There’s a reason Melbourne held onto the mantle of the “World’s Most Liveable City” for so many years in a row, and this Melbourne itinerary has got it all covered.
In a short amount of time, you can be transported from the city to the coast — from the mountains to the countryside. This Melbourne itinerary will go over everything you need to know and do to experience the best this incredible destination has to offer!
The capital of the south-eastern state of Victoria, the appeal of Melbourne doesn’t seem to be losing any steam. Each year, the city welcomes 12 million domestic and international visitors and is rapidly overtaking Sydney, Australia as the must-see Australian city. Whether you are spending 4 days in Melbourne or up to a week, it’s a place you won’t want to leave in a hurry!
I’ve visited Melbourne on two separate occasions now, and every time I find myself thinking how badly I would love to live there. It’s a city that will truly steal your heart and (despite its unpredictable weather) has this strange way of keeping you in its grasp for much longer than intended.
There are so many incredible things to do to keep you busy during your time here that one week in Melbourne won’t ever feel like it’s enough!
I put together this Melbourne 7 days itinerary, but it’s also a helpful destination guide for if you only have 2 days, 4 days, or 6 days in the city – I know you’ll get some great ideas!
My 7-day Melbourne itinerary covers all the major landmarks and breathtaking day trip options and even includes some insider tips I picked up on the best places to eat, drink, and party. Because, you know, I hit those up when I was there. I’ve also included some other helpful tips to make your visit a breeze
Where To Stay in Melbourne
Melbourne is a cultural melting pot with distinctly different neighborhood aesthetics, reminiscent of eternal favorites London and Paris! A widespread metropolis that is ever-expanding as more and more people lay roots here, Melbourne accommodation has a little something for everyone! Here are my top picks and recommendations for where to stay for this Melbourne itinerary:
Booking.com Melbourne – This is my favorite way of booking travel accommodation, and Melbourne is such a fantastic city to have your own apartment to get a sense of local life! There are countless incredible apartments and condos available all over the city’s various suburbs, and it can often be cheaper than booking an expensive hotel room!
- Brand New Apartment With Balcony, Gym, and Sauna (Richmond)
- Incredible 3-Bed Home in The Heart of St Kilda (St Kilda)
- The Marker Apartments Melbourne (Melbourne CBD)
What if you want to stay at a hotel while enjoying a week in Melbourne City? I have an incredible recommendation for that too:
Park Hyatt Melbourne – “One of my top picks in Melbourne. This 5-star hotel offers an award-winning restaurant, luxurious hotel, and spa facilities, just 1.5 km from Melbourne city’s central business district.
Park Hyatt Melbourne provides a variety of rooms that feature city views, Art Deco and Ottoman décor, and spa-inspired Italian marble bathrooms. The Hotel’s restaurant is known for its creative contemporary cuisine as well as the Park Club Health & Day Spa.” While it may be one of the more expensive options in the city, it’s a slice of luxury that will provide the most comfortable stay during your time in Melbourne! Check Rates & Availability
If you can’t afford a high-end hotel, how about staying at a hostel? Not only is it cheap, but it can make your 1 week in Melbourne less lonely if you’re a solo traveler, as you’ll meet other travelers at the hostel.
Selina Central Melbourne – “Come and find out why travelers keep reviewing Selina Central Melbourne as the best hostel in Melbourne and even Australia! It’s no secret we have the best location right opposite the iconic Flinders Street Station in the absolute heart of Melbourne, but we also offer you brand new facilities, heaps of sweet spaces to chill or play, including our cool basement bar, and yes, rest assured we also have free Wi-Fi in our common areas.
Our hostel is full of personality with Melbourne’s lane-way culture, funky décor, and quirky art throughout. All this is served up with a great atmosphere, a cool free walking tour of Melbourne CBD, top-notch security, and amazing local staff who are on a mission to give you the best Melbourne experience possible. Come and be part of our story.” Check Rates & Availability
How many days in Melbourne, Australia?
Trying to decide how long to spend in Melbourne isn’t an easy choice. On the one hand, the city can get quite expensive; on the other, it’s large and needs more than just a few days to be seen fully.
That’s why I created this guide as a Melbourne itinerary 4 days would be enough, but I also stretched it to 7 days, which gives you more time to explore. So, I would say between 4 and 7 days is ideal.
The answer to “how many days to spend in Melbourne?” will be based on your preferences, but make sure you start every day with a cup of delicious Melbourne coffee!
