20 Best Things to Do in Melbourne CBD

20 Best Things to Do in Melbourne CBD

See also: Best Things to Do in Melbourne

Though not the largest, Melbourne's Central Business District is the one that speaks the city's character the loudest.

Enclosed by Flinders, Spring Street, Spencer, and Victoria, it is located in the city's heart.

The Melbourne Central Business District is heavily laden with attractions that go back centuries, all well hidden in mazes of laneways.

Regardless of time and season, there is no end to what you can do in this small section of Australia.

The district is rich both in futuristic structures and classical buildings that have witnessed countless historical events.

Visit some of the spots that have earned the trust and respect of millions and get engrossed in various adventures.

These are the best things to do in Melbourne CBD:


Start Your Day with a Flight in a Hot Air Balloon

timallenphoto / shutterstock.com

Rise up in the sky, in a hot air balloon, as the sun wakes from its sleep, to start a new day.

Though the flights depend much on the direction of the wind, you will see pretty sights of the city, in all its tranquillity, with just the chirping of birds in the backdrop and no hustle-bustle of human activities.


Listen to the Stories of Immigrants at the Immigration Museum

Keitma / Shutterstock.com

The Immigration Museum on Flinders Street is one of the country's most visited museums.

As implied by its name, it stores pieces of information and facts on Australia's immigration history.

You can listen to some of the most poignant stories of people who have immigrated to and found their homes in Australia.

While some left their homelands to pursue jobs and better lives, some reluctantly came to Australia for survival.

You can hear all such stories through various digital mediums at the Immigration Museum.

Check Out What's Happening at Federation Square

Tooykrub / Shutterstock.com

Federation Square is one of the rare places in Melbourne where something is always happening.

It is one of the tourist hotspots, which comes as no surprise, given that more than 2,000 events are hosted annually.

Home to the National Gallery of Victoria's Australian Collection and a museum, the place also holds exhibitions open daily.

To see the best version of Federation Square, you should plan ahead of time and let your visit coincide with some of the city's events and festivals.

You can also take a stroll along the Yarra River for a whiff of fresh air or step in for a drink at one of the cafes or bars scattered around.


Shop at Queen Victoria Market

EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Located on Queen Street, Queen Victoria Market is the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere.

With over 600 independent businesses, which are segregated into sections, it is a great place to shop for fresh veggies and meat, everyday commodities, fashion items, handmade stuff, souvenirs,

It is one of the liveliest markets around the world, with its vibrant atmosphere, festivals and events.

Taking place once a week, Queen Victoria Market hosts the Night Market.

During this time, it takes on a different look and showcases delicious street food from around the world, live music performances, specialty bars, and more.

Brighten up Your Day with Pleasing Sights at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

FiledIMAGE / shutterstock.com

Manicured to perfection, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria sees over 1,900,000 visitors in a year.

Though it is just minutes away from the busy streets of Melbourne, it is one of the city's most serene areas.

It's home to diverse flora such as rainforests, perennials, Californian species, succulents, etc.

There is a children's cafe where little ones can endlessly delight themselves in a series of adventures.

They can crawl through the plant tunnels, climb rocks, play hide and seek in the bamboo forest, and more.

The beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria brightens up the most during the summer, with an outdoor cinema, theater performances, and various exhibitions.

You can enjoy a view of the gardens as you treat yourself to a drink, at one of the cafes in the area.


Go for a Drink at the Duke of Wellington

The Duke of Wellington was used as a lodge for three years after its completion in 1850.

From then onwards, it continued as a pub.

It has been cited as the oldest running pub in Melbourne and has gained a place among heritage sites around the world.

The Duke of Wellington has three different levels, each with a different ambiance and uniqueness.

At the bottom floor, you can enjoy a pleasant evening with live music accompaniment.

Take the flight of stairs up to the second floor if your wallet can afford a spread of lavish dining.

The creme de la creme, however, would have to be the rooftop bar with the liveliest DJ.

Find The Duke of Wellington on Flinders Street.

Explore a Miniature of Asia in Melbourne's Chinatown

OPIS Zagreb / Shutterstock.com

Melbourne's Chinatown had its genesis in the 1850s, when hundreds of Chinese flocked to Australia during the Victorian gold rush.

It's reputed to be the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere and the most diverse of all Chinatowns.

Though a Chinatown, its focal point is not only Chinese but the whole of Asia, which sets it apart from the rest.

Go beyond the grand red gate, which reflects the vibrancy of the world beyond it.

