15 Awesome Walking Tours in Melbourne for 2024: Discover the City on Foot

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Article written by: Rebecca
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Looking for the best walking tours in Melbourne to experience the city? As a Melbourne local (who does a lot of walking!), I’ve personally curated this list, covering a variety of interests.

If you love to explore a city on foot, then Melbourne is the city for you. Compact, vibrant and full of sights and history, Melbourne lends itself perfectly to walking tours. 

As a Melbourne local, I know what to look out for when it comes to choosing a walking tour. I even love taking walking tours in my own city – I learn so much!

So, to get the best of the city, I’ve curated this diverse list of tours that cater to a variety of interests – from history buffs to foodies to street art enthusiasts. 

I’ve even thrown in a free Melbourne walking tour to accommodate those with budget constraints. 

So, make sure you pack a pair of comfy shoes because you’ll need them on these walking tours of Melbourne. 

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).

My top 3 picks for Melbourne walking tours

1. Queen Vic Market Ultimate Foodie Tour

Gewurzhaus, one of the many shops inside iconic Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne. Through the windows there are piles of spices and herbs for sale, with people milling about in front of the store. It's one of the stores that you might visit on the Ultimate Foodie Tour, a walking tour in Melbourne.
So many delicious treats at the Queen Vic Market! The Ultimate Foodie Tour helps you find the best ones

Why choose this tour? Iconic location, great guides and insight into one of Melbourne’s best markets, LOTS of food samples included

When I visit a city, tasting the food is usually my top highlight of the trip. 

So what better way to explore Melbourne than on a walking tour that combines food and one of our most iconic buildings on the Queen Vic Market Ultimate Foodie Tour.

This bustling market has been a part of the city since 1878, and it continues to be a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike.

Led by experienced guides who know every nook and cranny in the market, this 2-hour walking tour takes you on a journey through the market’s labyrinth of stalls. 

One of my favourite parts of this tour is all the samples you’ll get – they aren’t stingy! I tried everything from freshly grilled kangaroo to creamy cheeses to local olives to piping hot jam donuts. Trust me, don’t eat before you go – I was completely stuffed after taking this tour.

If I had to pick my favourite Mebourne walking tour, this Ultimate Foodie Tour would be it. It’s a great way to fuel up with delicious local produce while also learning about an important institution in the city. 

Essential tour info:

  • Length: 2 hours
  • Group size: Maximum 12 people
  • What’s included: Friendly guide, lots of tastings, cute Queen Vic Market tote bag
  • Distance walked: You’ll need to be able to stand and walk for the 2 hours the tour takes

What people say:

Great tour! Such a great way to see the markets and get a taster for some of the different foods on offer. The truffle pasta was delicious, and smoked cheddar? YUM. The guides were amazing – you can tell they live and breathe the markets and the kind people who work there. Will definitely be recommending this tour to others

– Jessica (read more reviews)

2. Melbourne Street Art Tours

A woman in a grey cardigan and sunglasses sips a drink out of a metal cup in front of colourful street art in Melbourne in Rankins Lane.
Melbourne’s street art scene is famous

Why choose this tour? Your only chance to see street art in Melbourne with an actual street artist!

Melbourne is renowned for its vibrant street art scene. You can easily stroll the streets yourself to check out the laneways and alleyways that street artists use as their canvases, but a better option is a street art walking tour.

My recommended street art tour is with Melbourne Street Art Tours

Why is this one my favourite? 

Because these Melbourne tours are led by actual street artists who understand the culture. You may even spot a few of their own artworks on the tours – as I did with my guide.

During the tour, guides provide insights into the street art culture, shed light on what’s legal and what’s not, and share the stories and sometimes political messages behind the artworks. 

The ever-changing nature of street art in Melbourne guarantees that each tour is a fresh and exciting experience, with new artworks to discover every day.

Tours end at The Blender Studios in West Melbourne, an art complex that’s produced some of Australia’s most influential artists. Here, your tour guide puts on a smorgasbord of beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks to enjoy while you stroll through the art studio. 

Want to get out of the city? Melbourne Street Art Tours also run tours through Fitzroy, one of Melbourne’s coolest neighbourhoods.

