Melbourne travel guide

Melbourne Tourism | Melbourne Guide

You're Going to Love Melbourne

Australia's second largest city is the country's cultural center, its most livable city, and a place that tourists return to again and again. Add in nearby attractions like Victoria's wine regions, the Great Ocean Road and Victoria's Grampian Mountains, and the result is a fabulous vacation destination.

Even if you stick to Melbourne's downtown neighborhoods, there's plenty to do, from touring museums like the Immigration Museum or the National Gallery of Victoria to enjoying al fresco cocktails in the Docklands district.

But Melbourne is also about its inner-city suburbs. You can surf and sunbathe to your heart's content in St Kilda, check out the street art or sample some of the best Vietnamese food around in Fitzroy, or shop for the latest fashions on Chapel Street.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Melbourne

1. Beaches, Surfing, and Scorching Aussie Sunshine

Beaches like St Kilda Foreshore are a few minutes by tram from the city center and are always full of life - with soccer, volleyball, and cricket matches taking place every day, fishing charters on offer, and constant sunshine for most of the year.

2. It's a Gastronomic Paradise

Melbourne is also an excellent destination for food lovers. There's the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival in early April, as well as restaurants like Embla, Attica, and Igni serving up gourmet dishes that compete with any city in the world.

3. All the Museums and Galleries That Visitors Will Need

Start with a tour of the National Gallery, which includes aboriginal artworks, modern Australian talents, and works from all European eras. Then check out attractions like the Immigration Museum or the Melbourne Museum, or the massive range of independent galleries in areas like Collingwood.

4. Wine Tours of Victoria's Fantastic Regions

Melbourne's hinterland is one of the world's greatest wine regions, featuring areas like the Yarra Valley, Geelong, and the Mornington Peninsula. Tour the best wineries and soak up the stunning scenery as you go.

5. Grandslam Tennis, Rugby, Aussie Rules, and Cricket

Sports lovers will adore Melbourne. If you want to watch the world's greatest tennis players, a visit to the Australian Open in January is a must, while the Melbourne Cricket Ground hosts cricket, soccer, and Australian Rules football fixtures. There's golf, fishing, hiking, swimming, surfing, and even motor sports to be enjoyed as well.

What to do in Melbourne

1. Federation Square: Heart of Melbourne

This impressive square has got it all. The Ian Potter Center houses an expansive collection of art, indigenous to contemporary, with over 70,000 historically-important works on display. More gallery spaces and shopping opportunities abound behind the futuristic facades of the surrounding buildings. Connecting the old Melbourne with the new, Federation Square faces St. Paul's Cathedral, where the Flinders Street Station lets patrons onto the famous Circle Tram Line.

2. Royal Botanic Gardens: World's Finest

Along the River Yarra and not far from Melbourne's Downtown, these internationally-celebrated Botanical Gardens draw visitors from all over the globe. More than 10,000 species, both native and foreign, can be enjoyed on a sensory stroll through these lush grounds. From traditional rose gardens, to uniquely Australian exhibitions, to the Children's garden, visitors will find a spectrum of entertainment.

3. Southbank Promenade: Glorious Waterfront

Melbourne's most social area runs along the Yarra, with scenic views and never-ending entertainment. Shopping, dining and socializing galore are the reasons to come down to the river, not to mention cultural institutions full of wonderful sights. Don't miss the National Gallery of Victoria or the Australian Center for Contemporary Art. The performing arts find their home at a variety of nearby venues as well. Most importantly, stop by the Eureka Tower for 360-degree views from the skydeck!

4. Melbourne Cricket Ground: "The G"

Set in lovely Yarra Park, this is one of the largest stadiums in the entire world, and certainly the largest in the southern hemisphere. It is home to the Melbourne Cricket Club, and has seen championship games from the Olympics to the Cricket World Cup. Capable of hosting 100,000 spectators, the stadium is positively staggering in size, and sometimes the grounds are even turned into a massive open-air cinema! For die-hard fans, a sports museum can also be found on the premises.

