Aerial view of Melbourne CBD, highlighting the city's vibrant and bustling atmosphere, a key reason to he question "Is Melbourne worth visiting?"

Is Melbourne Worth Visiting? Best Things To Do in 2024

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Ever wondered, “Is Melbourne worth visiting?”

Well, you’re in the right place to find out.

This post aims to answer that question by diving into Melbourne’s unique attractions, vibrant culture, and the adventures that await you.

I know the struggle of sifting through endless travel options and the FOMO that comes with it.

Having experienced Melbourne’s infamous four seasons in a day and the breathtaking views from the Skydeck, I can say there’s more to this city than meets the eye.

So, let’s get into it and see if Melbourne should be your next travel destination.

Is Melbourne Worth Visiting in 2024?

Melbourne is worth your time and attention in 2024.

This city is a cultural melting pot that celebrates diversity in all its forms.

From its rich history to its modern-day vibrancy, Melbourne is a haven for art lovers, foodies, and adventurers alike.

The city’s culinary scene is a global hotspot, offering everything from high-end restaurants to cosy cafes.

But it’s not just about food and culture; Melbourne is also an adventurer’s playground.

Whether you’re into hiking in the Grampians, snorkelling in Port Phillip Bay, or exploring hidden city laneways, there’s never a dull moment.

Aerial view of Melbourne CBD, highlighting the city's vibrant and bustling atmosphere, a key reason on question "Is Melbourne is worth visiting?"

What’s more, Melbourne is making strides in sustainable travel, offering an efficient public transport system and eco-friendly practices that align with the values of those who prefer sustainable options.

And let’s not forget the city’s bustling events calendar. There’s always something happening, from the Australian Open to the Melbourne Arts Festival.

Plus, despite its range of high-end options, Melbourne is accessible for those on a budget, thanks to its well-connected transport system.

So, if you’re looking for a destination that offers a mix of adventure, culture, and affordability, Melbourne should be on your radar for 2024.

7 Best Things to Do in Melbourne

If you’ve decided Melbourne is worth the visit, you’re probably wondering what to do once you get there.

Well, you’re in luck. Melbourne is a city brimming with activities, with something for everyone to enjoy.

Here’s a rundown of the best things to do in Melbourne.

1. Melbourne Balloon Flight at Sunrise

⭐ RATING: 5 out of 5 stars |  ⏰ TOUR LENGTH: 4 hours | βœ… Book it!

Imagine soaring over Melbourne as the city wakes up, the early morning light casting a rosy glow over skyscrapers, parks, and the Yarra River.

Sounds dreamy, right? The Melbourne Balloon Flight at Sunrise offers an experience you won’t want to miss.

This hot air balloon flight is not just a ride; it’s an adventure that starts with a hotel pickup and ends with an optional champagne breakfast.

It’s an all-inclusive experience, covering your flight, ground insurance, and even government fees for launch and landing.

So, you don’t have to worry about hidden costs or logistics; it’s all taken care of.

Now, let’s talk about the flight itself. Melbourne is one of the few cities worldwide where you can fly over the city centre in a hot air balloon.

The flight lasts approximately an hour, giving you ample time to soak in the views and snap some incredible photos.

The magnificent view & the absolute serenity of floating over the wakening city.. punctuated witb the burst of flame.

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The views are breathtaking whether you fly over the Central Business District or the charming inner suburbs.

What sets this experience apart?

It’s the emotional high you get from floating above one of the world’s most liveable cities.

It’s the thrill of the unexpected, as the flight path changes based on weather conditions. And let’s not forget the photo opportunities; they’re endless.

So, if you’re struggling to pick an activity that’s both adventurous and offers a unique perspective of Melbourne, this hot air balloon flight checks all the boxes.

It’s a bit of a splurge, but it’s worth every penny for the memories you’ll make and the stories you’ll have to tell.

Trust me, this is one Melbourne experience you won’t want to pass up.