Essential tour info:

  • Length: 3 hours
  • Group size: Maximum 13 people
  • What’s included: Local guide who knows all about street art, afternoon tea, beer, wine, and soft drinks

What people say:

Our guide Ben was so full of knowledge. We could have simply walked the streets, and admired the artwork, but now I know how much insight we would have missed out on. If you want the full experience then book this tour.

– Christopher (read more reviews)

3. Melbourne Mystery Picnic

Bottles of wine, bread, cheese and other food on a colourful picnic blanket - these are the goodies that you can pick up on an AmazingCo Mystery Picnic in Melbourne.
The goodies we collected on our Mystery Melbourne Picnic!

Why choose this tour? Explore the city’s best food and street art on a self-guided tour that’s designed around solving clues to find your next food location

While it’s not technically a Melbourne walking tour, an AmazingCo Mystery Picnic is a great way to see the city sights in a different way.

Because, let’s face it, sometimes you don’t want to go on a walking tour with a bunch of strangers. But with these mystery picnics, you’re exploring the city with just your own friends.

So how does it work? You’ll receive a series of clues that lead you to a variety of different vendors where you’ll pick up goodies for a picnic – everything from cheeses, deli meats, bread, dessert and wine. 

As you solve your clues and make your way to the stores to pick up your delicious goodies, you’ll also be directed to interesting alleyways and buildings and get the story behind them. While you’re enjoying your picnic, there’s also a quiz you can take about Melbourne.

All up, my friends and I did about 10,000 steps as we wound our way around the city – so we definitely earned our picnic!

This is the perfect walking tour in Melbourne to take with friends, family or your significant other. 

You can read my full Mystery Picnic Melbourne review to learn about a few things you’ll need to take with you on the tour – such as a picnic blanket and a phone.

Essential tour info:

  • Length: 3-4 hours – but it’s up to you how fast or slow you go
  • Group size: Just you and your crew!
  • Distance walked: We did around 10,000 steps
  • What’s included: Clues, plenty of food and drinks

What people say:

Amazing experience! full day of joy, fun, delicious food & beautiful places we never knew existed until we did this! Highly recommend! We are going to do this again.

– Hayley (read more reviews)

4. Complete Melbourne Walking Tour

A green heritage tram passes in front of the iconic Flinders St Station in Melbourne

Why choose this tour? The best option if you’ve only got a short time in Melbourne and want to get a “complete” overview of the city

First time in Melbourne? Then the Complete Melbourne Walking Tour is ideal for you. 

Designed to give you a comprehensive overview of Melbourne’s vibrant history and culture in 3 hours, this tour definitely delivers on that. 

This Melbourne walking tour tells the story of Melbourne’s globally renowned reputation for coffee – and you’ll even get the chance to sip one of the city’s best. Melbourne’s street art scene is phenomenal, and you’ll be shown some of the best spots. 

You’ll walk by major city landmarks like Federation Square and the Old Melbourne Gaol, and learn the history of the city. But you’ll also find yourself exploring parts of Melbourne that may not be in the guidebook, but are just as fascinating.

Run by one of Melbourne’s top tour providers, each tour is led by a local guide who knows Melbourne like the back of their hands. These people are walking the streets every day, and only too happy to spill their secret spots.

Tours are carried out in small groups, which means the tour can often be tailored to suit your interests, making the experience all the more personal and engaging. 

What I like about this tour is that it jams a lot in to a short period – but it doesn’t feel rushed. It’s the ideal way to spend a few hours if you’re only in Melbourne for a limited time, say for a weekend trip to Melbourne or only 3 days in Melbourne.

Essential tour info: 

  • Length: 3 hours
  • Group size: Maximum 12 people, but average group size is 4 people
  • What’s included: Local guide, coffee, beer
  • Distance walked: Around 3km 

What people say:

Knowledgeable and friendly guide. Highly recommend taking a tour from Laura. Great introduction to the city. We went to places we never would have found!

– dglawyer (read more reviews)

5. Melbourne Lanes and Arcades Tour

Christmas decorations hang up in the Block Arcade in Melbourne, a beautiful arcade with ornate cornices and glass ceiling. This is one of the places most walking tours of Melbourne visit
Melbourne’s beautiful Block Arcade

Why choose this tour? Find hidden laneways and arcades you’d never have discovered by yourself

One of Melbourne’s best attractions are our distinctive lanes and arcades. 

