The Getaway
Melbourne's Best: 20 Unmissable City Attractions

Melbourne often hailed as Australia's cultural capital, is a city where history and modernity intertwine to create a tapestry rich in art, culture, and vibrant city life. Every corner of this dynamic metropolis has a story to tell, from its bustling markets brimming with local produce and artisan crafts to its serene gardens offering an oasis of tranquility amidst urban hustle. The city's historic landmarks stand as testaments to its rich past, while the contemporary arts scene pulsates with creativity and innovation, showcasing Melbourne's status as a hub for artists and performers from around the world.

This city's unique charm lies in its ability to blend old-world elegance with a contemporary edge, making it an irresistible destination for travelers seeking a diverse array of experiences. Melbourne isn't just a destination; it's a vibrant, living canvas that invites you to be a part of its ever-unfolding story.

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01 Explore the Laneways and Street Art

mural in melbourne

Melbourne's laneways aren't just pathways but a vibrant exhibition of contemporary culture. Wander through Hosier Lane or AC/DC Lane, where walls are adorned with vibrant street art, reflecting the city's creative spirit. These laneways are constantly evolving, with new artworks appearing regularly, making each visit a unique experience. Guided street art tours offer deeper insights into the artists' intentions, techniques, and the stories behind these urban masterpieces.

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02 Visit Queen Victoria Market

melbourne queen victoria market

A bustling hub since the 19th century, Queen Victoria Market is a sensory feast. Spanning over 7 hectares, it's a place to savor fresh produce, artisanal goods, and a vibrant atmosphere. The market is a shopping destination and a cultural experience reflecting Melbourne's diverse community. Don't miss the iconic jam donuts, a staple for over 50 years, and be sure to explore the various sections of the market, each offering its unique array of goods.

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03 Admire Flinders Street Station

Flinders Street Station

Flinders Street Station, with its distinctive yellow façade and Victorian architecture, is a symbol of Melbourne's rich history. As the busiest suburban railway station in the Southern Hemisphere, it's a bustling gateway to the city's many wonders. The station's grand arches and iconic clocks have made it a favorite subject for photographers. Inside, its historical charm is palpable, with old-world details and bustling platforms.

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04 Relax at the Royal Botanic Gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens

Escape to the tranquility of the Royal Botanic Gardens. This urban oasis, spanning 38 hectares, is a tapestry of lush lawns, serene lakes, and diverse plant collections. It's a perfect spot for a peaceful stroll or a leisurely picnic. The gardens also host various educational and cultural events throughout the year, making it a dynamic place to visit. Don't miss the Aboriginal Heritage Walk, which offers a rich insight into the indigenous history of the area.

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05 Enjoy the view from the Eureka Skydeck

Eureka Skydeck

Soar to the 88th floor of the Eureka Tower and be greeted by breathtaking panoramic views of Melbourne. The Skydeck offers a unique perspective of the city's layout, landmarks, and the meandering Yarra River. For the adventurous, the Edge Experience is a glass cube that slides out from the building for a thrilling view. The Skydeck is also a fantastic spot to witness Melbourne's stunning sunsets or the city lights at night.

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06 Check out Melbourne's Coffee Culture

exterior view of coffee shop

Melbourne takes its coffee seriously, and a visit isn't complete without indulging in the city's renowned coffee culture. From quaint laneway cafes to trendy coffee shops, each cup promises a delightful experience for your taste buds. Melbourne's baristas are known for their skill and creativity, often turning a cup of coffee into a work of art. The city's coffee culture is a reflection of its cosmopolitan and inclusive spirit, where each café has its unique ambiance and style.

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07 Visit the National Gallery of Victoria

National Gallery of Victoria

The National Gallery of Victoria, Australia's oldest and most visited art museum, is a haven for art lovers. Its extensive collection includes everything from contemporary art to ancient artifacts, offering a journey through time and creativity. The NGV hosts several international art exhibitions throughout the year, making it a dynamic and ever-evolving space. The building itself, with its striking architecture and waterwall entrance, is a masterpiece worth admiring.

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08 Stroll Along the Yarra River

Yarra River

The Yarra River, the lifeline of Melbourne, offers picturesque walks and cruises. Stroll along its banks, enjoy the riverside gardens, and take in views of the city skyline, especially stunning during sunset. The river is also a hub for events and activities, from rowing competitions to cultural festivals. Along its banks, you'll find a variety of dining and entertainment options, making it a lively place to spend an evening.

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09 Experience the Nightlife at Rooftop Bars

Melbourne's rooftop bars are the perfect places to unwind. From the trendy Rooftop at QT to the laid-back vibes of Bomba, each spot offers a unique ambiance to enjoy a drink under the stars. These bars not only offer great drinks but also some of the best views of the city. They are perfect spots to socialize, relax, and watch the city's skyline light up as the sun sets.

