Melbourne, Australia is consistently rated high on the list of the most liveable cities in the world. We visited pre children and caught an overnight bus along the south eastern coast road from Batemans Bay in NSW. A windy road that doesn’t give you a remote chance of sleep. With its incredibly eclectic vibe, vibrant bohemian feel and mixture of multiculturalism and history, Melbourne welcomes visitors with open arms and a warm smile. We stayed with local friends who managed a boutique hotel within walking distance of Melbourne’s main attractions which allowed us the best opportunity to discover many of the fun things to do in Melbourne.
And Melbourne is fun, for people of any age, kids, teens, tweens and families. You will find secret bars, world-class sporting events and entertainment venues, delightful boutique and vintage shopping, the oldest zoo, the largest markets, the longest running rollercoaster and the fastest elevator in Melbourne. The great city of Melbourne is so wonderfully diverse and eclectic, that nothing is off-limits.
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Fun Things to do in Melbourne
Melbourne Eureka Skydeck and The Edge
Ride the Southern Hemisphere’s fastest elevator up to the Skydeck which perches 285 metres above the ground and enjoy the dizzying views of Melbourne from the floor to ceiling glass, day or night. There’s a small kiosk, and free wifi at the top.
The Skydeck is open every day from 10am to 10pm and tickets cost around $21 per adult, $12.50 per child.
In the same building, The Edge is an experience like no other which suspends visitors in a glass cube projecting out from the 88th floor. This is one of Melbourne’s most unforgettable tourist attractions. Tickets for The Edge at time of publishing are $12 adults and $8 for children.
The world famous Ramsey Street from the long-running soap opera Neighbours, is just a normal street in Melbourne. Join a tour and see it in real life, with a chance to even see some filming of the famous long-running soap. Perfect for fans of the show, a Neighbours tour is a popular attraction in Melbourne. It’s not cheap, but prices usually come in at under $100 for adults with a reduction for kids.
Escape Rooms in Melbourne
Against a ticking clock, you and a team of up to 6 friends have to solve a variety of puzzles in order to escape. This is a unique way to spend a night out and one that is growing in popularity fast. Some of the best companies offering escape rooms in Melbourne are:
- Escape Room
- Escape Hunt
Expect prices between $30 and $45 per person depending on the number of players.
You can see classic musicals on stage in Melbourne such as Wicked, the Phantom of the Opera, The Book of Mormon. The theatre scene here in the East End Theatre District easily rivals the best in Australia with internationally renowned stars performing to audiences in world-class theatres. Some of the best theatres in town are The Princess Theatre, Her Majesty’s Theatre, Regent Theatre and The State Theatre.
Concerts and Festivals
Melbourne is a hot spot for music with so many famous Australian bands calling this great city home. Laneway Festival, Future Music Festival, Sterosonic, So Frenchy so Chic, Falls Festival and so many more visit Melbourne and surrounds. Check out the Northcote Social Club, Capitol Theatre, the Palais Theatre, and The Corner Hotel for live music gig guides while you are in town.
The Comic’s Lounge is Melbourne’s biggest and best-loved comedy venue. They regularly feature both local and international comedy names and you are sure to leave with a smile on your face. The Comic’s Lounge is located in North Melbourne and is open daily except Mondays.
Melbourne hosts the third largest comedy festival in the world – The Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Held annually for 4 weeks between March and April, the event showcases the world’s best comedic talent in various venues across the city.
Fun Things to do in Melbourne for Sports Fans
Melbourne Cup Carnival
The Melbourne Cup is one of the most famous horserace carnivals in the world. It is regularly dubbed Australia’s favourite horse race and is a 3200 m track for 3-year-olds and over. With a gala celebration including Derby Day, Lady’s Day and a public holiday that lasts almost a week, it is a fun time to be in Melbourne.
The Melbourne Cup Carnival normally runs from 31 October to the 6 November. See flemington.com.au for more info.
The Australian Open Tennis is Australia’s only grand slam event and is held annually at Rod Laver Arena in January. See the favourites such as Djokovic, Nadal and Federer go head to head on the court
The Rip Curl Pro WSL event is found in Bell’s Beach which is only an 80-minute drive south of the city. Definitely worth a visit for surfing fans to see the big name pros in the sport at Australia’s most famous surf break.
Grand Prix Racing
The Formula One Australian Grand Prix is held in Melbourne in March each year.
