An effervescent mix of food, sport and culture
Melbourne is a city fuelled by coffee and inspired by sports, art, live music, fine dining and laneway bars.
The CBD is a compact, ever-evolving grid with an independent spirit. Victorian architecture sits alongside epic street art and gleaming high-rise apartments. Alleys and laneways offer hidden galleries, theatres, basement bars and coffee roasters.
The Yarra River underlines the CBD like a ribbon. In one direction it leads to the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground. The Melbourne and Olympic Park precinct, home to major entertainment and sporting arenas, is nearby. In the other direction, there’s Federation Square, home to the ACMI film centre. Further along, riverside dining along Southbank and the arts precinct. Aim for the iconic Arts Centre spire. It signals wonderland of theatres, auditoriums, and the National Gallery of Victoria.
Beyond the grid, explore inner-city suburbs Collingwood, Fitzroy, Northcote and Brunswick. Check out the fun bars along Chapel Street in Windsor and the colourful beachside suburb of St Kilda.
Things to do: Melbourne
Wander street-art laneways
Melbourne’s laneways are a treasure box of hidden gems. Here, you'll find award-winning restaurants, theatres, galleries and standing-room only cocktail bars. Hosier Lane is one of the biggest tourist draws for its ever-changing street art. Degraves Street is full of cute cafes. Hardware Lane has a range of outdoor restaurants. We recommend letting your two feet and your sense of adventure lead the way.
Shop at Melbourne’s markets
Melbourne has markets galore, selling fresh produce, vintage fashion and artisanal goods. Don't miss historic Queen Victoria Market, South Melbourne Market and Prahran Market. Here you'll find generous delis, spectacular produce, amazing seafood and charismatic eateries. You'll also find stores selling cookware, clothing and all manner of market goods. For unique local arts and crafts, head to the Rose Street Artists’ Market in Fitzroy.
Check out live music
Melbourne’s live music scene is world famous. From small pubs to bigger venues, you can find bands to see every night of the week. For full listings, pick up a copy of legendary street mag Beat (or check their website). Visit the Tote Hotel in Collingwood for classic Melbourne pub rock. The Corner Hotel in Richmond hosts local and international acts. And there are many, many other venues to discover.
See theatre and musicals
If you love theatre, Melbourne will dazzle you. Grand theatres like the Princess, Her Majesty’s and the Regent stage major musicals. (It is one of only four cities in the world to stage Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.) There are sleek performance spaces in the Arts Centre for other shows. If you prefer something smaller, Melbourne has plenty of cabaret spaces. Try La Mama, The Butterfly Club and 45Downstairs. Local entertainment guides like Time Out have listings of what’s on.
Meet Melbourne's wildlife
Melbourne Zoo, a quick 20-minute train ride from the city, is a sprawling wildlife wonderland dedicated to fighting wildlife extinction. There are amazing sections to explore, like the Gorilla Rainforest, the Australian Bush, Lion Gorge and the Trail of the Elephants. There are free zookeeper talks and close-up animal encounters. Further afield, grand safari adventures await at the Werribee Open Range Zoo, and Healesville Sanctuary is a must-see on a daytrip to the Yarra Valley. At all three zoos, kids under 16 get free entry on weekends and Victorian public and school holidays.
Melbourne Airport (MEL)
Distance to city centre 23km, approximately 40 mins travel time
Taxi You’ll find taxi ranks located across from the terminals. Approximate fare to the city centre is AUD $75.
Avalon Airport (AVV)
Distance to Geelong 20km, approximately 20 mins travel time.
Distance to Melbourne city centre 55km, approximately 50 mins travel time
Taxi Approximately AUD $40-50 (Geelong) or AUD $120-$130 (Melbourne city centre)
Rideshare pickup is available to the left, as you leave the terminal.Back to top
When to go
Melbourne has a temperate climate, known for its unpredictability – 'four seasons in one day', as the saying goes. Winter can be on the chilly side, with average minimum temperatures of 6–7°C from June–October, while summer sees temperatures rise to over 30°C (usually with a couple of days over 40°C thrown in for good measure).
Come in March–April for Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. In May–June, see Rising arts festival and in August, Melbourne International Film Festival and Melbourne Writers Festival.
Sports fans can enjoy the Australian Open tennis Grand Slam in January, the Formula 1 Grand Prix in March, the AFL finals in September, the Melbourne Cup in November and the Boxing Day Test cricket at the MCG in December.Back to top
Visit Public Transport Victoria for tram, bus and train timetables, journey planners and ticket information. To travel on public transport you'll need a myki card (available from train stations, major tram stops and all 7-Eleven convenience stores). Please note that myki is not accepted on the privately run Skybus to and from the airport.
Visitors can buy a Myki Explorer, which includes a myki card, maps and discounts at local attractions, from SkyBus terminals at Melbourne Airport and Southern Cross Station, and from the PTV Hubs at Southern Cross Station, Geelong and Bendigo.Back to top
Discover more about Melbourne
Live it up! The best things to do in Melbourne
Got your coffee? Got your coat? Great, now you’re ready to dive into Melbourne.
Melbourne on a budget: top things to do
Enjoy Melbourne without the expense with these free and cheap things to do.