Melbourne is a multicultural metropolis known for being one of the world’s most liveable cities. It boasts unique street art, excellent dining options, and world-class sports events. If it’s your first-time visiting Victoria’s capital, don’t miss its state-of-the-art museums, art galleries, historical sites, and picturesque nature and green spaces. Each of its glorious attractions and hot spots will make your 3 days in Melbourne worthwhile and memorable no matter what time of the year you visit.
Although the weather here changes quickly and summer can be scorching, its welcoming vibe and the extraordinary experience it provides make up for everything. Follow your tastebuds and visit its hip restaurants and brunch spots, admire the colorful murals around town, or explore its central business district. If you don’t know where to start your 3 days in Melbourne, head to Flinders Street Station and get lost in the city. It’s the Southern Hemisphere’s busiest suburban railway station, a famous attraction for visitors, and a common meeting point for locals.
There’s no shortage of things to see and do in Melbourne, so you will never have any dull moment in the city. It can be hard to visit all of its top attractions and immerse yourself in its vibrant culture if you only have 3 days in Melbourne. But this guide should help you capture the best of the city and its unmissable locations. Just be sure to drop off your bags with Bounce luggage storage in Melbourne to start your adventure without the burden of extra gear and unneeded belongings.
Melbourne Itinerary: Day 1
Morning: Breakfast at Queen Victoria Market
Commence your Melbourne trip at Queen Victoria Market, a bustling city market home to more than 600 small businesses. It has been the city’s heart and soul for around 140 years, with an abundance of fresh produce, unique, handmade products, clothing, souvenirs, and great food and coffee shops. Before heading out and beginning your journey, have a refreshing cup of coffee and a hearty breakfast at one of the cafés here to start your day with a bang.
For food lovers, you’ll enjoy the Ultimate Foodie Tour, a delicious two-hour guided walking tour of the historic Market. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about the Market’s history, taste fresh produce, learn some essential shopping and cooking tips, and discover numerous unique ingredients. You’ll also visit some of the best traders in the Market and stroll through its heritage-listed food halls.
Afternoon: Stroll at Federation Square
Over two kilometers from the Market, you’ll find Federation Square, also called Fed Square. It’s a modern piazza and the city’s cultural and civic center with an array of restaurants, bars, cafes, galleries, and excellent tourist experiences. It also hosts various events throughout the year that capture the hearts of its residents and visitors. Since its inception, it has received over 100 million visitors and has been recognized as the world’s sixth Best Public Square.
Directly opposite Fed Square is Flinders Street Station, the country’s oldest train station. It’s a distinctive railway station you won’t miss with its arched entrance, green copper dome, and yellow façade. It is situated on the corner of Swanston and Flinders streets in the Melbourne CBD. Then from the station, walk down Hosier Lane and marvel at its awe-inspiring street art.
If you’re looking for more shopping opportunities, the Bourke Street Mall is only about five minutes from Federation Square. It is home to two major department stores, David Jones and Myer, and several fashion retailers. Don’t miss the opportunity to walk around Bourke Street, which used to house some of the best cinemas and theaters in town. Today, its entertainment scene has become more vibrant with the addition of new restaurants, entertainment venues, and shops.
Night: Cruise on the Yarra River
Perhaps, there’s no better way to end the first day of your 3 days in Melbourne than cruising along the Yarra River. After a long day wandering around Melbourne CBD, it’s a relaxing way to see excellent sights and get an insight into the river’s history.
You’ll find an array of cruise companies along Southbank, offering various services to visitors. You can take advantage of a bottomless cocktail cruise, ideal for birthday parties, night outs, big groups, and special occasions. There are also deluxe boat cruises, offering luxury experiences on one of the iconic waterways in Victoria. It’s a great way to enjoy a memorable evening with families, friends, or yourself, which is why it should always be part of your Melbourne itinerary.
Melbourne Itinerary: Day 2
Morning: Fitzroy and Collingwood Districts
Explore the vibrant neighborhoods of Fitzroy and Collingwood on the morning of the second day of your Melbourne itinerary. Start your day with a tasty breakfast in Collingwood at Two Birds Café at Peel Street, or get a dose of your daily caffeine at Aunty Peg’s or Proud Mary. You may also treat yourself to some Argentinian pastries at To Be Frank.
Head west of Collingwood, and you’ll reach another cultural hub in the city, the Fitzroy district. It embodies the city’s hipster personality, with trendy eateries, colorful street art, vintage shops, traditional pubs, restaurants, and live music. Most of the things to do here involve food and drink, but it also offers tons of activities to keep you entertained.
Stop at Gertrude Street and find independent retailers and several designer shops. You’ll also see galleries, boutiques, old-school pubs, vintage wares, and costume hire in just one strip. Then head down the lively Brunswick Street to explore more shops or discover the brand new Market. There’s also a gallery that provides exhibit space for emerging and experienced local and international artists.
Afternoon: Visit to Melbourne Museum
Your 3 days in Melbourne won’t be complete without visiting Melbourne Museum. It’s only a short walk from the Brunswick Street Gallery in the heart of Fitzroy. The gallery features seven spaces and four studios, which house some of the city’s leading designers and makers.
