Ever wondered, “Is Melbourne worth visiting?”
Well, you’re in the right place to find out.
This post aims to answer that burning 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?
Absolutely, 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.
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 definitely 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, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Here’s a rundown of the best things to do in Melbourne.
⭐ RATING: 5 out of 5 stars | ⏰ TOUR LENGTH: 4 hours | ✅ 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 just that, and it’s 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.
Whether you fly over the Central Business District or the charming inner suburbs, the views are nothing short of breathtaking.
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.
⭐ RATING: 5 out of 5 stars | ⏰ TOUR LENGTH: 4 hours | ✅ 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.
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 of it, you’ll feel like a local, ready to explore the city’s laneways, alleyways, restaurants, and cafes on your own.
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.
⭐ RATING: 5 out of 5 stars | ⏰ TOUR LENGTH: 8 hours 30 minutes | ✅ 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 one includes a craft brewery visit and a delightful stop at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery.
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.
⭐ RATING: 5 out of 5 stars | ⏰ TOUR LENGTH: 12 hours | ✅ 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.
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.
⭐ RATING: 5 out of 5 stars | ⏰ TOUR LENGTH: 6 hours | ✅ Book it!
Imagine stepping away from the daily grind and immersing yourself in a world of pure relaxation.
That’s exactly 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 thing—each experience is curated to offer something unique.
You can dip into geothermal pools, sweat it out in a sauna, or even try a Turkish hammam. There is no need to stress about what to choose; go with the flow.
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.
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 itself 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.
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.
⭐ RATING: 5 out of 5 stars | ⏰ TOUR LENGTH: 3 hours 30 minutes | ✅ 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.
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:
✔️ Explore the Laneways: Melbourne’s iconic laneways are filled with street art, cafes, and boutiques. A stroll here is a feast for the eyes.
✔️ Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens: A perfect spot for a picnic or a leisurely walk, and it’s completely free.
✔️ Federation Square: This public space hosts a range of free events and also offers free Wi-Fi.
✔️ State Library of Victoria: Not just for book lovers, the library’s architecture is worth the visit alone.
✔️ St Kilda Beach: Enjoy the sun, sand, and sea without spending a dime.
✔️Queen Victoria Market: While shopping might cost you, the atmosphere and window shopping are free.
✔️Shrine of Remembrance: This war memorial offers free entry and panoramic views of Melbourne from the balcony.
I absolutely love this place because its architecture reminds me of Greece. Honestly, I feel like I’m in Greece when I visit.
✔️Southbank and Arts Centre Melbourne: Wander along the Yarra River and enjoy free street performances.
✔️Docklands Sunday Market: Free to browse, this market offers a range of crafts and vintage items.
✔️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 and budget-friendly hostels.
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.
- ⭐ Rating: 7.5 out of 10
- 🏆 Known for: Location, friendly and helpful staff
- 🏨 Check Rates & Availability on Booking.com
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.
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.
- Non-smoking rooms
- Air conditioning
- Private en suite bathrooms
- TV in each room
- Tea/coffee-making facilities
- ⭐ Rating: 8.8 out of 10
- 🏆 Known for: Location, great view
- 🏨 Check Rates & Availability on Booking.com
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.
- Free WiFi
- Indoor Pool
- Fitness Centre
- 24-Hour Front Desk
- Concierge Service
- Luggage Storage
- Kitchen Facilities
- ⭐ Rating: 9 out of 10
- 🏆 Known for: Ocean/city view, good breakfast
- 🏨 Check Rates & Availability on Booking.com
The Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne is a luxurious hotel located in the heart of Melbourne, just 1.1 km from the Melbourne City Conference Centre.
It’s got a great 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.
- 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, which is 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 for the Melbourne Cup, I experienced the city’s infamous “four seasons in one day” on my first day there.
It’s a real phenomenon that adds a unique twist to any visit.
So, when is the best time to go? Well, it really 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 make it 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 that 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 what your interests are—adventure, culture, or food—there’s no bad time to visit Melbourne.
Just remember, the weather can be a bit 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.
When I visited for the Melbourne Cup, I found that even a week felt short to explore all the city offers.
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, take a 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 quite 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 really 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 to be 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’—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.
Just 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 is a city of iconic landmarks and stunning beaches, but it comes with a hefty price tag.
I remember renting a one-bedroom apartment for 550 AUD a week, which can be a significant drain on 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 each offer a unique living experience, from the hipster vibes of Fitzroy to the beachside charm of St Kilda.
However, Sydney wins when it comes to 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 if you value a rich cultural experience and a more budget-friendly lifestyle, Melbourne could be your perfect match.
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.
Melbourne, on the other hand, 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 whether you prioritize cultural richness or iconic attractions.
Is Melbourne a walkable city?
Absolutely, Melbourne is a highly walkable city, especially in the CBD and surrounding neighbourhoods.
The city’s layout is conducive to exploring on foot, and there are plenty of pedestrian-friendly areas.
For a more in-depth look at why Melbourne is great for walking, check out my blog post dedicated to this very topic.
It offers insights into the best routes and what you can expect when walking around Melbourne.
What is a good month to visit Melbourne?
A good month to visit Melbourne would be either in the 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 compared to other major cities like Sydney.
If you’re still curious about what Melbourne has to offer, be sure to check out my other posts on Melbourne for more insights and tips.
Read More About Melbourne:
Australia Travel Planning Guide
🚑 Should I buy Australian travel insurance?
100% YES! — This helps cover unforeseen circumstances like medical emergencies, trip cancellation or delays, lost baggage, and personal liability. For non-residents, Australia’s healthcare can be expensive, so I recommend CoverMore or SafetyWing.
🚗 Do I need to rent a car in Australia?
Yes — Renting a car in Australia is one of the best ways to get around! You’ll be able to see more of the city and beyond, like the epic hiking trails. I recommend Discover Cars for the cheapest rates possible.
🏨 What’s the best way to book my Australia accommodations?
📲Will my phone work in Australia?
Maybe — Check with your provider for service availability in Australia. If you lack free coverage, consider Airalo’s eSIM for extensive and reliable connectivity in Australia.
🚐 Want to save 💲💲💲 on accommodation and car rental?
✈️ What’s the best site to buy Australia flights?
For finding cheap Australian flights, I recommend Skyscanner. You can even set a price alert to determine when flights are on sale.
💰 Need money transfer and conversion?
I highly recommend using Wise. You can transfer money into your account and convert it to Australian Dollars when the exchange rate is high.
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