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Top 7 Things to do in Melbourne

By Zain Nabi

Updated March 6, 2016 Updated March 6, 2016

When I arrived in Melbourne last year, the first few months were spent settling in. It was not a difficult phase, but it certainly was hectic. From adjusting to a new culture to keeping up with study load and finding a part-time job, every task presented its own perks and drawbacks. I enjoyed that all, but in the midst of everything I couldn’t appreciate many charms that this city – recently ranked the world’s second best place to be an international student – has to offer.

After having spent more than a year studying in Melbourne, I am in a position to tell prospective students a few things about this amazing city that would make them want to come here. So whether you are already here or considering visiting in future, don’t forget to stick the following top 7 things to do in Melbourne on your to-do list!

1. Visit Federation Square

Federation Square

Located at the heart of the city, Federation Square is a purpose-built facility offering a large number of cultural activities for tourists throughout the day. Visit Federation Square whenever you run out of things to do in Melbourne, and you will find something really cool going on there. To add to the experience, there are many cafés offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. I usually get my latte here.

2. Walk along the river to Southgate

A short walk along the edge of the Yarra River, not too far from Federation Square, Southgate is a shopping and entertainment destination. If you are in the area, you can also try the exquisite meals that many cafés and restaurants here have on offer – though they are a touch expensive. Nevertheless, it’s a good excuse to take a walk along the river bank.

3. Take a selfie at Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium

Located opposite Southgate, Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is heaven for those fond of marine life. It has a lot to offer with all kinds of ocean-living species. Between you and me, the place has also got lots of pretty cool spots to take selfies.

4. Get a bargain at Queen Victoria Market

A short tram ride from the city will take you to the wonderful Queen Victoria Market, which in my opinion is best experienced when operating at night. Be it fruits, vegetables, clothing, spices, handbags or anything else, you will find all of it under one roof at this market.

5. Meet the animals at Melbourne Zoo

Fond of wildlife? Melbourne Zoo should definitely be on your list of things to do in Melbourne. I went to the zoo on a bright sunny day. The snow leopard was hiding in its cage, but its furious gaze sent shivers down my spine. The kangaroos, however, were a different story altogether. Make sure you charge your camera batteries before coming down here.

6. View the whole city from Eureka Skydeck

This is as high as you can get. From Eureka Skydeck, a viewing platform at the top of the 297 meter-high Eureka Tower skyscraper, you can check out the entire layout of this vibrant city. It’s a thrilling experience, though with a high cost to match the high altitude. This may be one to save for a special occasion, such as when family come to visit.

7. Take in the atmosphere at the Crown Casino

The huge Crown Casino attracts a large number of people daily. I would definitely suggest going there to take in the atmosphere, but be careful if you don’t have control over yourself! Visiting the casino could be a nice adventure; gambling itself may not be such a good idea.

I have deliberately omitted many things to do in Melbourne, specifically lots of places where you can eat out or have a refreshing coffee – there are just too many. Similarly, the famous beaches have not made the list because I would need to write a separate long post just to paint their beauty. And don’t even get me started on taking a trip to the Great Ocean Road, Dandenong Ranges, Phillip Island and Yarra Valley Winery Tours.

So start dreaming and make a list of things to do in Melbourne while travelling, or while here as a student. Hopefully, I will see you around.

Image credits: TK Kurikawa / Shutterstock.com (Melbourne Aquarium)

This article was originally published in December 2014 . It was last updated in March 2016

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Written by

Hailing from Pakistan, Zain finished a Masters of Journalism and International Relations at Monash University in Australia. He is working as a journalist and media trainer in Melbourne along with secretly harboring an ambition to become a filmmaker.

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