2. Foodie’s Bucket List Tour

⭐ RATING: 5 out of 5 stars |  ⏰ TOUR LENGTH: 4 hours | βœ… Book it!

If you’re a food lover like me, Melbourne is a paradise. But with so many options, where do you even start?

That’s where the Melbourne Walking Tour: The Foodie’s Bucket List Tour comes in.

The ultimate foodie adventure takes you through the city’s culinary hotspots, offering a taste of diverse cuisines like Spanish, Asian Fusion, and Contemporary Australian.

The tour is led by a local, passionate guide who knows where to find the best bites and shares fascinating stories about Melbourne’s history.

While sampling delicious dishes, you’ll learn how this city became a world food capital.

I loved that our guide shared the history of Melbourne as well as masses of foodie tips about the city. All the food was delicious – especially the Peruvian.

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The best part? The tour is limited to eight guests, ensuring a personalized experience.

Now, let’s talk about what’s included. You get to sample various dishes, and the tour is vegetarian and vegan-friendly.

Got allergies? No worries, just let them know 48 hours in advance. From lunch to snacks, everything is taken care of.

This isn’t just a food tour; it’s a journey through Melbourne’s rich history and vibrant culinary scene.

By the end, you’ll feel like a local, ready to explore the city’s laneways, alleyways, restaurants, and cafes.

So, if you’re overwhelmed by the sheer number of food options in Melbourne and want a curated, intimate experience, this tour answers your foodie prayers.

3. Yarra Valley Winery and Food Tour

⭐ RATING: 5 out of 5 stars |  ⏰ TOUR LENGTH: 8 hours 30 minutes | βœ… Book it!

If you’re looking for a unique, all-inclusive experience that takes the hassle out of planning, this Yarra Valley tour is your answer.

It’s not just a wine tour; it’s a culinary adventure that caters to all your senses.

This tour is a feast for the senses.

Unlike other tours focusing solely on wine, this includes a craft brewery visit and a delightful stop at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery.

A great day trip, very well organised, something for everyone! Sean was an awesome tour guide so many laughs.

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It’s a full day of indulgence, from sipping award-winning wines to savouring a seasonal 2-course lunch at a scenic winery.

And let’s not forget the craft beer or cider tasting to switch things up a bit.

Feeling the pinch of high tour costs? This all-inclusive package is a budget-friendly way to experience the best of Yarra Valley.

It covers everything from transport to all your tastings and meals.

It’s a small group tour, ensuring a personalised and intimate experience.

4. Phillip Island Eco-tour from Melbourne

⭐ RATING: 5 out of 5 stars |  ⏰ TOUR LENGTH: 12 hours | βœ… Book it!

If you want to escape the city and immerse yourself in nature, this Phillip Island eco-tour is your ticket to paradise.

Not only do you get to witness the world’s smallest penguins in their natural habitat, but you also get to interact with Australia’s unique wildlife, like koalas and kangaroos.

It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that’s both educational and utterly enchanting.

Getting to know the history and interesting facts of the places, our guide was very knowledgeable and keep the whole tour interesting.

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Imagine standing on a secluded beach as the sun sets and hundreds of tiny penguins waddle past you.

It’s not just a tour; it’s an experience that touches your soul.

So why wait? This is your chance to witness one of nature’s most heartwarming spectacles.

5. Peninsula Hot Springs

⭐ RATING: 5 out of 5 stars |  ⏰ TOUR LENGTH: 6 hours | βœ… Book it!

Imagine stepping away from the daily grind and immersing yourself in a world of pure relaxation.

That’s precisely what the Peninsula Hot Springs offers.

This isn’t just a spa day; it’s a full-on escape to a sanctuary of peace and well-being.

And the best part? It’s all taken care of for you, from transport to entry fees.

With 20 different bathing experiences, you might think it’s overwhelming. But here’s the thingβ€”each experience is curated to offer something unique.

