Sip a mulled wine or Viking-styled cocktail, relax under soft lights on a rooftop bar or explore the ambient Winter Night Markets. Winter activities in Melbourne deliver a host of experiences guaranteed to reinvigorate the soul and reboot your year. You’ll also find plenty of romantic things to do in Melbourne in winter – from cosy Igloo Wonderlands to vibrant winter light shows.
Sip a mulled wine or Blazing Gløgg
Nothing speaks wintertime comfort more than an aromatic tipple of heartwarming wine. ReWine specialises in just that, serving cups of spicy mulled wine at three bars in Brunswick, Fitzroy and the Melbourne CBD as well as at the Winter Night Market. The mulled wine at Riverland Bar is also amazing.
Immerse yourself completely in the mood by stepping into Mjølner, a Norse-themed bar that serves cocktails as dramatically inventive as their titles. Treat yourself to a Kahlua and espresso infused Odin’s Brew or warm the cockles with a Blazing Gløgg – a delicious concoction of cognac, spiced port and cranberry.
Explore the Winter Night Markets
Did we mention Melbourne’s Winter Night Market? From July to August the Queen Victoria Market laneways transform into a winter playground of brewers, food vans, roaring open fires and entertainment. You’ll even be regaled with ice sculpting shows, snow and Christmas trees to get you right in the mood. Check out the main stage for a dynamic line-up of DJs and live music. Check out other great things to do whilst in Melbourne for the weekend.
Get comfortable in a cosy rooftop bar or igloo
Looking for date ideas in Melbourne winter? Melbourne specialises in intimate and character-filled rooftop bars, and the cooler months are a great time of year to get comfortable above the city. Perch yourself up high at Bomba Bar, where you can sip a mezcacillin and enjoy winning tapas. Good Heavens Rooftop Bar mixes 80s chic with city views and Union Electric has a tiki-styled rooftop gin garden.
You can’t pass the Igloo Gardens for a bit of cosy ambience. Designed to keep the winter chill away, Melbourne’s iconic pop-up igloos and their twinkling fairy lights can be found at four venues including the Auburn Hotel, The Wharf Hotel, The Station Hotel and the Studley Park Boathouse. Book yourself an igloo with a partner or friends and settle in amongst the furry pillows for some food and beverages.
More: Experience a block full of boutique, history and… chocolate (The Block Arcade, Melbourne)
Walk through winter lightscapes
Step into an after-dark experience at the Royal Botanic Gardens this winter. Melbourne Lightscape splashes playful wonderlands of light across the tree canopies and gardens, creating a world of glowing tunnels and waterside reflections. This captivating winter walk is guaranteed to make you feel transported to a magical world.
You can explore more illuminated masterpieces at the ACMI. Part of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series, the Light: Works from Tate’s Collection features 70 artworks from iconic and historic masters spanning 200 years and connected by the theme of light. Juxtaposed against contemporary works, artists include JMW Turner and Claude Monet.
Where to stay in Melbourne
You won’t be wondering what to do in Melbourne in winter when you base yourself in the heart of the action. Alto Hotel on Bourke is a stylish and historic venue only moments from Melbourne’s Docklands. On the banks of the Yarra, the Clarion Suites Gateway is on the doorstep of Melbourne’s thriving food and wine scene. Comfort Hotel Melbourne Central is also a great base to explore Melbourne’s delights. You’ll also find plenty of other options to suit any budget.