Things to do in Melbourne today

There are many things to do in Melbourne today, starting with free live music gigs and expanding all the way to observing the city’s stunning street art. Melbourne is a creative place, in case you didn’t know, so not discovering at least some of its many art corners would be like traveling to Cambodia and not visiting Angkor Wat. Before deciding your daily route, though, you’ll need a place to stay.

Can't wait to visit Melbourne? Explore Hotel Lindrum for boutique accommodation right in the city center.

Best things to do in Melbourne City: Shopping and Dining Out

Best things to do in Melbourne City obviously depend on your preferences, given that the city spans all kinds of spectacles meeting everyone’s interests. Art exhibitions might be the first stop, but the best thing about Melbourne is that there is plenty of entertainment for travelers on a tight budget, too.

Take the Federation Square for example. All kinds of concerts and festivals take place there regularly, and all of these are free. Working out outdoors is also an option. In summer, the Square is home to numerous classes, including Yoga, Tai Chi, meditation and many more.

Dining out, going to a live gig, sightseeing, taking a swim or simply relaxing in Melbourne City is as affordable as it is enjoyable. Singling out only one activity would be impossible and indeed unfair, so we are hereby bringing some of our favourite shopping and dining activities to help you out.

Explore the Nicholas Building

The Nicholas Building (37 Swanston St.) is an Art Deco icon and has stood tall and proud ever since being built in the ‘20s. The building is packed with marvelous shops, located throughout all of its 10 floors, such as are jewelers, tailors, boutique retailers and art studios. Some of tourists’ favourites include Brendan Dwyer (cobbler), RetroStar (vintage clothes), Mattt (handmade satchels) and L’uccello (specialist haberdasher).

Eat to your heart’s content at Lentil as Anything, and help the community in the process

Lentil as Anything is a cheap eatery serving outstanding vegetarian dishes. What makes it stand out from other eateries is that it has no prices — guests pay as much as they see fit. Lentil’s profit supports disadvantaged members of the community.

So, not only do guests get to enjoy an affordable, tasty meal, but they also do a good deed on the go. Lentil as Anything outlets are located across the city, the best known being the one under the spires of the Abbotsford Convent.

Enjoy some classy Chinese at Shanghai Village

Shanghai Village (112 Little Bourke St., Melbourne) is a cheap Chinese restaurant. You might have guessed it already — they serve dumplings. But not ordinary ones — by no means! These are some of the tastiest dumplings you will ever get to encounter, and also some of the cheapest. Tip: don’t miss wontons in chilli oil!

Visit Naked in the Sky for spectacular views

Naked in the Sky (285 Brunswick St., Fitzroy) is a rooftop bar in the heart of Fitzroy. Famous for its cocktails and snacks, the bar commands spectacular views over the city. Chill out and enjoy the view of the CBD and Melbourne’s north with style.

Taste the World’s Best Pizza at 400 Gradi

We are aware that the term “best pizza” might be way too boisterous, but 400 Gradi (99 Lygon St., East Brunswick) is official. The pizza maestro running the place, namely Johnny Di Francesco, is the first Australian ever trained in Naples to the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana rules.

Di Francesco’s Margherita won the first place at the World Pizza Championships in Italy in 2014. We can assure you that other pizzas at 400 Gradi are no less delicious.

Enjoy your favourite craft beer

Melbourne is famous for brewing splendid beer, and there are many breweries serving craft beer around the city.

Abbotsford’s Moon Dog (17 Duke St., Abbotsford) is one of tourists’ favourites. Visit them on a Sunday to enjoy a pizza with the beer. Mountain Goat Brewery (80 North St., Richmond) is another recommendation. Visit it on a Wednesday to get a free behind-the-scenes tour at 6.30pm. 

Get the best local produce from Michael Caiafa

You will find Michael Caiafa at the Queen Victoria Market (Queen St.). The products he sells are impossible to find anywhere else in the world, and are indeed varied. Caiafa is famous for his home-made peanut butter, but do pay attention to his freshly baked artisanal breads and exclusive chocolate. The only place to get them is from Mr. Caiafa. Word!