You can dip into geothermal pools, sweat it in a sauna, or even try a Turkish hammam. There is no need to stress what to choose; go with the flow.

The drive was quick, the springs were delightful, and our guide Jody was so amazing. A quick, relaxing respite with beautiful views and soothing soaks.

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While spa days can often break the bank, this tour includes all entry fees and rides to and from Melbourne. No hidden costs, no surprises. It’s just pure relaxation.

Everything is sorted From when you’re picked up in Melbourne to when you’re dropped back.

No need to worry about driving or parking. Just sit back, relax, and let the experts care for you.

The tour comes with a local expert driver guide. So, not only do you get to unwind, but you also get insights into the Mornington Peninsula’s rich history and natural beauty.

If you want to splurge a little, you can opt for additional spa treatments at the Spa Dreaming Center. It’s the cherry on top of an already perfect day.

6. Great Ocean Road Small Group from Melbourne

Photo of me standing in front of the 12 Apostles, showcasing one of the iconic landmarks that make Melbourne worth visiting.

⭐ RATING: 5 out of 5 stars | ⏰ TOUR LENGTH: 14 hours | βœ… Book it!

Visiting the Great Ocean Road has always been on my bucket list, and in May 2022, I finally got the chance to tick it off.

The occasion was even more special because it was my then-fiancee’s birthday.

We even took a helicopter ride to make the most of it, offering us a bird’s-eye view of this stunning landscape.

This Great Ocean Road Eco-Tour is more than just a scenic drive; it’s a full-blown adventure.

It takes you through Australia’s breathtaking coastal landscapes, lush rainforests, and iconic rock formations like the Twelve Apostles and the Great Otway National Park.

We had a super guide in Lucy from Go West.She was good fun and very knowledgeable and provided a fantastic insite to Australia and all its cultures.

pat (see more reviews)

This tour’s small-group setting makes it stand out, offering a more personalised experience.

This Great Ocean Road Tour is all-inclusive, covering everything from national park fees to morning tea, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on any experiences.

The mini-coach will allow you to explore areas larger buses can’t access. This means you get to see hidden gems most tourists miss.

Wildlife enthusiasts, keep your eyes peeled for koalas, grey kangaroos, and swamp wallabies.

The tour even includes a stop at Kennett River, home to a resident koala colony.

So, if the Great Ocean Road is on your bucket list like it was on mine, this tour is the perfect way to experience it.

7. Melbourne Sports Experience & MCG Tour

⭐ RATING: 5 out of 5 stars |  ⏰ TOUR LENGTH: 3 hours 30 minutes | βœ… Book it!

If you’re a sports enthusiast, the Melbourne Sports Experience + Free MCG Tour is your ticket to the heart of Australia’s sporting culture.

This half-day tour is perfect for those who want to taste Melbourne’s rich sports history without spending an entire day.

Setting on the reporting stage like a superstar to be interviewed and comfortably setting on the VIP view room in M C G. Amazing.

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With a maximum of 10 people, this tour offers a more intimate and personalised experience.

With free entry to the MCG Tour and refreshments included, this tour offers great value for your money.

The tour isn’t just about visiting stadiums; it’s a walking tour that takes you along the Yarra River and through Melbourne & Olympic Parks, enriching your understanding of Melbourne’s sporting history.

Free Things to Do in Melbourne

If you’re wondering how to make the most of your time in Melbourne without breaking the bank, you’re in luck.

The city offers many free activities that are as diverse as they are enjoyable. Here’s a quick rundown:

βœ”οΈ Explore the Laneways: Melbourne’s iconic laneways are filled with street art, cafes, and boutiques. A stroll here is a feast for the eyes.

Melbourne laneways in Hosier Lane, adorned with diverse graffiti art, showcasing the city's vibrant culture and why Melbourne is worth visiting.

βœ”οΈ Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens: A perfect spot for a picnic or a leisurely walk, completely free.

