8 Best Ways to Make the Most of 24 Hours in Melbourne

8 mins read
Source: Visit Victoria

Pack your day with Melbourne’s finest as we guide you through the ultimate 24-hour adventure in this vibrant city! From sunrise coffees in bustling laneways to sunset views from the city’s iconic landmarks, discover how to make every moment count.

Get ready to explore Melbourne’s rich culture, culinary delights, and hidden gems. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, this guide promises a day packed with unforgettable experiences. Let’s dive into the heart of Melbourne and live a day like no other!

At a Glance

Our list of best places to visit in Melbourne in 24 hours goes like this:

1. Queen Victoria Market

The Queen Victoria Market is a bustling hub of activity, a place where the city’s heart beats with a rhythm all its own. This historic landmark, spread over two city blocks, is a vibrant inner-city market where you can shop at over 600 small businesses for everything from fresh produce to unique souvenirs. Known affectionately as ‘Vic Market’ or ‘Queen Vic’, the market has been the heart and soul of Melbourne for more than a century. Whether you’re a foodie, a bargain hunter, or just a curious traveler, the Queen Victoria Market is a must-visit destination.

The market is a feast for the senses. The air is filled with the aroma of fresh fruits, vegetables, and gourmet foods. The sounds of traders calling out their wares, the sight of colorful stalls laden with goods, and the taste of delicious street food all combine to create an unforgettable experience. And it’s not just about shopping. The market also hosts various events and festivals, adding to its vibrant atmosphere.

But the Queen Victoria Market is more than just a shopping destination. It’s a place steeped in history and culture. Established in 1878, it’s the largest and most intact of Melbourne’s great 19th-century markets. The market is located on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation, and forms part of the wider Aboriginal cultural landscape. So, when you visit the Queen Victoria Market, you’re not just shopping – you’re stepping into a piece of Melbourne’s history.

  • Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit the Queen Victoria Market is during the early morning hours to avoid the crowd. You can also head for Queen Vic late afternoon to grab the best discounts.
  • Known For: The Queen Victoria Market is known for its vibrant atmosphere, wide range of goods, and its status as a historic landmark.
  • Distance and travel time from CBD: The Queen Victoria Market is located approximately 1 km south of Melbourne’s central business district. The journey time between Melbourne CBD and Queen Victoria Market is around 25 min.
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/PPzsZTCz6ATmqYCF6

2. Arts and Culture

Begin your cultural odyssey at Melbourne’s Arts Precinct in Southbank, the epicenter of the city’s artistic pulse. The iconic Arts Centre Melbourne, with its unmistakable spire, is a cultural landmark offering a plethora of performances across theater, music, and dance. A short stroll away, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) awaits with its treasure trove of art, ranging from Indigenous masterpieces to breathtaking European works. The NGV is not just a gallery; it’s a cultural journey that captivates both art aficionados and casual observers.

But art in Melbourne isn’t confined to galleries; it’s woven into the very fabric of the city. The laneways of Melbourne are alive with a kaleidoscope of street art, where every turn reveals a new masterpiece. Hosier Lane, a living canvas, showcases the city’s creative spirit with its ever-changing murals. This is where art is not just seen but experienced, a place where every piece tells a story of the city’s vibrant culture.

Melbourne’s commitment to the arts is evident in its year-round calendar of cultural events and festivals. From thought-provoking installations at Federation Square to the melodic tunes of street musicians, the city’s arts scene is a celebration of creativity and human expression. Melbourne truly earns its title as Australia’s cultural capital, with each corner of the city offering a new cultural delight.

  • Best Time to Visit: Late morning to afternoon, when galleries open and the light is perfect for appreciating outdoor art.
  • Known For: World-class galleries, vibrant street art, and dynamic cultural festivals.
  • Distance and Travel Time from CBD: The Arts Precinct is within the CBD, a short walk or tram ride away; street art laneways are scattered throughout the CBD.
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/AapnDG1rNShEn6jY9

3. Signature Lunch

After immersing yourself in Melbourne’s art scene, it’s time for a culinary adventure that mirrors the city’s cultural diversity. Melbourne’s food landscape is a melting pot of global flavors, with dishes that tell the story of the city’s rich multicultural heritage. From the classic Aussie meat pie to the exotic flavors of a Thai salad, Melbourne’s signature restaurants offer a gastronomic journey that’s as eclectic as the city itself.

