I was born and raised in Melbourne so I’m most definitely the most knowledgeable when it comes to showing you a week in Melbourne itinerary.
First and foremost, Melbourne is the capital city of the state of Victoria, the smallish state located at the bottom southeast corner of mainland Australia before you head into Tasmania.
A bustling metropolitan city home to roughly 5 million people with such incredible nightlife, charming seaside surf towns, an impressive and accepted artistic graffiti scene and the absolute best coffee culture in the world!
Melbourne sees over 12 million international travellers every year so this place gets very busy!
And if the taste of coffee isn’t enough to get you worked up then just outside Melbourne’s central business district (CBD) is the largest open air market in the southern hemisphere.
Running through the middle of Melbourne city is the Yarra River that flows into Port Phillip Bay and runs into far eastern suburbs.
The urban sprawl of Victoria is only rivalled by that of Sydney, with such a dense population ever expanding out to the regional parts of the state.
Here’s your Melbounre Itinerary that you can break down into 3 to 4 days, or over the course of the week.
Spend a week in Melbourne itinerary
For seven years straight Melbourne was crowned the world’s most liveable city. It’s no wonder why; from the sprawling royal botanical gardens, to the bustling night attractions in Melbourne, the city attracts millions of tourists every year who either stay in the city or venture outside for a day trip out of Melbourne.
Read Next > Get out of the city and explore Victoria using our guide to day trips from Melbourne
Places like the Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles are extremely popular, and others flock south down to the Mornington Peninsula to enjoy Melbourne’s best beaches.
Melbourne Itinerary- 2 to 7 day itineraries
If you have the full week to do some Melbourne sightseeing then that would be the best way to see all you can in the city.
Alternatively you can pick and choose different aspects of this Melbourne Itinerary that suit any time frame from 2 days, 4 days or even pick one day to explore the best attraction in Melbourne.
If Melbourne is a night time stop over before heading out to the regional parts of Victoria you can always enjoy the nightlife in Melbourne by bar hopping through the city and finishing off at the Melbourne Star: our version of the London Eye
Where to stay in Melbourne?
There are literally hundreds of options within the city to choose from but also outside of the city, depending where you choose to stay.
A mix of budget friendly options or more expensive and luxury hotels are all on offer!
Laura and I generally stay at the Crown Towers in Melbourne for the amazing views over the city!
A nice middle ground is the Milano serviced apartments within Melbourne CBD for around $80/night.
For a bit more upscale accommodation stay in United Places Botanic Gardens in the decadent South Yarra.
For a slightly cheaper and more affordable option the IBIS hotel in Melbourne or Brady’s Hotel in Melbourne.
For a full list of Melbourne hotels and accommodation click this link here.
Flying into Melbourne
If you’re flying into Melbourne from domestic airports you will fly into Melbourne International Airport majority of the time, although some air carriers will fly into Avalon airport 45 minutes away.
If you’re flying internationally you will also more than likely fly into Melbourne International Airport.
If you need a rental car from the airport there are a number of rental car companies at the airport like Hertz and Europcar.
Alternatively you can purchase your hire car online now and save on big discounts!
Exploring the CBD
The best place to start your Melbourne Itinerary is by visiting Flinders st station on the intersection of Flinders st and Swanston st. Opened officially in 1854 it was reportedly the busiest railways station back in the 1920’s and served as the terminus of Australia’s first railway network.
Flinders st station is one of the most recognisable landmarks within Melbourne as a big, off yellow coloured building with a large green dome and clock face that sit above the arch-way.
The next place you’re going to want to visit is Federation Square and lucky for you it’s literally across the road from Flinders st station and one of the best melbourne attractions.
A cultural hub for Melbourinans full of cafes, restaurants, an ever evolving art exhibition and a large projector screen that attracts flocks of people all year round that displays the latest sporting events in Melbourne and around the world.
The Australian open is often shown on screen here, as well as both local and international soccer leagues. The TV comes complete with a music stage that typically shows performances during the summer months in Melbourne.
The ACMI is Australia’s national museum for the moving image which you can access from both inside Federation square or from Swanston st.
Other attractions in Melbourne close to Fed square are the Ice Bar, the Ian Potter Gallery (behind fed square) and the Transport Hotel.
If you’re ever wondering what to do in Melbourne we highly recommend a trip to Federation Square to really soak in the Melbourne culture and feels.
One thing you’ll notice about the Melbourne CBD is the geography of the streets. Not forgetting the fact that they’re all named after British monarchs and royalties, within each of those main streets are dozens of hidden laneways bursting at the seams with cafe culture, art and niche nightlife.
Some of the most famous of all these laneways are Hosier Lane, AC/DC lane, Degraves, Centre Place, Tattersalls lane and Union lane.
Hosier Lane is directly opposite Federation Square and is one of the best free things to do in Melbourne.
There are a number of private companies that offer street art walking tours around the city, some beginning in Hosier Lane opposite ACMI, and others on Flinders Lane.
Hosier Lane was commissioned as an official street art lane back in 1998 by the City of Melbourne. It’s become one of the most popular laneways in Melbourne and a popular tourist attraction amongst international visitors.
