First-time visitors guide to Melbourne
Melbourne is well known for its culture, love of food, art, fashion and sports. All of these things have contributed to Melbourne being named the world’s most liveable city for seven consecutive years. There’s an enormous variety of things to do when visiting Melbourne for the first time, so we’ve put together a list of tips & recommendations, to help you discover its hidden gems.
From the airport
The most convenient way into the city is by the SkyBus. The SkyBus operates all day, every day, running express between the Melbourne Airport (Tullamarine) and the Melbourne CBD. Once in the CBD, they offer a free city hotel shuttle to most Melbourne Hotels.
Around the CBD
Getting around the CBD is easy, as Melbourne offers a free city circle tram that operates around the CBD. Running in a loop, this free service passes major tourist attractions and is a great way to cover a lot of ground.
For maps and information, be sure to visit Melbourne Visitors Centre located at Federation Square, opposite Flinders Street station. The centre offers free brochures, maps, and event guides for what’s on. If you are looking for information on Melbourne and Victoria, the friendly team here will be able to assist you.
The list of great places to visit in Melbourne is endless. Regardless of the length of your stay, there is something for everyone. We’ve put together a list of our 5 top recommendations, for those visiting Melbourne for the first time.
1) Melbourne Laneways
Melbourne is known for its cobblestone laneways, threaded throughout the CBD. There’s always something to discover whether it’s a hidden restaurant, a hole in the wall café, or a bustling bar. Melbourne’s laneways offer numerous hidden secrets, waiting to be discovered. Check out some of the world’s best street artists, at Melbourne’s famous bluestone laneway – Hosier Lane. Located off Flinders Lane between Russell Street and Swanston street, here you will find a mixture of colours, and shapes created by local and international artists.
2) Watch a game of AFL
Melbourne is regarded as the sports capital of Australia. A sport that is unique to Australia is AFL, also known as ‘footy’ or ‘Aussie Rules’. The home of AFL is the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), which holds over 100,000 spectators. Enjoy a fun day at the footy and experience the atmosphere of the crowds, as you watch this fast pace game.
3) Visit Royal Botanic Gardens
Located by the side of the Yarra River in South Yarra, the Royal Botanic gardens is a great place to unwind. With its stunning landscapes, tranquil lakes and its beautiful collection of plants, you can easily spend the afternoon getting lost amongst the gardens beauty.
4) Queen Victoria Market
Also known as ‘Vic Market’ or ‘Queen Vic’, the Queen Victoria Market has been iconic to Melbourne for more than a century. Spread over two city blocks, you can shop for everything from local and imported gourmet foods, to clothing and souvenirs. The Market is open five days a week—Tuesday, and Thursday to Sunday. During winter, ‘The Winter Night Market’ operates every Wednesday night 5pm – 10pm.
5) Take a tour
Melbourne is the gateway to Victoria’s spectacular coastlines, world class wineries, and native wildlife. Take the day and visit the gorgeous regions that Victoria has on offer, two of our favourites include:
- Great Ocean Road – located 3 hours south east of Melbourne, experience one of the wold’s most scenic coastal drives. Get up close to native wildlife, take a rainforest walk through the Great Otway National park, and of course see the towering 12 Apostles. For first time visitors, taking a day tour to the Great Ocean Road is a must.
- Phillip Island – 90 mins form the CBD; Phillip Island is a paradise for wildlife lovers. See little penguins at the Phillip Island penguin parade, meet a wide array of native Australian animals and hand feed kangaroos. A tour to Phillip Island is the perfect break from the CBD.
For all things Melbourne and other great suggestions, be sure to visit the visit Melbourne page.