victoria has an impressive collection and is the largest art museum in the country.|
The National Gallery of Victoria is a two-for-one kind of deal. It’s composed of two buildings within a short walk of each other.
State Library Victoria
|The La Trobe Reading Room at the State Library Victoria is nothing less than stunning.|
Exploring the State Library Victoria is less about browsing books and more about admiring the grand architectural design that houses them. The library is located in a breathtaking 19th-century building, and the La Trobe Reading Room, featuring an iconic white domed ceiling, is an absolute must-see.
While not intended as a guide to restaurants, there are certain dining establishments that are worth visiting solely for their ambiance. One such place is Mjølner Melbourne, which boasts a captivating Thor/Viking theme.
|Eastern barred bandicoots, small noctural members of the marsupial family, are hand-reared at the Melbourne Zoo.|
Although nothing quite compares to encountering animals in their natural habitat, if you’re unable to take a lengthy journey into the Outback, a visit to the esteemed Melbourne Zoo can provide a satisfying animal fix.
|The Eureka Tower (seen in center) opened in 2006 and gives visitors a bird’s-eye view of Melbourne.|
Most compilations of top-rated tourist destinations feature an observation deck with a bird’s-eye view. Eureka Tower is Melbourne’s representative in this category, offering its visitors the tallest skyscraper view not only in Melbourne or Australia, but in the entire Southern Hemisphere.
Melbourne Museum and Royal Exhibition Building
|Selfie opportunity! The Royal Exhibition Building is one of the finest examples of late 1800s architecture in Australia and makes a stunning backdrop for a photo.|
This is another one of Melbourne’s fabulous combo experiences.
|You can take a cruise on the Yarra River or enjoy a stroll along its banks. It runs right through the middle of the city before emptying into Port Phillip Bay.|
The city of Melbourne is situated on the banks of the Yarra River, and an excellent approach to taking in the city’s sights is from the water. Melbourne River Cruises offers a variety of boating services, including sightseeing and dining cruises.
|Abbotsford Convent is a haven for arts and nature lovers.|
Abbotsford Convent attracts both art enthusiasts and those interested in religious history. This establishment was previously a convent belonging to the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, a Roman Catholic Church order. The site now features 11 historic buildings and gardens dedicated to the promotion of the arts and appreciation of nature.
St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral
|Melbourne’s beautiful St Paul’s Cathedral is open for tours.|
St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, situated in the heart of Melbourne, boasts a magnificent appearance that wouldn’t look out of place in England, despite its consecration taking place in 1891. Guests are welcome to attend a worship service or take a tour of this impressive cathedral.
Southbank and South Wharf
|Areas such as Southbank explain why Melbourne appears on so many high-quality-of-life lists.|
While specific attractions can be enjoyable, exploring a city’s neighborhoods is the best way to truly understand its character. The affluent Southbank is an excellent starting point, offering visitors a chance to experience upscale dining and vibrant nightlife. The area is abundant with galleries, restaurants, and clubs, making it a bustling entertainment district.
Fitzroy neighborhood and Brunswick Street
|Mural-spotting is just one of the fun things you can do in the Fitzroy neighborhood.|
For those seeking a more unconventional atmosphere than Southbank, the trendy neighborhood of Fitzroy and its main thoroughfare, Brunswick Street, are worth exploring. Situated north of the Central Business District, Fitzroy has experienced some gentrification, yet still retains its edginess. Visitors can discover art galleries, vintage stores, and bookshops selling an array of genres.
|Luna Park in St. Kilda is just 15 minutes or so outside of Melbourne’s Central Business District.|
St. Kilda is a bohemian seaside neighborhood that holds an amusement park with a definite Coney Island feel. So what can you do here?
- Climb aboard the Great Scenic Railway, the world’s oldest continually operating roller coaster, at Luna Park – or choose one of its calmer rides. (18 Lower Esplanade, St Kilda VIC 3182, Australia; +61 3 9525 5033)
- Watch for penguins at the St. Kilda Breakwater.
- Stroll, cycle or skate under the neighborhood’s palms.
- Catch live music at the Palais Theatre. (Lower Esplanade, St Kilda VIC 3182, Australia; +61 3 8537 7677)
Port Campbell National Park
|The Twelve Apostles, a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park, is one of Australia’s most memorable sights.|
Let’s venture beyond Melbourne to explore some of the breathtaking natural wonders nearby.
One must-see location is Port Campbell National Park, renowned for its wave-carved rock formations and the Twelve Apostles, a magnificent land-and-sea sight that ranks among the world’s most impressive.
Phillip Island Nature Parks
|Phillip Island is a gorgeous and easy getaway.|
To summarize Phillip Island Nature Parks, situated approximately 90 minutes from Melbourne, one word suffices: penguins. This location is among the top places to observe these captivating creatures, with the website even boasting a penguin arrival clock. However, these curious birds are just the beginning of the remarkable sightings to be had at this picturesque retreat.
Peninsula Hot Springs
|We’ve walked you around enough. How about a relaxing visit to the Peninsula Hot Springs?|
Sightseeing can be exhausting for tourists, but fear not as Peninsula Hot Springs offers a soothing solution. Visitors can unwind in the natural and scenic setting while enjoying the benefits of thermal spring waters.
These are the Top places to visit in Melbourne you can visit.