Melbourne is one of my most favourite cities in Australia. I lived in this amazing city for more than 6 months and I cherished my time there each and every day. The city is so vibrant and has so many things to offer for each tourist and traveler. This is also the city where one of my bucket list items of seeing Shah Rukh Khan came true. In this post, you will find the top 9 things to do in Melbourne.
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Melbourne is one of the largest and beautiful cities in Australia. It is the capital of the state Victoria. Known for its huge European influence, Melbourne is famous for its style and food. The city is definitely one of my favourite cities in Australia. There are plenty of things to do in the city itself and as well as the places around the city.
The best time to visit Melbourne is around the Spring (September to November) and Autumn (April to May) seasons. But be prepared to see and experience all the four seasons in a day in Melbourne. If you are visiting Melbourne during winter season (June to August), then make sure you layer up as it is going to be extremely cold.
You need at least 3 to 4 days to see and explore the city itself as there are so many things to do.
How to reach Melbourne?
Melbourne is one of the largest cities in Australia, after Sydney. So, Melbourne has both Domestic (Tullamarine and Avalon airports) and International (Tullamarine) airports.
- International flights – There are international flights from anywhere around the world to Melbourne. Almost all flight providers, including Qantas and Emirates operate from Tullamarine airport. AirAsia and Scoot airlines are the budgeted airlines from South East Asia. Jetstar also has some international flights.
- Skybus operate shuttles between Tullamarine airport and Southern Cross station of Melbourne. The Skybus is the convenient way to get to the CBD. Tickets need to be purchased and can be bought near their counters inside the airport.
- Domestic flights – Melbourne is connected to most cities and towns around Australia. Jetstar is the budgeted airline to travel between the cities domestically and all of the Jetstar domestic flights land at Avalon airport. The flights that land at Avalon airport is more affordable than the flights that land at Tullamarine.
- Avalon airport is further from the city than Tullamarine. It takes around 1 hour 30 minutes between Avalon and Southern cross station in Melbourne city.
- Skybus also have buses between Avalon airport and Melbourne CBD.
Being on the east coast of Australia, Melbourne is very well connected by national highways. But it is quite a distance to drive from the capital cities such as Sydney and Adelaide to Melbourne.
The distance between Sydney and Melbourne is around 880 kilometres and takes 8 hours 30 minutes to drive. There are two routes, one via Canberra and the other through the coastal line passing Lakes Entrance. These routes have toll roads and have spectacular spots where you can take a break and enjoy.
The distance between Adelaide and Melbourne is around 730 kilometres and the journey by road is about 8 hours. Note that this route also has toll roads and the two cities are in different time zones.
By Public transport
- Buses – Greyhound and Firefly express buses run between Sydney and Melbourne. The cost of the fare range between AUD 60 to AUD 250. But this is my least favourite option as the time for the bus journey is around 12 hours.
- Trains – There are frequent trains run by TrainLink between Sydney (Central) and Melbourne (Southern Cross). The train journey is 11 hours and the cost is around AUD 75 to AUD 250.
- Up to date information and prices can be found on the respective websites.
Getting around in Melbourne
Melbourne city has three modes of public transportation:
- Trams – Easiest and the quickest way to travel within the city and inner suburbs.
- Trains – Fastest way to travel within the city and the extended suburbs.
- Buses – Buses are just used to fill up the gaps where trams and trains do not exist. This is my least favourite mode of transportation.
The main train station is the Flinders Street train station.
- The recent and up-to-date information about transportation within Melbourne can be found on the PVT website.
- MyKi is the card to be used to travel in trams, trains and buses. They can be topped up at the Quick Top-up machines available at the train stations and news agencies.
- Tip: The trams 70 and 35 are free trams that travel between the city zone. Using these trams to see some of the landmarks in Melbourne is one of the ways of seeing the city for free.
9 Things to do in Melbourne
Before I proceed, I would like to state that Melbourne has a lot to offer. It caters for all kinds of travelers. The city is not just only famous among the youngsters and adults, but is also great when you travel to Melbourne with kids. So, below list is just a subset of things that can be done in the city.
Hosier lane is a lane in Melbourne Central Business District (CBD) dedicated to street art. It is so colourful and is a great spot for amazing pictures with the graffiti or street art. Every time I have visited Hosier lane, the street is filled with different street art. Every art painted changes and each artist overwrites the previous artist’s work.
Hosier Lane is great to see the display of all the work done by the street artists. Sometimes one can catch a glimpse of the artist painting as well. It is mind boggling to see these huge murals and the lane is filled with wall arts that are a delight to watch. I have visited Hosier Lane many a times and the lane is different each time as I have never seen the same art twice.
- Entry fee: FREE.
How to reach Hosier Lane?
Hosier Lane is very close to Federation Square. The nearest tram station is Federation Square and the nearest train station is Flinders street station.
