posted: 16/3/23 | March 16, 2023
Known for its restaurant and coffee scene, Melbourne is popular with backpackers (which is why I love it so much!). It has charming and funky neighborhoods, and streets lined with inspiring shops and cafes. You can take advantage of its amazing nightlife, from quiet nights in wine bars to dancing to sunrise in bustling clubs. It's also near the wine-centric Yarra Valley. There's lots to see and do here.
Melbourne is considered the “cultural capital” of the country and the best way to see why is to take a walking tour.
I love walking tours. You'll see highlights and connect with a local guide who can answer all your questions. There are also tours for every niche, so regardless of your interests (or budget), you'll be able to have a lot of fun and learn a lot about the city.
Here is my list of the best walking tours in Melbourne.
BEST OVERALL TOUR
MELTours Walking Tour
This tour gives you a big picture of Melbourne, including a thorough history of the city and a better understanding of how it developed into the thriving yet laid-back Australian metropolis it is today. You'll also discover back alleys, hidden passages, and secrets that lie beneath the streets. On this 2.5 hour tour, you'll visit specialty shops and quirky cafes as you explore untouched and lesser-known routes.
The tour starts at 99 AUD.
Best Free Tour
I Free Tour
If your budget is tight, I'm Free organizes free walking tours of Melbourne. You can choose between a public walking tour in the morning that covers the main attractions and the stories behind them, or an afternoon tour called the “Cultural Capital”, which emphasizes arts and culture and takes visitors along less traveled paths and arcades. Be sure to tip your guide at the end!
While they may be the best free and paid tours in the city, Melbourne has a lot more to offer, whatever your interests. Here are eight more insightful and educational tours:
1. Melbourne Street Tour
Street art has become a worldwide phenomenon in the last decade or so. Every major city on the planet has amazing street art and murals to admire—and Melbourne is no exception. As well as taking you down some lesser-known alleyways, this tour concludes in the artist's studio warehouse, so you can learn how these incredible works are made.
The tour starts at 49 AUD.
2. Depot Adventures Hidden Bar Tour
Melbourne is filled with little, sometimes hidden lanes that host some of the less well-known spots. And this, of course, includes bars. This three hour tour takes you down a back street to find four hidden pubs. Expert local guides will not only regale you with tales of Melbourne's bar scene but also tell you about the city's history. Be sure to come thirsty!
The tour starts at 58 AUD.
For more than three decades, Melbourne Walks has led the tour. Whatever your interests, there's bound to be an interesting tour: there are tours focused on crime, for example, backlane and arcade excursions, and tours focused on topics such as architecture, literature, social justice, historic pubs, and individual historical figures. If you are looking for something niche, start here.
The tour starts from 70 AUD.
4. Aboriginal Heritage Road
Through the Royal Botanical Gardens, you can travel through Melbourne and see it from an Aboriginal perspective — specifically the Kulin people. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 11am, visitors are shown the traditional uses of tools, medicine, plants and food, as well as the rich and fascinating history and culture of First Nations Australia. It's very informative!
The tour starts from 40 AUD.
5. Blue Tongue Bicycle
This bike tour is a great eco-friendly way to get around the city. You'll get a complete view of Melbourne, seeing all the main attractions while learning about its history, from the early Aboriginal period through its founding to the present day. During breaks, expert local guides provide tips on what else to do and where to eat in the Melbourne area.
The tour starts from 65 AUD.
6. Lantern Ghost Tour
For a glimpse into Melbourne's spooky past, join a ghost tour. For 90 minutes, you will travel back to the 19th century and explore the city's haunted locations. You'll wander narrow alleys, marvel at haunted historic buildings and hear all kinds of spooky stories from Melbourne's past and present.
The tour starts at 26 AUD.
7. Intrepid Urban Adventure
Of course, Melbourne has one of the best — if not the best — places to eat in Australia. But if you like to eat on the go, you can get another perspective on a place's food landscape by visiting a market. The 2.5 hour Intrepid Multicultural Market Culinary Tour is designed to help you discover the richness and diversity of the city's food markets. It celebrates Melbourne's food culture, stopping at, among other things, the famous Queen Victoria Market, Australia's largest open-air market. You'll meet the vendors, sample their products and leave with a full stomach and a deeper knowledge of Melbourne's culinary diversity.
The tour starts at 58 AUD.
Taking a walking tour of Melbourne is the best way to start your visit. You'll connect with local guides, see key sights and learn about the city's diverse cultural landscape. Whether you're a foodie or a cocktail lover, a history buff, or an e-bike enthusiast, there's a tour here for you. Remember to tip your guide at the end!
Book Your Trip to Melbourne: Logistics Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the world so you always know there's no stone unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld because they have the largest inventory and the best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, go for it Booking.com because they consistently return the cheapest rates for guest houses and budget hotels. My two favorite places to stay are:
For more hostel suggestions, here's a comprehensive list of the best hostels in Melbourne.
Don't Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you from illness, injury, theft and cancellation. It's comprehensive protection in case something goes wrong. I never travel without it as I've had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
Looking for the Best Company to Save Money?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to work with when you're on the move. I list everything I use to save money while I'm on the road. They'll save you money on the go, too.
Want More Information about Melbourne?
Be sure to check out our robust destination guide to Melbourne for even more planning tips!