Posted: 3/16/23 | March 16th, 2023
Famous for its restaurant and coffee scene, Melbourne is popular with most backpackers (so I listen to it a lot!). It has charming, fun neighborhoods and streets lined with inspiring shops and cafes. You can take advantage of its fantastic nightlife, from a quiet night in a wine bar to dancing until the sun rises in a thumping club. It’s also close to the wine-centric Yarra Valley. There is a lot to see and do here.
Melbourne is considered the country’s “cultural capital” and the best way to find out why is to walk around.
I love walking tours. You’ll see the highlights and connect with a local guide who can answer all your questions. There are also tours for every niche, so whatever your interests (or budget), you’ll be able to have fun and learn a lot about the city.
Here is my list of the best walking tours in Melbourne.
BEST OVERALL TOUR
MELTours Laneways Tour
This tour gives you a great overview of Melbourne, including an in-depth history of the city and a better understanding of how it evolved into the thriving but laid-back Aussie metropolis it is today. You will also discover back alleys, hidden passageways, and the secrets that lie beneath the streets. On this 2.5-hour tour, you’ll visit specialty shops and quaint cafés as you explore off-the-beaten-track and lesser-known routes.
Tours start at 99 AUD.
Best Free Tour
I’m Free Tour
If you’re on a budget, I’m Free organizes free walking tours of Melbourne. You can choose between a general morning walking tour that covers the main attractions and the stories behind them, or an afternoon tour called “Culture Capital,” which emphasizes art and culture and brings the visitors to less traveled lanes and arcades. Be sure to tip your guides at the end!
While those may be the best free and paid tours in town, Melbourne has a lot more to offer, whatever your interests. Here are eight other insightful and educational tours:
1. Melbourne Street Tours
Street art has become a global phenomenon over the past decade or so. Every major city on the planet has incredible street art and murals to admire — and Melbourne is no exception. In addition to taking you through some lesser-known alleyways, this tour ends in an artist’s studio warehouse, so you can learn how these amazing works are created.
Tours start at 49 AUD.
2. Depot Adventures Hidden Bar Tour
Melbourne is full of small, sometimes hidden lanes that contain some lesser-known establishments. And this, of course, includes bars. This three-hour tour takes you through the backstreets to discover four hidden pubs. The expert local guide will not only regale you with stories of the Melbourne bar scene but also tell you about the history of the city. Make sure you’re thirsty!
Tours start at 58 AUD.
3. Melbourne Walks
For over three decades, Melbourne Walks has been at the forefront of tours. Whatever your interests, there’s likely to be a tour that appeals: there’s a crime-focused tour, for example, a back lane and arcade jaunt, and a tour that focuses on topics like architecture, literature, social justice, historic pubs, and individuals that historical figure. If you’re looking for something suitable, start here.
Tours start at 70 AUD.
4. Aboriginal Heritage Walk
Through the Royal Botanical Gardens, you can travel to Melbourne and see it through Aboriginal eyes — particularly the Kulin people. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 11am, visitors are shown the traditional use of tools, medicine, plants and food, as well as the rich and intriguing history and culture of the First Peoples of Australia. This is incredibly informative!
Tours start at 40 AUD.
5. Blue Tongue Bikes
This bike tour is a great eco-friendly way to get around town. You’ll get a panoramic view of Melbourne, taking in all the major attractions while learning about its history, from the early Aboriginal era to its founding to the present day. During breaks, an expert local guide offers tips on what else to do and where to eat in the Melbourne area.
Tours start at 65 AUD.
6. Lantern Ghost Tours
For a spooky look at Melbourne’s seedy past, take a ghost tour. Over 90 minutes, you’ll travel back to the 19th century and explore the city’s haunted locations. You’ll travel through narrow alleyways, marvel at historic haunted buildings, and hear all kinds of spooky stories from Melbourne’s past and present.
Tours start at 26 AUD.
7. Intrepid Urban Adventures
Sure, Melbourne has one of the best dining scenes — if not the best — in Australia. But if you like to eat while traveling, you can get another perspective on a place’s food landscape by visiting its markets. Intrepid’s 2.5-hour Multicultural Markets Culinary Culture Tour is designed to help you discover the richness and diversity of the city’s many food markets. It celebrates Melbourne’s food culture, stopping at, among other sites, the famous Queen Victoria Market, Australia’s largest open-air market. You’ll meet vendors, sample their products, and walk away with a full stomach and a deeper knowledge of Melbourne’s diverse food scene.
Tours start at 58 AUD.
Walking in Melbourne is the best way to start your visit. You’ll connect with a local guide, see the main sights, and learn about the city’s diverse cultural landscape. Whether you’re a foodie or a cocktail lover, a history geek or an e-bike enthusiast, there’s a tour here for you. Just remember to tip your guide at the end!
Book Your Trip to Melbourne: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines worldwide so you always know that no stone is left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel at Hostelworld because they have the biggest inventory and the best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use it Booking.com because they always return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. Two of my favorite places to stay are:
For more hostel suggestions, here’s a complete list of the best hostels in Melbourne.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance protects you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellation. This is comprehensive protection in case something goes wrong. I never travel without it as I have had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
Looking for the Best Companies to Save?
See my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I’ve listed everything I use to save money when I’m on the road. They can save you money when you travel too.
Want More Information on Melbourne?
Be sure to visit our solid destination guide to Melbourne for more planning tips!