14 “Must-Go” Places to see in ‘Marvelous Melbourne’

There is a looong list of attractions that shows up in the results when you google ‘Melbourne must see’ which confuses us more while deciding the itinerary. Apparently, Melbourne – Victoria possess a very fine blend of rich historical sites and modern architecture inside the city with spellbinding captivating views spread in the outskirts. This is long post with all the necessary information you would want to know while planning a visit to this city. So get some healthy snacks and drink as you scroll down the page. Following are the MUST SEE / MUST DO locations you definitely wouldn’t want to miss.

Melbourne CBD (Central Business District)

City Circle Tram
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This is actually not a spot, you’ll come across it as soon as you start walking in the CBD. The tram on route 35 is city circle FREE tourist tram. You can ride trams with other route numbers too but make sure to disembark before the free tram zone ends or else you will be fined for 200 AUD, so route 35 tram is your safest bet.
All the below mentioned attractions can be reached by tram without even spending a penny. No card or ticket is required as long as your destination is inside CBD, just hop on and hop off.
P.S.Most of the trams are old so there are no ramps for boarding it (if you are traveling with baby stroller just in case ).

Queen Victoria Marketdsc00053

It is the largest open air market and major landmark of the city established in 1800s. If you are a shopping freak then this is must go place where you can find all the stuff including Meat, Fruits, Veggies, Organic items and General Merchandise at relatively cheaper rates.
Opening Times: Five Days a Week Tuesday, and Thursday to Sunday, you can check the exact trading hours here and plan accordingly.
How to get here: City Circle Tram / On foot

Flinder’s Street Railway Station
dsc00070

Central metropolitan train terminus of Melbourne, located at the corner of Flinder’s and Swanston Street founded in 1800s. The station building is quite magnificent built in French Renaissance architecture with those historical clocks, definitely a sight to see even if you are not planning to travel by train.
Opening Times: Always
How to get here: City Circle Tram / On foot

Street Art dsc00080

Melbourne is known as one of the world’s great street art capitals for its unique expressions of art displayed on approved outdoor locations throughout the city. While walking through the blocks in CBD, you will witness these creative drawings on multiple lanes. Stop by, take pictures and get inspired by the energy displayed on these walls. The details on said art are covered in the post at this link.
Opening Times: Always
How to get here: City Circle Tram / On foot

St. Paul’s Cathedraldsc00076

This gothic architecture style ancient church was built in 1800s. The construction is grand and impressive. Main attraction are the interiors that are super splendid and elegant. Take a sneak peak and some more details about it on the link.
Opening Times: Monday-Friday: 8am – 6pm
Saturday: 9am – 4pm
Sunday: 7:30am – 7:30pm
Public Holidays: 11am – 3pm
How to get here: City Circle Tram / On foot

Federation Square
shutterstock_117404677

Locally known as Fed Square, this is a unique cultural precinct in the heart of city. This area is always happening – a common place to hangout and witness all the action. We sat there for awhile, relaxed a bit and listened to the band which was performing there at the stage.
Opening Times: Always
How to get here: City Circle Tram / On foot

ACMI
shutterstock_188716262

Discover the world of the moving image in the galleries, cinemas and studios at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) right next to Federation Square.We didn’t go inside though since we were not interested in those galleries and had not enough time to watch a movie either.
Opening Times: Daily -10am to 5pm
How to get here: City Circle Tram / On foot

Yarra Riverdsc00733-copy

It is one of the popular icon around CBD. The river stretches along picturesque settings and offers a variety of activities. Cruises for sightseeing operate during the day in between 10am-4pm. In addition, special dinner cruises also function at night but you need to pre-book those. Or you can just take a walk along the river bank if your plan doesn’t allow you to spend 2 hrs on the cruise.
Opening Times: Always
How to get here: City Circle Tram / On foot

Docklandsdsc00824

An extension to Melbourne’s central business district, is surrounded by stunning water views offering various options for shopping, dining and leisure activities.
Opening Times: Always- However, the restaurants are closed by 10pm
How to get here: City Circle Tram

Melbourne Stardsc00798

Giant Ferris wheel in the Waterfront City precinct in Docklands with 360-degree views and glass-enclosed cabins. The flight is about half an hour long and best time to go up is around sunset to witness amazing views throughout the loop.
The average ticket cost for an adult is 36AUD but you can grab discounted tickets for about 20AUD from Scoopon beforehand.
Opening Times: Daily -11am to 10pm
How to get here: City Circle Tram