Best Time to Visit Melbourne
Now that you’re aware of the answer to “how many days do you need in Melbourne?”, it’s time to decide when should you visit Melbourne? While the high season is between December and March, I’d recommend coming here during the shoulder seasons between March and May and September and November.
During these two periods, the temperature is moderate enough for you to enjoy some of the Melbourne 7-day itinerary on foot, and it also won’t hurt your wallet too much.
If you’re heading to Melbourne on a budget, head down during the low season between June and August. This is the cheapest time to visit the city, but you’ll have to be content with the chilly weather and the occasional rainfall. But this is also a great time to visit for winter lovers as you can go ice skating and skiing, among other activities.
Melbourne Itinerary Day 1: Laneway Eateries & All The Coffee
Okay, I’ve rambled enough; it’s now time to get into the best itinerary Melbourne has to offer.
If you’ve traveled from abroad, the long flight to Melbourne might leave you feeling a little jet-lagged and sluggish. Take this opportunity to decompress and fuel up your energy levels with the coffee that Melbourne is famous across the world for. During this Melbourne trip, you’ll likely be enjoying many great cuppa Joes.
It isn’t an exaggeration to say it really is some of the best in the world, and Melbourne’s large Italian community goes a long way towards ensuring it keeps its reputation.
Melbourne is famous for its laneways, and these charming walkways are packed with some of the best cafes and eateries the city has to offer. Centre Place in the city center is a standout. Even if you are only doing a Melbourne 4-day itinerary, this is one of the must-sees.
Melbourne Cafe Explorations
My top five recommendations for central Melbourne cafes or coffee shops that serve up a roast you will want to write home about are:
Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar – “Pellegrini’s is all about character, honest Italian fare and coffee. In fact, it is said (by Pellegrini’s themselves) that the first espresso machine to arrive in Melbourne was delivered here in 1954 – opening the gates to a city-wide obsession.”
Proud Mary – “We take great pride in supporting and representing coffee producers and communities. We visit our producers each year and venture into their farms, homes and families. This is a relationship. We discover who they are, what motivates them and how we can support one another. Through this tangible form, we generate mutual understanding and appreciation. These are the true rock stars of coffee, the story starts with the producer.”
Axil Coffee Roasters – “Our aim has always been simple; to source, roast and produce the best cup of coffee. We have a passionate and enthusiastic team who travel the globe to find the best specialty coffee available. We are continuously building relationships with coffee producers to ensure we are getting the highest quality.”
Dukes Coffee Roasters – “We are an Australian specialty coffee roasting company whose focus is the craft of carefully roasting the best coffees in the world using innovative and methodic roasting practices. We are committed to bringing the best selection of exceptionally grown, amazing tasting, and in-season specialty coffees to cafes and consumers in Australia.”
Auction Rooms – “We believe in quality, detail, great food, and good vibes. Combine that with a backdrop that will take your breath away and we are well on the way to hosting the most memorable of events for you.”
After inflight “food” from hell, I’m sure you’ve got a raging appetite too, and you’ve touched down in the right city to satisfy any palate. Melbourne has been a cultural melting pot of international influences since its early days, and that has spilled over into not only coffee, but food as well. And we visitors are ever so thankful for it!
Culinary delights can be found on each corner of this beautiful city. But tonight, I recommend heading straight for the center of epic Asian food in Melbourne, Chinatown, located in the heart of the central business district.
Once you’ve found your way there, make a beeline for the locally-loved Shanghai Dumpling House. This rickety old building is always heaving with visitors and locals filling up on their share of pork dumplings, Shanghai fried noodles, and Chinese broccoli. You won’t regret it.
“Looking for a “cheap & cheerful”? Tight budgets are never a problem here, with meals from around $10, served with complimentary Chinese tea.
Melbourne Itinerary Day 2: Sporting Tours & A taste of culture
Today you’re hopefully feeling fresher and with endless energy to make the most of your time in this vibrant city tackling this 4-day Melbourne itinerary. You’ve sampled some gold-star food and coffee, but now it’s time for sports lovers to get excited.
Melbourne is often referred to as the sporting capital of Australia – and for good reason. A year-round sporting schedule sees globally recognized events hit town, with cricket, AFL (Australian Football League), and tennis the main players Melbournians can’t get enough of.
The MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) runs tours of the holy grail of Aussie cricket, where you’ll get to walk on the very turf legends of the game have played on. You can also enjoy a tour of the various rooms, including player changing rooms.
