Melbourne has plenty to offer visitors from all over the world. From the rooftop bars and designer boutiques that give the city a cosmopolitan feel, to its plentiful array of historical buildings and landmarks — Melbourne has something new to discover on every corner. With plenty of culture, activities, art exhibitions, and live music, you could easily spend over a week here and not regret it. Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city and is considered by many to be the cultural and sporting capital of Australia. For all of its fine restaurants, elegant buildings and historically important landmarks, the city is also extremely welcoming and has a multicultural feel that appeals to most visitors.
The nightlife is epic, with diverse venues ranging from bumping clubs to hole-in-the-wall concert stages. It’s also a powerhouse for sports; one visit to the Melbourne Cricket Ground will solidify that in your mind. With Melbourne Australia Vacations, enjoy a stress-free vibe in an exciting metropolis. For a complete list of Melbourne’s beaches, << Click Here >>.
Weather (When to Go)
The best times to visit Melbourne are between March and May and September and November. March – May sees the city alight with gold-topped trees. And visitors will enjoy comfortable weather while taking in the changing colors: Daytime temperatures range from the mid-70s to the low 60s. In the summer months (North America’s winter months) of December to February, Melbourne is bustling with visitors, while June through August (Melbourne’s winter season) affords cold weather and fewer travelers. December – February is Melbourne’s peak travel season, and you’ll also find average high temperatures in the mid- to upper 70s. But temperatures have been known to climb into the 90s, so pack light clothing and a water bottle. Hotels are also packed; you’ll want to book your room well in advance. June thru August is Melbourne’s winter season, and the city is likewise dreary and cold.
Getting Around Melbourne
The best way to get around Melbourne is by tram. Trams operate throughout the day and offer multiple routes that criss-cross the city. There’s even a free tram designed just for tourists. You can also board Melbourne’s buses and trains with the same myki ticket that you’ll use for trams. While taxis and rental cars are available, they’ll both cost more than public transportation. To avoid the hassle of adjusting to Melbourne’s quirky road rules, it’s best to avoid driving here.
Melbourne loves its trams. And the free City Circle Tram, which operates in the central business district, is especially popular. This tram service is available Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday to Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On the regular trams, you can travel throughout the city and into nearby suburbs like Richmond, St Kilda and South Yarra-Prahran. Tram service runs from 5 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 24 hours a day on Fridays and Saturdays and from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays. You can buy tickets – known as “myki” passes – online, in retail outlets with a myki sign and at train stations and select bus and tram stops. Tram ticket packages – which include a myki card preloaded with AU$8 ($6), a souvenir myki wallet and special rates for local attractions like the Eureka Skydeck and the Melbourne Museum – can be purchased from the Melbourne Visitor Centre, in airport and Southern Cross Station SkyBus terminals and at participating hotels.
Buses run along more than 300 routes in central Melbourne and into the suburbs. There are two bus zones, and bus fares are based on the distance traveled. Standard fares cost AU$2.70 or AU$3.90 for two hours of rides. Bus schedules vary depending on the route, though most buses operate between 5 a.m. and midnight. The NightRider service only runs every on Saturdays and Sundays. Buses accept myki passes. You can also purchase tickets on the bus from the driver.
The main train hub for city travel is the Flinders Street Railway Station, while regional and interstate trains arrive and depart from the Southern Cross Station. The City Loop, a five-station rail route located in central Melbourne, is probably the most convenient train network for travelers. Trains also make stops in other parts of the city and in the outer suburbs. Train hours vary depending on the line, though most routes run from 5 to 3 a.m. Monday through Friday, 24 hours on Saturdays and between 3:30 and 1 a.m. on Sundays.
Yellow taxicabs are available in Melbourne, and you can hail them right off the street. Expect a taxi from Melbourne Airport into the CBD to cost between $33 to $59. Extra charges apply for rides to or from the airport and for rides provided between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Visitors can use the Uber ride-sharing service to get around Melbourne as well.
To commemorate the 19,000 Victorians killed during World War I, the city of Melbourne built the Shrine of Remembrance in 1924. The monument, which was inspired by famous Greek sights like the Parthenon and the Acropolis, features several memorials, including the bronze Gallipoli Memorial, The Forecourt (a World War II memorial that houses the Eternal Flame) and the Remembrance Garden (where fallen soldiers from post-World War II conflicts are honored). Several military-themed exhibits are also available inside the shrine.
One of Australia’s most stunning natural wonders is the Twelve Apostles rock formation found in Port Campbell National Park. Seven stacked rock structures constitute the Twelve Apostles. Other landmarks include The Arch, London Bridge and a grotto. The 144-mile trek to Port Campbell National Park is definitely worth it. Take some time to travel along the Great Ocean Road, which offers terrific views of the park. You may spot wild koalas and kangaroos during your visit.
Melbourne’s Royal Botanical Gardens are simply wonderful. Drawing over 1.5 million visitors annually, the gardens are considered one of the finest examples of Victorian-era landscaping in the world. You’ll find a global selection of plantings and endemic Australian flora. Mini ecosystems, such as a cacti and succulents area, a herb garden and an indigenous rain forest, are set amid vast lawns.
