What’s on in Melbourne
There’s so much to see and do in Melbourne, it’s hard to know where to start. From secret street art to seasonal events, there’s truly something for everyone. Here’s a hit list to get you started.
Explore epic art exhibits for free
Melbourne is filled with world-renowned museums, independent galleries and edgy artist-run spaces, and some of the best exhibits are free every day. For a spot of culture visit the giant skulls of Mass at NGV Australia’s Ian Potter Centre. Explore the history of film at ACMI, with free entry to the Story of the Moving Image. Then head to the Australian Music Vault to see rare footage and music memorabilia, from Kylie’s outfits to Nick Cave’s notebooks.
Discover hidden street art
Melbourne is renowned for its street art, but the good stuff is hidden in the city’s nooks and crannies. Meyer’s Place is home to a glorious green Mike Makatron mural, as is Gallagher’s Lane. Duckboard Place boasts Melbourne’s last Banksy, Drewery Alley offers up a floating apparition that glows at night and the mysterious Melbourne cat stencil can be seen all over town – but out fave is in Liverpool Street. Find all this and more on a self-guided walk, or let the experts guide you around on a street art tour.
Get lost in Melbourne’s iconic laneways
Melbourne’s famous laneways are buzzing with shopping arcades, street art, cafes, bars and boutiques, all with their own individual character and charm. You can Relax into pre-dinner pampering at Miss Fox. Or go for an off-grid shop in a tucked-away arcade. In the Nicholas Building, find vintage threads at RetroStar and archival fashion labels at Reina. Ride the lift at Curtin House to browse books at Metropolis, cult outfits at dot Comme and streetwear at PAM. Track down the best hidden spots on the self-guided iconic laneways and arcades walking tour.
Peruse Melbourne’s most beautiful shops
Go retro at Vintage Sole and Reina, or find curated designer fashion at Christine on Collins. Make it super local and ethical at Collective Closets and Queen Victoria Women’s Centre’s SHOP! Boost your mood at flower-lined wonderland Pollon, and hunt for your next great read at Melbourne’s most beautiful book stores. Find more beauty in our guide to Melbourne’s most Instagrammable shops.
Drink world-class coffee
Everything good starts with a coffee. Order it from an impossibly small hole-in-the-wall, with a side of cult-status katsu sando or served in an edible biscuit cup. Try it spiked with butterscotch at Baguette Studios, sip $2.50 filter until midnight at Butcher’s Diner or grab a cup in the no-photo zone that is Dukes. Then tour your way through our guide to Melbourne’s best iced coffees.
Wander stunning gardens
Nothing is more refreshing than a brisk stroll in Melbourne’s parks and gardens. Follow tree-lined avenues in World Heritage-listed Carlton Gardens. Or go for a wander through Flagstaff Gardens to see Melbourne’s highest point. If you’re feeling peckish, be sure to stock up on picnic supplies before heading down to Alexandra Gardens on the banks of the Yarra. There’s even a self-guided secret gardens and majestic parks walk you can try.
Find a hidden bar
Many visitors never discover some of Melbourne’s best bars. That’s because they’re hidden down laneways and behind secret doors. Favourites include basement level Bar Margaux, with a Paris-meets-New York vibe. Peruse the epic cocktail menu at prohibition-style bar Eau de Vie. Pop in for a natty wine at Cathedral Coffee, located in a late-night nook of the Nicholas Building. Don’t blink, or you’ll miss Chuckle Park, an open-air bar off Little Collins Street. Go exploring with our guide to hidden bars.
Melbourne’s most unmissable moments are yours to explore, only in the city.