Things to Do In Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne is known as Australia’s culture capital, and with good reason. From trundling along in the historic trams to standing 300 meters above the city, this stylish metropolis is full of diverse experiences. I head down under to try out five of the best things to do in Melbourne, Australia.

 Step onto The Edge at Eureka Skydeck

Beneath my feet is a 300 meter drop, a concrete pavement in Melbourne’s Southbank and not much else. Throughout the elevator ride up to the 88th floor of the Eureka Skydeck, the staff assured me that the glass bottom of The Edge, a glass cube projecting three meters from the tower, was perfectly secure. Unfortunately, the Skydeck not only boasts the Southern Hemisphere’s highest viewing platform but the fastest lifts south of the equator too; the 38 second ride wasn’t sufficient to quell my fears. I’m missing out on one of Melbourne’s top ten experiences, because I’ve got my eyes shut.

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Since October 2006, the Eureka Tower has been an icon on the Melbourne skyline. It took four years and two months to complete and cost around $500 million Australian dollars. Ask any Melbourne native what not to miss in the city and they’re bound to say the view from The Edge.

I force my eyes open, curiosity getting the better of me. The whole of Melbourne stretches before me with the setting sun glinting off tall buildings. Above is the immense sky, full of gold-fringed clouds and below… well, I try not to think about it, focusing instead on Melbourne’s most breathtaking view.

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Hunt for the best flat white

Talking to Business Insider, Olivia Grant of London’s St Clements Café reveals the secret to the perfect flat white: “The milk should be textured but not too foamy, hot but not too hot. It’s for true coffee lovers”. Clearly this is a cuppa that’s hard to get right, but when it’s done well the results are heavenly.

Tracking down Melbourne’s perfect flat white isn’t easy. Ask a local to recommend their favorite café and you’ll soon have a dizzyingly long list of places to try. But, for me, one name kept cropping up again and again.

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The League of Honest Coffee reminds me of cafés in NYC. Open and airy with hand-painted wall designs and colored mugs, a lime green coffee machine and brightly painted stools. What’s more, it’s busy. Just what you’d expect from one of Melbourne’s best coffee shops.

Flat white in hand, I grab myself a table beside the window and breathe in the coffee’s rich aroma, savoring the moment. With the first sip of the smooth, creamy beverage, the bustling café seems to momentarily stand still as the comforting liquid envelopes my senses. If this isn’t the perfect flat white, it’s as near as you’re going to get.

Catch a movie at the Moonlight Cinema

The projector has yet to be turned on and already I feel like I’m experiencing a spectacular show. Beyond the white cinema screen is the city skyline, now silhouetted by the setting sun. Since arriving at Central Lawn in the Royal Botanical Gardens earlier that afternoon, I’ve watched the sky go from blue to deep pink. Now the stars arrive to complete the performance.

But the sunset isn’t why locals gather here every Thursday throughout the summer. Melbourne’s Moonlight Cinema is the biggest outdoor cinema in Australia. Playing everything from cult classics to new releases, this is the quintessential summer experience in the culture capital.

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The movie has yet to start and music still blares from the speakers. The sound drifts over the heads of the seated crowd to a group of girls dancing barefoot in the grass. Finally, the sun bows out below the horizon and a hush falls, broken only by the sound of someone uncorking a bottle of wine. The projector whirls into life and the opening credits of Saving Mr Banks flicker across the screen.

Start the morning at the Queen Victoria Market

It’s seven in the morning and it’s already 20°C. It promises to be another glorious summer’s day. I’ve been told that morning at Queen Victoria Market is worth getting up for, so I find myself walking through the gates of the yellow façade entrance just an hour after the market opens.

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Inside the day is already in full swing. Traders stand behind stalls laden with fresh produce from around the world. They shout out today’s deals while earlier risers flit down the aisles, bagging their groceries before the late morning rush. The smell of cooking sausages at The Bratwurst Shop & Co hangs in the air, mingling with aroma of brewing coffee and baked goods.

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There’s a real buzz around this market. It was established in 1878 and has been the heart and soul of the city ever since. Modern Australia may be a young country, but at Victoria Market you get a sense of history not often found down under.

Dine on the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant

As the first traveling tram restaurant in the world, the Melbourne Colonial Tramcar Restaurant is something special. Undoubtedly, this is the most luxurious way to explore the streets of Melbourne.

With the largest urban tramway network in the world, Melbourne’s electric trams have been running since 1889. The tram of the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant itself dates back to 1948 but has been kitted out with all the mod-cons you’d expect from a deluxe restaurant, plus one-way windows to assure your privacy.

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My companion and I opted for the highly popular Early Dinner service, which runs from 5:45pm until 7:15pm. Perfectly timed for pre-theatre dining, this service attracts theater-goers and I’m not surprised to find every table occupied.

Watching Melbourne’s enchanting mix of old and new architecture slide past the window, we tuck into a memorable meal of grilled chicken in a rich reduction sauce and succulent beef served with onion marmalade. Dessert is rumored to be mango cheesecake and will be served as the setting sun floods the city in gold – it’s easy to see why this is one of the most sought-after dining experiences in the city.

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Charlotte Claxton

Charlie is a freelance writer who specialises in travel, luxury and food. Having earned her chops as a staff writer for international travel brands and digital marketing companies, she now writes for freelance clients and runs her own travel blog. Charlie grew up in London and has since lived in Canada and Australia. She currently writes from various cafés, hammocks and beaches as she travels the world, bringing LuxeInACity readers first-hand insight into the best luxury experiences worldwide. Get to know Charlie better at