Less than an hour drive from Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is home to vineyards, fine dining and quaint accommodation, making it one of Melbourne’s favorite weekend breaks. More than 70 wineries are located in this region. Two of the Yarra Valley’s most popular vineyards include Domaine Chandon, which specializes in sparkling wine, and Giant Steps, where you’ll find several kinds of chardonnays and pinot noirs. There are several wine tours throughout the Yarra Valley that are available.
The National Gallery of Victoria has two magnificent galleries located a short walk apart, both with free entry to the permanent collection. NGV International houses a whole world of international art, displaying the National Gallery of Victoria’s collections of European, Asian, Oceanic and American art. Since the National Gallery of Victoria opened in St Kilda Road in 1968, the total collection has doubled in size to more than 70,000 works of art. A truly iconic Melbourne building, the gallery has been totally redesigned to house one of the most impressive collections in the Southern Hemisphere. The NGV offers an extraordinary visual arts experience with diverse temporary exhibitions, Collection displays, talks, tours, programs for kids, films, late-night openings and performances.
Things to Do
Soak up the breath taking view of the rainforest from our Treetop Walk or soar through the leafy treetops on the awe-inspiring Zipline Tour! Our interactive Rainforest Ranger Trail helps kids discover the secrets of the rainforest. There’s something for the whole family to enjoy! For more information call 1 800 300 477, or visit them on the web at Otway Fly Tree Top Adventures.
Enjoy a truly remarkable experience of a sunrise hot air balloon flight in Melbourne – a world-class experience. There is no other major city around the world where you can traverse by hot air balloon. our adventure starts before the city stirs. Birdsong begins as balloons inflate and you find yourself drawn to the heat of the flame. As the earth falls away, you rise with the sun. There’s no need to travel far, and no better way to see the world’s most livable city. Sail the breeze beside sparkling skyscrapers and follow the Yarra River as it unwinds through parks and gardens. For an hour, it’s just you and the sky. For more information call 03 9428 5703, or visit them on the web at Global Ballooning Australia.
Trail riding on horseback through beautiful coastal bush lands and on spectacular beaches, is one of those incredible experiences that you will never forget. Fresh air, gentle horses, excellent staff and stunning scenery – all shared with your team in a supportive and healthy environment. With over 30 years in business, they thrive on delivering an incredible experience from the time you inquire to the time you pat your horse goodbye. For more information call 03 5988 6755, or visit them on the web at Gunnamatta Trail Rides.
The Scuba Doctor regularly organizes dive trips to the world’s most spectacular locations and scuba diving sites. If you are an experienced, certified diver looking for the best diving trips to go diving on, then The Scuba Doctor is here to help you. The Scuba Doctor only offers the best of the available dive trips. Plus, their dive expeditions are led by our own professional staff. Thus, you can be assured of a great scuba diving trip, experiencing the very best of what the undersea world has to offer at fantastic dive spots around the globe. For more information call 03 5985 1700, or visit them on the web at The Scuba Doctor.
Experience the ultimate in romantic sightseeing tours aboard a prestigious horse-drawn carriage through the streets and gardens of Melbourne. Perfect for a special occasion, or just for something different, you will not be disappointed by the grace and beauty of our traditional carriages rides. For more information call 425 709 911, or visit them on the web at Classic Carriages Melbourne.
Best Rated Area Restaurants
$-Inexpensive $$-Moderate $$$-Pricey $$$$-Ultra High End
$$ – $$$ Long Chim
Chef David Thompson brings the vibrant street food of Bangkok to this casual Thai diner. Known for his flagship restaurant Nahm in Bangkok (currently #5 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list), Thompson has a knack for striking a nuanced balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy. The menu is extensive with over 50 dishes on offer and plays old favorites, like charred noodles, against traditional dishes, such as sour-orange ling fish curry. Bunches of fresh herbs add punch to each dish, and colorful chairs, plates, and chopsticks bring to mind the lovely energy of the Bangkok streets. For more information call 03 9292 5777, or visit them on the web at Long Chim.
$$$$ Rockpool Bar & Grill
Sleek, sophisticated, and sexy: This Melbourne outpost of chef Neil Perry is undeniably good, with big tables, oodles of space, great cooking, and at brilliant Australian produce including Blackmore Wagyu . Bonus: Rockpool offers one of the best wine lists in Australia, with a world-renowned cellar hiding bottles from the best vintages ever. For more information call 03 8648 1900, or visit them on the web at Rockpool Bar & Grill.
$$ – $$$ Tipo 00
Named — with good reason — for the super-fine flour used in noodles, the pasta dishes here are legendary. Tipo 00 has a light and bright room that fills up quickly with the nearby business crowd day and night, so book early or arrive outside peak times. For more information call 03 9942 3946, or visit them on the web at Tipo 00.