Dating back to the Victorian era, these laneways were used to access buildings and – let’s face it – for criminal activity. 

Now, they’re filled with shops, cafes, bars and galleries, and are a drawcard for visitors.

To get an insider’s look into this labyrinth, the Melbourne Lanes and Arcades Tour is a great walking tour. Your guide will steer you through the most interesting and important laneways and arcades, stopping for coffee or tea and sweet treats. 

But the tour isn’t just for visitors. I’d also say it’s a great choice for locals looking to see a different side of Melbourne. Even if you’ve been living in the city for years, you’re bound to discover something new and fascinating on this tour. 

These tours are run by Hidden Secrets Tours, one of Melbourne’s oldest tour companies. I know the owner, Fiona, and she’s a Melbourne enthusiast who’s genuinely passionate about sharing the city’s secrets with others. 

Essential tour info: 

  • Length: 3 hours
  • Group size: Maximum 8 people
  • Distance walked: Around 2.5km
  • What’s included: Professional local guide, chocolate tasting, coffee, tea or hot chocolate 

What people say:

Fiona was a fantastic guide who led us through arcades and lanes that we never would have seen otherwise. Wonderful history of Melbourne. Thoroughly enjoyed this tour. One of the highlights of our trip.

– Carol (read more reviews)

6. Aboriginal Heritage Walk

An Aboriginal man leads a dark-haired woman through the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne on the Aboriginal Heritage Walk, one of the best walking tours in Melbourne. There are lush green trees and plants all around them
Touring the Botanic Gardens with Uncle Den “The Fish” on the Aboriginal Heritage Walk

Why choose this tour? An excellent insight into First Nations culture while also exploring Melbourne’s beautiful botanic gardens

One of my favourite walks in Melbourne is the Aboriginal Heritage Walk at the Royal Botanic Gardens. 

You may think you need to travel deep into the Australian Outback to learn more about Indigenous Australian culture, but you don’t have to – you can learn a whole lot right in the heart of Melbourne. 

On the tour – led by an Indigenous guide – you’ll learn about traditional uses of trees and plants for food, medicine and tools.

This tour starts with a traditional welcoming ceremony, followed by a walk through the gardens. It ends with a discussion over cups of lemon myrtle tea. 

I was lucky to have Uncle Den “the Fish”, a popular radio personality, lead my tour. As well as sharing his knowledge about the plants and trees we saw around the gardens, he was generous with his personal story of growing up Aboriginal in Australia.

It’s a beautiful way to explore the Botanic Gardens, and I discovered a whole lot of places that I never even knew were there.

The tour is an easy stroll around the gardens and it’s suitable for all ages and for Australians and visitors alike.

Essential tour info: 

  • Length: 1.5 hours
  • Group size: Generally small groups
  • Distance walked: A couple of kms – at a light stroll
  • What’s included: Guide, light refreshments (lemon myrtle tea) 

What people say:

Listening & learning from Uncle Den was awesome. He connected with old, young, local & international perspectives in the group & really quickly built the respect & understanding of our need to connect to & respect country. The mix of humour, info & discussion to provoke deeper reflection & challenge within the group was pretty damn cool in such a short amount of time. I’n already recommending it to anyone & everyone!!

– Steve (read more reviews)

7. Birrarung Wilam (River Camp) Walk

An artwork of an eel is stuck into the path of Birrarung Marr in Melbourne, a sight that can be viewed on the Koorie Heritage Trust walking tour
The Birrarung Wilam Walk is a great way to discover the stories of artworks like this

Why choose this tour? Insights into Indigenous Australian culture you won’t get elsewhere

Another fascinating tour that explores the city’s Indigenous roots is the Koorie Heritage Trust’s Birrarung Wilam (River Camp) Walk.

The guided walking tour takes visitors from Federation Square down to Birrarung Marr alongside the Yarra River.

Birrarung Marr loosely translates to “river of mists and shadows”. Birrarung is the traditional name of the Yarra River, the river that flows through Melbourne.

Birrarung Marr is home to several Aboriginal art pieces that I’d never really noticed before, even though I’ve walked through the area countless times. Our guide Kieran did a great job of pointing them out to our group and describing their meanings.

Kieran was also incredibly open, encouraging people to ask questions about Indigenous Australian culture, even “taboo” topics. He explained that these discussions are important if people are to truly understand one another.