AFL, Soccer and Cricket at the MCG
The MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) hosts both the AFL Football finals and the Boxing Day Cricket Test which are firm favourite events for sports lovers visiting the city. Throughout the year, AFL, soccer and cricket fixtures are played here too, and the atmosphere alone is worth the visit.
Free Tram Around the City
The City Circle Tram is a FREE service that operates every day and is a fantastic way to enjoy a tour of Melbourne’s CBD. Catch the tram from any specially marked stops along the route. It takes 48 minutes to complete the whole city circle line. Trams run every 12 minutes – look for the heritage coloured green and yellow trams.
Melbourne ‘s Cafe Culture
Melbourne boasts world champion baristas serving up some of the best coffee in the world. It’s official! Melbourne is one of the best cities in the world for coffee. According to CNN it currently occupies the number 2 spot in the world, only behind London. Strolling down the streets of the vibrant inner city suburbs will give you a taste of Melbourne’s vivacious cafe culture with hipster baristas frothing out top quality brews.
Some of the Top Coffee Shops in Melbourne
- In Fitzroy go to Industry Beans
- Try Axil Coffee Roasters in Hawthorne, CBD and Chadstone
- Seven Seeds is located in Carlton
- St Ali in South Melbourne
- Code Black is found in Brunswick
- Proud Mary and
- Everyday Coffee are both in Collingwood
This is Melbourne’s favourite beachside suburb. A wonderful mix of funky bohemian and upmarket arty style located only 20 minutes south of the CBD. Fitzroy and Acland Streets are home to a great blend of eclectic and lively bars and restaurants. Visit the artisan markets along the Esplanade on a Sunday. Stroll along the waterfront, or hire a bicycle. You can swim at the beach here too, but the water may be a little fresh for some. Catch tram number 96, or take an Uber for around $20 from the city to reach St Kilda.
Fun Places to Drink in Melbourne
For some unique drinking experiences, you have to head out in Melbourne. From a bar hidden behind a fridge door at the back of a sandwich shop called Jungle Boy, to bloody mannequins dangling from the ceiling (Glamorama in Fitzroy), and a George Constanza themed place called George’s Bar, you can find some fairly quirky ways to enjoy a beverage.
Try the Ice Bar in Fitzroy for a nice cold experience, entry costs $39, and a cocktail and winter jacket are included. (Kids are welcome here before 7 pm).
The Best Places to Shop in Melbourne
The best shopping in Melbourne can be found in cute boutiques and vintage stores nestled in suburbs such as Fitzroy and Brunswick. Bourke Street Mall has a fun variety of shops and is famous for excellent street buskers at either end. Melbourne’s Chapel Street is great for upmarket shopping.
Queen Victoria Markets
This is the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere. The exciting marketplace is also the only example of a 19th-century market in the city.
Opening hours vary:
- Saturday 6 pm–3 pm
- Sunday 9 am – 4 pm
- Monday CLOSED
- Tuesday 6 am – 2 pm
- Wednesday CLOSED
- Thursday 6 am –2 pm
- Friday 6 am – 5 pm
This is the best place for people watching in Melbourne. Find yourself a deck chair, and enjoy the stunning inner-city surroundings in one of the world’s most liveable and vibrant cities.
Fun Things to do in Melbourne for Kids (and big kids)
Virtual Reality Centre
VIRI is the single most immersive Virtual Reality experience in Melbourne.Great for kids and adults alike. Here you can find yourself walking the plank, racing a car, terrified in a horror simulation, testing your skills at archery, flying a plane and more. Open Monday to Thursday from 12 pm to 10 pm and Friday to Sunday from 10 am to 10 pm. Prices start at $35.
Melbourne Zoo is the oldest and, arguably, best zoo in Australia. It is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm and children under 16 receive free entry on weekends and school holidays. Adult tickets are under $40. See their website to check for latest information and for their frequently held events and installations.
Luna Park has been open since 1912 on St Kilda’s foreshore and is home to the longest operating rollercoaster in the world. It is open Sunday – Wednesday from 11 am to 8 pm, and Thursday – Saturday 11 am to 11 pm. For unlimited rides, it costs $49.95 for adults, $39.95 for ages 4-12 and $17.50 for 0-3. Check for latest information here.
Sealife Melbourne Aquarium
Sea life is home to penquins, nurse sharks, stingrays, clownfish, crocodiles and even a mermaid garden. Centrally located on King Street in Melbourne’s CBD, this is a great way to spend a fun day in Melbourne. Open Monday to Friday 10 am to 5.30 pm and 9.30 am to 6 pm on the weekends. Expect adult entry to be around $33.60, or you can get a combined ticket for Legoland entry as well for slightly more ( $45 at time of writing).