5. Royal Exhibition Building: Splendid!

In the midst of perfectly landscaped gardens, this 19th-century exhibition center hasn't lost any of its superb over the years. The entertainment venue shares the spectacular Carlton Gardens with the Melbourne Museum, both drawing countless tourists from far and wide. Whether visiting for a tour of the historic center, to enjoy the vast collection of the museum, or to relax in the beautiful outdoor area, this part of Melbourne cannot be missed.

1. Federation Square: Heart of Melbourne

This impressive square has got it all. The Ian Potter Center houses an expansive collection of art, indigenous to contemporary, with over 70,000 historically-important works on display. More gallery spaces and shopping opportunities abound behind the futuristic facades of the surrounding buildings. Connecting the old Melbourne with the new, Federation Square faces St. Paul's Cathedral, where the Flinders Street Station lets patrons onto the famous Circle Tram Line.

2. Royal Botanic Gardens: World's Finest

Along the River Yarra and not far from Melbourne's Downtown, these internationally-celebrated Botanical Gardens draw visitors from all over the globe. More than 10,000 species, both native and foreign, can be enjoyed on a sensory stroll through these lush grounds. From traditional rose gardens, to uniquely Australian exhibitions, to the Children's garden, visitors will find a spectrum of entertainment.

3. Southbank Promenade: Glorious Waterfront

Melbourne's most social area runs along the Yarra, with scenic views and never-ending entertainment. Shopping, dining and socializing galore are the reasons to come down to the river, not to mention cultural institutions full of wonderful sights. Don't miss the National Gallery of Victoria or the Australian Center for Contemporary Art. The performing arts find their home at a variety of nearby venues as well. Most importantly, stop by the Eureka Tower for 360-degree views from the skydeck!

4. Melbourne Cricket Ground: "The G"

Set in lovely Yarra Park, this is one of the largest stadiums in the entire world, and certainly the largest in the southern hemisphere. It is home to the Melbourne Cricket Club, and has seen championship games from the Olympics to the Cricket World Cup. Capable of hosting 100,000 spectators, the stadium is positively staggering in size, and sometimes the grounds are even turned into a massive open-air cinema! For die-hard fans, a sports museum can also be found on the premises.

5. Royal Exhibition Building: Splendid!

In the midst of perfectly landscaped gardens, this 19th-century exhibition center hasn't lost any of its superb over the years. The entertainment venue shares the spectacular Carlton Gardens with the Melbourne Museum, both drawing countless tourists from far and wide. Whether visiting for a tour of the historic center, to enjoy the vast collection of the museum, or to relax in the beautiful outdoor area, this part of Melbourne cannot be missed.

Where to Eat in Melbourne

Melbourne has hundreds of superb restaurants featuring cuisines from all over the world. If you are looking for high-end gourmet food, you can't do better than Vaporetto for Italian, the chicken experts at Embla, or the Greek meals at Attica. But cheap eats can be wonderful too. Check out Indian restaurants like Mukka or the BBQ burger joint Dexter for delicious food at bargain prices. Expect to pay A$20-30 for mains at bars like Embla, or A$10-15 for a burger at Dexter.

When to visit Melbourne

Melbourne in May
Estimated hotel price
C$ 19
1 night at 3-star hotel
Melbourne in May
Estimated hotel price
C$ 19
1 night at 3-star hotel

Australia's summer runs from around November to early April, but even in the shoulder seasons the weather tends to be fine, with temperatures over 70 degrees. January is the time to visit for sports lovers, but you can enjoy wine tours and the beaches just as much in the Aussie spring or fall, without the inconvenience of huge tourist crowds.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Melbourne

Plane

The easiest way to reach Melbourne is flying into Tullamarine Airport (MEL), which is around 15 miles northwest of the city center. Shuttle buses run into town for A$14, and faster SkyBuses are available for A$18, while taxis will cost around A$55.

Train

Some visitors will find it preferable to fly into Sydney and catch the train to Melbourne. If so, NSW TrainLink run daily services (11 hours in total) to Southern Cross Station, which is around a mile west of the city center.