We highly recommend seeing the best sights of Melbourne CBD by purchasing the Highlights of Melbourne Yarra River Cruise for the best city highlights.
Centre Place is definitely our favourite and a fantastic addition to your Melbourne itinerary, be sure to stop at Vicolino Cafe right in the middle between Collins st & Flinders Lane.
Both Hardware and Hosier Lane are great places to stop for an awesome bite to eat. If you’re looking for something a bit more stylish and dare I say it ‘upper class’, The Block Arcade is perfect with its French Renaissance style architecture opened in 1892
Tour the National Gallery of Victoria
We’re not big art gallery fans but the NGV is a little different. Opened in 1861 it is Australia’s oldest and most visited art gallery.
Tickets are generally $30 with a $4.50 transaction fee online so best to turn up at the door to save yourself the fee.
It’s well worth spending a couple of hours here as they frequently display international displays as well as collection pieces on gender, conservation & environment.
Shrine of Remembrance and the Royal Botanic Gardens
When you’re finished at the NGV, walk a little further down St.Kilda road and do some sightseeing at the Shrine of Remembrance; a beautiful building built in honour of fallen soldiers who fought in Australia and New Zealand’s world wars.
You can enter the Shrine for free and climb to the top for the best views of the city.
The Shrine of Remembrance is within the Royal Botanic Gardens south of Melbourne CBD.
A beautifully large Botanic Gardens that has the Yarra River bordering the North and Melbournians favourite inner city exercise track known colloquially as ‘The Tan’.
The tan is 3.8km long made of loose gravel and dirt and is the city’s most famous mid-day exercise track for inner city dwellers and office workers on their lunch breaks.
The Gardens also features prominent Melbourne Itinerary landmarks like the Sidney Myer Music bowl, Queen Victoria gardens and Kings domain.
Entry is free all day and a great spot to have a picnic and chill in the sunshine.
Walking around the city all day can get very exhausting and so we recommend a bike city tour to tick off all the best things to see in Melbourne CBD.
Melbourne Cafe Culture
If there’s one thing we’re known for, it’s coffee. We may not grow it, but we sure love our coffee.
There are literally more than 2000 cafes in Melbourne so finding great coffee is never too hard.
Both Manchester Press and Higher Ground are two fantastic places to start your coffee adventure, anything from an espresso through to an impressive latte art industry.
The Yarra river runs from the outer eastern suburbs of Warburton all the way into the Melbourne city centre and eventually out into Port Phillip Bay where it meets the ocean.
The Yarra passes through regions of the city such as Docklands, South Wharf and travels up through the guts passing by many restaurants and riverside pubs and eateries with impressive views of the city skyline.
For the best view of Melbourne’s cityscapes at night we recommend purchasing Highlights of Melbourne Yarra River Cruise taking in the absolute best sights of the city at a fantastic price!
For a different perspective you can quite easily walk the entire length of the yarra through the city however this will occupy your entire day as there are so many things to see and do in Melbourne you’ll inevitably need to stop every hour!
Australia’s largest open air market
Visiting Queen Victoria Market is surely a must do Melbourne event open all year round everyday except Mondays and Wednesdays.
The market opens normally from 6am till 3pm and it’s a wonderful collection of fruit and veg vendors, locals from around town selling produce and goods and a wonderful example of the cultural diversity that is Melbourne.
Considered the heart and soul of Melbourne affectionately known as ‘Vic Market’;, its existence spans 140 years and is a fantastic place to walk around and explore this side of the city.
Tour the MCG
We’re trying not to be biased here, but Melbourne is definitely the sporting capital of Australia, hosting a number of large international events like the Australian Open, AFL, Rugby, Netball, Cricket and more.
None more impressive than the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) opposite the botanic gardens on the north side of the Yarra River.
Sport is considered somewhat of a religion in Australia, and the MCG is our holy grail when it comes to hosting sport events. “The G” principally hosts AFL (Australian football league) and Cricket at different times of the year and taking a tour of this iconic Melbourne attraction is one of the best things to do in Melbourne.
The G sits right next door to many other stadiums like AAMI park (soccer mainly), Rod Laver Arena (named after an Australian tennis champion), Olympic Park, Margaret Court Arena and Punt Road Oval.
Visit the Eureka Skydeck
In the heart of the SouthBank precinct lies the second tallest building in Australia, at almost 300metres tall with a gold plated tower.
The Eureka Skydeck is the tallest residential building in the world and a Melbourne attraction that’s not to be missed on your visit to the city.
You’ll be able to see the entire city skyline including Eureka skydeck from your Melbourne Highlights Yarra River cruise
The reason people trek this far into the city is to climb to the 88th floor of the building and take the horizontal edge that extends outwards over the building with a floor that all of a sudden becomes transparent and you can see 88 floors down to the ground.
Interestingly enough, the Eureka skydeck holds a number of architectural records, such as the 88th floor being the highest vantage point in the Southern hemisphere and that the glass on the top 10 levels of the building are made out of 24 carat gold plated.
Tickets cost only $25 for adults and you can pick up your ticket here from Get Your Guide.
