The process of creating an itinerary for a trip to Melbourne is both thrilling and demanding; fortunately, we've simplified the process for you. We've put together the ideal three-day Melbourne itinerary, packed with spectacular Australian day trips and all the city's top attractions.
While this itinerary is designed for a 3-day visit in Melbourne, it also offers helpful hints for a longer (or shorter) time in the city.
Our time in Melbourne, Australia, will be full with exciting excursions and famous places. Our 3-Day Itinerary for Melbourne is filled with must-see attractions, hidden gems, and alternative ideas and is perfect for first-time travellers.
No matter if you're visiting Australia on your alone, with a partner, your family, or a large group of friends, our Melbourne trip planner can help you create the perfect itinerary for your time in the city.
Our 3-Day Melbourne Itinerary is a condensed trip schedule for the city of Melbourne. Melbourne's Central Business District is filled with must-see attractions, and we've highlighted some of the top ones here, along with links to additional information, tour recommendations, and practical details like hotel suggestions and transportation options.
Three days in Melbourne Itinerary. If it is your first time visiting the city, you'll find it is entirely possible to experience Melbourne in three days, although five days is ideal. Here's an itinerary to work with to see as much of the city in as little time as possible.
It would help if you planned to spend around AU$219 ($159) per day on your vacation in Melbourne, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travellers have spent, on average, AU$37 ($27) on meals for one day and AU$24 ($17) on local transportation.
While the city is generally safe, there are a few areas where things are more dangerous, particularly at night. Places like Bourke Street, Flinders Street Station, and Gray Street all have a reputation for having people of all sorts, from people who are simply homeless to drug dealers and prostitutes.
What to expect.
- Wander through Melbourne's rambling laneways
- Eat at the coolest cafés and restaurants
- Explore wineries and beachside villages on the Mornington Peninsula
- Time: 3 days
- Distance: 76 kilometres (47 miles)
- Transport: car
- Price: $$
Important things to know before visiting Melbourne
- To get into Melbourne, you’ll need to fly into Tullamarine International Airport. An Uber from the airport to the city costs approximately 45 AUD (32 USD) and takes about half an hour, or you can hop on a shared Skybus airport shuttle to Spencer Street Station in the CBD (Central Business District) for 18 AUD (US$13) if you aren’t in a hurry.
- The currency is the Australian Dollar. The exchange rate is approximately US$1 to 1.4 AUD, though most places accept credit cards. Credit card payWave, in particular, is widely accepted and a convenient way to pay in Australia.
- Get around Melbourne on foot, tram, Uber or train. However, Melbourne has eradicated paper tickets, so you should purchase the Myki card (a stored value card similar to London’s Oyster or Hong Kong’s Octopus card). You can buy a Myki at all 7-11 outlets, from a Myki machine (only in select locations) or one of the premium train stations.
- Melbourne's free trams within the central business district are a notable perk of the city. All stops inside the "Free Tram Zone" are prominently labelled. Outside the free tram zone, simply tap on with your Myki (no need to tap off). Tap on and tap off at the station if you're taking the train.
- Stay connected and pre-buy a local SIM card. The airport sells prepaid SIM cards for 20 AUD for 12 GB of data – I typically go with Optus.
- You pretty much never have to pay full price for admissions tickets in Melbourne.
- Even in the middle of summer, Melbourne might experience cold and rainy weather. The Australian summer, which runs from December to February, is the best time to visit Melbourne, while the shoulder seasons are wonderful as well. Consider visiting Melbourne in the months of October, November, March, or April to avoid the city's crowds and the higher hotel rates of the rest of the year.
- Melbourne is cooler than most other Australian cities – expect sudden rain showers and windy days. Make sure you pack warm clothes, even if you’re visiting in summer!
3 days in Melbourne Itinerary
Travelers who have never been to Melbourne before will find that three days is plenty of time to see the city, however five will give them the full experience.
Here’s an itinerary to work with to see as much of the city in as little time as possible.
Day One – Exploring the CBD
You’ll spend Day 1 of your Melbourne itinerary hanging out in the Melbourne CBD, where many of the best-known sights and attractions are located.
Check out Flinders St Station and Federation Square
Start off your visit to Melbourne with exploring Flinders Street Station.
It's the nerve centre of the city's public transportation system, making it an ideal first-day home base if you're unsure of your way or have a meeting to get to (locals tend to meet under the clocks that line the entrance).
The structure itself is not only one of the city's oldest but also one of its most attractive. What's most intriguing is a crumbling ballroom on the third level, which is only accessible on certain times (such as Open House Melbourne, and even then, not every year the event is held).
In fact, Flinders Street Station can be seen from Federation Square. It is home to ACMI, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, as well as a number of bustling bars and restaurants, outdoor entertainment screens where sports are typically broadcast, and more.
Be sure to check ACMI's website in advance of your visit to see if there are any exhibitions that strike your interest, as they frequently organise exhibitions focusing on art, culture, and film.