The tour ends back at the Koorie Heritage Trust with a demonstration of several weapons, tools and other artefacts.

Essential tour info:

  • Length: 1 hour
  • Group size: Generally small groups
  • Distance walked: A couple of kilometres
  • What’s included: Experienced Koorie guide, entrance to Koorie Heritage Trust

What people say:

We had an amazing time at the Koorie Heritage Trust. We went for one of their walks and our tour guide Kieran was nothing short of amazing. Very well spoken and was great at relaying detail and information to us. He was extremely friendly and he ensured we had an all around good time! We learnt so much about Aboriginal culture and got to hold real life artefacts the aboriginals used for hunting. I highly recommend this experience to anyone looking to go. 10/10

David (read more reviews)

8. Melbourne Foodie Culture Tour

A green stew in a white bowl sits on a table next to a plate of Somalian bread. It's just some of the food to be tasted on a Foodie Trails tour of Melbourne
Some of the amazing food I tried on Foodie Trails’ tour of Footscray

Why choose this tour? Learn about Melbourne’s multicultural history and present, through a delicious tour through hidden gem restaurants and cafés

You may know Melbourne as the culture capital of Australia, but we’re also celebrated as the culinary capital. 

The Melbourne Foodie Culture Tour is a delicious experience that combines the city’s multicultural history with its culinary heritage. Over 4 hours, this walking tour in Melbourne will take you on a fascinating journey, revealing how Victoria’s diverse population from over 200 countries, speaking 260 languages and dialects and following 135 religious faiths have shaped our unique food scene.

The adventure begins at the Immigration Museum, one of Melbourne’s most iconic museums, where you’ll learn about the history of immigration. 

From there, you’ll be guided through the city’s laneways, stopping at five different vendors. At each, you won’t just enjoy a tasting, you’ll also hear stories about the history behind the foods and flavours of the shops. These places aren’t in the Top 10 lists or in guidebooks, they’re true hidden gems.

Having personally experienced a tour with Foodie Trails, the company that runs this gastronomic journey, I can vouch for the fact that you will not leave hungry. They know how to run excellent walking food tours of Melbourne.

This is a walking tour that’s less about the distance covered, and more about the flavours discovered. 

Essential tour info: 

  • Length: 4 hours
  • Group size: 14 people
  • Distance walked: The walk from the various venues is about 30-40 minutes in total with breaks at each stop, the longest walk is no more than 15 minutes
  • What’s included: Snacks, knowledgeable and passionate guide, entry fee to Immigration Museum 

What people say:

Our guide was very knowledgeable, and gave an interesting history of the culture. She explained where much of the food came from, and then we walked about to various restaurants to sample their cuisine. This is definitely a tour I’d recommend.

– Daniel (read more reviews)

9. Old Melbourne Ghost Tour

Chinatown in Melbourne is eerily lit up on a dark night
Chinatown is spooky at night – and you’ll discover its creepy past on the Old Melbourne Ghost Tour

Why choose this tour? A spooky way to learn about Melbourne’s grisly past 

Believe in ghosts? Don’t believe in ghosts? 

Whichever way you fall, the Old Melbourne Ghost Tour is a Melbourne walking tour that’s interesting for all.

Having taken the tour myself, I can vouch for its spine-tingling moments and the eerie stories that’ll at times have you looking back over your shoulder. 

Starting at iconic pub Young & Jackson, this walking tour meanders its way around the city and into the heart of Chinatown, peeling back the layers of Melbourne’s dark history. I learned so many creepy stories – including that many people believe Jack the Ripper may have once walked the lanes of Melbourne.

Our tour guide was a fabulous storyteller and a paranormal expert, and she shared her own ghostly experiences on this very entertaining ghost tour in Melbourne

I was particularly curious when she brought out her dowsing rods. Watching them move independently in certain spots was downright spooky. 

Some fellow tourists even reported feeling a cold touch or shivers run down their spine at particular locations. 

One thing our guide emphasised: approach the tour with an open mind. It’s designed to engage both sceptics and believers, and our group was a testament to that.