$$$$ Maha Restaurant
Amidst the office buildings in the CBD, walk downstairs to this basement gem and prepare to be dazzled by the luxurious furnishings that make this an Aladdin’s lair. Chef/owner and TV presenter Shane Delia travels frequently, discovering new flavors and recipes for his modern Middle Eastern menu that takes hints from Malta, North Africa, Iran, and Turkey. For more information call 03 9629 5900, or visit them on the web at Maha Restaurant.
$$ – $$$ Supernormal
From serial restaurateur and chef Andrew McConnell (of Cutler & Co., Cumulus, Marion) this is your go-to place for a fun night out. There’s a jaw-dropping list of dishes like sea bream with white soy and ginger, white cut chicken, tofu dressing with a delicate Japanese and Korean sensibility, and McConnell’s signature lobster roll. Bonus points for the karaoke bar downstairs. For more information call 03 9650 8688, or visit them on the web at Supernormal.
Melbourne bar whiz Michael Madrusan added another notch to his belt when he opened Heartbreaker late last year. It’s the cliched dive bar — a favorite among the late night hospo crowd — complete with fuschia neon signage and a padded bar front for long night leaning. The house bottled negronis are stand out. For more information call 03 9041 0856, or visit them on the web at Heartbreaker.
Find the doorway on this graffiti-covered lane way and on any given day you’ll meet a friendly bunch of strangers perched on stools at the bar — probably sipping on a glass of sherry and tucking into a delicate plate of Ortiz anchovy and smoked tomato sorbet toasts. For more information call 03 9663 3038, or visit them on the web at Movida.
You’ll find plenty of industry types hanging out here — even Heston Blumenthal has been known to spin records behind the bar. For nearly 10 years, owners Gerald Diffey and Mario Di Ienno have been the jovial characters that this bar embodies, full of laughter, good cheer, and happy times. The drink list is interesting and far-reaching and there’s a simple bistro menu to keep you well-fed. For more information call 03 9349 4748, or visit them on the web at Gerald’s Bar.
Since it opened 10 years ago, Matt McConnell’s clever menu has showcased the delightful flavors of Spain and Portugal. The quirky interior has collectables from the owner’s travels, guests sit elbow to elbow along the bar, and lone diners pick up conversations with their neighbor. There’s a hefty and award-winning wine list — it’s definitely worth waiting for a stool here. For more information call 03 9663 7890, or visit them on the web at Bar Lourinhã.
Siglo Bar is the best stop in the city for soaking up the cool views of the Melbourne cityscape, be it late afternoon or much later at night. The impressive drink list caters to every whim, and there’s a tight snack menu to soak up the booze. Within the same building, you will also find Spring Street Grocer for primo gelato by the scoop or a mind-blowing cheese selection from thbasement cellar. For more information call 03 9654 6631, or visit them on the web at Siglo Bar.
Explore the edgy and innovative creativity of our 188 Melbourne Guest Suites where bespoke designer furnishings, free WIFI, a fully stocked minibar and free new release movies complete the pleasure package. Indulge in high-end sophistication through carefully curated modern art, high spec designer tech, and all of the quirk and tongue-in-cheek pleasure you have come to expect when immersing yourself in QT life. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit QT Melbourne.
Sweeping vistas of the Yarra River and Melbourne skyline. Outstanding location amidst the city’s captivating Arts and Leisure district. A sanctuary nestled on the famous Southbank Promenade. 388 immaculately furnished rooms and suites designed for the discerning. Each window is framed by a magnificent view of the Yarra River or the city skyline. Unforgettable dining experiences with an element of theater at Melba. Stylish afternoon tea by day, exhilarating cocktails at night at Aria Bar and Lounge. Chuan Spa is a holistic wellness sanctuary that offers body treatments, massages, and facials that are inspired by the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit The Langham Melbourne.
Overlooking St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Fitzroy Gardens, and the cosmopolitan mix of Victorian and modern architecture, Park Hyatt Melbourne offers exclusive, luxury accommodation in the heart of the city. Our beautifully appointed 5 star hotel is centrally located in Melbourne’s CBD, offering the city’s largest 240 guestrooms and suites. A warm ambiance, exceptional levels of personalized service and luxurious amenities with exquisite surrounds – provides guests a private haven in Australia’s most livable city. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit the Park Hyatt Melbourne.
Located in Melbourne, 1,950 feet from Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Center and 2,300 feet from Eureka Tower, Flinders Luxury Penthouse provides accommodations with amenities such as free WiFi and a flat-screen TV. Guests have a private terrace. Offering direct access to a balcony, the air-conditioned apartment consists of 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. The accommodations is fitted with a kitchen. At the apartment guests are welcome to take advantage of a fitness room. Barbecue facilities are provided. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Flinders Luxury Penthouse.
At Grand Hyatt Melbourne a luxurious stay awaits you, in the heart of our dynamic city. Located on prestigious Collins Street, surrounded by the city’s high fashion and fine dining. Many of Melbourne’s top tourist attractions are all within walking distance, including business, retail, sporting and theater districts. Featuring 550 spacious guest rooms and suites, delectable dining and an events floor with 15 innovative spaces. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Grand Hyatt Melbourne.