A serene lake with a solitary seat in the foreground, located in the Royal Botanic Gardens, capturing the peaceful atmosphere of this Melbourne attraction.

βœ”οΈ Federation Square: This public space hosts various free events and offers free Wi-Fi.

βœ”οΈ State Library of Victoria: Not just for book lovers, the library’s architecture is worth the visit alone.

βœ”οΈ St Kilda Beach: Enjoy the sun, sand, and sea without spending a dime.

βœ”οΈQueen Victoria Market: While shopping might cost you, the atmosphere and window shopping are free.

βœ”οΈShrine of Remembrance: This war memorial offers free entry and panoramic views of Melbourne from the balcony.

Front view of the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, an architectural marvel that adds to the city's cultural richness, making Melbourne worth visiting.

I love this place because its architecture reminds me of Greece. Honestly, I feel like I’m in Greece when I visit.

βœ”οΈSouthbank and Arts Centre Melbourne: Wander along the Yarra River and enjoy free street performances.

βœ”οΈDocklands Sunday Market: Free to browse, this market offers a range of crafts and vintage items.

βœ”οΈMelbourne Museum: Free for children under 16, this museum offers a range of interactive exhibits.

Whether you’re on a budget or love a good bargain, Melbourne offers plenty of free activities that are both enjoyable and diverse.

Where To Stay In Melbourne

Choosing where to stay in Melbourne is a crucial part of your travel planning, and the city offers a wide array of options to fit every budget and style.

There’s something for everyone, from luxury hotels to mid-range boutiques, budget-friendly hostels and rental homes.

I’ve sifted through the options to offer you recommendations for budget, mid-range, and luxury stays.

Here’s a guide to help you find the perfect place to rest your head and make the most of your Melbourne adventure.

πŸ“ Budget – Great Southern Hotel Melbourne

The Great Southern Hotel Melbourne is conveniently located opposite Southern Cross Station in Melbourne’s CBD.

It offers non-smoking rooms with air conditioning and private en suite bathrooms.

The hotel has a vintage interior and a modern courtyard. Amenities include a TV, refrigerator, and tea/coffee-making facilities in each room.

The hotel is a 10-minute from Crown Casino and Etihad Stadium and a 15-minute from Bourke Street Mall.

Special Notices

The hotel is undergoing lift upgrades from October 2023 to April 2024. This may result in varied noise levels and limited access to some areas.

Despite this, the hotel aims to make your stay comfortable.

Amenities:

  • Non-smoking rooms
  • Air conditioning
  • Private en suite bathrooms
  • TV in each room
  • Refrigerator
  • Tea/coffee-making facilities

πŸ“ Mid-range – Adina Apartment Hotel

Located in the heart of Melbourne, the Adina Apartment Hotel Melbourne Southbank offers 4-star accommodation.

It’s close to popular spots like the Eureka Tower and Southbank Promenade.

The hotel has an excellent location score of 9.3, making it a hit among couples.

Amenities:

  • Free WiFi
  • Indoor Pool
  • Fitness Centre
  • 24-Hour Front Desk
  • Concierge Service
  • Luggage Storage
  • Kitchen Facilities

πŸ“ Luxury – The Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne

The Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne is a luxurious hotel in the heart of Melbourne, just 1.1 km from the Melbourne City Conference Centre.

It’s got an excellent location score of 8.9 and is particularly popular among couples.

The staff at the hotel are multilingual, speaking Arabic, Mandarin, Greek, and English.

Popular points of interest near the hotel include Crown Casino Melbourne, State Library of Victoria, and Block Arcade Melbourne.

The nearest airport is Essendon Fields Airport, which is 11 km away.

Amenities:

  • Fitness Centre
  • Indoor Pool
  • Hot Tub
  • Free WiFi
  • Private Parking
  • Restaurant and Bar
  • Spa Facilities

What Is Melbourne Known For?

