Ready to make up for lost time in the city? Check out these iconic Melbourne experiences on your next city adventure, from street art and laneway bars to shopping and shows.

Drink world-class coffee on every corner

The only thing people in Melbourne like talking about more than the weather, is where they get their daily latte. Order it from an impossibly small hole-in-the-wall, with a side of cult-status katsu sando or served in an edible biscuit cup. Try it spiked with butterscotch at Baguette Studios, sip $2.50 cups until midnight at Butcher's Diner or grab a cup in the no-photo zone that is Dukes. Then tour your way through our guide to Melbourne's best iced coffees.

A person's hand holding a coffee cup
Puzzle's edible cup

Get to the Winter Night Market at exactly 5pm

After a three year hiatus, this iconic Melbourne event returns to us. Market regulars know you need to be there on time every Wednesday night to beat the crowds. Once you've arrived, get in line and grab a comfort food treat or bev to-go. Fuelled up? Have a wander and peruse stalls in String Bean Alley, enjoy live music and marvel at pop-up performers.

Discover hidden street art

Melbourne is renowned for its street art, but the good stuff is hidden in the city’s nooks and crannies. Get the lowdown with our street art guide. From Meyers Place to Blender Lane, we've found the best spots for an outdoor art adventure. Including a bumper guide to Flash Forward, the epic new creative program taking over Melbourne's laneways with fresh murals.

A woman standing in front of a tall mural in a laneway
Nick Azidis' Highlander Lane mural

Eat dumplings in Chinatown

Melburnians are totally devoted to dumplings. Ideally enjoyed among the bright lights and spicy scents of Chinatown. Devour these bundles of joy at HuTong, or the city outpost of renowned Tim Ho Wan. The queue outside Shanghai Street is often long for good reason, but don’t worry, it moves quickly.

Snap a classic photo

Pause on bustling heritage Princes Bridge and enjoy uninterrupted views of the Yarra. To the east, there’s Fed Square’s contemporary architecture. Plus acres of parkland and the legendary Melbourne Cricket Ground. Look west to see the river lined with skyscrapers. And the Arts Centre spire and iconic Flinders Street Railway Station.

A train station lit up at night
Flinders Street station

Visit Little Italy on Lygon Street

Lygon Street has long been known as Melbourne’s Little Italy. A short tram ride from the central business district, it’s still the place for a taste of la dolce vita. Favourites include Tiamo, Brunetti, Donnini’s Restaurant and King & Godfree. Taste your way up each level to K&G’s rooftop bar, Johnny’s Green Room, for panoramic views of the city. And add Italian staples from Pidapipo Gelateria and Leonardo’s Pizza Palace.

Drink in a hidden bar

Many visitors never discover some of Melbourne’s best bars. That’s because they’re hidden down laneways and behind secret doors. Favourites include basement level Bar Margaux, with a Paris-meets-New York vibe. Peruse the epic cocktail menu at prohibition-style bar Eau de Vie. Pop in for a natty wine at Cathedral Coffee, located in a late-night nook of the Nicholas Building. Don’t blink, or you’ll miss Chuckle Park, an open-air bar off Little Collins Street.

People drinking at an outdoor bar
Chuckle Park

See a show in a stunning old theatre

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to big shows in Melbourne. The newly relaunched Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is taking centre stage at Princess Theatre in May. More attractions include Hamilton, Cinderella, 9 to 5 The Musical and Girl from the North Country. The iconic La Mama theatre has also just returned after a long hiatus, with a range of family-friendly shows to boot.

Rediscover Melbourne's most beautiful shops

Go retro at Vintage Sole and Reina, or find curated designer fashion at Christine on Collins. Make it super local and ethical at Collective Closets and Queen Victoria Women’s Centre’s SHOP! Boost your mood at flower-lined wonderland Pollon, and hunt for your next great read at Melbourne's most beautiful book stores. Find more beauty in our guide to Melbourne's most Instagrammable shops.

A woman walking through a shopping arcade
Cathedral Arcade

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Last updated on Thu 19 May 2022

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