Best attractions in Melbourne: Top 20

If you don’t know what to see in Melbourne but have planned a trip to this fabulous city, read our review. We’ve ranked the “best sights in Melbourne” based on reviews from experienced tourists and professional guides.

What is the first thing to see in Melbourne?

Talking about which excursions in Melbourne deserve your attention necessarily can be endless. We are sure that every tourist in the city should see with their own eyes such important attractions as:

1. Federation Square

Federation Square is Melbourne's central square eGuide Travel

The perimeter of the square is surrounded by restaurants, bars, brand name boutiques, cinemas, art and exhibition galleries of all kinds. The central area is home to public event venues - one outdoors and one under the roof in the Atrium. The local amphitheater can accommodate up to 35,000 guests. Underneath Federation Square are train tracks leading to the famous Flinders Street Station. We recommend a visit to this Melbourne attraction, including the wonderful views of the parks on the south shore of the Yarra River.

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2. Royal Botanical Gardens

Green picturesque corner of the city center on the south bank of the Yarra River

Visiting such interesting places in Melbourne, you can have fun picnics on the landscaped grounds or hike through park alleys along the dense thickets. Walk through the main gate and you’ll forget all your worries and concerns. The atmosphere here is truly worthy of kings: everywhere you can see the magnificent lakes, hear the beautiful singing of rare species of birds. Among other feathered birds, the local residents are graceful black swans.

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3. Memorial Monument

The eternal flame burns in front of the entrance to the memorial

The main structure of the memorial is in the spirit of classicism, and in its appearance recalls the Parthenon in Athens. The monument stands on a hilltop surrounded by the Royal Forest. The central part of the square became the site of a sanctuary with the Stone of Remembrance. Beneath the sanctuary is the Mourning Hall, which contains: a visitation center, plaques with a list of units of the Australian armies participating in World War II, and sculptures of a father and son in bronze. On the square, the Eternal Flame burns. Few tourists who venture to see this important Australian landmark leave without tears in their eyes.

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4. Queen Victoria Market

Crowds of shoppers at Queen Victoria Market Alpha

The seven-hectare site offers everything you could want: shoes and clothes, jewelry and souvenirs, national handicrafts and food. If you don’t know where to go in Melbourne to indulge in Australian food, come here. You’ll find meat, fish and vegetable delicacies, national pastries and fresh fruit. More than 1,300 solar-powered panels were installed on the roofs of the bazaar buildings 15 years ago. The panels generate 250,000 kilowatts of electricity, making Victoria’s market also the nation’s largest renewable electricity generation complex.

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5. Eureka Tower

The top 10 floors of the skyscraper are glazed with a 24-carat solid gold coating

Your trip should definitely include a visit to this 88-story high-rise with residential apartments and a great vantage point. The white-and-black skyscraper with a red stripe and glittering crown on the roof symbolizes the tragedy of 1854 - the Eureka Riot: its spilled blood and gold rush. From the observation deck you can see Mornington Peninsula, the mountain, the bay and the city itself from a height of almost 260 meters. Be sure to put a visit to the local retractable glass cube on your list of things to visit in Melbourne - reviews of this extreme attraction are always rave.

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Check out Melbourne's beautiful locations in this great video!

6. Opera House

Victorian opera house façade Mat Connolley

Opera aficionados guides in Melbourne invariably recommend a visit to this Victorian-era temple. The building was created in the 19th century, and has been reconstructed more than once. When you come here, you are sure to hear the legend of the ghost - at every performance, a chair in the auditorium is sure to be left for him. The ghost is the spirit of the singer Baker, who died here right on stage, performing in a production of Faust.

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7. National Gallery of Victoria

The National Gallery of Victoria is a famous art museum in Melbourne Donaldytong

What should every vacationer see in Melbourne in 1 day? This magnificent gallery - there are paintings by Veronese, Rubens, Rembrandt, Bernini and many other great masters from different eras. In the exhibition halls you can also see ceramics from Europe, artifacts from Egypt, and vases from Ancient Greece. In a separate exhibition are the creations of artists from Australia itself, able to demonstrate the history and culture of the state.

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8. Royal Donaldytong Exhibition Center

The Donaldytong Royal Exhibition Centre in Melbourne's Carlton Gardens Park

A majestic Victorian-era building erected in the late 19th century. It’s not only on our list of Melbourne’s “best attractions” but also on the UNESCO Cultural Monuments register. Both permanent and temporary exhibitions are held in the exhibition halls.

9. Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum in Carlton Park Francisco Anzola

If you want your vacation to be not only fun, but also culturally enlightening, take a close look at our following recommendations. We recommend a visit to the City Museum for tourists of all ages: for children there is a separate gallery with special exhibits, and for adults there are rooms with art exhibits. Watch documentaries on Victorian history and culture at the local cinema.

