If you only have 24 hours in Melbourne there are lots of things you can see and do!
Often named the world’s most liveable city and the best city to live in Australia (although I definitely prefer Sydney!), Melbourne is the capital of Victoria state and the second most populous city in Australia.
Known for it’s food and drink culture, its artistic style, sports, and it’s ever-changing weather: ask anyone and they will tell you that Melbourne has 4 seasons in one day, so always keep both the sunnies and the brolly handy!
Melbourne has stolen the hearts of so many people – read on to discover it’s best bits in 24 hours in Melbourne!
24 HOURS IN MELBOURNE ITINERARY – MORNING
Melbourne’s Street Art
Melbourne is known for it’s street art and the graffiti lanes are a must see on your 24 hours in Melbourne – they are one of the most Instagrammable places in Melbourne!
Melbourne has embraced street art; it is Australia’s street art capital and one of the greatest street art cities in the world!!
The cobblestone laneways in the city are places for artists to express themselves and are covered with stencil art and graffiti.
The street art here is always changing, with artists constantly respraying the walls, meaning there is always something new to see.
Even world famous British street artist Banksy has even left his mark here several times over the years.
The most famous graffiti street in Melbourne (but actually my least favourite) is Hosier Lane.
My favourite is AC/DC Lane (pays tribute to Australia’s most famous band), as well as Duckboard Place and Croft Alley.
These are much less crowded and have some really cool street art here! Head here in the morning if you want to escape the crowds – it gets very busy later on!
Flinders Street Station
Flinders Street Station is a beautiful railway station and especially lit up at night it looks particularly grand and impressive.
From just outside Flinders Street station you’ll be able to hop one the free city trams in the CBD and Docklands area! Who can’t love a free ride!
Melbourne Botanic Gardens
As with all Botanic Gardens in Australia and New Zealand, the Botanic Gardens in Melbourne are free to enter. They are really lovely to stroll around.
24 HOURS IN MELBOURNE ITINERARY – AFTERNOON
Architecture and Arcades
Melbourne has lots of European architecture and 19th century arcades reminiscent of grand shopping arcades in Italian and English cities.
Stroll along the Yarra river near Flinders Street Station and take in the beautiful views of the modern architecture along the river. There are lots of bars and shops here that you can go into.
Shrine of Remembrance
Head to the Shrine of Remembrance located on St Kilda Road next to the Botanic Gardens. The Shrine of Remembrance is Victoria’s National War Memorial and remembers all the lives of Australians lost in the war.
Entrance is free and you can also head onto the rooftop to see a stunning view of Melbourne skyline. Please be respectful here as this is a place of remembrance.
In the basement you’ll find the toilets and gift shop and the poppy wall – lots of knitted poppies.
24 HOURS IN MELBOURNE
Foodie Culture in Melbourne
Melbourne is famous for its thriving cafe scene and quirky restaurants, as well as being home to a wide range of cuisines. For the foodies amongst you, check out this Foodies Guide to Melbourne!
Nightlife in Melbourne
Not only is Melbourne known for its Foodie culture, but it has a great nightlife, with many excellent nightclubs around Melbourne!
What’s great about it is how you can be out on a Friday night in a bar all dressed up or wearing sneakers and jeans, and nobody will bat an eyelid either way because people here are comfortable to be themselves completely. Melbourne reminds me a lot of London in that sense.
If sport is your thing, you’ve come to the right place: Melbourne is the sports capital of Australia and there is always something going on!
The most famous events are The Melbourne Cup taking place each November, The Australian Grand Prix every March and The Australian Open Tennis in January.
If you fancy a day trip to Melbourne’s best beaches, head to the beach towns of St Kilda and Brighton.
IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN 24 HOURS IN MELBOURNE:
Philip Island – Day Trip from Melbourne
Head to Philip Island to see the evening penguin parade – one of Australia’s most popular tourist attractions!
Philip Island is a 90 minute drive from Melbourne and you can see the cute little penguins (the world’s smallest penguins!) make their way across the beach at sunset after a long day at sea to their sand dune homes every night from October – April.
Photography is strictly not allowed, to protect the penguins. You can do a day trip to Philip island with several tour companies; they will also take you to a wildlife reserve where you can see koalas, emus and dingoes.
On the way they will also take you to some beautiful beaches, including Woolamai beach, which has some great surf. Click here to view the Phillip Island day trip tour.
The Great Ocean Road
Of course a visit to Melbourne and Victoria is not complete without a visit to The Great Ocean Road.
The drive along The Great Ocean Road is one of the greatest and most scenic drives in Australia, if not the world.
You can visit The Great Ocean Road as a day trip from Melbourne, or you can drive along it as part of your itinerary on the road trip drive between Melbourne and Adelaide.
Continuing Your Journey From Melbourne:
The Melbourne to Adelaide drive via The Great Ocean Road is a popular road trip itinerary in Australia if you wish to continue your journey from Melbourne.
This itinerary passes many unique and interesting places such as Coorong National Park – a 140km saltwater lagoon protected by sand dunes, Mount Gambier – a small city full of crater lakes and volcanic landscapes, as well as the unique caves at Port Willunga and Kangaroo Island.
If instead of heading west over to South Australia you’ll be heading east into New South Wales, check out this perfect 3 day Sydney itinerary!
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Catrina is a Travel Writer, SEO Specialist and ex-Flight Attendant based in Sydney, Australia. She has visited 85 countries and lived in several – including Italy, Australia, United Arab Emirates and England. Her work has been featured in a variety of popular travel publications including Fodors, Escape, Australian Traveller and Bear Grylls, as well as several international aviation and travel companies. The majority of her work however features on her own website – 24hourslayover.com where she has written over 500 travel articles!