Melbourne's Top Attractions
Here are Melbourne's Top Attractions according to The World Loves Melbourne -
1. Federation Square/Flinders St Station
Federation Square is an artistic and creative hub of Melbourne not to be missed, arguably the cultural heart of the city. It hosts over 2000 events a year! These include cultural festivals, event launches, exhibitions, performances, forums, films, concerts, and fashion shows - and most are free. Federation Square is known as the "people's square". Take in the spectacular architecture of the precinct. Visit one of the cafes or eateries and enjoy the ambience of multicultural Melbourne.
Visit the galleries including Ian Potter Centre and the Australian Centre For The Moving Image, a world leading centre for experiencing the moving image in all its forms. Enjoy the many events often held in Federation Square! Sit and watch film on the massive screen above. In fact it's become a Melbourne thing to watch major sporting events on the big screen. Wander around the corner and enjoy the Yarra River. Check out the view from St Paul’s Cathedral steps – surely one of the best views in Melbourne. Grab a meal at Taxi Kitchen, walk around the corner for a meal at Gazi, grab a coffee at Brunetti nearby on Swanston or check out the restaurants on nearby Flinders Lane. Check out Flinders St Station as iconic Melbourne architecture.
2. Crown Casino/Southbank/Southgate
Crown Melbourne is a popular Melbourne destination and massive entertainment complex. Parking is reasonable and available in the huge car parks. Along with gaming the complex offers first rate restaurants and cafes and designer shopping. This is a great place to come for fine dining with acclaimed restaurants like Rockpool Bar and Grill, The Atlantic for seafood, Rosetta for Italian, Nobu for Japanese/Korean fusion, No. 8 by John Lawson, Bistro Guillaume and Spice Temple, to name a few! You find here a concentration of hatted fine dining, as well as casual eateries that are also impressive. Crown Casino is a popular destination for entertainment events. The Palladium hosts many high profile events. Accommodation is world class with impressive rooms and suites including Crown Metropol and Crown Towers. Many of Melbourne's glamour events on the social calendar are held at Crown Casino.
Southgate further along the boulevard is also attractive with excellent shops, restaurants and cafes.
3. National Gallery of Victoria & Arts Precinct
Melbourne boasts a thriving arts precinct! Open in 1861 NGV is Australia’s oldest art gallery. NGV is full of exceptional art and excellent exhibitions. One of the best galleries in Australia. I’ve been known to spend hours here with my family and friends. NGV features arts covering the Eastern and Western hemispheres, ancient and modern. The fine arts and applied decorative ones. Spend time both on St Kilda Road for the European collection and in Federation Square for the Australian collection.Most of the gallery is free with some exhibitions incurring a charge (often with unlimited access). Check out a performance at iconic Hamer Hall.http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/
4. Queen Victoria Markets
One of the world's great markets, in terms of freshness, range and iconic architecture. Popular with locals and tourists alike for bargains. Also boasts quality fresh produce in abundance. Love the buzz at Quenn Victoria Markets early in the mornings. This is a Melbourne institution and I know people who've been coming here for decades.
Many come for the stalls and bargains on clothing and bric a brac items. All kinds of unique products are sold here! Something for everyone.Frankly, I'm also a big fan of the gourmet offerings at Queen Victoria Markets. It's not hard to part with lots of cash when you see all the cheeses and meats and olives and specialist coffees.... And so it goes on.Large parking area is great or simply catch a train to Melbourne Central or Flagstaff and walk.Also check out the fine establishments serving great coffee including Market Lane Coffee who opened up across the road. I had one of the best coffees in my life there sourced from a farm in El Salvador. (Photo courtesy of Facebook page).
5. Eureka Skydeck
This place has the wow factor! On a good day the 360 degree view on the 88th floor is incredible. See if you can point out various landmarks around the city.Eureka Skydeck 88 has the best views of Melbourne, by day and by night. During the day you can see all the way out to the Dandenong Ranges.There is also “The Edge”, an experience of being in a glass cube 3 metres out from the building and 300 metres suspended above the ground.You can also step out onto “The Terrace” exposing yourself to the elements.There are 30 viewfinders around the Skydeck floor so you can point out landmarks. See how you go! There's a kid friendly heights with the viewfinders to assist kids.It gives kids (and adults of course) a great perspective of Melbourne!Opening hours are 10am to 10pm, with Christmas Day and New Years Eve close at 5.30pm (last entry at 5pm). (Photo courtesy Facebook page).
