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Top 10 Things to Do in Melbourne

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Explore 10 of the best experiences you can have in Melbourne to help you plan your trip.

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Exploring Melbourne's laneways is just one aspect of this diverse city. Get a cricket or football fix. Soak up art and culture. Go high-end dining or grab the best pub burger. Shop for local designer fashion or cycle the bayside. Whatever you fancy, Melbourne is a city of choices.

Cumulus Inc., Flinders Lane, Melbourne, VIC. © Tourism Victoria

Cumulus Inc., Flinders Lane, Melbourne, VIC

Dine at Melbourne’s Best Restaurants

Melbourne prides itself on its food and the city's dizzying array of dining options is testimony to its culinary reputation. Book ahead for award-winning fine-dining restaurants - consider critically acclaimed Melbourne dining institutions Attica, one of the world’s 50 best restaurants and delve into Ben Shewry’s unique menu. Dine at Flower Drum, Vue de Monde or taste knock-out tapas at the original MoVida in Hosier Lane. Nearby, George Calombaris’s Press Room produces a clever Greek menu. Whatever you do, come to town with an appetite. A table at Melbourne's most notable restaurants is well worth the wait.

Rooftop Bar & Cinema, Curtin House, Melbourne, VIC

Rooftop Bar & Cinema, Curtin House, Melbourne, VIC

Drink at Melbourne’s Rooftop Bars

Follow the stairs upwards and reward yourself with a view at Melbourne's finest rooftop bars and have a drink or two. Discover rooftop bars tucked away in city laneways, sprawling over majestic buildings or decked out by the beach. Join the legendary Emerson Sunday sessions in South Yarra, hunt creative cocktails at its Brunswick Street neighbour, Black Pearl, or sip wines at Bellota in South Melbourne and the CBD’s Cumulus Up in Flinders Lane. It is no wonder that Melbourne invented the rooftop bar scene!

MCG, Melbourne, VIC. © Tourism Victoria

MCG, Melbourne, VIC

Be part of the action at Hallmark events and Festivals

Melbourne’s calendar of events is jam-packed. Light up your January with the first tennis Grand Slam of the year or savour a meal and a glass of wine at delicious food festival events, including the World's Longest Lunch at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival in March. Be exhilarated by the high-octane Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix to the finesse of high fashion at Flemington for the excitement of the Spring Racing Carnival and Melbourne Cup. Whatever the season, the city is buzzing with theatre, exhibitions, concerts, festivals and sporting events. Melbourne's busy events calendar is sure to excite.

Hansom, Gertrude Street, Melbourne, VIC. © Tourism Victoria

Hansom, Gertrude Street, Melbourne, VIC

Shop at Melbourne’s Designer Boutiques and Cool Local Labels

Shopping in Melbourne always comes with added extras, with laneway discoveries and cafe culture as much a part of the experience as the loot from local designers and the best of international brands. Venture down laneways and into pop-ups and sleek boutiques of the city's most original and creative designers to no-nonsense basics and more intrepid pieces in boutiques in Fitzroy, Collingwood, Northcote, Armadale, Prahran and St Kilda. From Melbourne-based luxury designers to established identities and up and coming names, the output of the city's fashion stars is taking the world by storm. If you’re a bargain hunter, hold onto your tote and prepare to shop at DFO South Wharf’s 120-plus stores offering major brands at discounted prices, just stone's throw from the city centre.

Melbourne Museum, VIC. © Visit Victoria

Melbourne Museum, VIC

Melbourne’s Edutainment

There's plenty of things to do for the whole family in Melbourne. From interactive museums and kids' festivals to exhilarating outdoor adventures and wildlife parks, you'll discover a whole host of things to do with the family. Learn about Australian social history, Indigenous cultures, science and the environment at the Melbourne Museum. Take flight through the Melbourne skies and see the city from a different perspective on the Melbourne Star. This 40-storey high structure provides uninterrupted 360-degree views of Victoria and is also an iconic feature of the Melbourne skyline. For an experience above all else, you can teeter on The Edge, a switchable glass cube that slides you out from Eureka Skydeck's 88th floor for unsurpassed views of Melbourne and far beyond!

Stones of the Yarra Valley, Yarra Valley, VIC. © Tourism Victoria

Stones of the Yarra Valley, Yarra Valley, VIC

Melbourne and Surrounds

Head out of the city to discover the natural beauty, world-class food and wine, great golfing and unique destinations of Melbourne and Surrounds. Just an easy drive from Melbourne city, you can experience tall forests, historic villages, Australian wildlife, and vine-filled valleys.

Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges – Indulge in premium food and wine, stay at secluded boutique accommodation, visit artisans and galleries, enjoy pickings at fruit orchards and take in stunning scenery, less than an hour away from Melbourne.

Mornington Peninsula – Less than an hour from Melbourne, you will be dazzled by vibrant coastal villages, boutique wineries, acclaimed restaurants, art galleries, manicured gardens, geothermal springs and renowned golf courses.

Phillip Island - A place of natural beauty, sandy beaches and unique wildlife experiences. Witness the nightly penguin at sunset, stroll the Nobbies boardwalk or take a cruise to watch the seal colony at close range at Seal Rocks

Ballarat - A thriving hub of contemporary arts, events and food and wine, with a heritage backdrop. You can pan for gold and witness the hustle and bustle of the 1850s gold mining settlement at Sovereign Hill.

MoVida, Melbourne, VIC

MoVida, Melbourne, VIC

Insider Guides

Spend some time in the city centre and you'll discover it's neatly divided into little pockets for you to explore. Explore Melbourne on foot with an expert walking guide, join a bus tour or follow the historic City Circle Tram route on a tour of the city's cafes. Take in the history of Melbourne on a heritage trail, see celebrated street art in the narrow alleys and laneways of the CBD, or take your camera on a night time photography tour. Melbourne slopes very gently down to the bay, so you can bike your way to shops and cafés, or through the Yarra River's parks and gardens without working up too much of a sweat. Besides the City Circle Tram that provides free travel, the inner city CBD has a free tram zone that includes the area from Queen Victoria Market, Victoria Harbour in Docklands, Spring Street, Flinders Street Station and Federation Square. You will have to purchase a myki card if you plan to start or finish your journey outside of this central area.

Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, VIC. © Tourism Victoria

Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, VIC

Melbourne Markets  

For fresh food, irresistible treats, unique gifts and endless bargains, there's nothing like a market – and Melbourne has them scattered across the city. Browse the markets for fresh food, deli goods, wines, freshly brewed coffee and great baked treats or souvenirs to take home, you’d be spoilt for choice.

Queen Victoria Market is the heart and soul of Melbourne. Eat, shop, explore and discover your way through the iconic food halls and heritage sheds where the banter is as fresh as the produce. Or simply soak up the atmosphere of the largest open air market in the southern hemisphere.

South Melbourne Market - join the locals relaxing over coffee and browsing stall after stall of fresh produce, specialty foods and pretty much anything else you can think of.

St Kilda Esplanade Market remains a favourite destination with locals and tourists alike who appreciate the diverse and unique range of quality handmade artworks and the opportunity to meet and chat directly with the makers. Stroll beneath the palms along the esplanade, peruse the wares of local artists, and pick up handmade artworks and souvenirs.

Market Lane Cafe, VIC. © Paul Philipson

Market Lane Cafe, VIC

Coffee Culture

Melbourne is the coffee capital of Australia. In the CBD, the cobblestoned laneways are filled with the aroma of espresso coming from a myriad of cafes. At the city's best cafes, professional baristas will happily talk beans and machines while carefully tending to your brew. Specialty roasters are springing up faster than ever and most of the best cafes sell their supplier's coffee, so it's easy to bag locally roasted beans to take home. Look out for local favourites Padre, Seven Seeds, St Ali, Five Senses and Di Bella.

St Kilda, VIC

St Kilda, VIC

Melbourne Precincts

With its rich multicultural heritage, Melbourne’s international precincts offer visitors a round-the-world experience all in one city. Delight in the tantalising sights, aroma and sounds of the city’s many multicultural precincts.

St Kilda is Melbourne’s favourite beachside suburb. Stroll along the esplanade to take in the ocean breeze or enjoy delectable cakes on Acland Street.

Fitzroy Precinct – Smith Street, Gertrude Street and Brunswick Street. This is where the fringe and alternative scenes meet; where people watching is as fun as exploring the offbeat shops and eateries.

Lygon Street, Carlton - getting good coffee here is a safe bet in the neighbourhood credited with being the birthplace of Melbourne's cafe culture. For accompanying sweet treats, try for a table at Brunetti or jostle with the crowds at one of Lygon Street's many excellent Italian restaurants and ice cream parlour. Indulge in everything Italian without leaving Melbourne.