Coronavirus: Due to the current situation, events may be cancelled at short notice and businesses may temporarily close. Check with the venue before planning to attend. More information on coronavirus.

What’s open in Melbourne: iconic galleries and cultural institutions

Restrictions have eased again in Melbourne, which means you can rediscover a few of the city’s sparkling cultural gems. It might be a little different to the last time you visited, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had.

An ornate library room with a domed ceiling

State Library La Trobe reading room

Open now

State Library Victoria

Melbourne’s favourite library is now open, with reduced hours and timed sessions between 10am an 6pm daily. Bookings are essential to lock in a visit, with morning and afternoon sessions available.

NGV International

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia is open once again. Visit to view the new Destiny Deacon retrospective, or explore Top Arts 2020 to see the exceptional work of VCE art students. There’s also Marking Time, highlighting the NGV’s Indigenous art collection. Distancing measures, free timed ticketing and queue management is in place. You can book online now.

Melbourne Museum and IMAX

Melbourne Museum and IMAX Melbourne have reopened to fans young and old. All galleries and spaces are open in the museum, with capacity limits in place. Enter the miniature world of the Mini Mega Model Museum. Or explore the Bunjilaka River of Language exhibition. Over at IMAX, enjoy jumbo screens and crystal clear scenes. Book in online to see Christopher Nolan’s TENET, playing on IMAX 1570 and in IMAX 4K Laser.

Immigration Museum

The Immigration Museum is open with a new super cool neon-lit exhibit. Becoming You is touted as an ‘incomplete guide’ to growing up, featuring real life stories turned into immersive arty installations. Book entry to the museum online.

Melbourne Zoo

Will the otters come to the party? Will there be snow leopard cubs? What have those capuchins been up to? Find out for yourself now that Melbourne Zoo has reopened. Like other spots, you must pre-book your tickets online before you go. This includes babies and Zoo Members. Melbourne Zoo is limiting numbers so everyone has plenty of space – they’ve even introduced new twilight sessions so you can go after work.

SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

You can splash out again at the Melbourne Aquarium. Grab the family for a trip into town to hang out with your favourite penguins. Get hypnotised by thousands of colourful jellyfish in the Ocean Invaders exhibit. It’s essential that you pre-book your tickets online. Oh, and card only – no cash. Rest assured, high-frequency touchpoints will be regularly disinfected.

Opening soon


Explore 86 projects by more than 100 creatives at NGV Triennial 2020, starting from 19 December. The new works capture the state of our world right now, and focus on four themes. Illumination, reflection, conservation and speculation. One highlight will be Jeff Koons’ larger-than-life mirror-polished sculpture of Venus.

Arts Centre Melbourne

The Arts Centre will start a staged reopening from 12 December, with the return of their beloved Sunday markets and the Protagonist café. More events and programming are slated to return from January. While you’re waiting, be sure to check out David Greybeard: a towering 9 by 12 metre inflatable chimpanzee sculpture popping up from 3 December.


Get down to Docklands and blow your mind at ArtVo. You won’t believe what your eyes reveal in this trick-art gallery full of optical illusions. The Fantasy theme takes you beneath the waves and to the polar ice caps. Into outer space, inside your dreams and into the forest. Book your ticket from 27 November for timed entry. And when you see a hand sanitiser station, use it.

Please note that due to current circumstances, businesses may close or change their offering at short notice. Check venues’ websites or social media for the latest updates before you head out.