Melbourne is a city I have been lucky enough to travel to a few times! However, on many of these occasions I have found myself short of time, usually fitting sightseeing around work conferences and other commitments. But this type of travel has given me the opportunity to develop the perfect one day in Melbourne Itinerary! In this guide I round up where to sleep, what to eat and best things to see in Melbourne!
What is the Best Time to Visit Melbourne
I have visited Melbourne several times but only ever in Summer and I would definitely recommend this as being the best time of year to visit Melbourne!
Even in Summer in Melbourne you will be sure to experience four seasons in one day – as every Melbourne resident kept telling me! The weather in Melbourne is unpredictable but you stand a better chance of getting nicer weather in summer! I have visited in both January and February and recommend this as an optimum time!
As an added bonus if you go in January you can go and see the Tennis Open! As a huge tennis fan and a Wimbledon attender whenever I can, January was definitely my favourite time to visit the city!
Do I need a Car for 24 hours in Melbourne itinerary
Absolutely not! The idea of my perfect 24 hours in Melbourne itinerary means that you will be walking the itinerary! This in my opinion is the best way to see Melbourne!
Melbourne is a really easy city to travel around and navigate! The city is relatively flat and the layout of the city means that it is actually pretty difficult to get lost!
On one of the occasion travelled to Melbourne I had my toddler with me and have to say that it was an easy city to navigate with a stroller!
However if you aren’t a fan of too much walking, you could use the Number 35 Tram for some of the route! The added bonus of this tram is that it is free in the Melbourne CBD area!
Perfect One Day In Melbourne Itinerary including the Best Things to do in Melbourne!
Please Note: I know many itineraries start at Flinders Station but in my opinion, the best one day in Melbourne itinerary doesn’t start here! I think it is best to be around the Yarra River Area in the afternoon to evening! However if you so wish you could reverse the order of this one day Melbourne itinerary if this suits you better!
We are going to start our day in Carleton Gardens! The Carleton Gardens have a world heritage listing mainly because it is home to the Royal Exhibition Building! The Building was completed in 1880 to house the International Exhibition (the Crystal Palace Exhibition In London being the first and most famous)! What makes the building so special is that it is one of the most complete exhibition buildings that is still standing!
While in the gardens be sure to keep your eyes peeled in the trees as the gardens are home to possums! My only ever spotting of this native Australian animals occurred in Carlton Gardens and is reason enough alone to go to the Gardens!
Once you have finished looking for possums and taking in the Exhibition building, you could head inside the adjacent Melbourne Museum!
Note about your 24 Hours in Melbourne Itinerary: This itinerary aims to show you as much of the city as possible! In this 24 hours in Melbourne itinerary you will probably have time to go inside one maximum museum or attraction dependent on your walking pace! I will highlight a few places that you can add to your itinerary so you can pick the one place that best fits your interests!
I really like the Melbourne Museum for a couple reasons! Firstly, it is a great place to learn about the history of Melbourne! The most fun fact I learnt about Melbourne here is that the city residents were originally called Batmanians as the city was originally called Batman named after one of the original European settlers! Secondly, there is a great children’s gallery for this travelling with children aged 3 and up!
Once you have finished here it is time to move onto our next stop of the day – The Old Melbourne Gaol! This is a must if you have any interest in history as this was where the infamous Ned Kelly spent his final nights before being executed!
After a brief stop at the Old Melbourne Gaol – you can go inside if you wish, it is time to head off to our next stop which also has a connection to Ned Kelly – The State Library of Victoria!
Now why would I want to visit a library when I only have one day in Melbourne you may be asking! Well, not only is the library an absolutely magnificent piece of architecture but it also houses the famous armour that belonged to Ned Kelly! This is a must see in Melbourne in my opinion! This is a great free thing to do in Melbourne!
Also worth mentioning is the statue outside of the library of Redmond Barry – the judge who presided over the Ned Kelly trial!
Once you have finished at the library – you are going to take a quick 15 minute walk from the library to Parliament House. This walk will take you through the China Town area of the city!
The State Parliament Building is one of the best examples of architecture from the Marvellous Melbourne period and is a must for any visiting to Melbourne!
If you are interested in ecclesiastical monuments then the St Patricks Cathedral is a four minute walk from the Parliament House!
From here we are heading back into town towards Stevenson Lane! The graffiti art laneways are an institution in Melbourne and are one of the tops things to do in Melbourne! This laneway, at time of my visit, had the most suburb portrait by famed graffiti artist Matt Adnate! He specialises in aboriginal portraits and they are truly AMAZING!
The next stop is about a five minute walk away – the beautiful Block Arcade! This is one of the most beautiful Victorian arcades in the world and a great thing to do in Melbourne! It is also a great place to stop for coffee and being Melbourne you are bound to have one of the best coffees you can ever have!
And for those that don’t like coffee or want to sample a Melbourne institution then join the queue for tea at Hopetoun Tearooms!
Once you have finished in the Arcade, head out onto Collins Street! Collins Street Laneways is perhaps the most impressive graffiti art laneways in the whole of Melbourne! Last time, I went in the evening and actual saw an artist creating a new creation! And this is one of my favourite things about Collins Laneway is that you can go on two consecutive days and see different artworks while you are there!
Once you have finished admiring the art we are going to head towards Flinders Street Station! Flinders Street Station is perhaps Melbourne’s biggest landmark! Ok – it’s no Sydney Opera House but it still worth a look! I was told a folk story that the architect who was planning the station confused the plans with that for the Mumbai Station and each city got the others station! I can see where this legend can from but I have no idea if it is true or not!
Once you have visited Flinders Street we are going to cross the road to Federation Square. This is a modern square whose architecture is quite divisive in the Melbourne community! This is the most visited museum in the world dedicated to moving image! Unfortunately this museum is closed for refurbishment until 2020 but should be on your list for the future!
From here head across the Yara River and this is where our itinerary diverges dependent on your interests!
There are three brilliant stops on this side and provide something for everyone! Dependent on your likes and interests I would recommend heading to either
- Melbourne Cricket Club
- Eureka Sky Deck
- National Gallery of Victoria
So whether you like sports, arts or amazing views there is something on offer for you!
Where to Eat in Melbourne for one day
Melbourne is a great foodie city! If you are in Melbourne for one day I would recommend trying one of the following restaurants
- Chin Chin – a great Asian fusion restrain that works best for groups
- Ezard – the best restaurant serving Australian cuisine we found in the CBD!
- Pure South Dining – a restaurant serving local produce! I recommend the oysters
And if you have chance I would recommend changing restaurants for dessert because the restaurant Om-Nom does some really fantastic and creative desserts!
Where to Stay in Melbourne for 24 Hours
There are loads of great places to stay in Melbourne! I would recommend staying within the CBD to be in easy access of all the tourist attractions and be in walking distance to everything.
Some highly rated places to stay include