Melbourne is known for its rich culture, art, and innovation blend.

It’s a city that celebrates diversity, evident in its world-class food scene that offers a taste from every corner of the globe.

The city is also famous for its coffee culture, with cafes that serve up some of the best brews you’ll ever taste.

Melbourne’s laneways are another highlight, filled with vibrant street art, boutiques, and hidden bars.

On the sporting front, it’s home to iconic venues like the Melbourne Cricket Ground and hosts major events like the Australian Open.

The city is also a gateway to stunning natural landscapes, such as the Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island, making it a complete package for any traveller.

Best Time To Visit Melbourne

When I visited Melbourne in November, I experienced the city’s infamous “four seasons in one day” on my first day there.

It’s a natural phenomenon that adds a unique twist to any visit.

So, when is the best time to go? Well, it depends on what you’re after.

If you’re looking for mild weather and fewer crowds, spring from September to November and autumn from March to May are your best bets.

These seasons offer pleasant temperatures and are ideal for outdoor activities like exploring the Royal Botanic Gardens or taking a day trip to the Yarra Valley.

Summer, from December to February, is perfect for those who love the beach.

Places like St Kilda and Brighton Beach are bustling, but it’s also peak tourist season, so things can get a bit crowded, and prices may be higher.

Winter, from June to August, is quieter and offers a range of indoor activities.

You can explore cosy cafes, museums, and art galleries, and if you’re into winter sports, the nearby snowfields are calling your name.

So, no matter your adventure, culture, or food interests, there’s no wrong time to visit Melbourne.

Just remember, the weather can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to come prepared.

How Many Days Should I Spend in Melbourne?

Determining how many days to spend in Melbourne can be a bit of a puzzle, especially with so much to see and do.

I found that even a week to explore all the city offers was short.

However, if you’re pressed for time, a 3 to 4-day itinerary can still give you a good taste of Melbourne’s highlights.

With a shorter stay, you can explore the CBD, stroll along the Yarra River, and maybe even catch a sports game or a show.

You’ll also have time to visit a couple of Melbourne’s famous laneways, known for their street art, cafes, and boutiques.

If food is a big part of why you travel, allocate some time to dine in a few of the city’s diverse restaurants.

For those with a bit more time, say about a week, you can dive deeper into Melbourne’s culture.

This allows you to take day trips to places like the Great Ocean Road or the Yarra Valley.

You can also explore more of the city’s neighbourhoods, each with its own unique vibe and attractions.

So, while a long weekend can offer a snapshot of Melbourne’s charm, a week allows you to immerse yourself more fully in the city’s diverse offerings.

Is Sydney or Melbourne Better?

Ah, the age-old Aussie debate: Sydney or Melbourne? I can say each city has its own unique charm.

Sydney is a stunner regarding natural attractions and boasts an extensive public transport network.

However, it’s also a city where the cost of living can be pretty high, making it a pricier option for day-to-day life.

Melbourne, on the other hand, offers a more budget-friendly lifestyle and doesn’t compromise on experiences.

The city is a cultural hub, rich in art, music, and food. Melbourne’s public transport is more efficient and affordable, making exploring the city’s diverse neighbourhoods and cultural spots easier.

So, which city is the better choice? It depends on your priorities.

Sydney could be your go-to if you’re drawn to iconic landmarks and natural beauty.

But Melbourne might win your heart if a vibrant cultural scene and a more manageable cost of living are what you’re after.

How To Get Around Melbourne

Navigating Melbourne is a breeze whether you’re a fan of public transport or prefer the freedom of driving.

When I visited Melbourne for the Melbourne Cup, I found the city’s transport options efficient and user-friendly.

Melbourne is known for its historic tram system, which offers free rides within the city centre.

To venture beyond, you’ll need a Myki card, which works on trains, trams, and buses.

You can top up your Myki card at convenience stores and train stations as your balance runs low.

