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15 Things To Do in Melbourne When You’re in Town for the Australian Open


Tram passes Flinders Street Railway Station in Melbourne, Australia
Hi, I'm Emma!

Emma Knock is a Melbourne-based writer and editor who arrived in Australia from London after a half-a-decade stint in California and Aotearoa. Find her between the stacks at your local bookstore or planning trips over flat whites.

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Hi, I'm Emma!

Emma Knock is a Melbourne-based writer and editor who arrived in Australia from London after a half-a-decade stint in California and Aotearoa. Find her between the stacks at your local bookstore or planning trips over flat whites.

see more

The players are warming up and in just a matter of days the likes of Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, and Australia’s own world No.1 Ash Barty will hit the courts at Melbourne Park for the Australian Open 2021. If you’re heading to Melbourne to watch tennis' greatest stars battle it out at the socially distanced Grand Slam, here are 15 off-the-court things to do while you’re there.

1. Go behind the scenes at Melbourne’s sporting venues

Melbourne isn’t just home to the Australian Open. It’s also the host city for other major sporting events including the Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse, and both the AFL Grand Final and the annual Boxing Day Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Join a sports tour to access normally off-limits parts of these legendary venues.

Half-Day Sports Lovers Bus Tour of Melbourne with Tour Options
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Half-Day Sports Lovers Bus Tour of Melbourne with Tour Options

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For sports lovers, Melbourne is hard to beat. With so many major stadiums packed into one metropolis, there’s always a game on and excitement in the air. Get an insider’s look into the city’s athletic obsession with a behind-the-scenes tour of several of its famed venues. Visit the site of the Melbourne Cup horserace at Flemington Racecourse and cruise around the Grand Prix Circuit at Albert Park. For more, upgrade to one of three different options to explore the Melbourne home of your favorite sports.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • English
  • Free Cancellation
From
$142.07
From
$142.07

2. Eat your way around Queen Victoria Market

Queen Victoria Market is food mecca for Melburnians and visitors to the Victoria capital. Pro tip: Don’t skimp on ordering a hot donut from American Doughnut Kitchen.

Multicultural Food Tour in Melbourne Markets
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Multicultural Food Tour in Melbourne Markets

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Discover Melbourne's multicultural heritage with your taste buds on a walking food tour that takes you out of the CBD and into the neighborhoods, where the city’s real culture thrives. Ride the tram alongside locals and visit markets to see how residents shop, sampling delectable bites along the way. Learn how Melbourne evolved into a foodie destination as you chat with vendors and cooks at a range of ethnic eateries, and cap it off with a drink at a cozy pub.
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  • 3 hours
  • English
  • Free Cancellation
From
$64.92
From
$64.92

3. Scan the laneways for street art

Check out the graffiti and murals along the laneways (don’t miss Hosier Lane, AC/DC Lane, and Croft Alley). For more, head to Blender Studios, a converted warehouse where street artists paint, run workshops, and exhibit work.

Melbourne Street Art Tour
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Melbourne Street Art Tour

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Get an in-depth look at Melbourne's street art scene during this walking tour. Led by a street artist, this tour allows a peek into the underground art scene, including a visit to the famous Blender Studios for a look around, accompanied by refreshments.
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  • 3 hours
  • English
  • Free Cancellation
From
$57.11
From
$57.11

4. Take a ride on the City Circle Tram

Hop on the City Circle Tram, which stops at Flinders Street Station, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Parliament House, and other must-see sights.

Melbourne Bites and Sights with Eureka Skydeck Entrance

Melbourne Bites and Sights with Eureka Skydeck Entrance

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Get to know the essence of Melbourne from top to bottom. A visit to the 88th-floor Eureka Skydeck offers a panoramic overview of the sights you’ll explore next. Eating is a favorite local activity, so back on the ground you’ll stop for a bite at one of your guide’s favorite international restaurants and sip a ‘flat white’ or other coffee drink at a classic Melbourne laneway cafe. Test out the city’s seamless tram system with a ride to the bustling Queen Victoria Market, a perfect spot to pick up lunch provisions.
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  • 3 hours
  • English
  • Free Cancellation
From
$69.35
From
$69.35

5. Find Melbourne’s best hidden bars

To find Melbourne’s best cocktails, you’ll need to navigate the laneways, disappear behind bookshelves, and descend staircases leading underground. Avoid inadvertently breaking into a restaurant’s storeroom (trust us, we've been there) and let a local guide show you where to go.