If tennis is more your style and you don’t miss a minute of the Australian Open Grand Slam, you’ll have a blast on the Australian Open Tour, which takes you around the major arenas of the tournament, including Rod Laver Arena. Tennisworld.net.au has a range of Melbourne Park tours available, where you’ll be treated like a top seed yourself.
Melbourne Itinerary Day 3: World-class shopping and High Rolling
Day three in Melbourne has to be spent blowing some cold hard cash. After all, it’s just another reason visitors flock here throughout the year. Melbourne is a shopper’s paradise, with a long list of shopping centers, laneways, and city streets selling all the wares you could ever need.
Chadstone Shopping Centre, referred to as “The Fashion Capital” is located in suburban Melbourne, approximately 20 minutes from the city center. It is the biggest shopping center in Australia, and the jury is out on whether it’s actually the biggest in the entire Southern Hemisphere. A free shuttle bus service for tourists runs to and from Melbourne central to Chadstone hourly, so there’s no reason not to check it out while you visit Melbourne. If you’re looking for other ideal shopping locations, Queen Victoria Market is another great option in Melbourne.
Other top Melbourne shopping spots include DFO South Wharf for heavily discounted bargains and the famous Bourke Street Mall smack bang in the center of the city. It’s the perfect addition to your Melbourne trip.
Now you’ve picked up a knockout outfit, wear it somewhere deserving tonight and head to Crown Casino, located on Southbank. The casino runs alongside the Yarra River, and you can’t miss the riverside fire display each night. Inside, try your hand at blackjack or attempt to blag your way into the exclusive high roller quarters.
On your way home, if you’ve enjoyed a few drinks you definitely need a good meal to put some pep in your step. Head over to one of Melbourne’s only 24-hour eateries, Stalactites, on Lonsdale Street. This Greek restaurant is an absolute institution, and they won’t judge you for eating a 6 am souvlaki. Bonus!
Melbourne Itinerary Day 4: Day trip to the coast – or the mountains!
You’ve spent a few days in the incredible city of Melbourne, so now is a good time to pack your bag and head off on a day trip to experience a little of what the greater region has to offer. Melbourne has so many doable day trips that it’s hard to pick the best, but the iconic Great Ocean Road has to be seen and ticked off the bucket list.
Great Ocean Road
Whether you’re renting a car and doing it yourself or taking advantage of the endless number of tour companies that run trips down this stunning coastline, the Great Ocean Road is really deserving of a few days if you have it to spare. I also recommend taking the train from Southern Cross Station and picking your car up in Geelong for a different experience using Australian public transport.
Starting on the outskirts of Geelong, approximately 40 minutes from Melbourne CBD, the long, winding coastal road takes you through an array of gorgeous Victorian towns with majestic ocean views. Don’t miss the surfing destinations Bells Beach, Lorne, Torquay, Apollo Bay, Port Campbell, and Port Fairy.
Like every other visitor ever, you HAVE TO stop off at the natural formation, the 12 Apostles in Port Campbell, and take a snap to upload to the socials and make everyone back home green with envy. To do the entire Great Ocean Road right down to the Twelve Apostles and Port Fairy and back again, you’ll need about 10 hours at an absolute minimum. That’s taking into consideration stopping off at the major lookouts and for a bite to eat along the way. It’s 275 km one way, after all.
For more information, check out this awesome Great Ocean Road Trip Itinerary for everything you need to know! Looking for other outdoorsy activities? Visiting St Kilda Beach and the Royal Botanic Gardens should also be high on your list of places to go.
If you’d choose the mountains over the beach any day of the week, another popular day trip that’s a lot more manageable time-wise than the former, the Dandenong Ranges is breathtaking and less than an hour from the city.
These mountains are located to the east of Melbourne, with their peak, Mount Dandenong, topping the ranges. The ranges are full of small mountain towns and villages, gardens, restaurants, cafes, hotels, and hikes. The 1000 Steps (official name the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk) is an uphill trek that is absolutely packed with visitors most days.
It’s a serious test of your fitness, but you can go at any pace you want. While you’re touring around the Ranges, enjoy a ride on the Victorian institution, Puffing Billy. This historic steam train winds its way from the towns of Belgrave to Gembrook.
If you still have the energy upon your return to Melbourne, head to inner-city Carlton – specifically Lygon Street. This is a street name everyone in Melbourne knows – for a lot of reasons. Not only is it the unofficial home of Italian influence in Melbourne, but it serves up some of the best Italian food you’ll get your hands on in Australia. This Little Italy is also a location where a lot of the well-documented Gangland Wars of the ’90s and 2000s took place. Culturally rich, Lygon is where it’s at.
