There are hundreds of attractions and activities in Melbourne.

But there are too many catered to the younger ones.

Are there any attractions in Melbourne that are more suitable for adults?

We’ve looked at a handful of things to do and have picked out the 23 best places for you to visit in Melbourne if you’re going with a group of adults.

1. South Wharf

South Wharf is a great spot for shopping and dining area located on the southern bank of Yarra River.

It is only a short tram ride, water taxi or drive from Melbourne CBD.

Young adults will enjoy the vibe and atmosphere here.

What can you do at South Wharf?

  • Dine out by the water – Along South Wharf Promenade you’ll find a myriad of dining options which offer great waterside views. Some of the city’s most talented chefs can be found here.
  • DFO South Wharf – Shop til you drop at the DFO South Wharf with 170 outlets offering great prices on a range of Australian and international brands.
  • Polly Woodside – Climb aboard Polly Woodside for a fun, educational experience on the historic museum ship moored at South Wharf. The ship made 17 around-the-world trips after being launched in Belfast in 1885 and was also used as a coal ship after World War Two.

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2. Royal Exhibition Building

Royal Exhibition Building is a stunning facade located in the Carlton Gardens.

It hosted Australia’s first Federal Parliament sitting in 1901.

Keep an eye out for the restored interiors, expansive galleries and paintwork.

What can you do at the Royal Exhibition Building?

  • Enjoy events – Crowds flock to some of the Royal Exhibition Building’s most famous events. Each year it exhibitions, fairs and expos on the city’s jam-packed calendar.
  • Tours – Learn the stories behind the iconic Royal Exhibition Building on a guided tour. It is available most days and starts in the foyer of the Melbourne Museum.

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3. Regent Theatre

Carefully restored, the Regent Theatre is a stunning venue for concerts and events in Melbourne.

It can seat more than 2,000 guests.

Regent Theatre was once a grand picture palace when it opened in 1929.

It then got flooded, fire damaged and abandoned over the years.

It now plays host to world renowned theatre productions including The Lion King, We Will Rock You, Love Never Dies, Wicked and King Kong.

Where can you eat before or after a show?

  • Supernormal – Enjoy the open kitchen atmosphere. You can see a range of Asian-style dishes prepared. Communal benches create a relaxed feel.
  • Box Seafood Restaurant – Box Seafood Restaurant has locally sourced seafood. The provide guests with indoor and outdoor seating options.
  • Bistro d’Orsay – Dine on a French-Mediterranean menu under an elaborate ceiling mural.
  • Om Nom Kitchen – Enjoy dessert after a show at Om Nom Kitchen. The Om Nom Choc Cigars are a signature dish you can’t go past!

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4. Parliament House of Victoria

See where the Victorian state government sits including the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly.

The Parliament House of Victoria is a Melbourne landmark open to the public throughout the year.

The building is grand on the inside and out.

Most adults will enjoy the tour as you explore the building.

You can also go into the public galleries to observe activities taking place.

What tours are available at the Parliament House of Victoria?

  • Guided Tour – Available when Parliament is not sitting, see inside and find out more about the building and what goes on inside.
  • Architecture Tour – See exclusive areas and learn about the architecture of the building.
  • Gardens Tour – Head outdoors and see the historic gardens outside Parliament with a guide.
  • Art Tours – Art tours cover highlights of Parliament’s extensive art collection from portraits of former Victorian premiers to Queen Victoria and even a gallery of Indigenous art.

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5. Old Treasury Building

Built in 1862, the Old Treasury is currently a museum.

It has been used for various purposes over the years, but now hosts three permanent exhibitions.

It also has rotating displays, seminars and tours to teach you about Melbourne’s history, architecture, and art.

What can you see and do at the Old Treasury Building?

  • Go behind the scenes – Take a tour of the building and see off limits areas up close including the Executive Council Chamber where the Governor signs legislation into law.
  • See rare paintings of the city – The Paintings of Early Melbourne tour allows a look at rare works created between the 1840s and 1870s. It offers a picture of life in Melbourne from colonial times.
  • Melbourne Panorama – One of the Old Treasury Building’s most popular displays is located in the old gold vaults. It is a 360 degree photographic panorama of Melbourne from 1862. Another photo from 2012 shows the changing landscape of the city.

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6. Melbourne Central Shopping Centre

Spread out over five levels, there are hundreds of shops with all kinds of offerings to explore at Melbourne Central.

Big brands you’ll see include Sephora, Nike, Country Road, Gorman and Vans to name a few.

Take in a movie, escape to the Parents Retreat or enjoy the vast range of dining options after you’ve shopped up a storm.

The shopping centre can be found atop the City Loop Melbourne Central train station or along the free city circle tram’s route.

What can you do at Melbourne Central Shopping Centre?