Melbourne Walking Tour: Uncover Hidden Laneway Bars

Melbourne Walking Tour: Uncover Hidden Laneway Bars

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Sip your choice of drinks on a "hidden" bar walking tour in Melbourne. Stroll with your guide to four locations for cocktails, Australian wine and beer, stopping into a classic pub, a speakeasy-style cocktail bar tucked into the laneway, a wine bar with options from the nearby Yarra Valley, and a fourth bar that will be selected by your guide depending on your group’s interests. You'll learn about Melbourne's bar scene and local history, and get tips for additional places to visit on your own. 
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  • 3 hours
  • English
  • Free Cancellation
From
$63.54
From
$63.54

6. Get to know the city's coffee culture

Coffee is as synonymous with Melbourne as street art and next-level avo on toast. Take a specialized coffee tour to scratch below the surface of the city’s distinct coffee and cafe culture—tastings included.

Melbourne Cafe and Coffee Culture Walking Tour

Melbourne Cafe and Coffee Culture Walking Tour

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Discover Melbourne’s unique café culture that thrives among the city’s iconic laneways and arcades. Follow your local guide through charming backstreets and learn about the city’s growing foodie scene as you visit several unique caffeine outposts. Sip your joe like a local with an included cup of coffee and light café lunch. This small-group walking tour of no more than 8 people ensures a personalized experience.
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  • 3 hours
  • English
From
$99.95
From
$99.95

7. Walk the Golden Mile

Follow the Golden Mile Heritage Trail from the Immigration Museum to the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Royal Exhibition Building via a roll call of Melbourne’s most significant buildings for a crash course in the city’s history.

Golden Mile Melbourne Heritage Walking Tour

Golden Mile Melbourne Heritage Walking Tour

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For those who love history, exploring the Golden Mile Heritage Walk is a must on your visit to Melbourne. Learn about the city’s history and culture from your informative guide as you visit many historical points such as Parliament, Federation Square, and Town Hall. Break up the 2.5-hour tour with a morning drink stop at one of Melbourne’s trendy cafes and immerse yourself in the local culture.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • English
From
$53.54
From
$53.54

8. Spend a day at one (or more) of Melbourne’s bay beaches

Sure, Melbourne isn’t known for its beaches in the way Sydney or Perth are, but the city’s bayside beaches shouldn't be overlooked. Our top picks? Brighton Beach, with its Instagram-famous bathing boxes, and St. Kilda (with a trip to Luna Park tacked on).

Melbourne Bayside | Urban Seaside Villages | Brighton Bathing Boxes | Cycle Tour
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Melbourne Bayside | Urban Seaside Villages | Brighton Bathing Boxes | Cycle Tour

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Explore the Melbourne coast with stressing out about beating the traffic or finding a car park. On this half-day cycle tour, ride along the boardwalks and bike paths of the Melbourne coast, through bustling and picturesque coastal neighborhoods like St. Kilda, Elwood, and Brighton. Ride past Luna Park, cycle through the St Kilda Botanical Gardens and snap some photos of the colorful Brighton Beach Bathing Boes.
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  • 3 hours
  • English
  • Free Cancellation
From
$64.25
From
$64.25

9. Explore Melbourne's neighborhoods

Go beyond Fed Square and the CBD in search of the neighborhoods that make Melbourne tick.

Related: 6 Must-See Melbourne Neighborhoods & How to Visit

Boroughs of Melbourne - Signature Private City Tour

Boroughs of Melbourne - Signature Private City Tour

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Discover the hidden gems of Melbourne on a private city tour. Follow your guide through the city’s diverse neighborhoods, such as the CBD and St. Kilda, and uncover the best coffee spots, cafes, clothing shops, and much more. Sample local treats along the way and learn about the history and culture behind one of Australia’s coolest cities.
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  • 4 to 6 hours
  • English
  • Free Cancellation
From
$274.14
Price varies by group size
From
$274.14
Price varies by group size

10. Shop the arcades

Browse Melbourne’s arcades, from the historic Royal Arcade, which opened in 1870, to art deco Campbell Arcade, where you’ll find record stores and eclectic clothing and jewellery shops.

Melbourne Lanes and Arcades Walking Tour

Melbourne Lanes and Arcades Walking Tour

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Explore Melbourne’s charming laneways and opulent arcades on a small-group walking tour. Uncovered tucked-away gems like specialty boutiques and local fashion designers, and savor Melbourne’s café culture with a stop for coffee or tea, a chocolate tasting and an optional lunch at a local eatery. Tour numbers are limited to eight people to ensure a personalized experience.
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  • 3 hours
  • English
From
$70.68
From
$70.68

And if you’re making a longer trip of it ...