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10. State Library of Victoria

Lounge on the grass in front of the Victoria State Library Diliff

Not only are there some of the best hotels in Melbourne near the library, but there’s also a lush park with monuments and sculptures. The statues include Joan of Arc and St. George slaying the dragon. The library itself is also noteworthy. A massive building with a huge domed hall in the shape of an octagon was once the largest in the world - it can accommodate up to 500 visitors. Now the library is also an exhibition center - temporary exhibitions are held here.

11. Melbourne Aquarium

Huge tank of big fish, sharks and rays at the Melbourne Aquarium Takver

The state-of-the-art facility in the downtown area offers an introduction to the various inhabitants of the waters of Antarctica and the southern seas: fish, scorpions, tarantulas, turtles, penguins and sharks. In a number of pavilions (particularly for representatives of Antarctic fauna) harsh conditions are necessary: low temperatures and even snow.

Official website: https://www.melbourneaquarium

12. St. Paul’s Cathedral

Interiors of St. Paul's Cathedral

Butterfield’s work from the late 19th century. Both the interior and the facade of the building are magnificent and sumptuous: ancient paintings, costly furnishings, chic sculpture groups. In the center of the main hall is still a functioning ancient organ.

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13. St Patrick’s Cathedral

The towers on the sides of the main entrance to St. Patrick's Cathedral

A neo-Gothic cathedral built for the faithful Catholics of Ireland. The temple is a minor basilica (in other words, the Pope can stay in it when he arrives in town). The finishing materials for the interior furnishings were brought in from Venice. The customary stained-glass windows were replaced by amber ones. The construction work lasted for four decades.

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14. Flinders Street

View of Flinders Street Station from the side of St. Paul's Cathedral

The city’s main train station is located in downtown Melbourne. There was originally a wooden station on the site of the present full-fledged station. The building underwent restoration in the 1970s and is now of genuine interest to those arriving in the Victorian capital.

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15. Captain James Cook’s Cottage

The English-style garden around Captain James Cook's Cottage

A modest stone house located on the east side of the city. The cottage belonged to D. Cook’s family and was formerly located at Great Ayton. It was moved to Melbourne at the wish of the Australian authorities, who bought the structure from England in 1933.

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Melbourne sights: what else to visit in Melbourne?

We have told you about the main attractions of Melbourne briefly. However, apart from the mentioned values, there are many more places to visit in this city:

16. Old Melbourne Jail

The grim corridor of Old Melbourne Jail Hideki Saito

Any major city in the world can have its own “dark pages” in history. If you crave a poignant and extraordinary experience, head to Melbourne’s ancient prison. The displays include personal belongings and death masks of the world’s most feared criminals. The interesting thing is that the remains of rapists and serial maniacs are still here - in total more than 130 people are buried here. There is a legend that the souls of the executed, who have not found peace, still roam the prison and are those who dare to visit their former places of confinement. There is a fee to enter the museum. Performances given at night are a huge success. For people with an unstable psyche and children under 12 years of age viewing is closed at any time of day.

Official website: http://www.oldmelbournegaol.

17. Albert Park

The Albert Park Autodrome is a race track for car and motorcycle racing LGEPR

International Formula 1 races are held at this track. In addition, in the 20th century Grand Prix races were held here - but over time, given the remoteness of the continent from Europe and the substantial cost to the racers, the little-attended event ceased to be organized. Today’s park is a well-equipped track that winds around a lake and is surrounded by lush greenery.

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18. Melbourne Cricket Ground Stadium

Melbourne Cricket Ground Stadium in Melbourne Olympic Park

Despite the word “cricket” being in the name of the attraction, the stadium is actually home to a wide variety of sporting events. The huge complex has hosted, among other things, the Olympics.

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19. Melbourne Zoo

The entrance to the Melbourne Zoo near the Royal Park train station David Hearle

The country’s oldest menagerie, opened in 1962. It was originally intended to be a temporary home for animals brought to Australia from other parts of the world. Today it is home to many different kinds of animals and birds, including exotics and rare species of savannah fauna. Visitors can see lemurs from Madagascar, elephants, giraffes, monkeys, and various members of the feline family.

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20. Corona Casino

Inside Corona Casino Jamesbehave

Considered to be the best gambling establishment in Australia. The huge area is located in the center of the city, and every year attracts at least hundreds of thousands of guests from all over the world. The entertainment complex has several nightclubs, bowling alleys, restaurants, a large-scale concert venue. But the most important thing is that there are more than 350 tables for all kinds of gambling and more than 2500 slots.

Official website:

Those Melbourne attractions whose photos with names and descriptions you have now seen are among the most popular and most visited. We are sure that it will be interesting for you to have a look at them as well. Read also about Sydney attractions and get inspired for your further journey around Australia.

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