How to spend a weekend in Melbourne

Want to know the best way to explore Melbourne in a weekend? With so much to do it’s hard to know where to start. But our guide helps you find your way into the best of this city’s unrivalled art, dining, bars, live music and events. Explore Melbourne’s iconic laneways and inner suburbs, duck into hidden bars and revel at one of Melbourne’s world-famous shows or sporting events.

Culture vulture walks

landscape shot of the National gallery of Victoria International.
Check out the NGV International for some epic art. Image by Visit Victoria

Melbourne is known for its unrivalled art and culture experiences. Begin your tour at the source – Australia’s oldest art gallery, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). Famed for its acclaimed international touring exhibitions, historical collections and trove of national Indigenous and non-Indigenous works, you’ll also find guided tours, talks and discussions.

Follow the art through the laneways and arcades of the city where lively street art comes to life. A quick 2 min walk from Federation Square, you’ll discover some of the best of of Melbourne’s best spray painting, stencil art, and paste-ups in famed laneways such as Hosier Lane on this self-guided walk, which takes approximately 2 hours.

For those with a taste for the atmospheric, don’t miss the historic Old Melbourne Gaol. The sandstone walls of this landmark saw many famous inmates since their construction in 1842, and was the site of Ned Kelly’s hanging. Take an immersive ghost tour of the notorious old gaol on the Hangman’s Night Tour.

Food and cocktail trails

Bottles of alcohol all in a line along a back mirrored wall inside a Bar
Come for a drink or two at HER Bar. Image by Visit Victoria

Melbourne is packed with unique and lively restaurants and bars. Take your pick of the many cool cocktail and rooftop bars in the city – start by sipping a French 75s or Dirty Gin Martinis at Her, a French inspired cocktail lounge. The legendary Cookie, a buzzing beer barn on Swanston Street, delivers vibes with Thai food, cocktails, beers – and golden slices of disco.

A 5km tram ride from Melbourne’s CBD or Flinders Street Station takes you to Brunswick, a thriving hub of cool bars and eateries. There are plenty of legendary pubs to test out, such as Miss Moses – this eclectic venue spins some great 60’s vinyl with superb craft beers and hearty bar food. For a stylish wine bar spinning some Mowtown visit the popular Eydie’s

While you’re in Brunswick savour some Middle Eastern treats at Rumi, a restaurant that serves sharing plates and banquet dishes. For an asian-inspired menu that ranks amongst Melbourne’s best, Chin Chin is popular eatery in the heart of Melbourne’s iconic laneways. 

Eclectic shopping streets

Chapel Street filled with shops and a tram in the background
Chapel Street. Image by Visit Victoria

While Fitzroy is Melbourne’s oldest suburb, it’s bursting with colour, creativity and quintessential Melbourne shopping experiences. No holiday in Melbourne would be complete without browsing the boutique fashion houses around Gertrude Street, in stores such as the iconic Hunter Gatherer, Arnsdorf and Vintage Sole.

For vintage clothes, books and homewares, Chapel Street is full of goodies. Only 15 minutes by tram, this shopping strip is situated across the inner city suburbs of South Yarra and Prahan. Don’t skip the Chapel Street Bazaar, one of Melbourne’s longest running antique and retro storeholder collectives.

Show and events

Melbourne Cricket Ground at sunset. Lights on with a cricket game being played
The infamous MCG, lit up at sunset. Image from Melbourne Cricket Ground

From musicals, concerts and cabaret to world-renowned sporting events, Melbourne is the home of live entertainment. Check out what’s on for a ticket you can’t refuse – with the famous Regent Theatre, Melbourne Cricket Ground and Melbourne Park, home to the Australian Open tennis tournament, right on your doorstep you’re guaranteed to find something that will light you up.

Where to stay in Melbourne

Discover how to spend a weekend in Melbourne the right way by staying in the heart of the action. With exceptional dining experiences, art and live shows at hand, you can easily experience all the fun things to do in Melbourne while staying in accommodation that suits your needs, tastes and budget

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