  • Go shopping, of course – There are more than 300 retailers at the shopping centre. This includes fashion, homewares, fresh food, toys, music and electronics.
  • Watch a movie – Why not kick back and relax at the movies after a busy day sightseeing or shopping? State of the art facilities and premium offerings will ensure a luxury cinema experience.
  • Take in art – A continuous exhibition of video art, Art Loop’s carefully curated offering will keep you enthralled and immersed in work by artists from across Australia and the world.

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7. The District Docklands

Shop ‘til you drop at The District Docklands where you can find a massive range of brands including the likes of General Pants Co., H&M, Cotton On, and Bonds.

You could easily spend a fun day here shopping and exploring other attractions.

What other attractions are there at The District Docklands?

  • Melbourne Star Observation Wheel – See a view of Melbourne like no other from the Melbourne Star. Whether by day or night, you’ll see the bustling city surrounds, port and gardens nearby and perhaps even the Dandenong Ranges in the distance.
  • ArtVo – An interactive 3D art museum where visitors are encouraged to interact with the works, the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Hoyts – Watch the latest movies in luxury theatres fitted with high definition surround sound.
  • Dining –  A range of restaurants and fast food outlets are available when you get hungry from all the activities. This includes Japanese sushi, raman, pancakes and familiar places like KFC and Nandos.

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8. Flinders Street Station

Flinders Street Station is Australia’s oldest train station and a city icon.

The yellow facade and green copper dome make it hard to miss.

It is a perfect photo opportunity on a visit to the city.

In fact, if you’re travelling around by train, you’ll likely pass by.

The station is the busiest suburban railway station in the Southern Hemisphere.

What attractions are close to Flinders Street Station?

  • Federation Square – Just across the street you’ll find Federation Square with exhibitions, activities and events all year round.
  • St Paul’s Cathedral – Join a service or simply wander through and explore another Melbourne landmark close by at St Paul’s Cathedral.
  • Eureka Skydeck 88 – Take in scenic views day or night from the highest viewing platform in Melbourne. It is located just across the river in Melbourne’s Southbank precinct.

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9. Flemington Racecourse

The Flemington Racecourse is home to the famous Melbourne Cup.

It is a National Heritage listed venue and first hosted a race in 1840 on the river flats beside the Maribyrnong River.

In addition to the rich racing history, you can enjoy the landscaped gardens and roses any time of year.

What can visitors do at Flemington Racecourse?

  • Get into the spirit – What better way to experience Flemington than a race meeting? If you’re visiting during spring, be sure to join in at least one of the meetings which form the Spring Racing Carnival. Perhaps even the Melbourne Cup in November.
  • Racecourse Tours – Learn about ‘the race that stops a nation’ and its home with a guided tour. Visitors can also see the Flemington Heritage Centre which brings to life the drama and fun from the racecourse’s rich history.

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10. Flagstaff Gardens

The Flagstaff Gardens have been popular with locals and visitors since the 19th century.

You can lounge in the gardens, explore the wonderful flower beds or admire the various statues around the park.

What other activities can you enjoy at Flagstaff Gardens?

  • Take a walk – Get away from the city buzz with a wander through the gardens, enjoying fresh air as you admire the extensive lawns, avenues of elm trees and numerous flower beds.
  • Pack a picnic – Long favoured by city workers during lunch, the large stretches of well-manicured lawns are the perfect spot for a picnic. There are also barbecues for you to use.
  • Bring your racquet – The gardens also include tennis courts so be sure to bring your racquet for a hit.

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11. Fitzroy Gardens

Fitzroy Gardens is one of Melbourne’s most beautiful gardens which was originally designated as a reserve in 1848.

The garden features wide lawn areas and paths lined with splendid Elm trees.

There are all kinds of flowers, trees and other shrubs to see.

Pick up a map at the visitor centre so you don’t miss a thing like the fountains, Cooks Cottage, the Fairies’ Tree or scarred tree.

Free guided tours are also available.

What are some points of interest at Fitzroy Gardens?

  • Fitzroy Gardens Visitor Centre – Be sure to make this your first stop for a brochure or map on the gardens, as well as informative displays and advice from the friendly staff.
  • Cooks Cottage – Built in 1755 by Captain James Cook’s parents, the cottage was brought to Melbourne from Yorkshire, England in 1934.
  • Conservatory – Enjoy unique floral displays in the Conservatory, made in the Spanish Mission style. Displays vary each season and include blooms such as hydrangeas, fuchsias, begonias and cyclamens.

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12. Federation Square

Federation Square (or Fed Square as its known) offers a public space with fantastic cultural institutions, places to eat, drink and shop, as well as a calendar of amazing events.

It is one of Melbourne’s most visited attractions.

Whether you’re enjoying exhibitions or going to an event, you’re sure to get a taste of Melbourne at Fed Square.