Have a Poke Around the Laneways
Melbourne’s laneways are world-famous, mostly due to the urban art and graffiti that is splattered across their surfaces.
The best-known laneways for art are Hosier Lane (which is directly opposite Fed Square), Tattersalls Lane, Union Lane and AC/DC Lane, which is named after the Australian rock band, something that becomes evident when you see it for yourself. Hosier Lane is worth not passing up.
For food, visit Degraves Street, Centre Place or Hardware Lane.
It’s well worth wandering around and seeing what you unearth. I ducked into a random, quiet laneway once to find a photography exhibition had been plastered on its walls, a very pleasing moment indeed.
You may also want to consider stopping by Queen Victoria Market if you happen by on a day the market is open.
Tour the MCG
The Melbourne Cricket Grounds (commonly known as "The MCG" or "The G") is a must-see for every sports fan visiting Australia (the shorter, the better in Australia).
Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) If sports were a religion, it would be the city's cathedral. When it comes to sports venues, it's the largest in Australia and the world's tenth-largest.
The grounds are home to cricket in the summer, as the name would suggest, but in the winter, they host the AFL, the major league for Aussie Rules.
If you're in Melbourne between late March and October, definitely try to see a game.
Even if you don't have tickets, you may still tour the grounds and learn about Australian sports history.
Visit the National Gallery of Victoria
Instead of watching sports, you can visit one of Australia's most beautiful art galleries: the National Gallery of Victoria.
It hosts renowned international exhibitions on a regular basis, and has displayed works by Escher, Van Gogh, Calver, and Dior in recent years.
The permanent collection is free to the public, and most temporary exhibitions cost less than $30 to enter.
Few things in Melbourne are more rewarding than spending a few hours exploring this museum. However, if you want to avoid crowds, you should either arrive early or go during the week.
Check out the Shrine of Remembrance and the Royal Botanic Gardens
From the NGV, you can walk across St Kilda Road to look at the Shrine of Remembrance and the beautiful Botanic Gardens.
The Shrine pays homage to Australia’s fallen soldiers and is free to enter. It would help if you climbed to the top, where you’ll be rewarded with views of the city.
The Botanic Gardens are a short walk away from there. Entry is free, but you will have to pay if you want to do any tours or go punting on the garden’s lake.
I thoroughly recommend the Aboriginal Heritage Walk, where you’ll find a traditional smoking ceremony, drink lemon myrtle tea and learn about the plants, which are an integral part of Australia’s Indigenous culture.
You’ll find no better views of the city of Melbourne than the nearby Eureka Skydeck at Eureka Tower. Here there is an open-air viewing platform with the highest views in the Southern Hemisphere!
Grab Dinner at Chinatown
All this walking and sightseeing will have made you ravenous, so head back into the beating heart of the city to stroll around Chinatown on Bourke Street.
Melbourne’s Chinatown dates back to the 1850s, where the gold rush era brought an influx of Chinese migrants keen on making their fortunes in Australia.
Many stuck around, and Chinatown around Bourke Street is now one of the busiest parts of the city, with plenty of places to eat.
Nearby, the Bourke Street Mall is a hub of shopping activity and not to be missed on your Melbourne itinerary if you’re looking for a gift or two.
Day Two – Getting Out Into the ‘Burbs
On Day 2 of your three day Melbourne itinerary, it’s time to leave the city centre and start exploring the suburbs around the city!
You’ll want to start your day with a hearty breakfast because this is an activity that could eat up several of your days in the city, and you’re going to knock it out in one day.
But if you’re tight on time, you’ll be better served to stick to one or two-day trips from Melbourne, close to the CBD.
In this instance, we’re going to visit Collingwood and Fitzroy, two of the better-known suburbs of Melbourne.
We’ll start with Collingwood, a suburb popular among young professionals. You’ll find it is colourful, hip and almost painfully trendy.
Take a Street Art Tour
Collingwood and nearby Fitzroy are full to the brim with urban art.
You can wander around, take your self-tour or take an organised tour of the area.
An organised tour can be helpful in many instances, as you’ll hear the backstories of much of the art and the artists behind them (the art can sometimes seem as though it needs explaining).
Check out the Abbotsford Convent
The Convent spreads over 16 acres and is Australia’s largest multi-arts precinct. It’s home to studios, galleries, a school, a radio station, parks, restaurants and cafes.
Most notable is Lentil As Anything, a vegetarian cafe and social enterprise where you pay what you believe the food is worth or whatever you can afford.
Visit the Collingwood Children’s Farm
Nearby is the Collingwood Children’s Farm, which you don’t have to be a little to enjoy.
It’s one of Melbourne’s urban farms, with many sheep, cows, horses and chickens on-site, amongst other animals.
Grab a craft beer
You’ll find that Melbourne, Australia has an excellent craft beer scene worth sampling.
