1. SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

One of the all-time favourites when considering things to do in Melbourne, is to get up close and personal with more than 10,000 animals at Melbourne's major aquarium, which also houses one of the world's biggest saltwater crocs in its custom-made crocodile exhibit. Ideal for a family day out, the aquarium has rays, sharks, turtles and more, all of which can be seen via the underwater glass viewing tunnels. Listen in on daily croc talks and head to Penguin Playground for the chance to see these cuddly critters be fed.

Penguins at the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

2. Melbourne Zoo

Continue your animal exploration at Melbourne Zoo, where you can see furry friends like Asian elephants, cotton-top tamarins, gorillas, lions, Hamadryas baboons, red pandas, little penguins and tree kangaroos. It's just minutes from Melbourne's city centre and boasts more than 300 different species of animals, with plenty of interactive exhibits to delight the kids. Animal lovers can also enjoy close encounters with giraffes, meerkats and squirrel monkeys. If you're travelling with family to Melbourne, the Zoo should be high up on your list of things to do.

Lions at the Melbourne Zoo

3. Shrine of Remembrance

Pay your respects at Victoria's largest war memorial of National Significance, which conveniently doubles as the city's most recognised landmark. Built between 1928 and 1934 to honour those who served and died in the Great War and conflicts since this time, The Shrine was officially opened to the public in 1934 and has gone on to become a growing monument, and one which holds special significance for everyone in Australia.

The Shrine of Remembrance

4. Moonlight Cinema

Venture to the Royal Botanic Gardens' Central Lawn to discover an outdoor cinema that comes alive each summer. The warmer months see the venue playing advance screenings, new releases and cult movies in an eclectic program, with cheap tickets available on Thursdays. Don't worry about the movie munchies striking, as the venue serves food such as nachos, salt and pepper squid, chilli cheese dogs and - of course - popcorn all night long. You can also purchase beverages including wine, beer and soda, and even better, the venue offers a BYO option where you can bring in your own food and drink.

The Moonlight Cinema

5. Queen Victoria Market

Let your tastebuds guide you to Queen Victoria Market, which has been providing vibrant culture to the heart of the city for more than 100 years. Pick up fresh fruit and vegetables to take back your accommodation or indulge in some of the locally made gourmet treats. Pick up souvenirs in the form of clothing and trinkets and drop in to see George the Fishmonger, who will set you up with some of the freshest seafood around. If you can only hit the markets on one day, make it a Sunday to enjoy special Sunday-only experiences and stalls.

Queen Victoria Market

6. Melbourne Cricket Ground

Even if there's not a match on, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (also known as the MCG) is well worth a visit. Built in 1853, the stadium was the birthplace of test cricket and hosts more than 80 events each year, spanning a range of different sports and even music acts. You can also pop in to the National Sports Museum on site, which is regarded as the finest collection of sporting artefacts in Australia.

Tour the grounds to soak up the atmosphere that can only be experienced at a ground of this size and learn about its past and future with the help of a knowledgeable guide. This monolith absolutely must be on your list of things to do in Melbourne.

The Melbourne Cricket Ground

7. National Gallery of Victoria

Enjoy the National Gallery of Victoria's collection of more than 68,000 unique art works. The gallery is Australia's oldest public one of its kind, founded in 1861. The Gallery collection is divided across The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square and NGV International at 180 St Kilda Road. At the former you'll find an extensive collection of Australian Indigenous and non Indigenous art including jewellery, photos, textiles and fashion, while the latter boasts old masters and contemporary pieces from across Europe, Asia, America and Oceania.

The National Gallery of Victoria
Photo courtesy of smalljude via Flickr Creative Commons

8. Immigration Museum

A trip to the Immigration Museum will reveal stories of people who have moved to Victoria from all over the world, capturing your imagination and helping to paint a picture of Melbourne's cultural diversity.

The Old Customs House location makes it easily accessible, and the collection features images and memorabilia telling tales of coming to Australia. Some stories are sad while others are heart warming and funny, creating an all-encompassing experience.

9. Chinatown

Journey to Chinatown for a cultural explosion that dates back to the 1850s. Predominantly located along Little Bourke Street and spilling out onto the connecting alleyways, Chinatown Melbourne offers shopping, entertainment and plenty of exquisite dining. Enjoy authentic Chinese cuisine and sample Indian, Thai, German and Japanese dishes while you're in the area. The many varieties of dumplings on offer here make it well worth multiple trips - if you're looking for things to do in Melbourne, no trip is complete without a visit here.

10. Cooks Cottage

Soak up some history at Cook's Cottage, built in 1755 and nestle within the picturesque Fitzroy Gardens. The building is the oldest in Australia and was built in England by Captain James Cook's parents, before being brought to Australia. These days the building is an homage to Captain Cook's travels, with volunteers dressed in 18th century costumes helping to create a truly authentic experience.

 

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