What can you do at Federation Square?

  • Melbourne Visitor Centre – Get advice from the friendly staff or pick up free maps and brochures to help make your visit to Melbourne a great one.
  • Guided Tours – A number of day trips and guided tours of Melbourne start from Federation Square. 
  • Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) – Delve into the world of moving image with the history of film through to computer games and digital art. Browse exhibitions or join in the workshops and programs on offer.
  • Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia – See the National Gallery of Victoria’s collection of Australian art up close with works from emerging and established artists as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander works.

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13. Docklands Stadium

Since opening in 2000, Docklands Stadium has played host to more than 35 million attendees at a range of events, concerts and games.

Easily accessible, the stadium is located in Melbourne’s Docklands precinct and connected to the CBD by pedestrian foot bridges.

It’s also adjacent to the Southern Cross railway station.

The famous retractable roof means it can be used in any weather conditions.

What can visitors do at Docklands Stadium?

  • Stadium Tours – Go behind the scenes and see the players’ change rooms, briefing room, coaches’ box, and AFL umpires’ tunnels, as well as the Media Centre which is also utilised for a dual purpose as the AFL Tribunal.
  • Take in a game – Whether you’re a die-hard soccer fan, AFL fanatic or more into rugby league or union, there are games held throughout the year so be sure to check what’s on when you’re in Melbourne. The stadium also hosts Big Bash League cricket matches and a range of international sporting events.
  • See a show – There have been many famous performers at Docklands Stadium over the years from the likes of Adele, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift through to AC/DC, Andre Rieu and the Foo Fighters.

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14. Melbourne Rectangular Stadium

Melbourne Rectangular Stadium is more commonly known by its commercial name AAMI Park

It is located between the Yarra River and Melbourne Cricket Ground, just east of the city’s CBD.

The stadium is the premier, purpose-built sporting venue.

What sports games can visitors witness at AAMI Park?

  • Rugby league – As home of the Melbourne Storm, the stadium hosts many National Rugby League games throughout the home and away season.
  • Soccer – Take in an A-League game throughout the football season with two teams calling AAMI Park home – Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City.
  • Super Rugby – See the Melbourne Rebels play throughout their regular season at the stadium.

Official site

15. Hosier Lane

Take a stroll around Melbourne’s CBD and you’ll eventually come across various hidden alleys decorated with graffiti art.

Hosier Lane is one of the more popular alleys to visit and can be found between Flinders Street and Flinders Lane.

The artwork does change throughout the year so there’ll always be a different feature if you plan on returning to appreciate this unique art attraction.

Nearby, you can enjoy Spanish tapas or a fresh cup of coffee while you admire the artwork.

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16. Block Arcade

The Block Arcade is home to boutiques, retailers and cafes including Bell & Ross, Sol Alpaca, Haigh’s Chocolates and Art of Dr. Seuss.

It is located in Melbourne’s CBD, connecting Collins and Elizabeth streets, and is a highlight on the city’s Golden Mile heritage walk.

It was built in the 1890s and features exquisite details including mosaic tile flooring, carved stone and a glass canopy alongside colour-coordinated plant holders and classic lighting.

What can you do at the Block Arcade?

  • Tour – On offer each Tuesday and Thursday, go behind the scenes and discover more about this famous arcade on a tour.
  • Shop – You couldn’t possibly visit without at least a look in some of the shops found in the Block Arcade.
  • Taste – Visitors will enjoy looking at the cakes in the window as much as tasting them inside at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms, or perhaps stop by Haigh’s Chocolates for some sweet treats.

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17. Chinatown Melbourne

Chinatown is a lively and well-known precinct in Melbourne.

Located along Little Bourke Street, it is marked by 5 entry archways.

Dine out on a range of Asian cuisine or browse through fashion stores, Asian groceries and other retail outlets.

What can you do in Melbourne Chinatown?

  • Dining – There are a number of restaurants serving Szechuan and Cantonese food. You’ll find noodle houses, yum cha, fresh seafood and unique dessert shops.
  • Chinese Museum – Learn more about Australia’s Chinese history over five floors at the Chinese Museum.
  • Her Majesty’s Theatre – Take in a show at an iconic Melbourne venue. Perhaps a ballet, opera or concert is on the cards.

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18. Shrine of Remembrance

The Shrine of Remembrance is the state memorial for Victoria.

Built in 1934, it honours Australians who have served in both war and in peacekeeping operations.

You can join a tour to discover more about the Shrine, attend a Service of Remembrance or explore the Galleries of Remembrance.

Stories of Australians in armed conflicts and on peacekeeping missions are shared.

Adults would have a better appreciation of this landmark.

You can also take in a moment of solitude at the Eternal Flame in the forecourt, see the bronze sculpture of The Man with the Donkey or take in city views.