Treat yourself to live music at the Retreat Hotel

Live gigs are to be found at every step in Melbourne City. It’s difficult to pick only one, but some are better loved than the others nevertheless. I.e., The Retreat Hotel pub (280 Sydney Rd., Brunswick) is one of the venues famous for its live music gigs. This hotel Melbourne CBD turns its bar into a dance floor in the evenings. Drink, sing and dance to your heart’s content!

Best things to do in Melbourne this weekend: Leisure and Art

Best things to do in Melbourne this weekend start with relaxed strolls and end with swimming and enjoying a glass of your favourite beverage. Theses are some fun things to do in Melbourne today related to recreation and fun but what about art and culture?

Many options present themselves in that regard, too. Melbourne is a thriving art community, mildly put. Exploring its many galleries and exhibitions is a challenge even the most-versed artistic souls might find overwhelming. Again, here are some of our favourite things to do in Melbourne today.

Enjoy the NGV’s permanent collection

The NGV (180 St Kilda Rd.) hosts special exhibitions all the time, and the good news is they rotate. So, if you happen to have missed one, rest assured it will be back, and soon. Barely enjoying the permanent collection (which is free, by the way) will make your day.

Tip: pay proper attention to Dosso Dossi’s portrait of Lucrezia Borgia, Duchess of Ferrara. Not only is it a masterpiece in its own right, but it also happens to be one of the only known portraits of Pope Alexander VI’s illegitimate daughter.

Like The Blues Brothers? Head to the Astor Theatre!

The Astor Theatre (1 Chapel St. & Dandenong Rd.) opened in 1936; to this day, it remains one of Melbourne’s best known landmarks, and not without a good reason. Watching pretty much any movie at the Astor is an enjoyable experience, but The Blues Brothers projections are special in more ways than one.

Why? Because you should expect suits, dark glasses and nun costumes galore. Oh, and BYO bread. Just wait for the first toast and see what happens.

See a show at a small theatre

Melbourne is home to many small theatres, which is often quite fortunate for tourists travelling on a tight budget. Main stage shows do get expensive, but there is no reason why you shouldn’t treat yourself to a half-the-cost show at Arts House (521 Queensberry St., North Melbourne), Fortyfivedownstairs (45 Flinders Ln.), La Mama (205 Faraday St., Carlton), Red Stitch (Rear, 2 Chapel St., St Kilda East)... or any other small theatre for that matter!

Check out theatre previews and pick the show that calls your name. Or, if undecided, simply pick the one closest to your hotel Melbourne CBD.

Unravel the secrets of the State Library of Victoria

The State Library of Victoria (328 Swanston St.) has many secrets. Spilling them all would be spoiling the fun, so we won’t do it. But, what we will do is give you some hints. E.g., you may enjoy a good book in one of the Library’s many hidden nooks or practice chess at the Chess Reading Room. As for the rest —adventure away!

Volunteer at the Sacred Heart

A similar establishment to Lentil as Anything is the Sacred Heart (multiple locations). The business supplies over 400 meals daily to disadvantaged members of the community as well as to homeless people. On top of providing food, they also connect people with much needed services, such as medical, housing and psychiatric. You can help! Do a shift in the kitchen and aid those in need.

As you can see from the abovementioned, heaps of fun are awaiting you in Melbourne. Ask your accommodation Melbourne staff for recommendations, especially in terms of seasonal events. Note that Melbourne City is widely known for its festivals, live music gigs, art displays and exhibitions, and all kinds of community events.

Picked the things to do in Melbourne today already?

So, now that we’ve shared some ideas, what would be the best things to do in Melbourne today? Can you pick one answer only? We didn’t think so. As stated in the beginning, Melbourne is a thriving place, with numerous amusements and venues catering to all of the fun things to do in Melbourne today.

But, never you mind! Simply do what you feel like doing: try some local and international food, take a walk, enjoy swimming, meditate, read, sing, dance... Huh! Well, enjoy yourself to the fullest in any way you see fit! That’s what every first-time visitor to Melbourne does anyway!

Can't wait to visit Melbourne? Explore Hotel Lindrum for your boutique accommodation right in the city center.