Let the welcoming laneway take you to a systematic assemblage of boutiques, restaurants, bars, karaoke, cultural venues, sacred places of worship, and more.

The town is slyly scattered with restaurants, serving various cuisines such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Indian, Malaysian, and Vietnamese, tempting visitors with aromatic smells.

Everything looks welcoming and delectable, and you will have difficulty deciding on a place to dine.

If your trip falls during the Chinese New Year, consider yourself lucky because that is when the place is most China-like, with the dance of the dragons and bewitchingly beautiful fireworks.

Melbourne's Chinatown is just 10 minutes away from the Flinders Train Station and is home to the Chinese Museum.


Learn about Greece's Past and Present in the Hellenic Museum

Nils Versemann / Shutterstock.com

The Hellenic Museum, or the Nafsika Stamoulis Hellenic Museum Limited, was incorporated to promote "the celebration, understanding, and preservation of the artistic and cultural heritage of ancient and modern Greece."

History buffs will have capital time here studying the journey that ancient Greece undertook to reach the Greece of today.

The museum is a platform for various exhibitions.

You can easily spend a couple of hours going through antique pieces and information, many more than 8,000 years old.

The museum also offers classes on the Golden Age of Athens and eminent ancient philosophers.

There is a small garden cafe where you can relish a cup of coffee and light snacks amidst explorations.

You can find the Hellenic Museum on William Street.


Fly Like a Bird in the Glass Cube at the Eureka Tower

Taras Vyshnya / shutterstock.com

When in Melbourne, stay loyal to Melbourne and seek sights that sing the glory of the land.

For unobstructed, extraordinary views of the city, get to the Eureka Tower on Riverside Quay.

A skyscraper with a height of 975 feet, it's recorded to have the fastest lift in the Southern Hemisphere, which travels 88 floors in less than a minute.

Make sure not to skip the Edge, the glass cube projected 9.8 feet from the building and suspended more than 900 feet above the ground.

You will have the most thrilling experience inside the cube.

The cube appears opaque when you step inside it, but you will notice that as it moves slowly out of the building, the opaque cube gives way to a transparent box through which you can view the city in all its delight.

The best time to visit the Eureka Tower is in the evening, as you will be wrapped with fantastic sunset vistas and lights in every corner of the city.

The tower's name and design have much to do with the rebellion, Eureka Stockade, which took place during the notable gold rush of the Victorian days.


Visit State Library Victoria

Paper Cat / Shutterstock.com

"Time invested in libraries is time wasted well."

No statement can be more accurate than this.

Have you ever imagined a library that serves as a museum too?

State Library Victoria, located on Swanston Street, falls in that category.

Established in 1856, it is not only Victoria's central library but also Australia's oldest public library and one of the world's first free libraries.

Under the library's umbrella comes 23 buildings built in the classical style and a massive reading hall.

The library-cum-museum stores a collection of two million books, 350,000 photographs, manuscripts, artifacts, and more.

There is so much that you can do within the complex.

Not only can you spend your day browsing through books, but you can also spend hours gazing and admiring the architecture.

The structure itself is quite a beauty, especially the dome, which has been its highlight for ages.

There are coffee shops and gift corners at the entrance, as well as other areas.

A giant chess board sits outside, its knights, bishops, and others waiting for commands to make moves.

Kids can also participate in a variety of activities.

If you want every minute of your visit to State Library Victoria to be worthwhile, grab a map on your way in because the place is massive.


Visit the Shrine of Remembrance

Keitma / Shutterstock.com

The Shrine of Remembrance or the National War Memorial of Victoria is inspired by renowned monuments, such as the Parthenon and the Tomb of Mausoleum.

This classical piece of architecture was constructed in tribute to the heroic souls who died for Victoria in WWII.

Today, the structure is a tribute to all patriotic Australians who died for their motherland.

You can see what happened in the past at the Gallery of Remembrance, which showcases more than 800 artifacts and artworks.

Inside the shrine, the words "Greater love hath no man" are inscribed on a stone fondly referred to as the Stone of Remembrance.

Every Remembrance Day, on the 11th of November, a ray of light shines through an aperture in the roof to light up the word "love" in the inscription.

The Shrine of Remembrance is located on Birdwood Avenue.


Play Peek-a-Boo with the Sea Creatures at Sea Life Melbourne

TK Kurikawa / Shutterstock.com

One million animal species live and die in the ocean, which is home to the most mysterious creatures.

