Don’t let the tourists have all the fun. These attractions showcase the best of Melbourne, from the sandy shores of St Kilda to the shelves of the State Library. Plus if you’re not heading away over summer, checking out our city’s tourist attractions is a good way to have a fun staycation. For more inspiration in Melbourne, work out your bucket list with 101 things to do in Melbourne before you die, or munch your way through the city with the 50 best restaurants in Melbourne. Of course, Melbourne is famous across the world for its street art; here’s our list of the best things to do in Melbourne, Australia. Following Bestechz to find out right now!
State Library of Victoria
The State Library of Victoria is unmistakable. From the moment you first set eyes on it, you cannot deny its beauty; yet the outside can’t compare to the beauty contained inside. The domed La Trobe Reading Room is exquisite, with natural light pouring in through the dome skylights. The La Trobe Room does not disappoint in the evening as the soft light provided by artificial means draws you in. There really is no better place to read your favourite book. And you should have no trouble finding it with over two million books contained within the library’s collection; if that does not sate your appetite, then indulge in some of the thousands of newspapers, manuscripts, audio, video and digital material on hand that spans a century of Victoria’s culture and history. The State Library is also home to fabulous artworks and exhibitions with free guided tours available, too.
Explore ACMI’s ‘Screen Worlds’
Located inside ACMI (the Australian Centre for the Moving Image) in Federation Square, Screen Worlds is a free permanent exhibition that tells the ever-evolving story of the moving image. The interactive exhibition features objects, props and memorabilia. This includes the original clock from Play School(1966–present), Cate Blanchett’s Oscar for her role in The Aviator (2004), and costumes worn by Kylie Minogue, Dame Edna and Heath Ledger.
Go on a hunt for public sculptures
Deborah Halpern is one of Australia’s most celebrated sculptors. She’s know for her colourful mosaic sculptures; three of which are on display in Melbourne. There’s Angel (1987)at Birrarung Marr, Ophelia (1992)at Southgate, and Portal to Another Time and Place (2005)at Werribee Mansion. Other public sculptures to seek out in Melbourne include Bruce Armstrong’s Eagle (2002)and John Kelly’s Cow up a Tree (1999)in Docklands, Simon Perry’s The Public Purse (1994) outside the GPO building, and Petrus Spronk’s sinking building known as Architectural Fragment (1992) outside the State Library of Victoria.
When Federation Square opened in 2002 to commemorate 100 years of federation, it divided Melburnians. There were those who loved it and those who hated it. Either way, it has become an integral part of the city and a great place for tourists to start their sightseeing. Located opposite Flinders Street Station, a major public transport hub, the building’s ultra-modern design of open and closed spaces contrasts with the surrounding Victorian architecture. With more than 2,000 events annually, you can always find entertainment in the central outdoor performance space and intimate indoor venues. Federation Square also houses the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, dedicated to Australian art, and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). More commonly called “Fed Square,” it is also one of the largest free Wi-Fi sites in Australia.
Location: Corner Swanston and Flinders Streets, Melbourne
Southbank and Arts Centre Melbourne
On the banks of the Yarra River, a short stroll from Flinders Street Station, this area is packed with cultural attractions. Southbank promenade is filled with indoor/outdoor cafés, restaurants, and live entertainment. An excellent arts and crafts market is held every Sunday, and the area is also home to many festivals throughout the year. Easily recognizable by its spire, the Arts Centre incorporates a range of theaters and spaces, including the State Theatre, Playhouse, Fairfax Theatre, and Hamer Hall, the premier performance space for the revered Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Address: St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Wander around the Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens is the place to escape the madness of the CBD without actually leaving it. It’s on the edge of the city, and more than 8,500 plant species call this place home. There lush lawns and glittering lakes that are perfect for revitalising the mind and soul with a quick stroll, or for lingering longer with a weekend picnic. Tours, walks, workshops and talks are on offer to teach you more of the intricacies of the gardens, while the Aboriginal Heritage Walk takes you on a journey into the rich history of the Kulin nation.