Lunch in Melbourne is an affair to remember, with chefs who are as much artists as those whose works adorn the city’s galleries. Whether you’re dining in a hidden laneway bistro or a rooftop restaurant with sweeping views, you’ll be treated to a feast that showcases the best of local produce and culinary innovation. Take a moment to savor the flavors and the atmosphere, and you’ll understand why Melbourne is a foodie’s paradise.

  • Best Time to Visit: Noon to early afternoon, when the lunchtime buzz is at its peak.
  • Known For: A multicultural dining scene with a range of cuisines and innovative culinary concepts.
  • Distance and Travel Time from CBD: Within the CBD or nearby areas, easily accessible on foot or by tram.
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/4gfeVGq7uLV93KCv5

4. Laneways and Arcades

The heart of Melbourne’s charm lies in its iconic laneways and arcades, a maze of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. These narrow pathways are the city’s secret arteries, brimming with boutique shops, quaint cafes, and galleries. Each laneway has its own personality, from the elegance of the Block Arcade to the bohemian vibe of Centre Place. Here, you can shop for unique fashion, indulge in a coffee at a tucked-away cafe, or simply soak in the atmosphere of Melbourne’s urban culture.

As you wander through these laneways, you’ll find yourself amidst a vibrant community where the city’s history and contemporary spirit coalesce. Whether you’re searching for the perfect gift at a local artisan’s shop or admiring the latest street art, Melbourne’s laneways offer an intimate and authentic experience of the city’s lifestyle.

  • Best Time to Visit: Afternoon, when shops and galleries are open and the laneways are abuzz with activity.
  • Known For: Boutique shops, galleries, street art, and a unique shopping experience.
  • Distance and Travel Time from CBD: Located within the CBD, easily walkable.
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/bWaqnTVk3Stt2ZB87

5. Eureka Skydeck

As the afternoon light begins to fade, ascend to the Eureka Skydeck to witness Melbourne from an unparalleled vantage point. Situated on the 88th floor of the Eureka Tower, the Skydeck offers a sweeping panorama of the city’s skyline and beyond. Watch as the sun sets and the city lights begin to twinkle, a magical transformation that showcases Melbourne’s beauty from day into night.

The Eureka Skydeck is more than just an observation deck; it’s a moment captured in time, offering a bird’s-eye view of Melbourne’s urban tapestry. For those seeking an extra thrill, The Edge experience extends a glass cube from the building, suspending you nearly 300 meters above the city streets. It’s an exhilarating way to cap off your afternoon, with Melbourne laid out before you in all its glory.

  • Best Time to Visit: Sunset for breathtaking views and to watch the city transition from day to night.
  • Known For: Panoramic views of the city from the 88th floor and The Edge experience.
  • Distance and Travel Time from CBD: Located in Southbank, a short walk or tram ride from the CBD.
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/E39hFyxwsiqEZYPc6

6. Dinner at a Premier Restaurant

Melbourne’s dining landscape is a constellation of premier restaurants, each shining with its own unique culinary identity. From the innovative and imaginative to the comforting and familiar, the city’s top-tier eateries promise an unforgettable dining experience. Whether you’re seated in the elegant surrounds of a culinary institution or the chic interiors of a modern gastronomic gem, you’re in for a treat.

The city’s chefs are culinary maestros, orchestrating dishes that are as visually stunning as they are delicious. With a focus on fresh, local ingredients and a nod to Melbourne’s multicultural influences, the menus at these premier restaurants are a testament to the city’s love affair with food. As you savor each bite, you’ll understand why Melbourne is often hailed as Australia’s culinary capital.