Great Ocean Roaddsc00603

One of the top-rated-not-to-miss tourist attractions in the state of Victoria. It is a 244 km long scenic drive along rainforests, beaches and cliffs. Popular spots to visit are:

  • 12 Apostles
  • Apollo Bay
  • Mariner’s Lookout
  • Sheoak Falls
  • Phantom Falls
  • Lorne
  • Teddy’s Lookout
  • Geelong Harbour

Check out my detailed posts on GOR at the links–> Day1, Day2

Opening Times: Always
How to get here: Bus / Car (I have discussed the options in detail here)

Dandenong Rangesdsc00866

Set of low mountain ranges east of Melbourne overlooking the city’s skyline from sky high. Surrounded by sweeping lawns is the spectacular English Garden at the obervation point.
Opening Times: Weekdays 9am-10pm, Weekends 8am-10:30pm
How to get here: Bus / Car / Train(I have discussed the options in detail here)

Puffing Billy Railway
dsc00989

It is a preserved century-old steam train that continues to run on its original mountain track through temperate rainforest with lush fern gullies brushing past and mountain ash trees towering overhead. The return ticket from Belgrave to Lakeside Open costs around 54AUD for an adult. Pre-booking is suggested in order to avoid disappointment.
You can read about my experience of Puffing Billy here.
Opening Times: Please check the time table at the link.
How to get here: Bus / Car / Train

Phillip Islanddsc00933

A beautiful island that lies just off Australia’s southern coast around 2 hrs drive away from Melbourne. Famous for it’s wildlife reserve nature park where spectators gather daily at sunset to watch the Penguin Parade, when little penguins come ashore in groups.
Ticket prices start from 25AUD. You can check multiple options about tickets here.
Opening Times: Please check the time table at the link.
How to get here: Bus / Car / Train

Others:

Apart from above stated attractions Melbourne also offers sites like Royal Botanic Gardens, Sky walk at 88th floor of Eureka tower, St. Kilda Beach, Luna Amusement Park, Shrine of Remembrance, Zoos and Aquariums. But the ones listed in this post are surely not to be missed.


Accommodation:
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Any average 3 star hotel would cost around 100-150AUD per night depending upon the type of room.


Food:dsc00052

There are plenty of food options inside the CBD. Streets are full of restaurants. Halal food is readily availble. Nando’s and Oporto are both Halal chains. Apart from these, many Turkish Kebab Houses and Indian Restaurants offer a variety of Halal menu items. And still if you are unable to find one, grilled sea-food and veggie meal is always an option. An average meal costs around 10-15AUD.


Weather:dsc00888

Melbourne’s weather is totally unpredictable. People carry umbrellas and uppers with them all the time. You never know when you’ll need those on the go. Typically December to February is summer; March to May is autumn; June to August is winter; and September to November is spring. We went there in November and we needed warm dresses all the time despite the fact that summers were just around the corner.


What to Wear:
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You can wear anything you like, the people care least about one’s dress. The only factor that can affect your style is weather. You can be as funky as you want. I have seen people walking bare-feet, with weird hairstyles and rainbow colored hair too(shown above) in that part of the world. So just be yourself and have a great time!


Proposed 5 Day Itinerary:

Day 1:

All the attractions inside CBD can be easily covered in a day.

Day 2:

Great Ocean Road

Day 3:

Great Ocean Road

I strongly suggest to keep 2 days for GOR or else you’ll miss some very breathtaking spots.

Day 4:

Dandenong Ranges
Puffing Billy Railway
Phillip Island at sunset

Day 5:

Docklands
Melbourne Star
Some shopping  or any other attraction mentioned in Others section.


To get more interesting information, suggestions and insights about my escapades of Melbourne, Victoria; please visit the following posts. I have compiled the best information I could based on my personal experience.

Melbourne City – A short Description
First Encounter
Melbourne CBD
Great Ocean Road Day 1
Great Ocean Road Day 2
Melbourne CBD and Docklands
Dandenong Ranges & Phillip Island
Puffing Billy Railway

Happy Holidays guys! 🙂

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