Legoland Discovery Centre
Kid’s have so much fun at Australia’s first Legoland. Boasting rides, build and play zones, and even a 4D cinema, Legoland is open daily from 9.30am and prices start at $26. Adults must be accompanied by a child. See above for combo ticket.
This is a giant ferris wheel found in Melbourne’s Docklands waterfront precinct. The observation wheel offers panoramic views of your new favourite city. Ticket prices start around $16.50 and range all the way up to $350 for special packages and private cabins.
Melbourne Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour
Combine all the Melbourne sights into one tour on this fun sightseeing bus. The open top double decker bus covers the length and breadth of the city and allows your experience to be completely flexible. With 2 routes covering 27 stops, many of the attractions listed on this post can be visited as part of this tour. Tickets are valid for 24 or 48 hours and buses run every day.
Swim with Seals and Dolphins
Only 90minutes from Melbourne at Queenscliff, enjoy the experience of a lifetime for wildlife lovers and swim with wild dolphins and seals. What an amazing opportunity to get up close and personal with these loveable animals. Dolphin Swims operates tours daily and cost $149 per snorkelling adult.
Brewery Tours at Carlton Brewhouse
The Carlton Brewery is home to some of Melbourne’s favourite beers including Victoria Bitter and Carlton Draught.
Follow the ‘River of Beer’ and learn about the real workings of beer brewing in Australia. Finish with a refreshing tasting paddle of beers at the end. Tours cost $31 and bookings are essential Phone 03 9420 6800 to book. The brewhouse is open Wednesday – 11 am until 5 pm and Thursday – Sunday 11 am until late
Melbourne Ghost Tour
For a spooky and fun evening, go on a ghost tour of Australia’s cultural capital. Explore lesser known city streets and unveil the dark secrets of spooky sites. The Haunted City Ghost Tour departs 8.30pm on Saturdays from The Haunted Bookshop. For bookings phone (03) 9670 2585 ( please check times and costs for yourself)
Fun Day Trips From Melbourne
Great Ocean Road
The breathtaking coastline and stunning scenery of the Great Ocean Road can be found on a day trip from Melbourne. This is easily one of Victoria’s if not Australia’s most scenic drives and can be enjoyed either by self-drive or on a tour. Visit the famous 12 Apostles, and London Bridge, although a number of the limestone towers have crumbled over the last few years. This is a beautiful part of the world and definitely makes the list of the top fun things to do in Melbourne!
Yarra Valley Wine Tours
Only one hour outside of Melbourne, visit some impressive wineries including the renowned Moet et Chandon – that’s an interesting story! This is an easy self-drive day trip from the city or can be done on a tour from Melbourne.
A day trip to Phillip Island takes in spectacular scenery and the world famous fairy penguin parade. Over 32,000 Fairy Penguins or Little Penguins nest in coastal rookeries around the island. Every night at dusk, these penguins emerge from the surf where they have been hunting all day, to return to their nests on the shore. Watching them waddle across the sand in this very special wildlife viewing experience is a sight not to be missed. Day tours to Phillip Island from Melbourne’s CBD are available and should cost somewhere around $130.
Situated a comfortable 90-minute drive from Melbourne, Sovereign Hill is an interesting day trip from the city. A living, open-air museum, with an in-depth look into the state’s gold mining history, this is a fun and interactive place to spend the day. Experience life in the 1850s, with the biggest gold rush the world had ever seen.
Sovereign Hill is generally open from 10 am to 5 pm every day except Christmas day and admission starts at $58.50 per adult and $26.20 for a child with concession available. For more info www.sovereignhill.com.au
Whatever fun things to do in Melbourne you choose, you will have the time of your life. With great people and a fun-loving atmosphere, Melbourne will make you feel like coming back to visit again and again. Did we miss your favourite Melbourne activity? Want more information on travel to and around Australia? You need our Australia Travel Blog page.
Alyson is the creator of World Travel Family travel blog and is a full-time traveller, blogger and travel writer. A lifetime of wanderlust and now over 7 years on the road, 50+ countries allowed the creation of this website, for you. She has a BSc and worked in pathology before entering the travel arena and creating this website. World Travel Family Travel Blog has been helping you travel more, better and further since 2012, when Alyson and James first had this life changing idea. On this site you can find endless travel information, tips and guides plus how to travel, how to fund travel and how to start your own travel blog.