In Collingwood, head to The Stomping Ground, an independent brewery in the area and try their wares.
If you’re not a fan of beer (guilty as charged, here), they have a good and tasty selection of ciders on hand, too.
From Collingwood, we’ll head on to nearby Fitzroy for a lazy afternoon and evening spent browsing local stores and eating.
Go shopping on Brunswick Street.
There’s some great shopping to be had in Fitzroy, particularly on Brunswick Street, the main street of the suburb.
Pretty much everything is on offer – boutique clothing and gift stores, stationery, homewares and plenty of thrift stores (or op-shops as we call them in Australia).
This is not a great activity if you’re on a budget unless you enjoy window shopping, in which case – go for your life!
Have a meal at Naked for Satan
When visiting Melbourne, you’re going to want to visit Naked for Satan for fine dining with a view.
Make sure you’re hungry as you’ll find this tapas restaurant has a rooftop area, where you can sit either indoors or outside to take your time watching the sun go down over the city.
I’d recommend booking a table in advance to avoid disappointment.
If you’re wondering where else to stay in Melbourne, there are quite a few other suburbs that are worth exploring as options.
Day Three – Take a Trip to the Seaside and Paint the Town Red
It’s your last day in Melbourne! On Day 3, you’ll be heading south to check out the suburbs of St Kilda and nearby Brighton before heading back into the city to sample its renowned nightlife.
St. Kilda is a wonderful tourist destination that can be reached quickly and simply by taking any of several tram lines (the 3, 16, 64 and 67 will all get you there).
In this section of the city, you can see a few interesting attractions.
Check out St Kilda Pier
Walk along the jetty to check out the historic pier, where you can grab a coffee and watch locals fish or walk their dogs.
Stroll around Luna Park
Luna Park opened in 1912 and is the oldest continuously running theme park in the country. Sydney has one too, but it has been closed down a couple of times – once due to a fire on the ghost train but mostly due to people who move nearby and then complain about the noise. Huh.
Its most famous ride is the Scenic Railway, a rollercoaster that runs around the park’s perimeter.
Don’t forget to snap a picture under the giant face that serves as the entrance to the park, which definitely won’t induce nightmares for you later on that night. Hrmm.
Have a Drink by the Beach
Melbourne’s beaches are somewhat lacking, but it is nice to chill out in one of the bars or restaurants that line St Kilda Beach, with a tipple and a bowl of chips, if you feel so inclined.
Pose in Front of the Iconic Beach Boxes at Brighton Beach
You may have seen photographs of beach boxes online and been curious as to where you might find one in Melbourne.
Brighton, an upscale neighbourhood to the east of the city, is where you'll find them.
From Balaclava Station, take the Sandringham line train to Brighton Beach.
There are 82 of them bordering the beach, and each one is a symbol of wealth and prestige. Only residents can buy one, and at over $300,000, it's not exactly cheap.
Even more seldom do they appear for sale, as most are kept within family.
Traveling around Melbourne, including a day excursion down the Great Ocean Road, will require more time than a typical visit to Melbourne allows.
Head back to the City for a Night of Fun
Back in the city proper, a half-hour train ride from Brighton will do the trick.
The nightlife in Melbourne is vibrant, and there are plenty of hip bars to choose from. It's a lot of fun to drink in most of them; some of them have themes, others are hidden.
To uncover the best little bars in Melbourne, you may even go on a guided tour.
the city's trendiest and most promising hotspots.
A few suggestions are provided below.
A themed bar in the city where you can choose to sit in luxurious, upmarket “West Berlin” or grungier “East Berlin”.
- Address: 2/16 Corrs Ln, Melbourne
A high-end bar sits on the 55th floor of the Rialto building, with some grand views of the city. Perfect for watching Crown Casino’s hourly light show.
- Address: 525 Collins St, Melbourne
Another upmarket but swanky bar, where drinks are organised by era, from 1650 to today.
- Address: 169 Exhibition St, Melbourne
The Croft Institute
A trendy bar, popular amongst young things. The decor inside resembles a lab, and the cocktails look like science experiments gone mad (think lots of bright colours).
- Address: 21 Croft Alley, Melbourne
It feels a bit like you’re drinking and dining at a fancy garden party, plus there’s a nice rooftop area.
- Address: 59 Bourke St
A Few Day Trip Ideas
If you're able to spare seven days in Melbourne, then you should give some of these suggestions serious thought. Day trips are a fantastic way to get out of Melbourne and see more of the surrounding area, even if you only have four or five days to spend there.
You've decided to go Great Ocean Road in order to see the Twelve Apostles. You may get to the 12 Apostles by following the coast and stopping for a bit at the Great Otway National Park Stop. On the route back to Melbourne, stop by Loch Ard Gorge, which is located close to Port Campbell.
On the other side of the island is Phillip Island, where you may observe penguins marching in a parade. You can't help but want to cuddle up with these adorable animals!