Explore the Inner city suburbs
As we mentioned before, the urban sprawl of Melbourne is really substantial. Almost every square kilometre of land is covered in residential housing that extends in every which direction out of the CBD, most notably the SouthEast corner of Melbourne.
It’s the inner cities however that you’ll get to explore when you’re sightseeing in Melbourne.
Fitzroy is one of those hipster suburbs with a real alternative vibe, a kind of grunge chic vibe to it. Plenty hipsters, vintage clothes collectors, a live music scene and home to the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
Fitzory’s beating heart is Brunswick street, a personal favourite of ours that’s lined with tons of awesome bars, restaurants, spanish flamenco bars like Kanela and once a year the street puts on the Hispanic/Latin American festival on Johnson street.
Probably the most well known inner city suburb outside of the city and a must see Melbourne attraction is your seaside escape of St.Kilda.
St.Kilda is loved by locals for the white sandy beach and famous beach side bars and restaurants. If you enjoy wind surfing then this is the place to be as it can get very windy down here.
Make sure you get down to the well known St.Kilda pier.
The best kept secret is that the pier is home to a bunch of Fairy Penguins that make their home in the rocks towards the end, turn up at sunset to see these guys waddle back in from the shore.
To completely enjoy Melbourne City make sure you purchase your tickets here for the Yarra River Cruise to see the best of the best Melbourne highlights
Brighton beach Boxes
If you’re wondering what to do in Melbourne on a bright, sunny day then pop down to Brighton Beach and admire the beach boxes in Brighton. Basically they’re beach huts that live on the sand that sell for anywhere upwards of $300,000.
A colourful and interesting attraction in Melbourne, many postcards and visitors come here just to take a photo in front of the famed boxes.
Albert Park Lake
Just North of St.Kilda Pier and a fantastic way to spend the day in Melbourne is by walking the track around Albert Park Lake.
There’s a couple of cafes we recommend around the Lake including Boat Shed cafe and Carousel Cafe for a midday coffee fix.
Albert Park also serves as the site of the Formula One Melbourne Grand Prix opener that runs in March every year as well as supercars
If you’re going to explore more of this side of town you’re going to have to add on a few more days to your Melbourne Itinerary.
One of the most recognisable faces in all of Melbourne is the smiling, wide mouthed clown that welcomes you in with his grinning smile.
Located next door to The Palais Theatre, Luna Park is both an awesome and iconic Melbourne attraction as it is a fun thing to do in Melbourne at night.
Luna Park has been open to the public for 110 years and has roller coaster rides, dodge-em cars, family activities as well as kid friendly rides. It overlooks Port Phillip bay and entry only tickets cost around $15 per person, going up to $51 per person to go on all the rides.
No matter your opinion on Zoos, Melbourne Zoo is the perfect day out in Melbourne and should be high on your Melbourne itinerary list.
Melbourne Zoo has a huge sustainability and conservation effort underway to prevent 27 threatened native species from going extinct due to their captive breeding program.
Get the chance to feed the animals, talk to the keepers and get educated on different species of animals.
Entry is free on Wednesdays for kids and Melbourne Zoo is a part of the greater collaboration between Healesville Sanctuary and Werribee Open range Zoo.
Day Tours from Melbourne – Exploring outside the Melbourne
Once you’ve finished exploring Melbourne city and the inner suburbs you will be interested in getting outside of the city centre and exploring many of the state’s best day trips from Melbourne.
Head down to the best beaches in all of Victoria and soak up the summer sunshine and crystal clear beaches of Mount Martha, the back beaches of Sorrento and the wineries of Red Hill.
Melbourne to the Mornington Peninsula is approximately 1 hour south and best to spend at least 3-4 days down here.
Read Next >> Soak up the sun on the Mornington Peninsula
Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley
Explore the mountain ash forest of the Black Spur and the high tea rooms of the Dandenong Ranges which lie east of Melbourne CBD.
Go on a hot air balloon ride over the Yarra Valley one morning and enjoy a wine tasting tour in Victoria’s most revered wine region.
Read Next >> Explore far easter Victoria’s Yarra Valley region
Drive the Great Ocean Road
Just under two hours from the city is the beginning of the Great Ocean Road in Torquay. Spend at least a week in this region exploring the beautiful waterfalls of the Great Otway national Park, take a helicopter tour over the 12 Apostles and learnt to surf at the world famous Bells beach
Related Article >> Have you ever been to the Great Ocean Road?
Read Next >> Explore the Great Otway National Park
Grampians national park and Phillip island
Although separated geographically by more than 5 hours, Grampians national park in the north west region of Victoria is a great place to get some hikes under your belt.
Base yourself out of Halls Gap and visit Boroka Lookout for epic panoramic views over the northern grampians mountains.
Then, head down the coast into the Gippsland region and visit Phillip Island.
For the best Phillip Island tour we personally recommend this tour right here.
The tiny island separated by a suspension bridge over water is home to the MotoGP every year, a local fairy penguin colony that are both admired and protected by the locals, a surfers paradise at Smiths Beach and the beautiful natural landscape of the Nobbies.