The Ultimate Melbourne Bucket List: 101 Best Things to Do, See and Eat

If you’ve got a visit to Melbourne on your travel bucket list, well, then I’ve got the Melbourne bucket list for you. This city – often described as sophisticated, edgy and vibrant – is absolutely teeming with things to do and I can guarantee that you won’t get bored here. From exploring our multicultural cuisine to spending time in our dazzling museums or checking out our famous street art scene, I’ve pulled together a list of absolutely everything you need to do in Australia’s capital of cool.

Who knows, even long-time Melbourne residents may find a few new things on this list to experience!

Read on for this list of 101 things to do in Melbourne. And you can even download a copy so you can check off each item by clicking here.

I’ve done my best to check that information in this blog post remains current in light of the uncertainty around the world, but please check with individual businesses before booking. If you see any errors, please let me know so that I can keep this article updated.

This blog post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you).

Melbourne bucket list: Sightseeing

1. Explore the maze of famous laneways that crisscross the Melbourne CBD (there are also plenty of guided laneway tours like this one or this one)

2. Check out what’s happening at Federation Square – there’s always an event on here, rain or shine!

3. Take a train to Flinders Street Station, one of the most iconic buildings in the city

Flinders Street Station is one of the best things to see in Melbourne - it's an iconic building

4. Take a self-guided walk through Melbourne’s CBD

5. Ride one of Melbourne’s iconic trams – the City Circle Tram is always free and hits up some of Melbourne’s best tourist attractions, with commentary to match (check out more free things to do in Melbourne)

Melbourne's tram system is a great way to get around - make sure to add the free City Circle Tram to your Melbourne bucket list

6. See where some of Australia’s most infamous criminals (including Ned Kelly) were housed at the Old Melbourne Gaol

7. Take a cruise on the Yarra River which winds its way through the heart of Melbourne (book this day cruise or this dinner cruise)

8. Ride the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel and see all the way across the city (book a ticket online here)

Take a ride on the Melbourne Star for great views of the city

9. Wander through the gorgeous Block Arcade, with its mosaic tiled floor, glass ceiling and boutique shops – I highly recommend picking up some chocolate frogs from Haigh’s Chocolates (they’re my faves!)

10. See the sun rise across Melbourne from a hot air balloon (book online here)

11. Gaze up at the interior of the State Library’s octagonal domed La Trobe Reading Room, or take one of the free tours of the library

The La Trobe Reading Room at the State Library in Melbourne is a beautiful buildings to visit in Melbourne

12. Take in the view of Melbourne city from the Eureka Skydeck, 88 stories up a gold-plated skyscrape

13. Wander along Southbank, where you’ll always see buskers and street performers, and be able to stop for ice cream and snacks

14. Snap a photo in front of the colourful Brighton Bay bathing boxes

The Brighton Beach bathing boxes are one of Melbourne's most iconic sights

Melbourne bucket list: Culture and art

15. Check out the latest works at the National Gallery of Victoria, the oldest art gallery in Australia

16. Hunt for cool street art in the CBD laneways – ACDC Lane, Caledonian Lane, Union Lane, Cocker Lane and Hosier Lane feature some of the best street art in Melbourne, if not the world

Melbourne is famous for its street art - wandering through the laneways is one thing you should add to your Melbourne bucket list

17. Or, have actual street artists guide you around the coolest areas on a tour with Melbourne Street Tours

18. Learn about Melbourne’s Aboriginal history and culture at the Koorie Heritage Trust (check out my guide to Indigenous Melbourne for even more experiences)

19. Join an Indigenous guide on the Aboriginal Heritage Walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens and experience a smoking ceremony and learn about the traditional uses of plants

20. Check out the cool suburbs of Collingwood and Fitzroy, home to great food, pubs and street art

21. See Australian artworks at the Ian Potter Centre in Fed Square

22. See who’s presenting at the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas, known for its topical conversations and intimate discussions with visiting and local authors

23. Take a tour of Melbourne Town Hall to learn more about this 19th century building

24. Learn about Australia’s immigrant history at the Immigration Museum

25. Pay your respects at the Shrine of Remembrance

Pay a visit to the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne to pay respects to the fallen

26. Visit the Islamic Museum of Australia to view Islamic art or join a cooking class or presentation aimed at fostering cross-cultural understanding

27. Celebrate Melbourne’s architecture and take a peek inside many buildings usually closed to the public during the annual Open House

