48 hours in Melbourne – A 2 day Itinerary

Melbourne city skyline at twilight in Australia

It is true that Melbourne is vast, buzzy, and absolutely packed with things to see and do. This results in many people thinking it is not possible to enjoy this fabulously vibrant city in just two days. Don’t worry, we have you covered with our comprehensive guide to Melbourne City and our 2 Day Itinerary for Melbourne. 

Melbourne is the capital of the Australian state of Victoria and is located on the south-eastern coast. Interestingly, it is the second most populated state in the country after Sidney making it a fascinating melting pot of culture, diversity, and people.

Melbourne enjoys a temperate climate. This means that the summer days during the high season are warm and dry. Temperatures during summer months usually rise to around 26oC, although they sometimes creep past 30oC.

Autumn and Spring months, collectively known as the shoulder season, are usually pleasant in temperature and many would say the best times to visit the city due to the cooler days and less tourists meaning fewer crowds. 

So, you have decided when to visit Melbourne. The next big decision to make is which area of this lively city you should stay in during your trip. Southbank is a very popular area of Melbourne with tourists.

Melbourne Australia : Street view of the facade of the Windsor hotel building a luxury Victorian era grand hotel in Melbourne Victoria Australia

It offers beautiful views of both the city and the Yarra River which is commonly lined with fancy yachts and charming little fishing boats. Southbank boasts a conveniently central location and is packed with fabulous restaurants, a whole variety of shops, and super fun attractions. 

Docklands is another very popular area of Melbourne where tourists often choose to base themselves during their visit to the city.

Docklands is a hub of constant activity, crammed with fantastic attractions, some of the very best eateries in the area, and top-quality stores that will please even the most serious of shoppers.

You are probably now wondering “How can I spend 48 hours in Melbourne?”. Well, we have you covered with our fantastic 2 days in Melbourne itinerary.

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Making last-minute plans for your 2 Day Itinerary for Melbourne. We’ve got you covered. Our recommended hotels and tours for a getaway to Melbourne are listed below.

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Overview of 2 Days in Melbourne Itinerary 

Day 1 in Melbourne

  • Breakfast at the Grain Store
  • Stop in at Flinders Street Station
  • Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens 
  • Lunch at Supernormal
  • Melbourne Zoo 
  • Dinner at Palermo

Day 2 in Melbourne

  • Brunch at Prior Thornbury
  • Queen Victoria Market
  • Visit Melbourne Museum 
  • Explore Federation Square
  • Dinner at Chocolate Buddha 
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, Striking street art in a Melbourne laneway. Melbourne is well-known for its vibrant street art.

Day 1 in Melbourne

Breakfast at the Grain Store

A good hearty breakfast is crucial to start your 2 days in Melbourne the right way. The Grain Store is located in the uber-popular Flinder Lane area of Melbourne CBD. The delicious dishes served there are made fresh every day using locally sourced ingredients where possible.

You can choose from your favorite egg dishes, pancakes, or lobster delights. Each dish is beautifully served in an Insta-worthy presentation and the warm and friendly service here makes your whole experience a joy from start to finish.

It is worth noting that if you happen to decide on a weekend in Melbourne as opposed to a mid week break then the Grain Store serves brunch on Saturdays And Sundays instead of breakfast. 

Steam on over to Flinders Street Station 

While you are in the Flinders Street vicinity be sure to head over to one of the most prominent and identifiable landmarks in Melbourne; Flinders Street Station. This handsome, domed building found fame in the mid-19th century.

It was in the Autumn of 1854 when Australia’s first steam train departed from this station and took the two-and-a-half mile trip to Port Melbourne. This historical event was witnessed by thousands of excited bystanders.

Today, it remains one of Melbourne’s busiest stations, and many visitors to the area like to grab a photo on the Flinders Street Station steps where many people meet and gather every day to sit in the sun and enjoy a take-out coffee or juice. 

Melbourne, Australia - Lighted yellow historic building of Flinders Street Railway Station with its green-brown dome and flag at a dark night. Traffic of cars, trams and people.

Walk around the Royal Botanic Gardens 

A visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens is a gorgeous way to spend a few hours in Melbourne outside in the fresh air. Here, you will find beautifully manicured lawns, immaculate sparkling lakes, and a splendid collection of plants, trees, and flowers.

There are themed areas here to explore too including the Aboriginal Heritage Walk and the delightful Children’s Garden which is packed with garden themed activities to inspire little hands and minds.

If you wish, you can line up to take a ride on the super cool Garden Explorer which is an open-top minibus that takes you for a tour through the property. Keep your eyes peeled for creatures too as the gardens are a haven for all sorts of birds and other wildlife.

There is a cafe here where you can grab drinks and light refreshments. Before you leave, be sure to pay a visit to the well equipped gift shop which is brimming with unique and thoughtful gift ideas and souvenirs. 

Royal Botanic Gardens and melbourne skyline in australia

Enjoy a leisurely lunch at Supernormal 

Supernormal is a restaurant that is held in the highest regard by the people of Melbourne. Here they serve an inspired menu of authentic Asian cuisine that showcases some surprising modern twists.

It is worth noting that the lobster rolls here are famous, countrywide and people travel from far afield to sample them. An exquisite cocktail menu has been put together to perfectly complement the balance of flavors in the food.

Supernormal is the perfect lunch spot in the Flinder Lane area of this fabulous city. Take note though; Supernormal gets booked up quickly so be sure to book your table in advance. 

