Activities & Itineraries

50 Things To Do In Melbourne In 2023

By Stephanie Chadwick
8th Mar 2023

A view of the CBD with a rainbow in a blue sky.

Looking for the best things to do in Melbourne? Consider this your Melbourne bucket list that covers both tourist attractions and local haunts. There are endless things to do, see, eat and drink but sometimes it's difficult to know where to start. Like all good city guides, we’ve divided our what's on in Melbourne guide into a compass-like fashion to help you navigate your way around Melbourne’s best activities. So this is your chance to discover something new in your suburb or dare to venture into an unfamiliar area.

Here are the 50 best things to do in Melbourne right now:

The Best Things To Do In Melbourne’s CBD

  • Looking for things to do in Melbourne? Go gallery hopping around the city. Melbourne is spoiled for choice when it comes to galleries, exhibitions, museums and everything in between. There is the National Gallery of Victoria, ACMI, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and LUME where you can take a look at permanent collections and seasonal exhibitions alike. 
    The outside of the NGV with an arched entrance, one of the best things to do in Melbourne.

  • A quick 'what's on Melbourne' search and you'll likely find the iconic Federation Square. Fed Square sits at the heart of Melbourne City and acts as a hub for the arts with a stacked program of events and installations that are free to the public. On any given day you'll find the likes of live televised sports games, staged musical performances and various arts-related exhibitions which are often free.

  • A GoBoat and BBQ paddling through the Docklands has quickly become one of the best things to do in Melbourne. It’s never been easier to rent a vessel and set sail down the Yarra with a self-packed picnic—don’t forget to invite your mates.
    A boat on the Yarra with the CBD background, one of the best things to do in Melbourne.

  • There are plenty of things to do in Melbourne, but something that's unmissable for vacationers and staycationers alike is a meander through Melbourne’s graffiti-covered laneways. Melbourne laneways are infamous for being plastered with work by local artists. Start with Hosier Lane before venturing off to Presgrave Place, AC/DC lane, Meyers place, Blender Lane and Duckboard Place.

  • A regular in what's on Melbourne lists is the one and only Lune. Grab a limited edition croissant and don't forget to take a snap. Lune regularly rotates their creations but you can always depend on them for a classic or almond rendition of the esteemed pastry.
    If you're looking for things to do in Melbourne, check out Lune and try one of these flaky, buttery croissants.

  • Head to China Town for BYO dumplings. Group dinners in China Town over dumplings is a Melbourne right of passage and should be at the top of your 'things to do Melbourne' list. There are so many to choose from along Little Bourke Street for those hoping to walk-in, or, make a reservation at one of the big players like HuTong’s or Shanghai Village

  • You're never stuck for things to do in Melbourne CBD, but a favourite for many is watching the sunset from the Arbory. The Arbory Bar and Eatery is believed to be the longest bar in the southern hemisphere and is a go-to for tourists and locals alike. Its seasonal counterpart the Arbory Afloat is also a Melbourne summer staple for knock-off or pre-show drinks. 
    Wondering what's on in Melbourne? Check out Arbory Afloat, a river pontoon bar with palm trees.

  • Hit the dance floor and boogie the evening away to vinyl records inside the multi-storied HER Bar at Music Room, which exclusively plays from their curated record collection. The venue hosts a range of local and international artists so it's worth checking out their program before your visit.

  • It's thought of as one of the best things to do in Melbourne by many a tourist. Take a long elevator ride up the Eureka Tower before arriving at the Eureka Skydeck,  it's a must-do for its views of the city from three-hundred metres high. Complete your visit with a drink at Bar 88 or dinner at Eureka 89 restaurant.

  • Looking for things to do in Melbourne late in the evening? Enjoy a late-night supper at Gimlet and take advantage of Gimlet’s after-hours menu. It’s exclusive to Friday and Saturday evenings from 10pm onwards. 
    A Victorian-style bar called Gimlet with a bartender and pendant lights. A great spot if you're looking for things to do day or night in Melbourne.