St Kilda or Brighton beach
Both St Kilda and Brighton beaches are extremely pretty and beautiful. St Kilda is famous for its busy and beautiful local market whereas Brighton beach is famous for its colorful shacks.
- Entry fee: FREE.
Watch out for penguins at St Kilda beach during dusk. They are occasionally seen.
If you want to see little penguins, then try visiting the Philip Island which makes a perfect one day trip from Melbourne.
How to reach St Kilda beach and Brighton beach?
- The nearest tram station is St Kilda and there are frequent trams from the Flinders Street station.
- The best way to reach Brighton beach is by taking a train from the Flinders Street station to Brighton beach.
Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
If you are a cricket lover, then taking a tour at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MGC) is a must. MCG, also known as “The G” is a famous cricket stadium located in the Yarra Park of Melbourne. Built in 1853, MCG is the World’s biggest cricket stadium.
You can take tours to see MCG. The guided tours are run everyday at 10 AM and 3 PM.
How to get to MCG?
- There are frequent trams between Flinders Street station and MCG.
- The nearest train stations are Jolimont and Richmond stations.
Eureka Sky deck
Eureka sky deck is a place where one can get the panoramic views of Melbourne. Eureka Tower is a 297 metres skyscraper in the Melbourne city. It has 91 floors and is an amazing place to spend dining at night.
- Entry fee: AUD 25 per adult (online).
How to get to Eureka Tower?
The nearest train station is the Flinders street station. The tower is around 6 minutes walk from the train station.
Shrine of Remembrance
Shrine of Remembrance is a war memorial built to respect all the souls who have sacrificed their lives to protect this beautiful country during the World War I (WWI). According to Australian War Memorial website, around 60,000 Australians were killed during the WWI.
- Entry fee: FREE.
How to reach Shrine of Remembrance?
- The tram stop is known as Shrine of Remembrance and frequent trams run between Federation Square and Shrine of Remembrance.
If you are in for some retail therapy, then Melbourne is the place to be. Shopping in the Central Business District (CBD) is an amazing experience. One can get stuff for any range, from the budgeted to the most expensive things. The Direct Factory Outlet (DFO) is another great place to shop.
Melbourne also has some amazing local markets over the weekends. And one of the famous markets in the city is the Queen Victoria Market.
Melbourne has trams that are a great way to travel within the CBD. City circle tram has continuous commentary providing information about the various famous spots in Melbourne.
- Tip: Tram 35 is a tourist tram where they provide all the information about the places it passes through and this is free.
Taking a stroll around the Yarra River is a great way to spend an evening in Melbourne. The river is beautiful and it provides fresh air right in between the city.
Eating fries at Lord of the Fries
Do you love hot chips (fries) as much as I do? The hot potato roasted and dipped in some awesome and divine sauces? If that is what you crave and want? Then definitely ‘Lord of the Fries‘ is the place to be for amazing and delicious hot chips.
Lord of the Fries has stores everywhere in Australia, but Melbourne has a lot of many stores and they are available at almost every train station in Melbourne CBD. And in Sydney, they have only two stores – one at George Street and the other at Newtown.
In Australia, we call the fries as chips.
They have different dips/sauces that can be bought to complement the chips. I love the Vietnamese spicy sauce. A small classic chips with the sauce costs around AUD 5.50. And I think they make the best chips in the World. Everything that is made in Lord of the Fries is the best and delicious. Note: they have vegan options too.
- Website: https://www.lordofthefries.com.au/
Whenever I visit Melbourne, I visit Lord of the Fries. It has become a routine and a must-eat snack while in Melbourne.
One Day Trips around Melbourne
There are many places around Melbourne where you can visit and explore as one day trips. When I lived in Melbourne, I traveled almost every weekend visiting and exploring the amazing outdoors the city has to offer.
- Hiking and Outdoors – You can visit the 1000 Steps, Macedon Ranges, Upper Yarra Goldfields, Mount Bishop, Grampians National Park and Lake Daylesford.
- Wine Tasting and Region – You can visit the Yarra Valley.
- Skiing and Snow boarding – You can visit Mount Buller.
- Interesting and fun things to do – You can visit Puffing Billy and Sovereign Hill.
If you want to extend your stay for the weekend, then visit Port Fairy.
Safety for Solo female travelers
Melbourne is relatively safe city. However, I have had not so pleasant incidents in the CBD and in suburban areas such as Footscray and Sunshine. So I would suggest being cautious at all times and knowing your surroundings if you are traveling alone.
As I mentioned earlier in the post, the list above is just a few things to do in Melbourne. The city definitely has many more things to do. It also has many art museums and churches, which are not covered in my post. Also, for Bollywood lovers, International Film Festival hosts annual events with some famous Bollywood celebrities attending them.
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