Finders Street Station by night. Photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

Melbourne's culture

Melbourne is the cultural heart of Australia. Melbourne's culture is not just about museums and galleries, but sports events, theatre, festivals, parks and gardens. Look around, you're surrounded by the local Melbourne culture. Do some people watching, wander through the laneways and check out the street art and graffiti, or book tickets for a sports event.

Museums and galleries

  • Melbourne many laneways are outdoor museums and galleries filled with history, street art and graffiti. Discover Melbourne’s historic cobblestone laneways filled with fashion boutiques, shops, restaurants and cafes. Get lost as you explore Russell Place, Degraves Street, Flinders Lane or the mouthwatering Hardware Lane. Tour the laneways at your own pace or book a guided tour

  • The National Gallery of Victoria displays a huge collection of Australian and international exhibitions like Monet’s Garden and Melbourne Now. It’s free entry however fees may apply to temporary exhibitions. 

  • The Ian Potter Centre is in Federation Square and focuses solely on local art including collections by major Aboriginal artists. Free entry. 

  • The Centre for Contemporary Photography displays the very best local, interstate and international photography, and is free.

  • No Vacancy gallery showcases both solo and group of exhibitions ranging from live music fashion runway to performance and major installation works. 

  • Visit the Old Treasury Building and explore the original gold vaults where gold bullion was stored during Australia’s gold rush era, old public records of Melbourne’s prisoners, see various film exhibitions of Melbourne’s early days. It’s free entry.

  • Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) is exhibits challenging, innovative and creative contemporary visual art by living artists from around the world.

  • The Victoria Police Museum give a glimpse of real crime scene investigations and what life was like for police officers in the 1800s. You’ll see the Kelly Gang amour and forensic evidence, as well Melbourne’s underworld figures that lurked on the street in the 1920s. Free admission.

Parks, gardens and water

  • Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens while you're in Melbourne. Do the Aboriginal heritage walk where Indigenous guides take you through the Gardens and uncover the traditional uses the native plants. Free entry.

  • Visit Southbank which is on the Yarra River. Southbank is Melbourne's waterfront hub filled with public art, cafes, restaurants, shops, cruises and water taxis.

  • Head to Docklands where you can picnic by the waters edge overlooking the marina.

  • Jump on a tram and head to St Kilda beach to feel the sand between your toes.

Melbourne's sporting culture

Melbourne loves its sports so there is always something happening, from the Australian Open Tennis to the Grand Prixon. Click here to book tickets.

AFL is Melbourne's game

Australian Football League (AFL) is Melbourne’s own football code, and is played between March and September.