We’re proud to bring you a collection of the ultimate fun things to do in Melbourne! Australia’s Cultural Capital in southern Victoria, is a must-see on every backpackers list of destinations to visit.
Modern architecture, graffiti covered alleyways, incredible food and live music in abundance. Just some of the awesome things to do in the city.
Exploring the city is as easy as hopping on one of the free trams that will take you anywhere within the CBD at zero cost to you.
Stroll around the beautiful Federation Square, or take a walk along the Yarra river.
Get lost in the endless opportunities of exhibitions, markets, art galleries and of course the world famous coffee culture.
Full List of Cool Things to do in Melbourne
There is just so much to see and endless fun and top things to do in Melbourne.
This is the ultimate insider guide with local tips and top tourist attractions to get your adventure-buds tingling.
Get your harness on and hit the wall at 6am and watch the city wake up through the glass walls that cover the building.
This place is open 7 days a week and welcomes both experienced climbers and total newbies.
Sign up for a 3-hour course or take a private lesson with one of the friendly instructors, who will get you to the top, no problem.
In view of the pandemic, while gyms might be closed, it might be a good time to stay home and perhaps op to build your own home climbing gym wall to keep up the sport!
Bonus: outdoor climbing enthusiasts take the train from Melbourne Central to Burnley Bouldering
Wall, located just under the freeway.
3. Enjoy a Monday Movie at Nova
Is it normal to be thinking about wine at this time on a Monday? Asking for a friend…
Seriously though, we all know how Mondays feel and it doesn’t really matter whether you are a backpacker or a nine to five-worker.
It’s like your body has a built in calendar that just makes sure you are aware it is Monday. Eurgh.
So what a brilliant move from Cinema Nova on 380 Lygon Street to have the cheapest tickets in Melbourne every Monday.
Before 4pm all movies are only $7 and after 4pm you’ll get your tickets for $10.
Make yourself cozy with some movie snacks and sink down in the seat with a nice glass of red. You deserve it.
Location: 380 Lygon Street. Check out the Nova website for weekly screenings.
4. Shop ’til you Drop with Glee
Believe it or not, Melbourne is a paradise for travellers on a tight budget that wish to shop!
This might seem like one of those a girly things to do in Melbourne, but guys like shopping too, right?
When you’ve been backpacking around for a while, wearing the same old t-shirts and shorts you might start to feel like upgrading your wardrobe.
But at the same time you have to make sure that you can afford food, accomodation, adventures, flights, socialising and so on. And then there is the important environmental factor to think about.
Melbourne is, however, full of sustainable second hand treasures for you to discover.
On the classic tourist quarters around Brunswick Street you will find everything from high fashion vintage to affordable budget OP-shops in every street corner.
A nice way to spend the day is to get here in the morning and have a killer breakfast in one of the many
picturesque cafes before going on your treasure hunt.
If you are after something a little less crowded and touristy you might want to take the tram to Sydney Road or Northcote.
These urban hipster suburbs have heaps of second hand stores on offer as well.
5. Beach it up at St Kilda
Take the tram from Flinders Street Station to St Kilda Beach and explore Melbourne’s most famous
This is certainly a top choice of free things to do in Melbourne with family, friends, or by yourself!
700 meters of classic Australian beauty – feel the warm sand beneath your feet while you’re getting your relax mode on in the sun, or just enjoy a beer on the pier.
There are plenty of great places around the beach to drink and dine.
Play a casual game of beach volley ball, hire a Stand Up Paddle (SUP) or check out the fishing trips that depart from here.
Have you not tried out your board skills yet? Well, it’s about time. At St Kilda Beach you’ll find your adrenaline pumping while kite surfing the waves.
GoKite is one of schools that offer kite surfing lessons to beginners and more advanced surfers. With experienced surfers you’ll learn everything you need to know about this fantastic water sport.
You can also enjoy the costal view from the St Kilda Ferry that will take you all the way to Williamstown.
On the way you might spot some penguins on the beach. Yep, that’s right. There are penguins in Australia – at St Kilda Beach!
6. Join a Yoga Class, Dinner Included
Unfortunately Yoga Classes are usually a bit pricy in Australia.
There are heaps of great places to practice your warriors and pigeons, but you will have to be prepared to pay around $25 dollars per class.
However! I would love to tell you about a very special place on Brunswick Street called Desire Tree Yoga & Kirtan.
On the top floor, above the amazing Indian style vegetarian restaurant, Radhey Kitchen & Chai Bar, this little studio runs classes every evening.
This is a bit different to the bigger fitness yoga studios, and is all about creating a peaceful intimate experience with a maximum of 8 people per class. You can book online at or just drop in.
Every class includes a vegetarian dinner that you can enjoy either before or after the class. And honestly, the food here is insane, so you don’t want to miss out!
All this for only $20. A pretty sweet deal if you ask me.
7. Have a Bella Notte at The Italian Quarter
Take a stroll down the Italian quarters on Lygon Street on any night of the week and you will be
transported to the streets of Rome.
The flavours, the smells, even the music. Lining the road is a series of great Italian restaurants serving all of your favourites.