Essential tour info:

  • Tour duration: 1.5 hours
  • Group size: 20 people (but our group was much larger than that)
  • Distance walked: Around 3-5kms
  • What’s included: Walking tour, local guide

What people say:

Thoroughly enjoyed my tour on Friday night with Timie(?). She had such a warm engaging personality, lots of patience and detailed knowledge about the fascinating stories of Melbournes darker history. Touring through the laneways with a group of likeminded travelers enjoying the ambience of the city CBD on a wintery Friday night was the perfect activity for this single traveller and I would highly recommend this tour. I hope to do it again with my adult children sometime. Thank you

– Sari (read more reviews)

10. Hidden Bars & Boozy History of Melbourne

Groups of people sit at tables around closed blue umbrellas at a rooftop bar in Melbourne Australia. The tiled floor is patterned. There is a view of the city behind the people.
This Hidden Bars tour is a great way to check out Melbourne’s bar scene while learning about the city’s hitory

Why choose this tour? Discover Melbourne’s coolest bars while also learning about the city’s history

The Hidden Bars & Boozy History of Melbourne tour isn’t your regular history tour. 

No, on this walking tour you’ll hear about Melbourne’s love affair with drinking, the harsh persecution of barmaids back in the day, the city’s booziest Police Commissioner and the intriguing tales of secret men’s clubs. It’s all told in a way that brings the past to life and offers a whole new perspective about the city.

And, of course, told over a few drinks while you explore Melbourne nightlife

During the tour, you’ll visit three different bars, each with its own unique ambiance and charm. You’ll even get a map of more Melbourne bars to explore after the tour is over.

What I particularly like about this tour is that it starts at 3.30pm, leaving you plenty of time to make dinner plans afterward. 

Just remember, you need to be at least 18 years old to join in on the fun. And drinks aren’t included in the tour price.

And while the tour does involve some drinking, it’s not a wild pub crawl – it’s all about savouring the local flavours, enjoying good company and soaking up Melbourne’s vibrant history. 

Essential tour info: 

  • Length: 3 hours
  • Group size: 12 people
  • Distance walked: A few kilometres over the 3 hours
  • What’s included: Professional guide, map of Melbourne’s best bars, photos of your tour (free upon request) 

What people say:

Tom and the tour itself were wonderful! We went to some of the best places in Melbourne and everyone had a grand time. The cocktail selections were brilliant as was the commentary between stops. Book this today if you’re thinking of a walking tour in Melbourne and you enjoy a good cocktail with your tour.

– Stacy (read more reviews)

11. Melbourne Dumpling Walking Tour

Some of the dumplings I ate on the Melbourne Dumpling Walking Tour

Why choose this tour? One word: dumplings!!

Who can resist dumplings? 

The Melbourne Dumpling Walking Tour takes one of the world’s best foods and combines it with a fascinating walking tour through Melbourne’s Chinatown, a district rich in culture, history and, of course, delicious food.

Melbourne is home to a substantial Chinese community, with roots tracing back to the 1850s when the gold rush period drew people from across the world. 

The tour’s main attraction is, of course, the dumplings. You’ll sample a variety of these delicious morsels, each one prepared in a different style across four unique venues. I have to say, I was surprised at just how many dumplings we ate on this tour!! There was a plate of each dumpling to share between two people – so you definitely won’t be hungry at the end of this tour!

While you’re enjoying the dumplings, you’ll learn about the different regions they come from, as well as meet some of the restaurant’s owners and hear their stories.

The tour kicks off at 6pm, so it’s the perfect evening activity. Consider your dinner plans sorted. (Although I’ve got a lot more ideas for where to eat in Melbourne if you need them!) 

Of course, the tour unfortunately isn’t suitable for those who follow a gluten-free diet.

Essential tour info:

  • Length: 3 hours
  • Group size: 10 people
  • Distance walked: Around 1.5km
  • What’s included: Expert commentary and history, variety of handmade dumplings, tea and water 

What people say:

Uh, yes, a DUMPLING tour? What more info do you need? I’ve done a lot of food tours and this one was among the most unique. Very well-run, would do it again and would absolutely recommend.

– Paige (read more reviews)

12. Melbourne Lanes & Arcades Chocolate and Dessert Walking Tour

A person dips a gold spoon into a decadent chocolate dessert that is topped with berries, toasted marshmallows and a macaron. One of the best foodie tours in Melbourne is the Melbourne Lanes and Arcades Chocolate and Dessert Walking Tour

Why choose this tour? Discover the city’s beautiful chocolate makers and leave with free gifts and discounts

The Melbourne Lanes & Arcades Chocolate and Dessert Walking Tour is an absolute dream come true for every chocolate aficionado. I have a huge sweet tooth, so this tour seems like it was designed specifically for me!