28. Experience Lunar New Year in Chinatown each February, with firecrackers, music and a traditional lion dance

29. Visit ACMI, a museum about film, video games, digital culture and art

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image is an interactive fun museum in Melbourne

30. Check out Readings in Carlton, one of the best bookshops in the world

31. Enjoy an authentic onsen experience in Collingwood at The Japanese Bath House or enjoy the Finnish sauna at Sense of Self

32. Explore what’s happening at Abbotsford Convent, a former convent now home to studios and galleries

33. Learn about the history of Melbourne at the wonderful Melbourne Museum

The Melbourne Museum is one of the best things to do in Melbourne for those wanting to learn more about the history of the city
Exterior of Melbourne Museum

34. For lovers of Ramsay Street, take a Neighbours tour

35. Visit ArtVo, an immersive, “trick art” exhibition

36. Get hands-on at Scienceworks, an interactive museum with plenty of science-y things to see and do – including a room that makes lightning!

37. Explore the night sky – even during the day – at the Planetarium (this is a great activity for kids, and I have more ideas for things to do in Melbourne with kids)

38. Immerse yourself in a interactive cinematic experience with Underground Cinema

39. Learn about the “who’s who” of the permanent residents at the Melbourne General Cemetery on a night tour

Melbourne bucket list: Entertainment and music

40. Laugh yourself silly at the annual Melbourne International Comedy Festival, held every year in late March / early April

41. Get tickets to a Broadway show at one of Melbourne’s beautiful theatres – see what’s on at the Princess Theatre, Regent Theatre or Her Majesty’s Theatre

Check out what's playing at one of Melbourne's beautiful theatres

42. Try to grab some bargain tickets for shows at Tixatsix – line up at 6 p.m. (or earlier!) to nab $30 tickets to shows around Melbourne

43. Catch a band at The Espy in St Kilda, which has recently undergone a major renovation

44. Brave the rickety rollercoaster at Luna Park

Luna Park is one of the most fun places to visit in Melbourne - even if you don't go inside, stop outside for a photo on your Melbourne bucket list

45. Snuggle up with your SO at the Coburg Drive-In

46. Catch a free comedy show at Spleen Bar (gold coin donation appreciated)

47. See a show at The Corner Hotel, one of Melbourne’s many iconic music venues

The Corner Hotel is one of the best places to see live music in Melbourne
Melbourne Editorial – Paul Philipson

48. Watch a movie at the Rooftop Cinema (as its name suggests, on a rooftop bar) or under the stars at the Moonlight Cinema – both have screenings throughout summer

49. See a show at RISING, Melbourne’s coolest new festival

50. Grab a showbag at the Royal Melbourne Show, held each September

51. Catch a concert at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, including a whole lot of free concerts

52. Scare yourself silly on a ghost tour of Melbourne

53. Learn about Melbourne’s history with a pint or two on a Drinking History Tour – this is a fun one to add to any Melbourne bucket list!

54. Play a round of mini-golf at Holey Moley – with a stop or two along the way for cocktails, of course

Melbourne bucket list: Food and drink

55. Find delicious local produce discover fascinating stories on the Ultimate Foodie Tour at Melbourne’s famous Queen Victoria Market, the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere

The Queen Victoria Market is a Melbourne must visit

56. Become a coffee snob after experiencing Melbourne’s world-class coffee scene – this list of the best coffee in Melbourne is a starting point, or join a coffee walking tour

57. Nibble on a huge dim sim from the South Melbourne Market

58. Catch one of the Queen Vic Market’s seasonal night markets, held throughout the year, where you can try out local produce and the best of Melbourne’s food trucks

59. Transport yourself to Vietnam on Victoria Street in Richmond, and eat all the pho and banh mi you can fit in your belly

60. Grab a parma and chips and a beer at one of Melbourne’s many pubs, a must-do on any Melbourne bucket list – the Marquis of Lorne, the Standard Hotel and the Napier Hotel are some great choices, although you can walk into just about any pub in Melbourne and have a great time

61. Explore native Australian ingredients at Charcoal Lane, a restaurant that fuses food with social good through its program of training Indigenous and at-risk youth – I got married here (oh, and then Harry and Meghan decided to drop by…)!

