I am sure most of you didn’t know that I lived in Melbourne for 4 months when I first moved to Australia. This interesting city is known for its coffee drinking culture, its amazing arts, sports events, and its great shopping opportunities.
If you want to do at a true Melbournian city trip, then you must visit the iconic laneways, covered in colorful gravity, sip coffee at hidden coffee shops and spend evenings at one of its many art galleries The city is sophisticated, gritty and known for its 4 seasons in 1 day (be aware) and is a definite must-see when you are heading down under.
In my Melbourne 3 day itinerary, I will take you to the best places you should definitely check out when heading to Melbourne, including a trip along the Great Ocean Road. Let’s dive in…
Melbourne 3 day itinerary | THE BASICS
Underneath are the basic that should know about when heading to Melbourne. Once that is out of the way, we’ll dive into the 3-day itinerary.
Language | English
Time Zone | UTC +10.
Electricity | Flat three-pin plug. Electrical power in Australia runs on a cycle of 50hz, and a voltage of 230 Volt.
Currency | Australian Dollar ($).
Tipping | In Australia, you don’t have to tip – ever. But you can if you want to.
Where to Stay?
With a weekend getaway (or a 3-day stay) you want to stay as central as possible. When staying in the city center, it does often mean that it won’t be the cheapest stay.
The first great area to stay in is Southbank. Various hotels to choose from covering every price range. Travelodge, Langham, Quest Southbank, Crown Promenade and the new Hilton at South Wharf (Pan Pan Pacific). Southbank allows easy access to everything while also being close to the River and some picture-postcard views.
Getting Around the City
Melbourne is a great city to get around using public transport as it has a well-developed system of Metro Trains, Trams and buses as well as the CBD being very walkable.
All the main methods of transport can be used on the one MYKI card which can be topped up online, at train/ tram stops and when boarding the bus. Using public transport is the perfect way to make the most of a Melbourne 3 day itinerary.
The city center is extremely walkable and for the most part flat.
FREE CITY CIRKEL TRAM
Melbourne’s City Circle Tram is an old-school heritage W class tram, and it’s completely free to ride.
The ride will take you through the city’s prime attractions, such as Parliament House, Docklands, Federation Square, Melbourne Aquarium, and many more.
TRAM, TRAINS, AND BUSES
Trams are the easiest ways of getting around in Melbourne. For information on getting around check out Public Transport Victoria.
BEST TIME TO VISIT MELBOURNE
Summer (December – March), Autumn (March-May), Winter (June – August), Spring (September – November) – Best seasons to visit Melbourne are generally considered to be autumn and spring. These are the best times to enjoy good weather and avoid massive tourist crowds.
AUSSIE SLANG WORDS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Underneath there are some Aussie slang words that might be useful for you when traveling down under.
- G’day – Hello
- How are ya/How ya garn– How are you? also considered a form of greeting (in some ways)
- Arvo- Afternoon
- Catch ya later – see you soon/Bye
- Good on ya – Good job or another way of saying thank you
- Dunno – ” don’t know “
- Barbie – Barbecue
- Bloody oath – That’s true/ strongly meaning – you bet
- Beaut – Fantastic, wonderful, the best.
- Buzz off – Go away
- BYO – Bring your own grog/alcohol
- Crikey! – Astonishment, disbelief – Steve Irwin’s word for almost everything lol!
- Fair dinkum – True, real, honest – absolutely 100% true/right
- Fair go – Give someone a chance, said a lot of the time when someone isn’t treated fairly
Melbourne 3 day itinerary
For this itinerary, I will assume that you have landed in Melbourne the day before and you can start exploring first thing in the morning.
DAY 1 | MELBOURNE CBD + ICONIC LANEWAYS
Of course, the first thing to explore should be the CBD and its iconic laneways. Firstly head to Flinders Street Station and the heart of the CBD. Make sure to check out Flinders Street Station. This station was build in 1909 in the Art Nouveau style and is a cultural icon of the city and a true Melbourne landmark.
Cross right over head down to Hosier Lane, one of the city’s most famous laneways made so by the ever-changing display of street art that covers almost every possible space! It’s one of the best places to visit in Melbourne if you love street art and culture. Sure, it’s busy down here but it also creates a buzzing atmosphere with many artists usually plying their trade down here each day too, doing a laneway tour is a must-do when you spend 3 days in Melbourne.
The number one unmissable thing to do in Melbourne is to wander the iconic laneways.
Although street art can be found everywhere, the most popular places to find them are in Hosier Lane, AC/DC Lane, Degraves Street, Duckboard Place, Croft Alley, Smith Street and Brunswick Street (Fitzroy).
When it comes to street art, Hosier Lane is by far Melbourne’s most famous laneway. No trip to Melbourne is complete without a stop here. Located just a couple of blocks from Federation Square, Hosier Lane is easy to find.
When you have seen the laneways it is time to rest your feet for a bit and head back over towards Flinders Street Station and go for a trip on the historic and Circle Line Tram. The heritage line includes running commentary as it winds its way around the city taking in some of Melbourne’s most important and impressive buildings. You can get on and off as often as you’d like as this tram is completely free to use! One of the cool places to get off is at the Victorian Parliament Building and Old Treasury Building.