Oh yes, the sweet taste of Margherita with buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil, Limoncello, Prosecco, Tiramisu, home made Gelato. Sì grazie!
Alongside cute little wine bars, you will even spot some red vespa scooters parked on the kerbside.
See fresh pasta being made in the shop windows, and enjoy chatting to the managers standing
outside their restaurants trying to convince you that their place is the only authentic Italian Restaurant on the block.
They will even give you complimentary drinks with your meal. Score!
While enjoying your dinner you might get lucky and have one of the buskers on the street perform a love song just for you. How romantic is that!
8. Get Green with CERES
CERES (pronounced ‘series’) is a community space in Brunswick East, focused on environmental sustainability, sharing ideas with each other, growing organic food, and inspiring people to learn new skills and share their knowledge.
You can learn how to
build your own bike
try out the benefits of a traditional ‘sweat lodge’
enjoy some live music at the cafe on weekends
visit the food markets
or have a walk around and explore the beautiful space.
There are also heaps of fun events on every week.
Join in on a beautiful insight meditation on Monday nights or check out the Flea Market on Saturdays, for
9. Strutt your Stuff at an Open Mic Night
The people of Melbourne are truly passionate about music. It’s almost as if everyone here is playing in a band, busking or producing. And it’s great music too!
If you are keen to jam with some local musicians or just experience the musical vibe of the city we recommend you to check out some of the many Open Mic Nights arranged all over town most nights of the week.
The entry is usually very affordable, and the local beer is tasty indeed.
If you want to play, make sure to be at the venue early since the list will usually fill up fast.
and Madame K just to mention a few of the great places.
If you have a big appetite pay a visit to The Moroccan Soup Bar – the servings sizes are insanely generous!
Craving something sweet? Then you must go to Girls and Boys for some delicious plant based sundaes topped with with chocolate sauce, mixed nuts & chunks of chocolate fudge.
And yes, you can even buy a whole tub of ice cream to take with you for a quiet night at your hostel.
11. Experience The Queen Victoria Market
This is the largest open air market in The Southern Hemisphere.
Just think about that for amoment. Woah.
The historical Queen Victoria Market on Queen Street is turning 140 years this year and is said to be the heart and soul of the city.
But I like to describe it more like the blood that is pumping in the veins of Melbourne.
Every morning at around 4am, while most of the city is still asleep, over 700 small businesses start setting up their stalls to be ready to provide you with local produce, hand made jewellery, clothes, fish and meat, street food and coffee.
Imagine the rich colours and smells of fresh fruits and herbs when the bustling market opens up for the first enthusiastic customers of the day.
The market workers shouting out their best prices to get your attention, and how all the different cultures of the city meet in this beautiful chaos.
You just have to experience it.
12. Spend the day at Abbotsford Convent
Abbotsford Convent is the old monastery site that has been turned into a creative hub, located just 4km outside of the CBD.
The convent is home to over 100 yoga studios, art galleries, cafes, restaurants, boutique shops and even a radio station.
Stroll around the beautiful gardens and let your soul be filled with some creative energy.
Learn to draw, paint, meditate, write, dance or take a yoga class, an improvisation class or even learn to speak a new language.
There are workshops for everything you can imagine!
BONUS: Volunteer @ Lentils as Anything, Abbotsford Convent.
Are you staying in town for a while and want to get some hospitality experience for future work
Come to Lentils as Anything, a donation based vegetarian restaurant run by volunteers from all over the world.
On Tuesday and Sunday afternoons they run a training for volunteering at the restaurant. This is a great way to meet other backpackers, and learn all about kitchen work, waiting tables, making coffees and getting some valuable work experience for your resume.
Don’t hesitate to come along if you are a musician looking for some gigs while in town. Lentils welcome singer/songwriters to play during their dinner service.
13. Delve in to Art & Museum Culture
Melbourne is the perfect spot for the art and gallery junkies.
The city has an incredible variety of museums to offer, and you could basically spend your entire trip just museum hopping.
Anyhow, there is plenty to explore in the city, so let’s have a look at the two must sees.
Pay a visit to the Melbourne Museum located at the Carlton Gardens, and explore the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Culture Centre and the IMAX Cinema.
There are always exciting and educational exhibitions on. Learn about the Australian history, culture and nature.
Note: The combined ticket for the museum and the IMAX is around $15.
Melbourne Cricket Ground, or The G, as it’s known by the locals, was built in 1853, just 20 years after the birth of Melbourne city, and anyone in Victoria will be happy to share some memories about AFL,
Cricket, Soccer or Rugby from the stadium.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground is open seven days a week, and it’s located by the Yarra River, just a short ten minutes walk from Flinders Street Station.
There is more to The G than just sports. Visit the restaurants, bars, cafes and of course The National Sports Museum whilst there.
22. Wine Tasting, Anyone?
Just a short drive outside the city you can treat your soul with a glass of wine or a locally brewed beer in one of the many family owned wineries and breweries located in the Yarra Valley.
