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Melbourne is Victoria’s coastal capital making it the perfect spot for vacationers who want a piece of the ocean while being close to the city’s center. Bars, galleries, shopping plazas, parks, and a lot more spots are the reason Melbourne remains to be a favorite go-to place for tourists. If you’re ready for a whole lot of fun, here are our nine favorite things to do in Melbourne:
You will find the best bars, cafes, and rooftop hangouts in Melbourne's laneways. The walls are covered in impressive street art where artists like Banksy have been known to appear. Even those who aren’t really into arts are compelled to stop just to adore and appreciate the art in front of them. And because these are made of budding and competitive street artists, you’ll notice how they change and improve in a span of a short time. A city walking tour might just be one of the best ways to get to know Melbourne more. Take the Food, Arts, and Laneways Walk to get the full experience.
Well, for one, if you’re a coffee-lover, you’d find the world’s best coffee in Melbourne, beating famous coffee cities like Vienna and Rome. That’s according to the user-generated poll facilitated by travel website, booking.com.
Even cafes in other parts of the world hire Australian barista because of their commitment and dedication to their craft. If you see a cafe that says their baristas are Australian or rather specific that they got them from Melbourne, it is guaranteed that it will be one of the best cups of your life.
This won’t come off as a surprise if you’ve tried a Melbourne-brewed coffee before, given the amount of passion and love they put in each cup.
For the culture geek who doesn’t know where to start the whole “explore Melbourne” stunt, consider the Fed Square or the Federation Square as your starting point.
This is where tourists and city dwellers gather for many of the town’s cultural and art gatherings, as well as social celebrations. There are also food hubs and bars that you can go to in the area.
It’s a mixture of entertainment coupled with historical and cultural bits happening both inside the square and outside its premises. You can never go wrong once you pick this spot as your first foray into discovering what Melbourne has to offer.
After walking along Yarra River, don’t skip the equally stunning Royal Botanical Gardens located on the south side of the river.
Like the ancient National Gallery of Victoria, this garden was also built in the 1800s. But it doesn’t look ancient at any angle. With over 8,500 display of incredible flora, you’ll definitely feel at ease no matter what side of the 89 acres park you go to.
The oldest and the largest art gallery in the whole continent of Australia can be found in Melbourne. That’s the National Gallery of Victoria for you guys. The art gallery was built in 1861 and its an incredible experience to see and explore the halls of the museum. The National Gallery of Victoria continues to impress art enthusiasts from all across the globe.
From Australian Aboriginal to post-colonial works, you’ll definitely find something that suits your interest in the ancient halls of this establishment. And while the gallery is already a sight to behold, complete the tour by walking along the Southbank’s Yarra River where you can get a good view of the cityscape.
For those with acrophobia, either you’d skip this part or take this as a great opportunity to conquer your fear. The Eureka Tower stands at 91 stories tall and is a great viewing point to see the city. Once the sun turns into a golden hue, skyscrapers instantly embrace the same color. We won’t judge you if you stay stunned for a minute or two, just looking at the wonderful colors in front of you. If you’re a little more adventurous, the Edge awaits your presence. It’s a glass cube that slides out three meters from the building. Yikes!
Every night around sunset, you can sit on the beach at Phillip Island to watch the Penguin Parade. After a long day of swimming and fishing, the penguins return to the shore and waddle into their burrows in the sand dunes. Watching this cute procession will definitely be one of the highlights of your trip. The Penguin Parade is only 90 minutes from the city, so add it to your list of must-do Melbourne day trips. You can take a Phillip Island Penguin Parade Tour with pick-up and drop-off from Melbourne with Go West Tours. You will be treated to a full day of experiencing Australian wildlife including kangaroos, wallabies, pademelons, emus and more.
One of the best drives that you could ever take in your life is to take the Great Ocean Road route. To say it’s the most scenic coastal drive in the world is an understatement as it really is an unbeatable gorgeous experience — especially during the sunset when the sun paints the whole sky and sea with a beautiful aurous shade. Take the Great Ocean Road Tour at sunset to avoid the crowds and witness unforgettable views of the 12 Apostles.
Of course, your trip to Australia wouldn’t feel complete without a day of hiking — or bushwalking as Aussies would put it. The Dandenong Ranges looks like it’s straight out of a painting, honestly as if oil on canvas. It’s a complete beauty just 35 kilometers east of Melbourne, perfect for the cyclists, walkers, or basically just your normal nature lover.
You’d see a lot of hikers along with their walking sticks taking in such spectacular scenery, and you would understand why once you experience the whole trek. In fact, it’s even a popular site for wedding photoshoots because of all the elements engraved into this patch of paradise on earth — charming little towns, lovely farms, and the Puffing Billy steam train that make the perfect backdrop for any memorabilia.
Australia is generally one of the best countries that you can visit no matter what type of traveler you are, Melbourne being the top favorite city of many wanderers.
Who’s to disagree? Best coffee? Ancient establishments that boast art and culture all at the same time? Amazing street art? We’re down to explore Melbourne over and over again and for a good reason! We hope you are, too.
To discover more things to do in Melbourne, check out TOT: HOT OR NOT. It's Melbourne and Victoria's largest and longest-running family travel site, with over a decade's experience reviewing kid-friendly events, activities, dining out, and destinations
This post was written and contributed by Geraldine Mills, a self-confessed wanderlust, with a passion not only for traveling but also for sharing her travel experiences and tips as a writer. If you want to contribute a Guest Post to The Travelling Souk, please visit our Write for Us page.Back to overview
We are Jacob and Taylor. Travel is our passion and we love sharing our experiences here at The Travelling Souk. Our hope is that you would be inspired by this little blog to try something new, embrace an adventure, and live life to the fullest.