10 Catch a Game at the MCG

melbourne cricket ground

The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is a mecca for sports enthusiasts. Catch the excitement of an Australian Rules Football match or a cricket game, and soak in the electrifying atmosphere of this iconic stadium. The MCG is not just a sports venue but a place of historical significance, hosting various cultural events and concerts. A tour of the MCG offers a behind-the-scenes look at this legendary ground and its rich history.

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11 Day Trip to the Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road, with its dramatic coastal scenery and the famous Twelve Apostles, is a must-do day trip. This scenic route offers stunning ocean views, charming beach towns, and opportunities for unforgettable photography. Along the way, you'll encounter diverse wildlife, rainforests, and historical sites, making it a journey that's as educational as it is scenic. The Great Ocean Road is a testament to nature's beauty and power, a highlight of any trip to Victoria.

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12 Explore St Kilda

Great Ocean Road

St Kilda, with its historic charm, bustling esplanade, and the iconic Luna Park, is a delightful blend of beachside fun and cultural experiences. Don't miss the chance to see the penguins at St Kilda Pier at dusk. The suburb is also known for its vibrant music scene, with live bands and performances being a regular feature at local venues. St Kilda's Sunday market is a treasure trove of crafts, artworks, and local produce, perfect for souvenir hunting.

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13 Visit the Immigration Museum

melbourne immigration museum

The Immigration Museum tells the poignant stories of those who have shaped Melbourne's cultural landscape. Interactive exhibits and personal narratives make this a moving and educational experience. The museum not only celebrates the diverse backgrounds of Melbourne's residents but also explores the challenges and triumphs of the immigrant experience. It's a place that fosters understanding and appreciation of the multicultural fabric of Australia.

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14 Relax in Federation Square

federation square

Federation Square is a pulsating heart in the city center. This architectural marvel is a venue for arts, culture, and public events, offering a window into Melbourne's contemporary life. The square is surrounded by world-class restaurants, galleries, and museums, making it a cultural hub. It's a place where locals and tourists alike gather to celebrate, protest, or simply enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.

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15 Take the City Circle Tram

City Circle Tram

The City Circle Tram is a charming and convenient way to navigate Melbourne's key attractions. This free service is perfect for a quick city tour, offering a glimpse into Melbourne's vibrant urban life. The trams themselves are a piece of Melbourne's history, with their vintage design adding to the charm of the experience. The tram route covers many of Melbourne's landmarks, making it an ideal starting point for any visitor.

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16 Shop and Dine on Lygon Street

Lygon Street

Lygon Street, Melbourne's own Little Italy, is a gastronomic delight. Indulge in authentic Italian cuisine, enjoy the lively atmosphere, and experience the best of Italian culture right in the heart of Melbourne. The street is lined with gelaterias, bakeries, and boutiques, offering a taste of Italy at every turn. Lygon Street is also home to the famous Melbourne International Film Festival, adding to its cultural significance.

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17 Visit Phillip Island

Phillip Island

Phillip Island is a natural paradise, just a short drive from Melbourne. Witness the famous penguin parade, explore its rugged beaches, and encounter Australia's unique wildlife in their natural habitat. The island also offers a range of outdoor activities, from surfing to nature walks, making it a perfect destination for adventure seekers. Phillip Island's conservation efforts, particularly for the little penguins, are commendable and a highlight of any visit.

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18 Tour the Old Melbourne Gaol

Old Melbourne Gaol

Step into the darker side of Melbourne's history at the Old Melbourne Gaol. Once home to notorious criminals, it now stands as a fascinating museum offering insights into Australia's penal history. The Gaol's night tours and interactive experiences bring its grim history to life. The story of Ned Kelly, Australia's most famous bushranger, is a significant part of the Gaol's narrative, adding to its allure.

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19 Explore the Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum

The Melbourne Museum is a treasure trove of natural and cultural history. From the rich heritage of the Aboriginal people to the diverse ecosystems of Victoria, the museum offers an educational and engaging experience. The museum's modern architecture and interactive exhibits make it a fun and informative visit for all ages. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, ensuring there's always something new to discover.

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20 Experience the Arts at Arts Centre Melbourne

Arts Centre Melbourne

Arts Centre Melbourne is the cultural cornerstone of the city. With a lineup of world-class performances, from ballet to opera and theater, it's a testament to Melbourne's thriving arts scene. The center's iconic spire and modernist architecture are landmarks in themselves. As you immerse yourself in the arts here, you'll find that Melbourne's cultural offerings are as rich and varied as the performances on its stages, perfectly encapsulating the city's spirit of creativity and innovation.

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