Cool Guide to Melbourne for Kids
Melbourne is a tantalising treat of a city to visit. It’s often hyped as one of the best holiday destinations in the world, and here’s why.
It’s a cultural hotspot – galleries, museums, and exhibitions abound.
It’s a foodie’s heaven. From Lygon Street’s Italian to the Bohemian fare at Brunswick Street, and everything in between, you won’t go hungry.
It’s the sporting capital of Australia. Arguable, but don’t tell the locals. AFL is big business in Melbourne, as is the Australian Tennis Open, Grand Prix and anything at the MCG. You can get in on the action by heading to an event or even going on a Melbourne Sports tour.
It’s a sightseeing mecca. Visit the Shrine of Remembrance, Great Ocean Road, and cruise the Yarra River, amongst a bunch of other sights.
Melbourne, you magnificent city, you.
See you soon.
Best things to do in Melbourne with kids
Wind your way through inner city Melbourne’s famed narrow, cobble-stoned laneways and discover quaint cafes and hipster coffee houses. Treat yourself to some of the best coffee Australia has to offer. A good place to start is Flinders Street Station, stroll down Degraves Street, through to Collins Street and finish off at the Block Arcade.
While you are in the city, definitely check out the street art, decorating buildings throughout the CBD. Keep an eye out for English-based graffiti artist Banksy’s work, and ensure you mosey down Hosier Lane for some edgier graffiti. Makes for pretty great photos. Take a look at a map of the best spots to explore on Walking Maps.
Take a tram. It’s required. Melbourne is famous for its tram system. Travel from one end of the city to the other for sightseeing or just for the fun of it. Either way, taking a tram should be high on your to-do list. You can get your timetable here.
Read more on Melbourne with kids
13 Seriously Fun Attractions in Melbourne for Kids – by Travel with Boys
Phillip Island attractions for families – by Thrifty Family Travels
Know before you go
Food in Melbourne
Melbourne is one of the great foodie cities in the world. At every turn there’s a café, a restaurant, an espresso bar, pub, or bistro. There is no end to the range and diversity of culinary possibilities. Highlights for family-friendly dining in Melbourne include modern cuisine at Southbank, Queen Victoria Markets fresh produce, Lonsdale Street’s Greek precinct, Vietnamese on Victoria Street and Chinese in, well, China Town. If you want something a little bit swish, anything at South Yarra.
Getting from Melbourne airport to the city
Melbourne is serviced by two airports: Tullamarine (about 20 minutes from the CBD) and the smaller Avalon (about 50 minutes near Geelong).
The cheapest option for families is SkyBus which takes you into Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station or to one of four stops in St Kilda. If you want to be dropped at your hotel door in the city, you will need to change to a different bus once you get to Southern Cross Station.
If you want to be dropped straight to your hotel, and there are more than two of you travelling, taking a taxi or Uber is the best option at around about $50 a trip. Be aware that Melbourne peak hour traffic is often a nightmare so taking a taxi or Uber during these times can end up costing you a more.
If you’re off on a romantic weekend or heading off on your own a hotel shuttle bus is cost effective. We used StarBus last time we were in Melbourne and found they were great at around $16 each one way. It’s a bit of a pain you have to phone the driver when you get through baggage collection but it’s cheaper than a taxi and easier than SkyBus. We booked through Jayride as they had cheaper rates when we visited.
Melbourne Public Transport
The public transport you will use most in Melbourne is the tram system. The largest tram network in the world, it is easy, cheap, versatile and super convenient. It will get you where you want to go with no fuss. Of course, the usual suspects of trains, buses, and taxis are available, too. Buy a MYKI – it’s a reusable travel card for trains, trams, and buses in Melbourne.
Driving in Melbourne
Renting a car is a great option if you want to soak up the sights outside of Melbourne, like the Great Ocean Road, the penguins on Phillip Island, Mornington Peninsular or the wineries surrounding the city.
If you are game enough to drive in Melbourne, you need to know the road rules especially when it comes to hook turns along the tram lines. The fines for getting it wrong are high so here is a guide from Yarra Trams to help you drive in Melbourne.
Parking in Melbourne
Like any major city, parking can get tricky. Street parks are always snapped up pretty quickly, which leaves parking garages; and let’s face it, they can be really expensive. But if you are game, here is a guide to where to park in Melbourne.
Melbourne’s weather in one phrase: ‘four seasons in one day’. When visiting, it’s best to pack clothes for all sorts of weather. Spring and autumn are glorious, summer is dry and hot and the winters are cold… like, really, really cold!
Favourite Family Events in Melbourne
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Feature image by Visit Victoria