Car

If you decide to rent a car at Tullamarine Airport getting into town is easy. Just take the M2 straight into town. When the traffic on the M2 is bad, try taking the M80 and then the M1, which is longer but can be faster. Those driving from Sydney simply need to follow the M31 all the way to Melbourne.

Bus

Greyhound and Firefly Express run buses from other Australian cities to Melbourne, including Adelaide, Canberra, and Sydney. Both companies run buses into Southern Cross Station.

Airports near Melbourne

Airlines serving Melbourne

United Airlines
Good (2,621 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (1,734 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,070 reviews)
KLM
Good (317 reviews)
Air France
Good (355 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,169 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,119 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,022 reviews)
SWISS
Good (407 reviews)
Iberia
Good (773 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (966 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (749 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (236 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (237 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (384 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (219 reviews)
Finnair
Good (576 reviews)
Alaska Airlines
Excellent (2,270 reviews)
LATAM Airlines
Good (708 reviews)
LOT
Good (292 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Melbourne

Melbourne CBD - the Central Business District (CBD) isn't as business-like as it sounds. It's actually the cultural heart of Melbourne, featuring the redeveloped Docklands district, the historic Block shopping arcade, and the fascinating Immigration Museum.

Popular Neighborhoods in Melbourne

St Kilda - a far cry from the CBD, St Kilda is a classic Australian beach suburb. It's the kind of place where you can stroll down to the beach with your surfboard, attend a music festival, and dine on gourmet Asian food in the same day (or be in central Melbourne in minutes if needed).

Fitzroy - located in Melbourne's 'inner east', Fitzroy and neighboring Collingwood are bohemian communities with hundreds of galleries, bars, and restaurants, as well as stunning street art on almost every block. Fitzroy is a great place to be, thanks to the stores on Gertrude Street, bars like the Everleigh and the area's 19th-century architecture.

Most popular hotel in Melbourne by neighborhood

Where to stay in popular areas of Melbourne

Most booked hotels in Melbourne

Mornington Bed and Breakfast
Excellent (9.6, Excellent reviews)
C$ 180+
Park Hyatt Melbourne
Excellent (9.1, Excellent reviews)
C$ 340+
Ovolo Laneways
Excellent (9, Excellent reviews)
C$ 219+
The Como Melbourne - MGallery
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
C$ 218+
Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto, An IHG Hotel
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
C$ 247+
Adelphi Hotel
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
C$ 281+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Melbourne

Public Transportation

Getting around the CBD is easy thanks to the orderly grid system and the tram network (which is free of charge within the center of town). In the city as a whole, the trams, buses, and trains will take you where you need to go. Pick up a Myki card and charge it with the tickets you need (an A$7 daily limit applies).

Taxi

Melbourne operates a fixed schedule of taxi rates. The meter drop is A$4.20 during the day (A$5.20 in the evenings). After that, it's around A$2.50 per mile during the day, or A$3 at night. Uber is active in Melbourne too, charging a meter drop of around A$2, then about A$1.50 per mile.

Car

Having your own car is a great option if you want to see the scenery of the Great Ocean Drive or explore the Grampian Mountains. Rental outlets in Melbourne include Budget and Hertz, and visitors can expect to pay A$25 per day.

The Cost of Living in Melbourne

Shopping Streets

Melbourne is full of great places to shop. If you are after designer footwear, Little Collins Street is the place to go. Bourke Street Mall features fashion stores like David Jones, while Chapel Street is home to boutiques like Dorothy and Evelyn, Plane Clothes, and Olga de Polga. If you're in St Kilda, don't miss the open-air Esplanade Market.

Groceries and Other

The best places to shop for groceries in Melbourne are supermarkets like Coles (which you'll find all over town) and Woolworth's, but markets like Prahran Market are a good place to look as well. Expect to pay about A$5 for a gallon of milk and A$1.70 for a pound of apples.

Cheap meal
C$ 15.41
A pair of jeans
C$ 97.13
Single public transport ticket
C$ 4.01
Cappuccino
C$ 3.99