When you have seen enough of the tram line, get off at the closest stop near the Victoria market ( Queen St/La Trobe Stop number 4 ). Queen Victoria Market is an iconic landmark in Melbourne where you’ll find an array of amazing food vendors, fresh food grocers, local and imported gourmet food stalls, souvenirs and some fashion stalls. In the summer months, The Night Market is held here and is not to be missed. This event runs every Wednesday evening (5pm-10pm) from November until April. At the night market, food vendors offer delicious food from all corners of the world. They have live performances throughout the evening as well, making this is an event not to be missed.
Head back to Flinders street station and walk over Prince’s Bridge for some of the best views of the Melbourne Skyline as you cross the Yarra River. Wander along the river at Kings Domain and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet in this inner-city park.
Finish the day at Eureka Skydeck for some amazing city views. This is the highest public viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere; at a generous 984.3ft (300 meters) and is located in Southbank.
DAY 2 | Take a day trip to The Great Ocean Road
The reason why I think you should to a day trip on the second day of your 3-day trip is because it is a long and exhausting day. If you do it on the last day, you will be tired and stressed during the trip. This way, you can enjoy it, sleep in the next day, and still see everything you need in the 3rd full day.
See the towering 12 Apostles, get up close to native wildlife (kangaroos, Koalas, Lorikeets Dolfines), and take in iconic surf breaks, lush rainforests, and spectacular waterfalls as you go. This is one MUST-SEE when visiting Australia.
HOW TO GET THERE?
You can either rent your own car and drive the great ocean road yourself or you can get on one of the MANY operated day trips. They leave in the morning and you are back in Melbourne in the evening
TOUR OPTIONS GREAT OCEAN ROAD
Underneath are just a couple of options for day tours to the Great Ocean Road.
- Bunyip | Great Ocean Road Sunset Tour $125
- Bunyip | Great Ocean Road Classic Tour $ 135
- Go West | Great Ocean Road Tour $135
- Extra Green Holidays | Great Ocean Road & 12 Apostles (Bilingual) $ 55
Underneath you can find a couple more amazing day trips if you have already seen the great ocean road.
PHILIP ISLAND – PENGUIN PARADE
If you are new to Australian and you would like to see some of Australia’s amazing wildlife, then a visit to Phillip Island is for you. From penguins, seals, and kangaroos you can all see them on this quiet but beautiful little island.
HOW TO GET THERE?
Again, you can either rent your own car and drive the great ocean road yourself or you can get on one of the MANY operated day trips. They leave in the morning and you are once again back in Melbourne in the evening.
TOUR OPTIONS PHILIP ISLAND
Underneath are just a couple of options for day tours to the Great Ocean Road.
- Bunyip | Phillip Island Penguin Parade Afternoon Wildlife tour $129
- Bunyip | Phillip Island Penguin Parade Ultimate Eco tour $ 145
- Phillip Island Tour | 1 Day Phillip Island Tour $ 115
- Extra Green Holidays | Puffing Billy & Phillip Island (Penguin Parade) $ 88
Wine fiends absolutely must hire a car and hit the road. You have two main options, both an hours-drive out of Melbourne.
Yarra Valley – The Yarra Valley produces some of Australia’s finest pinot noir, sparkling wine, and other cool-climate wines. The trip to Yarra Valley is seen as an amazing scenic drive.
Some of the wineries that you could visit are:
Mornington Peninsula – Combine the best of Europe’s coastal living with the traditional Aussie charm on the Mornington Peninsula, just an hour from Melbourne. Here, in the cooler-climate, they produce amazing Pinot Noir. Additionally, they produce Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Shiraz.
Fifty wineries call the Mornington Peninsula home, all varying in size. Some of the wineries that are worth a visit are:
Of course, you can also go on a wine tasting tour with a group. A helpful website to help you choose the right tour below:
- Wine Tasting & Winery tours – Tripadvisor
And of course: DON’T drink and drive (EVER) unless it is a golf buggy, of course, hehe, although I’m sure even that would be up for debate.
For most of these tours, you will not be back until late in the evening. If you wish to head out, that’s up to you, but most people will be pooped, so I left this open in the itinerary.
DAY 3 | BRIGHTON BEACH + ST. KILDA BEACH
Some of Melbournes most icon backdrops can be found at Brighton beach. These colorful bathing boxes are the bay and Penisula’s symbol of summer. Lately, they’ve also become a popular tourist attraction, as its a great insta-backdrop and therefore can now be seen in many many many Instagram pictures.
A train from the city will take around 20 minutes on the Sandringham line. Catch it from Flinders Street Station to Brighton Beach Railway Station and take the scenic 500-meter stroll down to the bathing boxes.
Additionally St. Kilda is a great suburb to check out. Home to iconic Luna Park as well as some cutesy penguins. you can spot the penguins at St Kilda breakwater every evening after sunset, with the hour after sunset being “prime time”.
If it is raining (It is Melbourne, so definitely possible) and beach days are not in the cards then head to one of many museums in the city. Underneath are some of the museums that I advise you to visit:
- Shrine of Remembrance
- National Gallery of Victoria
- National Sports Museum
- Arts Centre
- Melbourne Museum
- Immigration Museum
These are just some options that you can do, check out their website to see what exhibition they currently have on.
Have you ever been to Melbourne? What is your favorite thing about the city and what would you include when writing your own Melbourne 3 day itinerary? Let me know in the comments below.
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