If you’re looking for some ideas on what to do in Melbourne, Australia on a weekend getaway, look no further! This article has 10 of the best things you can do in this amazing city. From vibrant street art to urban laneways, sightseeing iconic landmarks like St Paul’s Cathedral, and quintessential Aussie experiences like catching an AFL game, there’s something for everyone in this great Australian city.
Melbourne is a food lover’s paradise with an incredible variety of restaurants catering to all tastes and cultural backgrounds. Take a food tour and chow down at hole-in-the-wall noodle shops, and juicy burger joints, or treat yourself to the ultimate in fine dining.
You can also find many accommodation options in Melbourne to suit your budget. If you’re looking for something luxurious, there are several top-notch hotels in the Docklands like the Marriott and Nesuto. For those traveling on a budget, there are plenty of hostels in the Melbourne CBD (Central Business District) with excellent facilities.
Here are 10 of the best things to do in Melbourne over the weekend.
1. Visit Federation Square
Located next to Flinders Street Station, Federation Square is one of Melbourne’s most iconic landmarks as well as a favorite hangout joint for locals. It plays host to many events throughout the year and is home to several Melbourne attractions. The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is here and houses an impressive collection of film, television, and digital culture. The Ian Potter Centre, part of the National Gallery of Victoria is the first major gallery in the world that’s purely dedicated to Australian art.
The area is filled with cozy cafes and fantastic restaurants if you’re feeling peckish. Stop by Time Out Fed Square for a taste of their mouth-watering lamb curry or try their sharing plate for starters.
2. Stop By St Paul’s Cathedral
Since you’ll already be in the area it’s worth stopping by St Paul’s Cathedral on Flinders Street. Built in 1891 and designed by William Butterfield it’s a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture. The Cathedral is an impressive sight from both inside and out with a magnificent spire that reaches 70 metres in height. Visitors can explore the beautiful stained glass windows, crypt, and grand organ. St Paul’s is open 6 days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entry is free but donations are always welcome.
3. Discover The Local Street Art Scene
If you’re a lover of street art, then you’ve come to the right city. The city of Melbourne is known for its vibrant street art scene and it’s become recognized as one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions. Perfect for a walking tour of the neighborhood. The most popular spot for street art in Melbourne is Hosier Lane. Known for its impressive array of colorful murals and larger-than-life portraits this laneway is not to be missed. There’s always something new to see as the lane is constantly changing with artists rotating in and out of the space.
Other areas worth exploring include AC/DC Lane (named for the 70s rock band), Croft Alley, and Duckboard Place in the city’s CBD, or head out to Fitzroy in the suburbs.
4. Stroll The Southbank Promenade
Located along the banks of the Yarra River, the bustling Southbank precinct is home to many of Melbourne’s key attractions. Here you’ll find Crown Casino, Eureka Tower’s Skydeck (the highest observation deck in the southern hemisphere), the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Southgate Shopping Centre, and some of the best eating and drinking in the city.
The restaurants and cafes at Southbank Melbourne are truly world-class with delicious cuisines available from all corners of the globe. From classic Italian eateries to modern tapas and seafood, you’re sure to find something that tempts your tastebuds.
There are also heaps of cool bars, breweries, pubs, and clubs for those wanting to indulge in the Australian nightlife. For something truly special make sure to stop by Ponyfish Island. Located right under a bridge, along with tasty cocktails it offers unbeatable views of the river.
5. Take A Yarra River Boat Ride
Offering a different viewpoint, a boat ride down the Yarra River is a fun way to see and explore the city. Along the way on the waterfront, you’ll pass by some of Melbourne’s most iconic landmarks, bridges, gardens, and sporting arenas, as well as Herring Island and Como House.
Boat cruises can last between 1 and 4 hours and you can even choose to skipper a boat yourself – no boat license required!
6. Drink Melbourne Coffee
Coffee lovers rejoice! Melbourne is a city that truly knows how to enjoy a great cup of coffee. From the vibrant laneways full of chic cafes and cozy espresso bars to more traditional Italian-style spots for an authentic long black, you’re bound to find your favorite brew.
Take some time out of your day to try out the unique blends on offer from any one of the City’s baristas, or even join a local coffee guided tour to get an in-depth appreciation of Melbourne’s remarkable coffee culture.
Coffee may not be the first thing that comes to mind when planning your weekend in Melbourne, but it definitely should be on your list of things to do. If only to keep your itinerary on schedule!
7. Pick Up A Bargain At Queen Victoria Market
Looking for a unique shopping experience in Melbourne? Look no further than the Queen Victoria Market. Said to be the oldest of its kind in the country the market has everything from fresh produce to arts and crafts stalls, as well as souvenirs and fashion items. Whether you’re looking to buy something special or just fancy a browse, Queen Victoria Market is the perfect place to while away an afternoon.
The best day to visit is Sunday when the atmosphere is relaxed with live music performances, food stalls serving up delicious cuisine from all corners of the globe, and a range of cultures represented throughout the market.
Top Tip: Be sure to stop by the American Doughnut Kitchen for the yummiest sugar-coated hot jam doughnuts you’ve ever tasted!
8. See The Animals At Melbourne Zoo
Melbourne Zoo is home to over 280 different species of animals from around the world. Here you’ll find native Australian wildlife, more exotic species like giraffes and elephants as well as birds, reptiles, and insects.
There’s much more to see and do at the zoo than just look at the animals, though. Visitors can take part in interactive animal encounters, learn about the wildlife that calls the zoo home at free animal talks, and if you’re keen you can even stay overnight.
A favorite with overseas visitors is the Australian Bush exhibit where you get to say hello to koalas, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, wombats, and a variety of native birds.
The zoo is open every day from 9 a.m to 5 p.m.
9. Learn About Australia’s History At The Melbourne Museum
The Melbourne Museum is jam-packed with fascinating exhibits covering everything from Aboriginal culture to dinosaurs, climate change, and wildlife. Spread across multiple levels the museum boasts interactive displays, science experiments, technology activities, and a fossil lab.
Kids will love the play areas, climbing equipment, and playground, while grown-ups can get their caffeine fix at the onsite café. You can end your visit with a movie at the IMAX cinema or relax with a picnic in the gardens.
The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tram route 86 or Tram route 96 to Stop 11 Melbourne Museum will get you there.
10. Attend An AFL Match At Marvel Stadium
Nothing quite says how Melbourne is like an Australian football match. Marvel Stadium, in the Docklands, is the perfect place to take in a game and see how the locals spend their weekends. With a capacity for over 50,000 people, it’s one of Australia’s largest stadiums and home to many of the AFL’s top teams.
A must-see experience for any sports fan or visitor to Melbourne, on gameday the atmosphere is electric. Sit in the stands surrounded by passionate fans and hear the sound of the siren and the roar of the crowd as the players take to the field.
Get into the spirit of things and wear a team scarf or wave a flag and become a part of this local weekend event.
If you’re looking to spend a weekend in Melbourne, there is no shortage of activities and attractions to enjoy. Take a stroll through Federation Square, visit the stunning St. Paul’s Cathedral, or cruise down the Yarra River for some breathtaking views. Venture into the heart of the city with hip laneways and admire the colorful street art or head to the Queen Victoria Market for a bit of bargain hunting. Animal enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Melbourne Zoo or the fascinating exhibits at the Melbourne Museum. And if you’re in town during the AFL season, don’t pass up the opportunity to attend a match at Marvel Stadium.
End your weekend on a high note by enjoying a delicious meal at one of Melbourne’s top restaurants whether you prefer a fine dining experience or something more casual.