National Gallery of Victoria is comprised of two facilities that are an easy walk or tram ride away from Federation Square (and each other). The buildings contain amazing collections which showcase cultures, and works of art. It is worthwhile to visit each building.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne is one of my favorite places in all of Australia. The park is big enough you can fully immerse yourself in the garden and forget you are actually a 10 minute walk from Federation Square. Have a leisurely wander among this beautiful space and if you have time and company this is a great place for a picnic. in It’s particularly beautiful in the spring when the plants are in full bloom.
The Shrine of Remembrance is close to the botanical gardens and the architecture is of an iconic design. The shrine honors the men and women who have fallen in war and peacekeeping missions. The roof of the building provides gorgeous views of the Central Business District (CBD) skyline.
Australian Centre for Moving Image is an amazing place dedicated to moving image in it’s many forms including but not limited to film and video games. The center also has special exhibits that rotate through available for a fee .Melbourne is famous for its shopping arcades and laneways, and is perhaps the only city I’ve ever been in at night where a local saw a dark alley and said ‘Hey I wonder what’s down here, lets go check it out’. While my friend may simply lack good judgement there are districts of Melbourne that are very safe and a dark narrow alley may just be the key to finding a brilliant coffee shop or cafe. Urban street art is also quite prevalent. Hosier Lane is noted as one example. Here you can watch the artist work because they can obtain permits for painting street art legally. It’s great to pop in during the day and watch the artists at work and take some cool photos of whatever is on the wall that day.The iconic Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes are delightfully close to the CBD, and a leisurely walk from the Brighton Beach train station. Owners have customized the color and patterns of their choosing creating an artistic and iconic beachscape.
The City Circle Tram will take you on a free journey on one of Melbourne’s Historic Trams with information about each stop verbally provided by an automated voice. It provides good access to a number of locations you may want to visit as a tourist but may not offer the fastest way to get there.
To reach the Brigton Beach to St. Kilda Coast walk take the train to Brighton Beach railway station and follow the signs to the beach boxes. Then keep heading in the same direction which is towards the city. You’ll end up on a flat multi-purpose path that is in good condition. It’s a little under 8 km in distance if you do this, and you’ll be able to see the city skyline. Experience the delights of St. Kilda, then head back to the city via the tram.
St. Kilda Fairy Penguins come into shore on the St. Kilda pier each night at sunset. You can see them swim into shore, hear them, and smell them. Note: Please don’t take flash photography of the penguins as they can go blind as a result of the flash (and die).Queen Victoria Market is the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere and quite the experience. Here you’ll be able to buy everything from cheap souvenirs made in China, Australian opals, clothing, to leather bags, fruits, vegetables, and meat. Want an amazing eating experience for food? There is a Summer Night Market and a Winter Night Market that run where the main focus is food. It’s not the cheapest way to eat but you can have an amazing experience eating street food from vendor to vendor all at one location.