  • No 'things to do Melbourne' list would be complete without a trip to Holey Moley. This spot has turned the slow sport of golf into a fast-paced social outing for amateurs. Tee off your mini golf game with a cocktail in hand and explore the nostalgic-themed holes. 

  • Another one of the best things to do in Melbourne after dark is grabbing late-night Chinese at Supper Inn. It’s never a bad idea to tackle some Chinese food but there’s something extra cool about eating it at 2am after a night on the town. Supper Inn has earned a reputation for serving up Cantonese-style dishes well into the early hours of the morning.

  • One of the most wholesome things to do in Melbourne is paying a visit the State Library of Victoria. Whether you’re going for the book collection, study spaces or heritage architecture, the State Library of Victoria is one of the best public places in the city. 
    The inside of the State Library, one of the best things to do in Melbourne with white domed ceiling.

  • Another top spot whenever you're searching 'what's on Melbourne'. The QVM is a Melbourne landmark in its own right with its food halls and market stalls. While you’re there be sure to stop by the seventy-year-old American Doughnut Kitchen Van which serves some of the best hot jam doughnuts going around. 
    A doughnut from QVM, often considered one of the best things to do in Melbourne.

  • If you have a fascination with all things underwater, an excursion to Sea Life Aquarium is one of the best things to do in Melbourne for you. You can visit for a self-guided tour with a general admission ticket or you can add on extra experiences like a trip on a glass bottom boat.

The Best Things To Do In Melbourne’s East Side

  • There are plenty of things to do in Melbourne's Botanic Gardens, especially when the sun's out. Make your way through the sprawling fauna and stop by The Terrace for a coffee and a bite, or don the runners and hit the classic ‘Tan’ track. 
    A group of umbrellas in an outdoor dining with trees, one of the best things to do in Melbourne.

  • Become a cinephile at Lido Cinemas in Hawthorn. This stunning cinema always screens new releases as well as cult classics, there are also themed nights, and even a rooftop cinema which screens during the warmer months of the year. 

  • Wondering what's on in Melbourne on the weekends? Wake up early for trip to the Camberwell Markets. There are many second-hand markets around Melbourne but the Sunday Camberwell Markets reign supreme. You’ll want to go at the crack of dawn if you're hoping to find something decent—otherwise, head down in the afternoon for the best deals.

  • Ice skating is one of those things to do you can find in almost every city, and for good reason, because it's a damn great time. The Olympic Ice Skating Centre in Oakleigh has opened its doors for the public with free skate hire. See if you can do a few laps of the rink before graduating to double and triple axles. 
    One of the best things to do in Melbourne is a visit to the Olympic ice skating centre, where you can don some skates and take a few laps around the rink.

  • No 'what's on Melbourne' list would be complete without a hot air balloon ride. Gain a new perspective of Melbourne in a hot air balloon that departs from Richmond. There are private packages and breakfast packages that are available if you’re looking for a way to make the activity even more memorable.
    A sunrise light shining through a hot air balloon.

The Best Things To Do In Melbourne’s Inner West

  • Yarraville’s Sun Theatre has eight art deco-inspired cinemas that screen both feature and art films. Commence your visit with a trip to the original candy bar and finish up with a detour past the bookstore if you're looking for things to do that involve a little culture.
    A large facade of a Victorian cinema with blue skies in the background.

  • Ferry over to St Kilda from Williamstown if you're looking for things to do on the water. The St Kilda Ferry departs from Williamstown’s Gem Pier. It’s without a doubt 'the scenic route' but also a quintessential Melbourne activity everyone should experience at least once. 

  • Plan an excursion to Scienceworks for a host of family-friendly things to do in Melbourne. This interactive museum combines scene and play to create a fun educational experience for both kids and guardians. Scienceworks has earned a stellar reputation for its planetarium and lightning shows as well as limited edition featured exhibitions.
    A large room with mirror walls inside it.

