Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city and for anyone coming to Australia it unquestionably an awesome city to visit. Not only is a gateway to one of Australia most scenic ocean drives – The Great Ocean Road. For sports lovers, it is affectionately known at the sporting capital of Australia. A bustling city full of little laneways, cafes, street art and boutique shopping. For a tourist, the city of Melbourne offers an amazing range of things to do and see. As a local, I wanted to showcase the best of Melbourne.
In this post I’ve compiled the ultimate guide to the best attractions in the city. While making the video I discovered there was so much more to show than I initially expected. My original plan was to do a top 10, but after a couple weeks I realised I was easily going to exceed that. To cut the story short, I ended up breaking it up into 2 videos. The first video is “The Top 20 Tourist Attractions in Melbourne. The second being”The Top 10 Free Things to do”. For a first timer to the city I think these videos will give you a great insight to the best the city has to offer.
The video above, I’ve list the top 20 tourist attractions in Melbourne. In the description below I’ve given a quick run-down of what you will see in the video. The list is in no particular order.
If you want to get some amazing 360° views of Melbourne’s the Eureka Skydeck is the place to go! It offers some of the best views you can get in Melbourne! One of the city’s top attractions is the Melbourne Star. It’s the only giant observation wheel located in the Southern Hemisphere. The views are equally as good (to the Eureka Skydeck). Not only that, the running commentary gives you and informative history of Melbourne.
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is a wonderful family friendly thing to do. See such animals as sharks, rays and penguins. If you want to see even more animals, head over to the Melbourne Zoo with over 250 species from Australia and around the world.
One of the most interesting tours to take is the one at the Shrine of Remembrance. Learn about the Shrine as well as Australia’s involvement in war throughout the years.
The Old Melbourne Gaol is one of Melbourne’s most famous tourist attractions. It once held Australia’s most infamous bushranger Ned Kelly, who was also hung here.
Cooks’ Cottage in the Fitzroy Gardens is another popular thing to see in Melbourne, the home of the famous explorer Captain Cook. The cottage was originally from England and was shipped to Australia and rebuilt.
The Polly Woodside is a 3 masted, iron-hulled ship on display at South Wharf precinct. Melbourne Museum is one of the city’s top museums, full of some amazing exhibits.
The Immigration Museum has fascinating exhibits depicting stories of migrants coming to Australia. The Chinese Museum is another interesting museum to visit in Melbourne. If you love your sport a visit to the National Sports Museum is a must. Tons of information on Australia’s sporting history.
Yarra River cruises give a more unique way to see Melbourne from the Yarra River, while Helicopter Sightseeing tours gives you a bird’s eye view of this amazing city.
The Crown Casino is not only a popular casino, it’s an entertainment complex in its own right, with lots of restaurants, cafes and even cinema. Melbourne’s icon laneways – shop, stroll, eat or people watch, this is Melbourne at its best. Following on from the laneways, Melbourne has some wonderful arcades dating back over 100 years. There’s lots of little shops and cafes to explore. Shopping – there’s plenty of places to spend your cash at, from department stores to more boutique ones. Street Art in Melbourne has become an extremely popular attraction. There are a number of lanes displaying the art. Hosier Lane being one of the most popular places to view the art and is always packed with tourists.
National Gallery of Victoria has both paid and free exhibits. It’s one of Australia’s best galleries.
Free Things to do in Melbourne
They say the best things in life are free and this is true! See some of Melbourne’s best tourist attractions without costing you anything *! In this 2nd video, as a bonus, and because it really ties in well with the 1st video, is my list of the top 10 free things to do in Melbourne. Again in no particular order! The best way to introduce yourself to the city is to take one of the free walking tours. Here you will get a great idea on what to see and do. Probably best to do this tour first! One of the best things to do in any city is a visit to the local markets. The Queen Victorian Market is no exception, it’s huge and is the largest open air markets in the Southern Hemisphere. Check out local produce, pick up some souvenirs or try some delicious food.
I mentioned the Shrine of Remembrance in the previous video. It holds one of the best free museums in town with loads of fascinating history on Australia’s involvement in war. Or just admire the beautiful views from the Shrine itself. Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens offers a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Enjoyed any time of year with its picturesque gardens. Federations Square (or Fed Square as locals know it) is a free venue for public events and the arts. The AMCI (located at Fed Square) offers a free interactive exhibit of film, television and digital culture. The State Library of Victoria is a 19th century building that holds free exhibits, including the amour of Ned Kelly (see 1st video).
As mentioned in the previous video, the excellent National Gallery of Victoria has some wonderful free exhibits worth visiting. The Old Treasury Building – learn about Victoria’s gold rush and see some of the biggest gold nuggets ever found! Of course it’s free just to wonder and explore Melbourne’s laneways and arcades.
*If you discipline yourself well!
Melbourne Ghost Tours
As a bonus, in this video I wanted to show you something different to do in Melbourne. If you’re a believer or non-believer, or just out of curiosity then taking one of these ghost tours in Melbourne is definitely worth checking out. Keep an open mind, and you’ll enjoy the experience more. Some of the tours I was limited to what I could film, so bear with me when I’ve had to just show photos. In this video I show 3 tours that you can take, the first is the Old Melbourne Ghost Tour. Here you walk around Melbourne’s CBD area and visit some of the city’s (supposably) haunted hot spots. Even if you’re not into the paranormal, the tour provides an interesting insight into the darker side of Melbourne and its characters.
The Old Melbourne Gaol has been long closed (for prisoners), yet it seems not all of its inmates have left. In this tour you hear of stories of workers at the gaol, things that they simply can’t explain. From prison doors slamming unexpectedly to apparitions caught on camera. This is one spooky place in Melbourne. The 3rd tour is of Pentridge Prison D Division – one of the creepiest places to visit in Melbourne. Learn about some of the infamous inmates here as well as some of the spooky ghosts that still haunt Pentridge Prison. On the tour you will see some ghostly photos taken around the prison. Some they cannot explain. At the end you are given around 15 minutes to explore the prison yourself. This was my favourite ghost tour of the 3.
Later on, I did go through my photos and videos to see if I did capture a ghost or anything paranormal on film. Disappointingly I think I could explain most of what I saw. None the less, doing these tours was great fun and a great way to see Melbourne in a different light.
Hopefully these videos will give you some ideas for a holiday in Melbourne. So all I can say come and enjoy Melbourne!