62. Grab a drink at one of Melbourne’s many rooftop bars

63. Stop in at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms in the Block Arcade for high tea

The Hopetoun Tea Rooms is an iconic place for high tea in Melbourne
Melbourne Editorial – Paul Philipson

64. Eat your way around the world without leaving Melbourne – in this city, you can try everything from Australian food to Zimbabwean dishes

65. Use all your senses when you dine in the dark at Dans Le Noir

66. Line up for delicious, airy croissants at Lune Croissanterie (named the best croissants in the world by one New York Times writer!)

67. See how many dumplings you can eat in Chinatown – join a dumpling walking tour to hit up the best spots

Chinatown is one of the best places to eat in Melbourne

68. Stroll through Little Italy in Carlton, stopping for a delicious lunch or sampling Italian coffee

69. Eat fish and chips on one of the many beaches in and around Melbourne

70. Splurge on a meal at Attica, which highlights Australian produce and was recently on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list

71. Grab a group of mates and head out for yum cha

72. Grab brunch – there’s nothing like the food we serve up in Melbourne

73. Eat your way through the food trucks at Welcome to Thornbury

74. Sample Melbourne’s burgeoning craft beer scene – Stomping Ground, Bodriggy Brewing, Moon Dog and Mountain Goat Beer are all worth an afternoon

75. Have a drink in the middle of the Yarra River at Ponyfish Island

Ponyfish Island is a fun bar and cafe in the middle of the Yarra River in Melbourne
Evans Walker Bridge, Southbank

76. Enjoy a unique dining experience – enter a surburban home via the laundry for dinner with foodies at EnterViaLaundry

77. Cat lovers rejoice! Melbourne is home to the country’s first Cat Café, where you can sip a coffee while cuddling a cute, purring kitty

78. Grab the chance to dine at some of Melbourne’s best restaurants for bargain prices during the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

Shopping and markets

79. Check out local art and handmade goods at the Rose Street Artists Market, held every Saturday and Sunday in Fitzroy

80. Give your credit card a workout – Melbourne is a shopper’s paradise and you can find huge malls like the Emporium in the CBD or funky streets like Greville St in Prahran and Brunswick and Smith Streets in Fitzroy (Smith Street was even recently voted the coolest street in the world!)

81. Catch the monthly market at the Heide Museum of Modern Art

82. See the extravagant displays at the Myer Christmas windows each year

83. Search for unique finds every week at the Camberwell Sunday Market

84. Window shop (or max out your credit card) at the designer stores that line the “Paris end” of Collins St

The Paris End of Collins Street is where you can go shopping in Melbourne for high-end designers
Ray of Melbourne | August 2018

Melbourne bucket list: Outdoors and green spaces

85. See the penguins waddle up each night at St Kilda beach

86. Go for a stroll along Merri Creek, where you’ll forget you’re in a city of almost 5 million people

87. Pat cute farm animals at the Collingwood Children’s Farm – grab breakfast or a coffee at the Farm Café while you’re there

88. Hit the beach in St Kilda, Melbourne’s most famous beach

89. Hire a kayak for a paddle down the Yarra River (or even go on a moonlit kayak!)

The Yarra River runs through the heart of Melbourne - add a kayak trip or cruise down the river to your Melbourne bucket list

90. Have a picnic in the Royal Botanic Gardens, 36 hectares of lush green lawns, gardens and lakes and ponds (these Mystery Picnic Dates make organising a picnic super fun and easy!)

91. Go for a run or a walk around the Tan, a 3.8-kilometre track around the Royal Botanic Gardens

92. Pack a picnic for the Carlton Gardens or see an exhibition at the grand Royal Exhibition Building

93. Explore Fitzroy Gardens

94. Instagram the pink lake that appears each summer in Westgate Park

95. Take a dip in the St Kilda Sea Baths and end with some yummy food and a drink or two

96. Stay the night at Melbourne Zoo and wake up with the animals

The Melbourne Zoo is one of the best things to do in Melbourne with kids

Sports

97. Watch an AFL match at the MCG, an absolute must for any visit to Melbourne when it’s footy season

98. See tennis greats in action at the Australian Open, held each January

The Australian Open is one of Melbourne's best sporting events

99. Place a bet on a horse in the “race that stops a nation”, the Melbourne Cup – or dress up in your finest and get involved in the Spring Racing Carnival

100. Take a tour of the MCG, the 10th largest stadium in the world (this tour includes a visit to the MCG and the National Sports Museum)

101. Go sports mad at the National Sports Museum

And if this list isn’t enough, check out my guide to the 25 essential things to do in Melbourne.

What else would you add to this Melbourne bucket list? Leave me your tips in the comments below!

Melbourne resources

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