Absorbing yourself in nature, here you can find refuge from the hustle and bustle of the busy city with a day hike on one of the many trails.
Book a wine tasting tour at one of over 90 sensational cellar doors while enjoying some amazing local cuisine, or check out traditional artwork in the many galleries around the area.
Getting here by public transport: Take the train to Lilydale Station, then catch the bus to either Yarra Glen (home to Australias best known wineries), or Healesville where you will find the Healesville Sanctuary and The Australian Wildlife Center.
You know that scene in Sofia Coppolas ‘Lost in Translation’ where Scarlett Johansson strolls around the game arcade in Tokyo, amazed by everything surrounding her?
Let us set the scene.
The music’s pumping while a kid plays the dancing machine, someone’s banging the drums, intense neon lights are flashing all over the place and a random guy with a cool jacket rocks the Guitar Freaks.
Well, this is basically that place, but in Melbourne.
Imagine over 150 classic and new video games, a bowling alley, arcade games, laser tag and bumper cars.
And of course, like anywhere in Melbourne, you’ll find some great food and drinks to stuff your belly with.
Bring out your inner child for a night of fun!
Location: You’ll find Playtime Crown at 8 Whiteman Street in Southbank.
24. Check out China Town
Fancy some freaking amazing dumplings? I thought so.
Step through the grand red gates into Chinatown on Little Bourke Street and follow the lanterns down any of the alleyways and you are bound to find heaps of places with great, affordable Asian delights.
Everything from simple street food and Yum Cha, to fine dining and cocktails.
You can also explore the exciting five floors Chinese Museum including a dragon gallery or go see a musical or ballet at the most iconic venue in Melbourne – Her Majesty’s Theatre.
You could even grab some drinks at one of the many karaoke bars and pray to God no one was filming you when you did an “amazing” rendition of Livin’ On A Prayer.
25. Grab a City Bike and Go
This is a really easy, fun and cheap way to explore Melbourne.
You will find bike stations all around the city and you can either sign up for a membership key or just pay at the kiosk for casual use.
You will need to make sure that the lights on the bike are working and you will need a helmet, which you can get at most 7Elevens for $5.
That’s pretty much it. Just grab your bike and go.
Enjoy a romantic dinner and drinks while watching the sunset from the best view of Melbourne and then lean back to for a movie under the stars.
27. Revel in Diverse Nightlife
Oh yes, God Bless the night life in Melbourne!
Prepare yourself for dark and mysterious Jazz Clubs, authentic Australian Pubs with ridiculously huge pub meals and great beer, organic and local Wine Bars, funny and sometimes quite challenging Trivia Nights and of course plenty of clubs open until sunrise.
Honestly you can find a great place for drinks pretty much anywhere in the city.
If you’re keen for nightclubbing I’d recommend to check out the Prahran area, and Revolver Upstairs is definitely one of the classics to visit.
For the jazz enthusiasts make sure to check out Uptown Jazz Cafe on Brunswick Street.
Want to have a glass of some tasty local wine and chat to the experts? Visit Melbourne’s urban winery Noisy Ritual on Lygon Street.
Hungover on a Sunday and looking for a great meal, chill vibes and some pretty intense trivia with your mates? Book a table at A Fan’s Notes on Nicholson Street and the game is on!
28. Brighton Beach
Another classic must see when in Melbourne is Brighton Beach.
Located just 30 minutes from the CBD you will find this relaxing destination with plenty to explore.
Go for a walk and take in the beautiful scenery with the iconic landmark for the area, the 82 colourful bathing boxes lined up along the beach.
These little huts date back to the early 1900s, and make a great post for any enthusiastic Instagrammer.
Alongside stunning views, Brighton also has Op-shops, parks, a golf course and great beach front cafés where you can enjoy a refreshing iced coffee after a game of real Aussie style beach cricket
or a swim in the ocean.
Don’t forget to try classic Australian cuisine whilst in Brighton – Fish & Chips on the beach.
UPDATE: 29. Vegan Food Tour
For the plant-based eaters out there, and anyone curious about vegan food; taking a tour with the wonderful Jess at Melbourne Vegan Tours is a must do!
The areas of Melbourne that these tours visit include:
There’s also an option to join a ‘cocktail after dark tour’ and ‘morning peninsula tour’.
The best bit: These guys specialise in the lesser known food places of the city, supporting local businesses.
Fun Things to do in Melbourne Map & Activities
By now you should have plenty of ideas for fun things to do in Melbourne.
We’ve gone one step further and added them all to the handy map below to help with your planning. You’ll also find the best hostels in Melbourne pinpointed.
Yet in case you want more, we’ve also found these awesome melbourne activities 2020 on offer:
I wanted to make this guide as useful and informative as possible.
And yet you may still have questions left. Please leave a comment and “bother” me. I appreciate your questions and would love to help you.
In fact, your question will help me and all our fellow travellers too.
So, please do not be shy and drop us a line the comment below. I will even send you a reply via email.
What have you got to lose?
Safe travels & Enjoy Melbourne!
– – –
pin it for later
Smart and Simple Packing List
It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality accommodation, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.