With that, you’d have been about done with what to do in Melbourne for 4 days, but I have a few more ways to spend days 5 to 7 in the city.
Melbourne Itinerary Day 5: Seaside relaxation in St Kilda
Carrying on with this Melbourne itinerary, 5 days gives you another day to explore the city.
After a day like yesterday, that no doubt involved a lot of walking (did you manage the 1000 Steps?), your fifth day in beautiful Melbourne is going to be a little slower paced, with lots of time allocated for R&R. If you’ve come to Melbourne during spring or summer, you’re in luck, as heading to the beach here is not only a super popular pastime for locals but for visitors too.
Head down to iconic St Kilda, a beachside suburb of Melbourne a short distance from the city. You can get there from the CBD on one of the city’s iconic trams and tick that off your list as well.
The St Kilda Esplanade stretches along the coast, from Fitzroy Street, a hub for eating and partying, to Acland Street, where achingly trendy bars and pubs exist alongside the landmark amusement park, Luna Park.
If you are lucky enough to visit St Kilda on a Sunday, the Esplanade Market stretches the length of the road and overlooks the sea, selling everything you could imagine. Other than that, you can visit the South Melbourne Market, which opens between Wednesday and Sunday with traders ranging from food stalls to florists.
Take a dip in the water, soak up some Aussie sun, walk along St Kilda Pier, and visit the penguins. Just remember some serious-strength SPF – the sun Down Under is notoriously strong. About 5 minutes from St Kilda Beach is Brighton Beach, which I recommend for its colorful Brighton Bathing Boxes.
Back to St Kilda, the area is filled to the brim with incredible bars and clubs, and a night out here is like no other. If it’s a summer night, there’s an additional breezy, hippy vibe to it that’s indescribable.
My recommendations for the best St Kilda bars are:
If your day/night out in St Kilda gets particularly messy, head back to your hotel via Chapel Street in Windsor and experience the grungiest, dirtiest and potentially the most fun time of your life at Revolver. With tons of dark rooms pumping everything from hip-hop to electronic and techno, it’s a night you won’t forget. Or may actually, forget.
Melbourne Itinerary Day 6: Hang out with Australian furry friends
No trip to Melbourne, or Australia as a whole, is complete without a visit with some of the country’s native animals. And no, I don’t mean those animals that are popular for terrorizing Australians or only the likes of Steve Irwin could go close to.
I mean those cute, fluffy, and friendly critters. Your friends expect a picture of you cuddling a cute koala, so make it happen. Your friends expect a picture of you cuddling a cute koala, so make it happen.
Luckily for those visiting Melbourne, there are a number of zoos and sanctuaries you can get to that are a stone’s throw from the city. Melbourne Zoo, probably the most heavily-trafficked, is a short train ride from the CBD and is home to over 5,000 Aussie and international animals. If checking out some of Australia’s (often bizarre-looking) fur kids is on your agenda, head to the koala, kangaroo, platypus, Tasmanian Devil, and wombat enclosures.
Werribee Open Range Zoo is slightly further afield but can be reached by car in about 40 minutes. A more interactive, natural environment than Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Zoo lets you get up close and personal with some majestic beasts in a safari-style habitat. You can even do a Slumber Safari, where you sleep amongst the lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) under the stars in a luxury camp.
Finally, Healesville Sanctuary, in the Yarra Valley just an hour from Melbourne, is another natural bush haven for native wildlife. Wandering around Healesville Sanctuary is a joy, as the location has conservation and care for the animals under its care first and foremost in its mind.
A day at these wildlife parks involves a lot of walking, so wear sensible footwear.
Tonight, do something a little different after dinner and sign up for the best after-dark tour in town, the legendary Haunted Melbourne Tour. Popular for decades, the tour takes you on foot through the darkened streets of this awesome city, telling you twisted, scary stories of Melbourne of the past and the ghosts that lurk down its eerie laneways.
Melbourne Itinerary Day 7: Explore hipster inner-city hangouts
It’s your final day in Melbourne, and I bet you’ve had an absolute blast and are devastated to leave. Don’t worry, I’ve got a final treat in store for you to cap off your trip. Get your skinny jeans and your fedora on because the most hipster suburbs of Melbourne await you.