What are the best ways to learn more about the Shine of Remembrance?

  • Galleries of Remembrance – Located beneath the Shrine, more than 800 objects, artworks, uniforms and photographs are part of the Galleries of Remembrance where visitors can learn about the experiences of Australians at war and on peacekeeping missions.
  • Shrine Tours – Join a small group with a professional guide who will help you explore a Melbourne landmark and uncover stories behind the Shrine.
  • Services – Commemorative services are regularly held throughout the year and the public is welcome to attend.

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19. Arts Centre Melbourne

The Arts Centre Melbourne is the state’s flagship performing arts venue and is a focal point of the entire cultural precinct with its distinctive spire.

Watch a performance or event held at one of the Arts Centre’s three venues – ‘Under the Spire’, Hamer Hall or the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

Marvel at artworks in foyers throughout the venue or grab a bite at one of the many on-site eateries.

What else can you see and do at the Arts Centre Melbourne?

  • See a show – Witness a performance at this famous performing arts venue from opera to ballet, a theatre show or perhaps a concert.
  • Australian Music Vault – A free exhibition which celebrates the story of contemporary music in Australia through objects, exhibits and digital experiences.
  • Backstage Tour – Go behind the scenes and see what happens backstage at the Arts Centre Melbourne.
  • Guided Tours – Discover what lies underneath the famous spire including five floors underground and hear stories from the site’s 130 year history.

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20. St Paul’s Cathedral

Located opposite Federation Square, St Paul’s Cathedral is a Melbourne landmark on one of the city’s busiest intersections.

The current building was constructed in sandstone between 1880 and 1931, replacing an earlier church on the same site.

It’s architecture combines Early English and Decorative Gothic styles, so is usually described as Gothic transitional.

Features include patterned floor tiles, mosaics, and a fine timber roof.

What can visitors do at St Paul’s Cathedral?

  • Join a service – All are welcome at the regular services held throughout the week at the Cathedral.
  • Take a tour – Download the free app and guide yourself through St Paul’s or pre-book a guided tour which lasts around 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Listen to music – The Lunchtime Concert Series is held on Wednesdays with half hour recitals by a range of skilled musicians.

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21. Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

The picturesque Royal Botanic Gardens are home to more than 50,000 plants with a number of rare and threatened species.

Wander the displays, pack a picnic and make a day of it or enjoy a guided walk to learn more about the gardens.

There is also a shop and two cafes for adults to relax while enjoying the scenery.

What are the garden highlights you can see?

  • The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden – A favourite spot for children where they can get their hands dirty while discovering more about plants and the world around them.
  • Tropical Glasshouse – Marvel at a selection of plants from tropical regions across the world including ferns, orchids and bromeliads.
  • Guilfoyle’s Volcano – A water reservoir for the gardens built in 1876. From here you can enjoy views of the city and see a remarkable landscape design using low-water use plants.
  • Fern Gully – Wander through lush ferns on winding paths through this natural gully, a recreation of fern gullies found throughout Australian bush landscapes.

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22. Queen Victoria Markets

The Queen Victoria Market is a Melbourne icon and spreads over two city blocks.

Get amongst the stalls and discover handmade treasures, unique home wares and kitschy souvenirs.

Learn more and discover some of the best the market has to offer with a guided tour.

What kinds of shop and stalls can you see at the Queen Victoria Market?

  • Meat, Fish and Dairy Halls – Pick up artisan cheeses, hand crafted small goods, free range poultry and plenty of ingredients to liven up your meals.
  • Fruit and Vegetables – A massive array of seasonal produce is on offer at the market, browse some of the freshest fruit and vegetables you can find.
  • Merchandise – You never know what you’ll find wandering the stalls in the historic sheds with vendors selling everything from jewellery and clothing, through to homewares and souvenirs.

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23. Carlton Brewhouse

Definitely an adults only attraction, the Carlton Brewhouse is Australia’s largest brewery

It is the home to the popular Australian beers Carlton Draught and Victoria Bitter.

What kind of tours can visitors take at the Carlton Brewhouse?

  • Tour & Tasting – Go behind the scenes on a guided tour of the brewery operation where more than 150,000 litres of beer flow every day. After you’ve worked up a thirst on the tour, enjoy tastings of six different brews from the massive range.
  • Beer & Food matched tours – After a tour of the brewery, kick back and enjoy lunch as your guide talks through the food and matches it with a selection of great beer.

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These are just some of the best things to do in Melbourne for adults.

To see more activities, you can join one of the many tours available.

Check more tours in Melbourne

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For all new cities, I go overboard on my itinerary, just to see every major attraction. Countries I've visited include New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Cambodia, Japan and Thailand. Mostly Asian countries. Next target - Europe!