Trains are another great way to get around, especially for reaching the suburbs or regional destinations like Geelong and Ballarat.

Major stations include Central, Flinders, and Southern Cross Station.

If you prefer driving, Melbourne’s roads are easy to navigate, but be aware of the unique ‘hook turn’β€”a right-hand turn made from the left-hand lane.

Also, check if your hotel charges a daily parking fee.

So, whether you’re planning to explore the city’s bustling CBD, take a day trip to the Yarra Valley, or wander through Melbourne’s iconic laneways, you’ll find various transport options to suit your needs.

Remember, Melbourne’s weather can be unpredictable, so it’s always good to be prepared for anything.

Is Melbourne or Sydney Better to Live in

Choosing between Melbourne and Sydney as a place to live is like picking between two different lifestyles.

Having lived in Sydney for two years and visited Melbourne multiple times, I’ve experienced the pros and cons of each.

Sydney has iconic landmarks and stunning beaches, but comes with a hefty price tag.

I remember renting a one-bedroom apartment for 550 AUD a week, which can significantly drain your finances.

Melbourne, on the other hand, offers a more affordable lifestyle without compromising on quality.

The city is a cultural hub known for its art, music, and food scenes. Melbourne’s public transport is efficient, and the cost of living is generally lower than in Sydney.

Plus, Melbourne’s diverse neighbourhoods offer a unique living experience, from the hipster vibes of Fitzroy to the beachside charm of St Kilda.

However, Sydney wins regarding natural attractions and a more extensive public transport network.

You can hop on a train and go as far as Kiama, offering more options for weekend getaways.

So, which city is better to live in? It ultimately depends on your priorities.

If you’re looking for a city with iconic attractions and don’t mind the higher cost, Sydney might be for you.

But Melbourne could be your perfect match if you value a rich cultural experience and a more budget-friendly lifestyle.

FAQs: Visiting Melbourne

Why is Melbourne a good place to visit?

Melbourne is a fantastic destination for a variety of reasons.

It’s a cultural melting pot with a vibrant arts scene, diverse culinary offerings, and a rich history.

The city also caters to adventure seekers with its range of outdoor activities.

Plus, Melbourne offers a more budget-friendly lifestyle compared to other major cities, making it accessible for different types of travellers.

Is Sydney or Melbourne better for tourists?

Choosing between Sydney and Melbourne for tourism depends on your interests.

Sydney offers iconic landmarks like the Opera House and stunning beaches, making it great for those seeking natural beauty and world-famous sights.

Conversely, Melbourne is a haven for culture enthusiasts, boasting a vibrant arts scene and diverse culinary options.

Both cities offer unique experiences, so your choice would hinge on prioritising cultural richness or iconic attractions.

Is Melbourne a walkable city?

Melbourne is a highly walkable city, especially in the CBD and surrounding neighbourhoods.

The city’s layout is conducive to exploring on foot, and plenty of pedestrian-friendly areas exist.

Check this post for a more in-depth look at why Melbourne is great for walking.

It offers insights into the best routes and what you can expect when walking around Melbourne.

What is a good month to visit Melbourne?

An excellent month to visit Melbourne is spring (September to November) or autumn (March to May).

These months offer mild weather and fewer crowds, making it ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the city.

Whether you’re interested in the Royal Botanic Gardens or taking a day trip to the Yarra Valley, these seasons provide a pleasant experience.

Conclusion: Is Melbourne Worth Visiting?

So, is Melbourne worth visiting? The answer is a resounding yes.

Whether you’re a culture vulture, a foodie, or an adventurer at heart, Melbourne offers something for everyone.

From its diverse culinary scene to its rich cultural offerings and outdoor activities, this city is a destination that caters to a wide range of interests.

And let’s not forget, it’s a more budget-friendly option than other major cities like Sydney.

If you’re still curious about what Melbourne offers, check out my other posts on Melbourne for more insights and tips.