  • Grab a lobster roll from Gem Pier Seafood if you're looking for things to do that involve food (important).iThis place is a fifth-generation family business run by fishmongers who are passionate about sustainable seafood. Swing by to pick up your dinner ingredients or something from their ready-to-eat menu including a lobster roll and sashimi plate.

  • Book a safari at Werribee Open Range Zoo. The zoo dedicated to fighting extinction lets you adventure behind the enclosures with its morning safari and overnight camp.

  • Take a cooking class at Heart of Hall. When you combine a cooking school with a cafe you get Heart of Hall—this eating spot is the heart of Newport’s Hall Street and is located directly opposite Newport station so it’s an easy commute for anyone looking for things to do in the early afternoon. 

  • A no-brainer if you're looking for things to do in Melbourne's west. Eat your way through Grazeland. While it's not quite a formal restaurant, Grazeland is a playground for foodies and the cuisine curious. After you've secured your grazing selection you can dig in and enjoy the city views from the many tables on offer.
    A busy food market with people eating, one of the best things to do in Melbourne.

  • Enjoy sunset drinks at Sebastian’s. Sebastian Beach Grill perches on Williamstown Beach and is serving up a mind-blowing dinner of pintxos, small plates, large plates and sides. For a memorable feed, try and secure a table on the beach view deck which is shaded by classic blue and white striped umbrellas. 

The Best Things To Do In Melbourne’s South-East

  • Wondering what's on at Melbourne's Astor Theatre? As a single-screen cinema complete with a curtain and dress stalls, It's the last of its kind in Melbourne. The Astor is famous for its presentation of classics, cult faves and select new releases, all projected on a range of mediums including 35mm prints and the now rare 70mm format.
    A things to do Melbourne classic, the neon-lit Astor Theatre.

  • Experience childhood nostalgia at Luna Park. It may be an old-fashioned theme park but Luna Park isn't too outdated to have a good time. Lean into the lunacy with the carousel, twin dragon, scenic railway, road runner and spider rides.

  • Buy a scoop from Pidapipo. Scoop up some delightful ricotta and fig, or perhaps burnt butter or rosemary and chestnut are more your thing? Whatever you fancy, you’ll be able to taste the creamiest and richest flavours at Pidapipo’s Chapel Street gelateria.
    A ice cream in a cone being covered in chocolate sauce. A budget friendly thing to do in Melbourne.

  • Peruse the Prahran Market if you're looking for things to do in Melbourne's south. If it’s organic produce, sustainable seafood and free-range meat you’re looking for, Prahran Market is the destination for you. Your experience won’t be limited to just groceries, either, there are plenty of specialty coffee makers and florists manning the stalls. 

  • The list of things to do in Melbourne is truly endless, but one for the visitors is scoring a snap at the Brighton Beach Boxes. The Brighton beach boxes have reached icon status as a tourist hot spot. While they serve as a vibrant backdrop for snaps they also act as functional bathing boxes for local owners.
    A collection of colourful beach boxes at Brighton Beach, a list-topper for some of the best things to do in Melbourne.

  • Book in date night at Classic Rooftop Cinema for any couples looking for things to do in Melbourne. The city loves a rooftop and so does Elsternwick’s Classic Cinema. Here, you can take in the view and a film from comfortable director's chair seating on staggered levels with the bar close by.

  • Indulge in fine cheeses at Milk The Cow. Head over to St Kilda to this fromagerie to indulge in two of life's greatest pleasures, wine and cheese. Put this one right at the top of your 'things to do Melbourne' list if you're a foodie.

  • Midnight pasta at Chapelli’s is one of the best things to do in Melbourne late in the evening. If you’re looking for a late-night feed after stumbling out of one of Chapel Street’s many bars or clubs, Chapelli's has you covered. Here you can pick your pasta type and sauce to create your ultimate meal any time of the day.