Exploding in popularity in recent decades, the urban, inner-city hubs of Fitzroy, Brunswick, and Northcote have transformed themselves from some of the least-coveted suburbs to topping the list of the most in-demand real estate in the city. The hippest of Melbourne’s cool crowd either live in or flock to these neighborhoods to be seen at the unique bars, clubs, and cafes that cram the streets. In Fitzroy, I recommend The Rum Diary for a well-earnt drink or the busy rooftop bar at Naked for Satan for a wild night out with a view of the Melbourne skyline.
After spending a couple of hours in the inner city, Melbourne’s famous street art won’t go unnoticed. If you’re in the mood for browsing, be sure to pop into the National Gallery of Victoria (also known as the Melbourne Museum).
Always buzzing, Brunswick is packed with bars, coffee shops, and unique shopping along Sydney Road, so pick up a strong flat white (a Melbourne staple) at warehouse cafe Lux Foundry and rub shoulders with the crowd. For a few bevvies, don’t miss Howler.
Northcote is a suburb close to Melbourne CBD that is so damn hip it makes you feel instantly inferior. The entire city knows the institution, Northcote Social Club, a popular venue for regular live entertainment, gigs, and a great outdoor deck where you can smash some of the best eats and drinks in Melbourne.
While you’re exploring the inner-city suburbs of Melbourne, take a leaf out of the local’s book and be sure to spend some time wandering around the many “op shops” (thrift stores, as we Americans say) and vintage stores. You are sure to pick up a one-off treasure that will remind you fondly of your time in Melbourne.
Melbourne Itinerary 7 Days: Tours and Experiences You Can Do
Tackling Melbourne on your own is pretty easy, but I absolutely recommend using tours to see more of the city with a local guide. There are a number of you can look at during this Melbourne 1 week itinerary, including the following:
- From Melbourne: Phillip Island Penguin Parade Eco Tour: “Experience the magic of Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park on a bus tour from Melbourne. Enjoy views at Cape Woolamai prior to visiting the world-famous Penguin Parade on Phillip Island.”
Price: $100.09+ USD per person (Read Reviews & Check Availability)
- Melbourne: Complete City Walking Tour: “Join your tour guide for a walk through Australia’s culture capital and learn what makes this city great and so much more.”
Price: $66.50+ USD per person (Read Reviews & Check Availability)
- Melbourne: Hidden Alleyways, Ghosts and Best Instagram Spots: “Travel back to 19th-century Melbourne on a 1.5-hour ghost tour of the most haunted and Instagrammed locations. Discover hidden lanes, historic buildings, and spooks that still linger on the city streets.”
Price: $26.20+ USD per person (Read Reviews & Check Availability)
There you have it. My tips for the best week-long Melbourne tour itinerary. I hope you find it as diverse and enjoyable as this world-class city.
DON’T FORGET TO PURCHASE TRAVEL INSURANCE
Whether you are heading to Melbourne for just a few days or embarking on a lengthy trip around Australia, travel insurance is absolutely essential. Have you seen some of the crazy animals they have Downunder, or indeed, how expensive some things (including medical care) can be in Australia?
Getting sick or having items stolen while traveling is rare, but when it does happen, it can be an absolute nightmare. Having insurance (which is essential for visas in some countries) will give you the peace of mind that if anything terrible does happen, you are covered.
I highly recommend HeyMondo due to their extensive range of cover for all situations and trip lengths, their fair pricing, and their handy app, which allows you to not only manage any claims within the app but also access free assistance online, so you don’t need to rack up an expensive phone bill while abroad!
So, whether you need a single trip cover or an affordable annual cover for multiple trips worldwide, be sure to buy your travel insurance before you travel and relax during your trip, knowing that HeyMondo has your back. Nowadays I would never travel without insurance again, especially after hearing so many (expensive and dangerous) horror stories from other travelers I’ve met!
Still planning your trip? You can always just get a no-commitment travel insurance quote now, so you have an idea of how much extra to budget for your vacation!
Planning A Trip to Australia…?
I’ve got so much love for this country, and I think everyone needs to visit down under at least once in their life. I actually lived and worked in Sydney for a year, and I miss it so damn much! I’ve written heaps about Australia, so check out some of my other favorite articles!!
- Best Rooftop Bars in Melbourne
- 30 Music Festivals in Australia To Experience Before You
- Top 30 Music Festivals in Melbourne
- 14 Words You’ll Start Saying When You Move to Australia
- The Ultimate Guide For Moving To Sydney on a Working Holiday Visa
- Cairns – Sydney: The Ultimate Greyhound Bus Pass Itinerary
- The 15 Best Music Festivals in Sydney
Thanks so much for reading my Melbourne Trip Itinerary!!
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