Before you embark on your sweet journey, you’ll learn the art of tasting chocolate – yes, there’s a right way to do it. (Apparently I’ve been doing it all wrong!)

This Melbourne walking tour isn’t just about indulging in chocolates and desserts though. It’s also a great opportunity for both tourists and locals to explore the city’s laneways and arcades. Even as a local you’ll discover a tonne of stores and history.

And for those looking to take back a sweet memento, the tour comes with added perks – discounts at the shops you visit. Grab some treats for your friends and family at home, or simply stash them away for your secret late-night indulgences. 

Essential tour info: 

  • Length: 3 hours
  • Group size: 12 people
  • Distance walked: Around 2km
  • What’s included: Professional, local guide, minimum 7 chocolate tastings (including hot chocolate, cheese and chocolate matching and dessert), Chocoholic “survival kit” 

What people say:

Tonya was the most wonderful guide. Not only was she very knowledgeable, but also witty, compassionate, considerate and friendly. We thoroughly enjoyed the decant chocolates and other delicious delicacies but also the strolls through the arcades, the laneways, the stories and the twisting and turning of the hustle bustle of Melbourne on a Saturday….obviously a new by to Melbourne

– JoAnne (read more reviews)

13. History and Donuts Walking Tour

An overhead view of a white cardboard box filled with hot jam doughnuts, eaten on a walking tour in Melbourne, Australia.
Who can say no to donuts?

Why choose this tour? Wander the city, learn about history and culture and chow down on doughnuts

Certainly one of the most creative walking tours in Melbourne, the History and Donuts Walking Tour is perfect for history buffs and foodies alike.

This unique tour gives you the chance to delve deep into the city’s history, all while keeping your taste buds satisfied with decadent donuts and coffee.

As you traverse through Melbourne’s laneways, your guide will share intriguing stories from the city’s darker past. You’ll get acquainted with the former city slums, known for their raw and gritty past, and the old red light district, a place filled with tales of intrigue and scandal. 

As you take in the city’s past, you’ll also get to indulge in its present – delicious, sugary donuts that are as diverse as Melbourne itself. Paired with a cup of coffee, it’s the perfect way to refuel and keep your energy up for the tour. 

Essential tour info:

  • Length: 2.5 hours
  • Group size: Small group
  • What’s included: Local guide, coffee/tea, two donuts 

What people say:

Friendly and knowledgeable guide. Well paced and interesting history recommended for those who can walk around for a couple of hours. The donut stops are well considered and sooo tasty.

– Paula (read more reviews)

14. I’m Free Melbourne Sights Tour

A view of Adnate's famous street art image of an Indigenous boy that can be seen in Hosier Lane, one of the most popular street art locations in Melbourne, Australia. Most walking tours in Melbourne will include street art in the itinerary
Some of the street art you’ll see on a free walking tour in Melbourne

Why choose this tour? Great for those on a budget who want to see the best of the city

The city may have a reputation for being expensive, but there are actually plenty of free things to do in Melbourne, including free Melbourne walking tours. 

The I’m Free Melbourne Sights Tour is an ideal choice if you’re touring on a budget or simply looking to explore Melbourne’s vibrant cityscape without breaking the bank. (Read more of my tips for saving money in Melbourne.)

The tour is loaded with fascinating tales about the city’s history, and it’s a great way to get acquainted with Melbourne’s iconic landmarks, all under the guidance of a friendly local expert.

The I’m Free tour is a comprehensive journey through Melbourne’s history and culture. From the bustling streets of Chinatown to the haunting tales of the Old Melbourne Gaol, the tour provides an engaging and insightful glimpse into Melbourne’s past and present. 

You’ll also be shown the best of the city’s stunning street art, a testament to Melbourne’s thriving creative scene.

Remember, while the tour itself is free, it’s customary to leave a tip for your guide. After all, they’re often local enthusiasts who share their love for Melbourne out of passion, not just for the pay. 

