Travel Guide | Melbourne

Top Ten Things to do in Melbourne

Rated the world’s most livable city for three years in a row, Melbourne has something for everyone to enjoy.

I’ve been living in Melbourne for close to three months now, and have fallen in love with the vibrant culture that this city has to offer. If you ever get a chance to visit Australia, make sure a trip to Melbourne is on the top of your list!

 1. St. Kilda

St. Kilda is approximately 20 minutes away from Melbourne’s CBD. It’s well known for it’s beautiful beach and boardwalk that overlooks Port Phillip Bay, which attracts many visitors especially in the summer months.

There are an abundance of restaurants and bars for people to go to and live music is often a perk. Luna Park is an amusement park full of rides and games that is an exciting part of visiting St. Kilda. Luna Park has offered visitors nights full of fun for over a hundred years and has free admission.

2. AFL 

I will admit, sports are not my forte, but I’m so glad I went to a footy game! I had no idea what was happening, but it was still fun to go and cheer for the North Melbourne team.

Australian football is highly popular in the state of Victoria, so I recommend checking out a game if your in Melbourne during the footy season.

AFL game Etihad Stadium Melbourne image

First AFL game at Etihad Stadium!

3. Street Art

Melbourne is internationally known for its street art that can be found around the city. Street art makes up a huge part of Melbourne’s culture and is respected by the government as freedom of expression.

Some of the areas with prominent street art include: Brunswick Street, Fitzroy Street and Sydney Road. Make sure to go on a tour so don’t miss seeing some of these hidden masterpieces.

4. Laneways

Another feature that is unique to Melbourne are the lane-ways. These can include markets, galleries, cafes and bars that are tucked into alleyways waiting to be discovered.

My favorite so far was going to Chuckle Park Bar and Café which is located on Little Collins Street. It has a delicious food and drink menu, including their popular raspberry mojito jugs.

Chuckle Park has a cozy vibe with lantern lighting and chill music. Be sure to put this on your list of places to go while in Melbourne.

Mojito Chuckle Park Melbourne image

Tasty mojito from Chuckle Park.

5. Phillip Island

 Phillip Island is less than two hours away from Melbourne which is popular for its scenic beaches and wildlife viewing. Phillip Island is most known for its penguins, which can be seen returning to shore at night after a busy day in the water.

6.  Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is strip of land that over looks beautiful beaches for 150 miles. It goes from Torquay, Victoria which is about 1 ½ hours away from Melbourne and ends in Allansford.

There are different tours you can take and activities you can participate in such as nature walks, surfing and scuba diving. The Great Ocean Road is on the Australian National Heritage List, which proves its incredible significance to Australia culture.

7. Yarra Valley Winery Tour

Even though I’m not much of a wine drinker, I would highly recommend going on a tour of some of the Yarra Valley wineries. On our tour we went to Kellybrook Winery, Acacia Ridge and Yerring Farm, all of which were beautiful but unique in their own ways.

We also made a stop at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery, which made the day that much more enjoyable.

8. Melbourne Zoo

The Melbourne Zoo is a short drive from the Melbourne CBD, and is a home to over 320 species of animals. The zoo has special “close-up encounters” with animals at designated times each day. Have you ever wanted to feed a girafee or hang out with a giant tortoise? Then the Melbourne Zoo is the place for you.

They also host special Roar n’ Snore nights where you can camp out for the night and explore the zoo bright and early the next morning before they open to the public. This event also includes dinner and drinks as an added bonus before they send you off to your tents for the night.

 9. Queen Victoria Market

One of the first places I visited when I came to Melbourne was the Queen Victoria Market, and it quickly became one of my favorite places to go.

The market is open five days a week, and has an abundance of food vendors including fruit, veggies, meats and organic products. It also has merchandise for sale such as clothes, jewelry, souvenirs and electronics.

One popular feature of the Queen Vic Markets is the Wednesday Night Market that takes place during the summer. There are lots of different cuisines to be discovered and sangria which is a popular choice.

10. Melbourne Uni

The main reason I came to Melbourne was to attend the University of Melbourne as an exchange student for a semester. I didn’t learn about the other great things that this city has to offer until I got here.

The University of Melbourne, also known as Melbourne Uni, is a prestigious university that is ranked highly worldwide. According to the Times Higher Education World University Ranking, it is the #1 university in Australia and ranked 34th worldwide. Melbourne Uni also has an abundance of international students, and encourages domestic students to study abroad.

One of my favorite parts of attending Melbourne Uni this semester was living in one of the colleges. There are 12 colleges on campus, and besides providing accommodation for students, there are also many social, academic, and sporting events for students to participate in during the semester.

Melbourne is an amazing city with a unique culture and charm. I’m so lucky I got the chance to study abroad here this semester, and if you have the opportunity I suggest you do the same!

Shannon Kelly

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | 10 stories

Shannon Kelly is a Journalism major at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is involved with the student newspaper, new student programing, and greek life on campus. She has a passion for travel, loves animals, and never turns down an adventure. Always looking for a reason to laugh and be spontaneous, Shannon also enjoys music and movies.

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