I was in Melbourne for 5 years, for university and the first couple years of my career. This was more than a decade ago. I recently went back for 5 weeks to reconnect with the place. In some ways, the city has remained the same, but in many ways, the city has changed. I do miss the place dearly. Here I’ve compiled a list of things to do and places to visit. I might consider moving permanently.
Experience The Rich Culture Through The National Gallery Of Victoria – With 73,000 works of art, it is the oldest, largest and most popular art museum in Australia. View pieces from Cézanne, Picasso, and Rembrandt, as well as the famed Australian pieces such as Tom Roberts‘ Shearing the Rams.
Visit ACMI’s Screen Worlds – Located within the Federation Square, explore the interactive exhibits for free about the evolution of the moving image. See the props, memorabilia, and other items including the original clock from Play School, Cate Blanchett’s Oscar Award, even costumes worn by Kylie Minogue, Dame Edna, and Heath Ledger.
Indulge in A Book or Two At The State Library Of Victoria – As Australia’s oldest public library it holds over 2 million books including many historical documents and artifacts – even the diaries of Melbourne founders: John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner, and the original armor worn by Victorian outlaw Ned Kelly.
Discover Fresh Produce In The Queen Victoria Market – Cook up delicious meals from the freshest ingredients, see hot donuts, souvenirs, homewares and more all throughout the market’s diverse sections. Food stalls, late-night shopping, and live music can also be experienced here.
Move To The Beat With Live Music – Take advantage of the free entrance in the Esplanade in St. Kilda to see rock acts and check out the Cherry Bar while you’re at it for awesome after-parties and see rock stars in action.
Don’t Forget To Take A Selfie When You See Public Sculptures – From Bruce Armstrong’s Bunjil in the Docklands, Simon Perry’s Public Purse outside the GPO building, Deborah Halpern’s Angel in Birrarung Marr, Ophelia on Southbank, Petrus Spronk’s sinking building, the Architectural Fragment outside the State Library of Victoria, and John Kelly’s Cow Up a Tree, you’ll never run out of wonders to explore even on the streets.
Be One With Nature Through The Royal Botanic Gardens – Experience tranquility by exploring a sanctuary with a collection of 10,000 plants, both native and exotic, in 11 spacious lawns where you can easily relax and unwind. Take a brisk walk on the 3.8-kilometer walking track (The Tan) that surrounds the garden.
Discover Southbank – From Princes Bridge to the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, the Southbank entertainment precinct is home to Melbourne’s top restaurants, high-end retailers, and the Crown Casino. Stroll along the shore or gaze upon the starry skyline, and be amazed at the Gas Brigades which send fireballs into the sky every hour.
Climb Aboard The City Circle Tram – Both tourists and locals can readily enjoy the free ride from the historical W-class trams that travel through La Trobe Street, Flinders Street, Spring Street, Nicholson and Victoria Street, which covers Melbourne’s central business district.
See The Wonders Of The City’s Churches – Marvel on the Gothic transitional style of St. Paul’s Cathedral, see the medieval look of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, explore St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, as well as St. Michael’s Uniting Church. These places of worship are not only worth the look but will give you spiritual upliftment.
Enjoy The Bay At St. Kilda – Stroll down the shoreline to St. Kilda Pier for some penguin spotting and watch as cruise ships drift in and out. Or you can grab a bite at the nearby Acland street.
Relax And See The View Through Rooftop Bars – The best spots to see the sunset and watch the lights flicker across the cityscape can be seen at Siglo, Rooftop Bar, Madame Brussels, and Naked in the Sky. Treat yourself to a drink or two in bars with amazing views.
Feel Like A Writer In The Wheeler Centre – Join programs, listen to talks, or catch the free Lunchbox/Soapbox series to satisfy your curiosity in writing, sharing stories and expressing your ideas.
Feast Your Eyes On The Colorful Street Art – Filled with bright colors, the amazing murals of Hosier, Union, ACDC and Duckboard Lanes are open to artistic expression as well as for Instagram-worthy backgrounds.
Take A Glimpse of History At The Shrine Of Remembrance – The Shrine of Remembrance stands as a memorial to all Australians who served in wars. Explore on your own or join a guided tour through the many rooms and exhibits containing over 800 objects, photos, uniforms from the 1850’s, and a lot more.
Be in Awe of Melbourne’s Architectural Gems – You just have to look up and gaze at the buildings and structures such as the Eureka Tower, Federation Square, the Manchester Unity Building, and the Melbourne Theatre Company, in order to see Melbourne’s architectural masterpieces.
Engage and Immerse in Indigenous Culture At Koorie Heritage Trust – Showcasing the work of contemporary artists, the Koorie Heritage Trust is free for all and is open seven days a week.
Visit The Parliament Of Victoria – The public can view the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly from the public galleries or go on a free public tour when the parliament is not in session.
Join A Festival – Enjoy free entertainment through the Moomba Festival (March), Comedy Festival (April), Melbourne Film Festival (July), Writers’ Festival (August), The Fringe Festival (September), and the Melbourne Festival (October).
Learn About The Aviation History At The RAAF Museum – Tour the hangars and see the exhibits and displays, including the interactive Flying Displays to see the heritage aircraft take the flight to relive history.
Locate The Spots of Your Favourite Shows – If you’re a fan of TV shows & series such as Neighbours, Offspring, and Kath and Kim. You may see familiar scenes in Pin Oak Court, Vermont South. Kath and Kim shows are at 4 Lagoon Place, Patterson Lakes, Victoria. While Brunswick Street is where you can see the exterior of Dr. Noonan’s surgery and Emma Street, Collingwood is where you can find the Proudman home.