The Museum provides opportunities to discover history, culture, nature, and science. It is open every day, from 9 am to 5 pm, allowing visitors to experience the remarkable wonders of life. Kids and adults alike can explore the different aspects of life through exhibitions and galleries. You can learn about life’s origin and evolution in Victoria, delve deeper into the story of the renowned racehorse, Phar Lap, walk through a living rainforest, and more.
If you plan to visit Melbourne with kids, don’t miss the chance to take them to this museum. It offers immersive activities and interactive programs where your little ones can learn through hands-on experiences. Then come face to face with the Triceratops, one of the marvelous creatures that have ever walked on earth!
Take a refreshing break from exploring the galleries and head to the Mercury Restaurant at the ground level for a quick bite while overlooking the Royal Exhibition Building. Also located at the ground level, check out the Museum Market Café and get fresh foods that experienced and talented chefs meticulously prepared. Before heading out, stop at the museum shop, where you can buy local products that reflect the museum’s themes.
Night: Party at Melbourne Bars and Clubs
Now that you’re on the second night of your 3-day Melbourne itinerary, it’s time to experience its lively nightlife. As the most populous city in Victoria and the country’s second-most populous city, expect a rich and varied nightlife scene in Melbourne. Aside from its incredible cultural institutions, it’s also a global center for theater, street art, and live music. While it remains busy and glorious during the day, it quickly becomes a quirky yet relaxing and shining city at night.
When the sun goes down, its once-quiet streets become alive with lines of clubs, pubs, bars, theaters, restaurants, and other great entertainment options. There are also karaoke gigs around the city, casinos, and games, such as pool and bowling. It has everything, from some of the wildest nightclubs with high-profile musicians to quiet pubs, bars, and clubs to hanging out and meeting new people.
If you’re in the Melbourne city center, you don’t have to go too far and check out one of the city’s best bars, 1806. It’s an elegant gem you’ll discover at Exhibition Street, offering the finest wine collection you’ll love. Since 1930, it’s been setting the standards for cocktail making, providing visitors with the most delicious fusions in every glass.
For creative cocktails over the breathtaking city skyline, go to The Q. It's a rooftop bar on top of the Quincy Hotel Melbourne, offering a stunning rooftop experience while enjoying an outstanding selection of crafted signature cocktails and Asian-inspired plates. The Atrium on 35 is another bar with spectacular Melbourne skyline views perched on the 35th floor of a five-star hotel on Collins Street. It opens from 5 pm until late, serving signature cocktails and the best champagnes.
If you want to do more than partying during one of your 3 days in Melbourne, you can always participate in its nighttime events. Watch a show at Her Majesty’s Theatre, visit the comedy venues for a good laugh, or scare yourself on a spooky ghost tour.
Melbourne Itinerary: Day 3
Morning: South Melbourne
On the final day of your 3 days in Melbourne, explore South Melbourne, one of the oldest areas in Victoria’s capital. It is one of the city’s gastronomic centers, home to the historic South Melbourne Market. The market is your best stop for the freshest fruits and vegetables and the best ingredients you need in the kitchen. But if cooking isn’t exactly your forte, it has numerous restaurants that offer local and international cuisines.
After eating, take a scenic walk on South Melbourne Beach. Although a quiet and peaceful beach, it remains popular among locals, visitors, and athletes, who enjoy a relaxing walk, swimming, running and doing other activities in its welcoming atmosphere. Its clear waters, white sand, and various playgrounds around the area make it an ideal destination for families.
Afternoon Stroll at Royal Botanic Gardens
Another tourist spot you don’t want to miss when you visit Melbourne is the Royal Botanic Gardens. It attracts nearly two million visitors each year, featuring a Free Guided Walk and an Aboriginal Heritage Walk. You can also enjoy boating on the Ornamental Lake or riding on the Garden Explorer. Here, you can be close to nature and witness native wildlife just minutes from the city center.
The Botanic Gardens expand across over thirty-eight hectares and display a diverse collection of plants worldwide, including rare species. They are magnificently landscaped among the well-manicured lawns and tranquil lakes. The gardens are free for all, with wheelchair access and wide pathways for prams and strollers.
From the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, have a pleasant walk to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). It can hold up to 100,000 people, making it Australia’s largest stadium and the tenth-largest in the world. It’s proof of Australians' love for cricket and has been the setting for countless great events in the country’s sporting history since its establishment in 1853.
Night: Thrill at Melbourne Skydeck
End your Melbourne travel itinerary and enjoy breathtaking views at Melbourne Skydeck. Located in the heart of the city, the Skydeck is the highest observation deck in the Southern Hemisphere. It captures everything special and beautiful about the city and beyond, providing visitors with unforgettable experiences. It’s a great place to see the delightful transition from sunset to nightfall. You’ll witness the changing sky hues and see how the city below comes alive with sparkling lights at night.
If you’re feeling brave or want to challenge your mates, try watching the city on the Edge. It’s a glass box experience that will leave you suspended about 300 meters above the city streets.
Visit Melbourne for 3 Days
Your Melbourne trip will be filled with endless fun, discovery, and entertainment, no matter your interest or reason for visiting. It’s so easy to find your way, and you can get around the city and visit major Melbourne attractions on foot.
If you don’t have a car, it’s convenient to take a bus, but there’s also an extensive train and tram system to take you to various tourist spots. You can also take the City Circle Tram, which will lead you around the central business district border and provide information on famous landmarks.
Still planning your visit to Melbourne? Check out these guides for more ideas!