Seven ways to explore Melbourne like a tourist

How often do you take a moment to experience your own city through the eyes of a visitor? When you live here it’s all too easy to become blind to those classic experiences that can make a Melbourne moment.

We’ve rounded up a few of the must-see attractions in our city this summer. To cap off your tourist experience, and to make it super easy, you can get to each of them on the Melbourne Visitor Shuttle.

Federation Square (stop 2)

Fed Square is the heart of Melbourne. Stop by for a cracking selfie in front of the buildings’ unusual facades; take a load off in one of the free deckchairs; see it from above at the rooftop bar at Transit; or experience any one of the 2000+ events the Square hosts each year.

Melbourne Cricket Ground (stop 3)

Next stop is the ‘G. Sure, you’ve been to a footy match or watched the cricket, but have you ever taken the tour and seen behind the scenes? Or visited the National Sports Museum and celebrated Australia’s incredible sporting history?

A spectator view of the field at the Melbourne Cricket Ground

Get a different view of the MCG with the behind the scenes tour

Lygon Street (stop 6)

An ice cream shake, a donut and an ice cream cone

Delicious treats on offer at Gelatissimo on Lygon Street

Hop off in Melbourne’s Little Italy and you’ll be spoilt for choice with delicious food and decadent gelati. Seasons Provedore offer a spectacular seafood platter for two or take a seat on the terrace at Masani’s, just off Lygon Street on Drummond, for the regularly-changing menu of seasonal produce. If you’ve a craving for something sweet, try the gelato-stuffed donuts at Gelatissimo or ice-cream accompanied by hot Nutella on tap at Pidapipo. Time it so you’re there on the first Saturday of the month and be sure to stop by the Carlton Farmers’ Market for a coffee and some take-home goodies.

Queen Victoria Market (stop 8)

A girl serving behind the counter of a stall at Queen Victoria Market

There are delicacies to be had every day at Queen Victoria Market

Whether you’re shopping, browsing or snacking, the historic Queen Vic Market is the place for you with over 600 retailers showcasing their wares. Make it a Wednesday and stay back for a global taste extravaganza at the Summer Night Market or start (or end) your visit with the all-day breakfast just around the corner at Muleta’s.

Melbourne Star (stop 9)

Melbourne Star Wheel in front of the skyline

Melbourne Star Observation Wheel (photo: Sanoyas Rides Australia Pty Ltd)

Next stop Docklands, where you’ll see Melbourne from a different angle with a thirty-minute flight aboard the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. Lap up the breathtaking 360 degree views over the city, snap another selfie and spot notable landmarks or even your own neighbourhood.

Immigration Museum (stop 11)

Melbourne is a city founded on immigration, so if you haven’t been to this moving and creative museum yet, don’t miss out. Go on a Friday night in February and supplement your experience with DJs, pop-up bars, live music and authentic foods from around the globe at Courtyard Cantina.

Royal Botanic Gardens (stop 13)

The lake in the Botanic Gardens in Melbourne

Melbourne’s beautiful Botanic Gardens (photo: Tourism Australia / Time Out Australia)

Occupying 36 hectares of prime central city real estate, the Royal Botanic Gardens are an oasis of calm and cool. There’s a visitor centre, guided walks and interpretive signs to help you find your way round or you can just stop under the first tall tree you see, lie back and relax. While you’re there grab a drink at Jardin Tan or bide your time until dusk and pull up a bean bag at the Moonlight Cinema or view the heavens at Starry Southern Skies in the Observatory.