  • Best Time to Visit: Evening, when the ambiance is set for a memorable dining experience.
  • Known For: Exceptional culinary artistry, use of fresh local ingredients, and a diverse range of international cuisines.
  • Distance and Travel Time from CBD: Many premier restaurants are located within the CBD or a short tram ride away, offering convenience and accessibility.
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/24CWnmFV9iDchgBR6

7. Vibrant Nightlife

With your appetite sated, it’s time to dive into Melbourne’s nightlife, a scene that’s as eclectic and exciting as the city itself. From rooftop bars with stunning views to hidden basement lounges, Melbourne’s after-dark offerings cater to every mood and moment. Whether you’re in the mood for a craft cocktail, a local brew, or just a great atmosphere to soak in, you’ll find it here.

Melbourne’s bars and clubs are the playgrounds of the night, each with its own character and charm. Dance the night away at a thumping nightclub, enjoy a laid-back evening at a jazz bar, or simply find a cozy spot to chat with friends. The city’s nightlife is a reflection of its vibrant and inclusive spirit, welcoming all who seek a good time.

  • Best Time to Visit: Late evening to night, when the city comes alive with energy and excitement.
  • Known For: A diverse range of bars and clubs, live music venues, and a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Distance and Travel Time from CBD: The heart of Melbourne’s nightlife is within the CBD, easily accessible on foot or by public transport.
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/iqnTCqdpA7uT3wjz5

8. Late-Night Food Scene

As the night winds down, or perhaps just as it’s getting started for you, Melbourne’s late-night food scene is ready to satisfy your cravings. From gourmet burgers to international cuisine, the city’s eateries offer a delicious array of options to cap off your night. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a sit-down meal, you’ll find plenty of spots to choose from.

Melbourne’s late-night dining is as varied as it is delicious, with something to suit every taste and budget. Enjoy a slice of pizza on a lively street corner, tuck into some dumplings in Chinatown, or find a kebab shop for a classic post-night-out feast. The city’s late-night eateries are the perfect way to end your 24-hour adventure in Melbourne.

  • Best Time to Visit: Late night, when the city’s food scene caters to night owls and party-goers.
  • Known For: A wide range of food options available into the wee hours, catering to all tastes.
  • Distance and Travel Time from CBD: Many late-night dining options are located within the CBD, offering convenience for those out and about.
  • Google Map Link: https://maps.app.goo.gl/vso9tQsacmNecoYS6

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best time to visit the Arts Precinct at Southbank for arts and culture?

The best time to visit the Arts Precinct at Southbank is late morning to afternoon when galleries open, and the light is perfect for appreciating outdoor art.

Where can I experience Melbourne’s multicultural dining scene?

Melbourne’s multicultural dining scene can be experienced in the CBD and nearby areas, easily accessible on foot or by tram. Signature restaurants offer a range of cuisines reflecting Melbourne’s diverse culture.

Are Melbourne’s Laneways and Arcades easily accessible?

Yes, Melbourne’s Laneways and Arcades are located within the CBD and are easily walkable, offering a unique shopping and urban experience.

What’s the best time to visit the Eureka Skydeck for panoramic city views?

The best time to visit the Eureka Skydeck is at sunset for breathtaking views and to watch the city transition from day to night.

Can I enjoy Melbourne’s vibrant nightlife within the CBD?

Yes, the heart of Melbourne’s vibrant nightlife is within the CBD, easily accessible on foot or by public transport, offering a diverse range of bars and clubs.

Hafiz Kashif

Kashif, our associate writer at HumbleTrail, brings stories from across the globe to our readers. Originating from Pakistan, his journey has taken him through the vibrant cityscape of Dubai and now to the diverse and cultural melting pot of Melbourne, Australia.

His writing is a reflection of his own journey - rich in diverse experiences and filled with the excitement of discovering new places. Melbourne, with its unique blend of cultures and bustling energy, has captured Kashif's heart, a sentiment that deeply resonates in his work.

Kashif's articles for HumbleTrail are more than just travel logs; they are narratives that weave together the beauty of diverse cultures and the thrill of exploration, inviting readers to see the world through his eyes.

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