Though you cannot easily plan a trip to the ocean, you can certainly plan one to Sea Life Melbourne.

It shelters more than 10,000 underwater creatures that reside in the ocean.

Showstoppers at the aquarium include sharks, penguins, and crocodiles.

The Mermaid's Garden, the vast oceanarium, is a sight to behold, with nurse sharks, stingrays, and more.

You can peep and play nosy as the creatures go on with their daily business.

Touch sea stars and shark eggs at the Discovery Rock Pools and go scuba diving alongside the sharks.

Sea Life Melbourne is located on King Street.

Test Your Thinking Ability at Adventure Rooms Melbourne

Gather your comrades for an hour of nerve-racking adventure at Adventure Rooms Melbourne, which has three extremely fishy and spooky rooms, namely the Gaol Break, the Black Queen, and the Mad Scientist.

Let your creativity, imagination, and problem-solving skills run wild as you hunt for minute details and clues to flee from the place and save yourself from doom.

The door of the Gaol Room is guarded by a warden who will not let you off the hook easily, which means you have to be on your toes every second and rack your brain to find a way out of the room.

The Black Queen of the spooky castle is no better, with a queen who will come after you if time gets the better of you.

Brace yourself to perform crazy experiments in the Mad Scientist.

Whichever room you choose, be on your guard and waste not a second, for you cannot afford to.

Check out Adventure Rooms Melbourne on Little Collins Street.

Go on a Shopping Spree at the Block Arcade

The Block Arcade is a storied shopping complex located on Collins Street.

It was built between 1891 and 1893, is regarded as one of Melbourne's most excellent retail arcades, and is among the most well-liked tourist destinations.

Several prominent businesses are housed in the arcade, which is a distinctive and memorable place.

Boutique fashion, art, vintage jewelry, gift boutiques, restaurants, cafes, and music are just a few things you can do and see.

The Block Arcade is a must-see attraction, whether you're interested in heritage or shopping.

Appreciate the Architecture at the Royal Exhibition Building

A real Melbourne icon, the Royal Exhibition Building is one of the city's World Heritage-listed structures.

The building was constructed in 1880 and is stunning inside and out.

It's the most significant piece in Museum Victoria's collection and is located next to the Melbourne Museum.

The 150-meter-long skyscraper is situated on around 64 acres and is encircled by four municipal streets.

Various exhibitions and other events are now held in the building, and they are closely related to the activities of the Melbourne Museum.

Visit the Royal Exhibition Building on Nicholson Street for the charming fountains and stunning architecture.

Explore around the Old Melbourne Gaol

Located on Russell Street, the Old Melbourne Gaol is a former prison that now serves as a museum.

The museum provides a peek into life in the 1800s; several mentally ill and destitute individuals were also incarcerated there.

It houses a diverse collection of outstanding relics, including numerous condemned criminals' death masks.

Some people believe the Old Melbourne Gaol to be haunted, and it offers ghost tours that share tales observed by guests and personnel.

The former City Police Watch House and City Courts buildings can be found next to it.

Host an Event at Chin Chin

Situated on Flinders Lane, Chin Chin has earned its spot in Melbourne's cultural fabric since 2011.

At this Asian restaurant, the culinary, music, and art worlds all come together.

Above the restaurant and bar, Chin Chin has a modern private event space ideal for various gatherings.

They have a bright room ideal for hosting events, from weddings to milestone celebrations, business dinners, and birthday parties.

Stay at the Great Southern Hotel Melbourne

The Great Southern Hotel Melbourne is conveniently located on Spencer Street.

Ideal for pleasure and business travelers, it's situated near public transportation, dining options, vibrant nightlife, and retail areas.

It puts guests close to all the fantastic Melbourne attractions at a very reasonable price.

There's a reception desk open around the clock, a parking lot, a restaurant, and many more services.

Centralized heating and air conditioning systems are included in each room at the Great Southern Hotel Melbourne.

There is also a work desk, a digital LCD television, free Wi-Fi, a hair dryer, an ironing board, a refrigerator, and amenities for making tea and coffee.

Final Thoughts

Melbourne is a dynamic, vibrant city with a bustling downtown, inner-city districts with unique traits, and lush green parkland and mountains where you may experience the best of Australian nature.

The city is renowned for its many lanes, ethnic variety, fantastic food options for all price ranges, and excellent street art.

Additionally, it is renowned for being the world's coffee capital and for frequently winning awards for being among the most appealing cities in the world!

Use this list of the best things to do in Melbourne CBD to guide your activities on your trip.