11. Go hiking in Grampians National Park

Pack your hiking boots for a day of bushwalking, waterfalls, ancient Aboriginal rock art, and wildlife-spotting in Grampians National Park.

Grampians National Park Small-Group Eco Tour from Melbourne
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Grampians National Park Small-Group Eco Tour from Melbourne

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Marvel over the dramatic canyons, cascading waterfalls and wildflower valleys of the Grampians National Park on this action-packed full-day tour. Visit the gold rush town of Ballarat; take a bushwalk to see the Silverband Falls and spot wild kangaroos at Halls Gap. After lunch (own cost), embark on a short hike to the Grand Canyon, stand in awe beneath the MacKenzie Falls and admire jaw-dropping views over Stringybark Forest, Victoria Valley, and Lake Bellfield. This small-group tour includes selected hotel pick-up and round-trip transport from Melbourne.
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  • 13 hours
  • English
  • Free Cancellation
From
$99.95
From
$99.95

12. Hit the Great Ocean Road

Take a road trip along the Great Ocean Road to see the route’s natural rock stars: Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, and the Gibson Steps.

Related: Ways to See the Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road and 12 Apostles Day Trip from Melbourne

Great Ocean Road and 12 Apostles Day Trip from Melbourne

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Discover some of Australia’s most photographed landscapes on this full-day tour of the famous Great Ocean Road from Melbourne. Stop for morning tea in Anglesea, spot wild koalas along the way, and tuck into lunch overlooking the dramatic Apollo Bay. After lunch, enjoy a hike through Great Otway National Park, learn how the notorious Shipwreck Coast earned its name, and marvel over natural landmarks like the 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, and the Gibson Steps.
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  • 13 hours
  • English
  • Free Cancellation
From
$92.81
From
$92.81

13. Ride a steam train through the Dandenong Ranges

Take a drive through the Dandenongs, just an hour from Melbourne, and ride the oldest steam train in Australia through forests of towering mountain ash trees.

Puffing Billy, Moonlit Sanctuary & Penguins Day Tour
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Puffing Billy, Moonlit Sanctuary & Penguins Day Tour

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Experience Australian wildlife and rainforest up-close and personal with a full day trip to Moonlit Sanctuary and the Puffing Billy Steam Train from Melbourne. Explore Moonlit Sanctuary's bushland setting with an experienced guide, and meet animals that range from koalas to kangaroos, dingos to monitor lizards. Learn about local conservation efforts. Soak up the wild atmosphere of a mountain rainforest while riding a century-old steam train along scenic tracks before returning to Melbourne.
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  • 12 to 14 hours
  • English
  • Free Cancellation
From
$134.93
From
$134.93

14. Taste wine in the Yarra Valley

Did you even go to Melbourne if you didn’t make the 1-hour trip to Yarra Valley for a day spent sipping Australia’s best pinor noir and sparkling wines?

Related: Yarra Valley Wine Tours from Melbourne

The Ultimate Yarra Valley Food and Wine Small Group Tour (Max 6 guests)

The Ultimate Yarra Valley Food and Wine Small Group Tour (Max 6 guests)

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Discover the flavors of Yarra Valley on this full-day gourmet food and wine tour. Enjoy private wine and cheese tastings with your small group, and learn about regional wines from your knowledgeable guide and through discussions with local vintners. Savor a gourmet 2-course meal with wine pairings followed by cellar door tastings surrounded by the natural beauty of Yarra Valley. A maximum of 6 people allows for an intimate, personalized experience.
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  • 7 hours
  • English
  • Free Cancellation
From
$185.62
From
$185.62

15. Watch the penguin's parade

Little penguins (that’s actually what they’re called) waddling up the beach en masse to cozy up in their nests after a long day of swimming and fishing. The Penguin Parade on Phillip Island is a definite bucket list item, and only two hours outside of Melbourne.

Related: Phillip Island Day Trips from Melbourne

Small-Group Phillip Island Penguin Parade Day Tour from Melbourne
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Small-Group Phillip Island Penguin Parade Day Tour from Melbourne

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Travel on a small-group tour from Melbourne to Phillip Island to see the penguin parade and other wildlife highlights of Victoria. Your full-day tour stops at Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park to meet Australian natives such as koalas and wallabies. Explore the dramatic Cape Woolamai surf beach and the Nobbies boardwalk where you can enjoy the views of the rugged South Coast.
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  • 12 to 14 hours
  • English
  • Free Cancellation
From
$103.52
From
$103.52

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See all Melbourne tours
619 tours & tickets
Things to do in Melbourne
See all things to do in Melbourne
Where to Find the Best Views in Melbourne
Where to Find the Best Views in Melbourne