The Best Things To Do In Melbourne’s North Side

  • Relax at Sense of Self bathhouse if your looking for relaxing things to do. Taking inspiration from ancient bathing traditions while exploring contemporary notions of self-care, Sense of Self (SOS) Bathhouse and Spa is all about wellness without the BS. Book in for their choose-your-own wellness experience that is redefining the industry.
    A day spa with people relaxing in robes, one of the best things to do in Melbourne.

  • Eat a burger in a train at Easey’s. Easey’s is dishing up greasy tots and fries to accompany their single, double or triple stacked burgers. The meal is heightened by their rooftop in-train carriage dining. 

  • Understand the hype for Collingwood Yards, it's one of the best things to do in Melbourne for the culture seekers. Collingwood Yards has quickly established itself as a precinct for locals. It’s also home to the wildly popular Hope St Radio restaurant and Runner Up rooftop bar—events here pop-up on 'what's on Melbourne' lists regularly, so keep an eye out on their socials for the latest.
    A large white building with a small entrance and blue skies.

  • Explore the refurbished Pentridge Prison for one of Melbourne's more unique things to do. Pentridge Prison has quickly become a cultural hub in the Northern suburb of Coburg. Instead of cells the establishment is packed with a cinema, gelateria, brewery, gallery and patisserie. 
    A giant jail wall entrance lit up at night, one of the best things to din Melbourne.

  • Stop by A1 Bakery in Brunswick. Sydney Road is home to many iconic food purveyors but A1 Bakery has had a strong presence since its establishment back in 1992. Be sure to pick up homemade baklava, pita, pie or kibbie.

  • Go for a bowl and pint at The Keys. THis spot is an all-in-one leisure centre, bowling alley, beer garden, bistro and arcade. If you’re trying to mix up your group catch-ups, give The Keys a go for a place to drink, eat and bowl. A person bowling at a lane of The Keys, one of the most fun things to do in Melbourne.

  • Spend a day at The Melbourne Zoo. The Melbourne Zoo, located in Royal Park, has enough wildlife to fill up an entire day of exploration and also doubles as a great location for a picnic. With a big cat enclosure, gorilla rainforest, an elephant sanctuary, and reptile house there will be an animal that captivates your attention. 
    A meerkat standing in the bush of a zoo.

  • One of Melbourne's most nostalgic things to do is visiting Coburg's drive-in theatre. Whether you’re on a romantic date or with a car-load of mates, Coburg’s drive-in cinema will take you right back. With regular screenings of new feature films and old fan favourites, you'll likely find a film for you. 

  • Go rock climbing over at Northside Boulders. Northside Boulders is for the adventurous types looking for things to do in Melbourne. You can reach new heights and scale the walls at either their Northcote or Brunswick location. 
    One of the best things to do in Melbourne, a person hanging on a rock wall.

  • Spend an evening at the soundbar Waxflower. Whether it's a late-night espresso or glass of vino you’re seeking, Waxflower is ready to serve it up with a side of music. This bar is for fellow audiophiles who want to listen to vinyl records or discover new DJ’s.

  • Experience Virtual Reality at Zero Latency. You’ll be armed with a VR headset, power backpack and controller to enter into an immersive virtual reality world. You can book a VR adventure for up to eight friends to experience together over at Zero Latency.

  • Bookworms looking for things to do should first pay a visit Readings on Lygon Street. Pick up a new paperback or hardback to add to your growing to-be-read stack, Readings on Lygon Street is one of the city’s best bookstores with its vast collection and knowledgeable staff.

  • Karaoke at Ichi Ni Nana should be at the top of your list for a good time. There really is no shortage of karaoke spots in Melbourne but few of them are also serving up premium Japanese-style dishes. Ichi Ni Nana’s Sing Song Den provides a space to wine, dine and sing all at once. 
    A wooden board with scallops on it.

    Make a day of it and hit up more of Melbourne's best spots for breakfast, lunch and dinner:

    Melbourne's best restaurants
    Melbourne's best cafes
    Melbourne's best bars
    Melbourne's best breakfast
    Melbourne's best Japanese

    Image credit: James Bernstein (Pexels) 


Get our top stories direct to your inbox.

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.