The National Gallery of Victoria (And Four Other Melbourne Attractions to Visit)

Discover some of the fascinating locations of the Australian metropolis.

Melbourne is the second-largest city in Australia. For a decade, the city’s been one of the top locations when it comes to living conditions. But Melbourne isn’t just the perfect place for the people living there. It also has plenty to show visitors, from natural to artificial wonders.

For art lovers, the National Gallery of Victoria is one of the ultimate Melbourne attractions. However, there are many more historical places in Melbourne and awe-inspiring locations to visit. Check out our list of the five places to see and things to do in Melbourne to get the most out of your next vacation.

1. National Gallery of Victoria

Melbourne National Gallery of Victoria

For visitors who crave culture and art, the gallery will present a spoil of riches. The National Gallery of Victoria has a collection of over 70,000 artworks, with two locations where you can see the art pieces. The St. Kilda Road building, with its famed Great Hall, houses works by international artists. Meanwhile, Local Australian art – from traditional aboriginal to contemporary – is at the Ian Potter Gallery.

The international collection features famous pieces like Rodin’s The Tinker, Weeping Woman by Picasso, and The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai. You can also see art gems by Rembrandt, Monet, Bacon, and many others. Going through the thousands of important pieces will be an exploration of the world history of art.

The Ian Potter Center building is a work of art in itself. Located in the central Federation Square, it presents the essential experience of Australian art. Here you can marvel at the intricate aboriginal paintings and modern works that include digital art and photography.

The National Gallery of Victoria has special programs for kids and teens. There are also learning workshops that take inspiration from the gallery exhibitions. Both the international and Australian centers feature an NGV Design Store where you can buy books and decorative items.

2. Royal Botanic Gardens

Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens have venues in Melbourne and the neighboring Cranbourne. The gardens are extensive and house thousands of plant species. Besides the plants, the gardens are a shelter for many wildlife species. The Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne are also a great spot for picnics.

There are different daily tours that you can take to explore the beautiful location. You can take a free guided walk or the Garden Explorer tour to see all of the highlights. The Aboriginal Heritage Walk is a notable experience, as the Melbourne Gardens area is significant for the Eastern Kulin Aboriginal Nation. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the rich history of the people while you walk among the fascinating nature.

3. Flinders Street Station

Melbourne Flinders Street Station

The railway station building is one of the iconic Melbourne attractions. It may be hard to believe that Flinders Street Station is over 150 years old. The building still features the large clock, stained glass windows, and flip displays. It isn’t only a transportation hub but a cultural monument.

There are many things to do in Flinders Street itself besides visiting the station. Within a minute’s walk from the station are various city tours, unique shops, and more. Right off the train, travelers can embark on winery tours. And those with a sweet tooth can enjoy the cupcake, macarons, or chocolate walks.

Notable sites around Flinders Street Station include St Paul’s Cathedral and the Fearless Girl statue. The amazing Federation Square is only a couple of minutes away. If you’d like to visit more historical places in Melbourne, Flinders Street Station is an excellent starting point.

4. The Melbourne Zoo

Melbourne Zoo

Australian wildlife is one of the nation’s greatest natural treasures. And The Melbourne Zoo has plenty of habitats that showcase this, housing over 300 animal species.

The Lion Gorge is home mostly to carnivores. There are, of course, lions, tigers, and leopards there. This habitat also holds specimens of endangered species, like the Philippine crocodile and the African wild dog.

The Trail of the Elephants takes you on a journey of exploration through an Asian village and garden. It houses several endangered and critically endangered species. There are Sumatran tigers, orangutans, and, of course, the majestic Asian elephants. This area also represents their natural habitat. Here you’ll also see the lovely small-clawed otters, either while they’re swimming or taking a nap. 

Meanwhile, the Butterfly House showcases gorgeous tropical and subtropical butterflies. And the Wild Sea area represents the beautiful nature of Victoria’s waters and coast where you can see seals, penguins, and other sea animals in their natural environment. Luckily, most of the animals here aren’t on the endangered species list.

  1. Melbourne Museum and Royal Exhibition Building
Melbourne Museum and Royal Exhibition Building

Wonderful gardens surround the vast, stylish, and modern Melbourne Museum. Next to it is the monumental Royal Exhibition building. The parkland grass fields and trees highlight the impressive pair.

The Royal Exhibition Building was the site of the International Exhibition of 1880. Since then, it housed the first Australian Parliament, and today it finds its use for special events. The building also hosts new exhibitions, but it mostly gets visitors from the regular tours.

The Melbourne Museum has various exhibits and features. The First Peoples exhibit is all about the history and culture of the Aborigines. The Milarri Garden trail takes you to a walk in the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Center. And the Wild exhibition showcases hundreds of birds and animals from the whole world.

It would be too much to list every exhibition available at the museum. Simply put, you can see and learn about plants, animals, insects, cultures, art, science, and even more. That’s why the complex of the Melbourne Museum and the Royal Exhibition Building is a must-see.

Feel the Magic of Melbourne

The list of five attractions in Melbourne is hardly exhaustive. However, if we would have to choose, these would be the essentials things to see. This goes especially for first-time visitors. 

Melbourne is a cultural hub of Victoria and the whole continent. If you visit it once, you’ll yearn to come back.

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The National Gallery of Victoria (And Four Other Melbourne Attractions to Visit)