6. Melbourne Zoo
Melbourne Zoo is a world class Zoo and an exciting place to visit. It’s also Australia’s oldest zoo. It's easy to spend several hours there wandering around the various precincts. Upon arrival grab a map of the zoo then plan your visit. There are regular feeding times and other attractions. Melbourne Zoo does an excellent job with catering, with a range of price points and options.
You can appreciate 320 species at the Melbourne Zoo and enjoy several hours of fascination and excitement. A highlight is the Butterfly House – a tropical enclosure full of butterflies that fly all around you and some may settle on you! Another highlight is the Meerkat enclosure. There has been a move for kids for free on weekends. (Photo courtesy Facebook page).
7. Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium
SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, along the banks of the Yarra River in the CBD opposite crown Casino, is one of the best loved destinations in Melbourne and is a world class aquarium.
Not just for kids, but kids love this place! It’s easy to spend several hours here, with over 10,000 animals. A striking exhibit is the penguin display – including large King Penguins and the Gentoo Penguins. To see these animals swimming is fantastic. To watch events at feeding time is breathtaking. Other highlights include displays such as River to Reff, Rockpool, Mangrove and Billabong. Some displays are interactive, and creatively put together. The upstairs Deck Café is a pleasant way to enjoy refreshments along the way! Check out the Crock Lair exhibit. The main exhibit is the large Oceanarium which features sharks including the Grey Nurse! It is a magnificent exhibit and bound to enthral.
8. Melbourne Museum
A world class Museum that is also a favourite of children, with plennty to see and experience. Located in the Carlton Gardens opposite the Royal Exhibition Building, it’s easy to spend hours here without being bored. I know people who aren’t keen on Museums but love this one! The permanent displays are first class over 8 galleries (including one for children) and there’s new displays regularly. Highlights include a complete skeleton of a blue whale, the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, a living rainforest, and the racehorse Phar Lap! Major international exhibitions are in the Touring Hall. Also next door is the IMAX so you can combine the two visits. The cost of visiting the Museum is reasonable for families. (Photo courtesy of Facebook page).http://museumvictoria.com.au/melbournemuseum/
9. Yarra Valley
Allocate a day to spend in the glorious Yarra Valley! Just a short drive from Melbourne (under an hour) the Yarra is full of amazing lush scenery, world class wine centres, outdoor activities and great cafes and restaurants. See our Best Yarra Valley Wineries article...
Head out to Healesville and call in to Domain Chandon to see how the Moet and Chandon French connection do it in grand style! Sweeping views, spectacular grounds and facilities and excellent tours. Then travel a short distance to Oakridge Winery and Restaurant for a cheese or chocolate platter and tasting. Or go for the big meal in their restaurant – once again you have to love a winery with spectacular views. Check out the amazing foodie haven at Giant Steps/Innocent Bystander, which features amazing wood oven pizzas, wine, cheeses, gourmet breads, and the sourdough fruit bread is a killer! Sit out on the deck or in the restaurant next to the winery. Even the menu for kids is gourmet!
Head to Bella Vedere for some Italian fine dining. Check out Punt Road Wines along the way to the Yarra Valley Dairy – another foodie haven. Grab yourself a cheese tasting plate and enjoy the views. Head out to Yering Station, a massive and impressive winery – which also offers foodies fine dining, wine and much more. Yarra Glen is another great stop and it's worth checking out De Bortoli winery.
10. Hosier Lane
Internationally acclaimed street art! Melbourne is famous for it’s laneways and this is one of the best. Check out the street art all down this bluestone cobbled pedestrian laneway. One of the most photographed streets in Melbourne! Also some great restaurants and cafes nearby like Movida or Movida Next Door. And also close to standout Flinders Lane restaurants.