Essential tour info:

  • Length: 2.5-3 hours
  • Group size: Can be large groups
  • Distance walked: 3.5-4km
  • What’s included: Passionate local guide 

What people say:

Fantastic- even the rain couldn’t put a damper on our outing. Lenny is truly an ambassador supreme for the city, who deserves to be given the key to the city. His dialogue was informative and his responses to questions, genuine. I’m really grateful that we got explore this city with the humour and guidance of Lenny.

– Queckers (read more reviews

15. Melbourne Historical Walking Tour: Crime, Gangsters & Lolly Shops

A man guides a group of people on a Melbourne Historical Walking Tour: Crime, Gangsters & Lolly Shops. The group stands in front of Little Lon Distilling Co, which was once an area that a lot of criminals visited

Why choose this tour? An interesting dive into the city’s criminal past, led by a true crime expert

True crime fans will love the Melbourne Historical Walking Tour: Crime, Gangsters & Lolly Shops, a tour that explores Melbourne’s shadowy past. 

One of the most interesting tours in Melbourne, it takes you down Lonsdale Street, a place teeming with tales of brothels, speakeasies and notorious characters from the 1870s to the 1930s. 

The tour is led by Michael Shelford, a writer, freelance journalist and private historian. He’s dedicated over 14 years to researching Melbourne’s crime history, so he’s the perfect escort into Melbourne’s darker history.

You’ll be captivated by the stories of Australian gangster Squizzy Taylor and the slum of “Little Lon”, and you’ll be amazed to learn how these gangs cunningly used lolly shops (or candy stores as Americans will know them) as fronts for their illicit drug operations.

What I really liked about this tour is that Michael projects images of people and places onto walls as you’re walking around, which I think makes the history come to life.

Essential tour info:

  • Length: 2 hours
  • Group size: Maximum of 20 people
  • Distance walked: A couple of kms
  • What’s included: Professional guide, tour booklet featuring photos of the characters discussed along the way 

What people say:

Enjoyed the tour, Micheal was very knowledgeable and explained the ‘going ons’ of yesteryear with a passion. Which made for an interesting time for me. The 2 hours went very quickly. Nice one and thank you.

– Paul (read more reviews)

Final thoughts: Walking tours in Melbourne

In my opinion, walking tours are one of the best ways to experience Melbourne. A walking tour allows you to slow down, soak up the city’s atmosphere and discover hidden spots you might miss on a regular Melbourne sightseeing trip. 

Each tour I’ve listed here offers a unique perspective, letting you dive deep into the history, culture and spirit of Melbourne. 

Whether you’re chasing the city’s haunting past on a ghost tour, savouring the gastronomic delights on a food tour or simply admiring the city’s iconic landmarks, there’s a walking tour for every taste and interest. 

Melbourne walking tours: FAQ

What should I wear on a Melbourne walking tour?

Melbourne’s weather can be unpredictable, so I recommend dressing in layers. Comfortable walking shoes are a must. Don’t forget to bring a hat and sunscreen for sunny days, and a waterproof jacket in case of rain.

Do I need to book my walking tour in advance?

Yes, I recommended booking your walking tour in advance, including the free walking tour. Some tours are incredibly popular and can book out quickly, especially during peak tourist season.

Are the walking tours suitable for children?

While most walking tours are family-friendly, some (like the ghost tour) might be a bit intense for younger children. It’s best to check the tour description or directly contact the tour company to make sure. Don’t worry, there are plenty of great things to do with kids in Melbourne!

Are the tours accessible for people with mobility issues?

Many tours are, but it does depend on the specific tour. Melbourne is a fairly accessible city, but some tours may include areas with uneven pavement or stairs. Contact the tour provider for specific advice.

What if it rains on the day of my walking tour?

Most tours go ahead rain or shine, so don’t forget to bring that waterproof jacket! If extreme weather conditions cause cancellation, the tour company will typically offer a reschedule or a refund.

Found this article useful? Consider buying me a coffee as a way to say thanks!

Have you ever taken a walking tour in Melbourne? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.

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I’m Rebecca, a Melbourne local excited to show you the best of Melbourne. I've visited more than 40 countries and have a Master of International Sustainable Tourism Management. After living abroad for 8 years, I’m back home in Melbourne, rediscovering this city that I love and have missed. My aim is to help you find the best things to do in Melbourne.

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