Melbourne Australia: street view of the entrance of Centre Place an iconic pedestrian laneway with people in Melbourne Australia

Spend the afternoon at Melbourne Zoo 

After your leisurely lunch why not spend a wholesome few hours meeting all the wonderful creatures that reside at Melbourne Zoo. Each area of the zoo represents a different biosphere made up of the appropriate habitats for the animals that are housed there.

You can go on an adventure into the Australian bush, through the extraordinary African rainforests, or observe the weird and wonderful creatures that are hiding out under the sea! You will see lions to meerkats, elephants to seahorses, and everything in between!

As you visit each area you will have the opportunity to really educate yourself about each and every animal using the information boards and interactive codes available.

There are daily keeper talks as well as chances to book zoo keeper experiences so you can get as immersed as you wish into the daily lives of the diverse array of creatures who have made their homes at Melbourne Zoo. 

Melbourne, Australia - The Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens, commonly referred as the Melbourne Zoo, opened in 1862.

Devour a Steak Dinner at Palermo

You are sure to have worked up quite an appetite after your packed first-day Melbourne itinerary, and we have the perfect dinner suggestion for you. Palermo is an authentic Argentinian Steakhouse that uses traditional meat preparation and cooking methods which results in extraordinary super tasty dishes.

This restaurant boasts many exceptionally impressive reviews from customers who have traveled from far and wide to savor their food. If you are in the area it would seem you are doing yourself an injustice if you bypass the opportunity to sample the cuisine at Palermo.

In addition to the mouth watering main course options there are also some superb pudding options. The desserts served are delightfully Spanish in origin and indulging in one of these has to be the perfect way to end your meal, and indeed your first amazing day in Melbourne. 

Day 2 in Melbourne

Treat yourselves to brunch at Prior Thornbury

Prior Thornbury is located a little way out of the center of Melbourne, and you may need to take a short cab ride to get there. However, the brunch dishes served here are well worth that minor inconvenience!

This delightfully quirky eatery whips up perhaps surprisingly traditional brunch-time dishes that are the epitome of comfort food.  Having had such a busy first day in Melbourne, a lazy start to day two may well be on the cards, so a relaxing brunch is the perfect start to proceedings.

Prior Thornbury embraces minimalism throughout, from the bare walls to the plain yet elegant furniture, the focus here is clearly supposed to be on the food that is being served.

Champagne is on the menu to accompany your brunch which surely makes this the perfect choice of restaurant to kick off day 2 of your Melbourne Itinerary. 

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - People walk in cozy Degraves lane in morning in Melbourne Australia

Take a walk around Queen Victoria Market 

A visit to Queen Victoria Market is an absolute must for anyone visiting Melbourne. Fondly known as the Queen Vic or Vic Market by locals, the Queen Victoria Market has been the heart of Melbourne City for over a century.

It first started trading way back in 1878 and has since cemented itself into the lives of locals of the city as well as those who visit. The market opens its gates every day, except for Mondays and Wednesdays.

Market days start at  6 am and there is always a great vibe to experience  and a bargain or two to be had. From the freshest food products to unique homeware, stunning cut flowers, and adorable toy stores, Melbourne Market has something for everyone. 

MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA - Unidentified people visit Queen Victoria market in Melbourne Australia

Visit Melbourne Museum 

A trip to Melbourne Museum is a brilliant way to learn about the local area, and in fact about Australia in general. The museum predominantly celebrates the history of Victoria and the surrounding areas, through fascinating permanent collections as well as hosting regular temporary displays too.

You can educate yourself by observing the exciting exhibitions, artifacts and costumes on display. The regular presentations showcase historical events, the introduction of various significant cultures to the country, and the passing through of various tribes that have shaped the area to be what it is today.

There is a large hall dedicated to exhibitions on loan from around the world as well as the opportunity to learn about the prehistoric era too. There is a superb gift shop at the museum which is packed with great gift and souvenir ideas. 

MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA - Unidentified people visit Melbourne museum in Melbourne Australia

Explore Federation Square

Federation Square is a diverse collection of tourist attractions, food and drink sellers, retail shopping options, and a venue for a vast array of events throughout the year. There are galleries that showcase Aboriginal as well as modern art from Australia.

There is also a futuristic museum dedicated to all things technology, film, and gaming. Historical exhibitions that educate the masses on the history, lives, and journeys of native Australians can be found throughout the square.

This unique and modern venue hosts many concerts and festivals all through the year and it really is the social hub of the city.

Tiered seating is ideal for enjoying live music on the stage below, or for watching something that is showing on the huge digital LED screen like a film or a live sporting event. 

Melbourne, Australia - Federation square baking in sun under blue sky is surrounded by Saint Pauls Cathedral, Torrens University building and ACMI modern architecture building.

Dinner at Chocolate Buddha

The endless rave reviews written by satisfied diners about their experiences at Chocolate Buddha really do speak for themselves. This modern, Japanese-inspired eatery showcases tall floor-to-ceiling windows which creates a bright and inviting atmosphere.

There is a unique communal style of dining here which promotes a lively sociable buzz within the restaurant. The food served is authentic Japanese, so you can expect all the usual oriental delights, with sushi being a particular specialty.

Those following a vegetarian or vegan diet are very well looked after here and the dessert menu is so tempting you won’t know what to pick!

Enjoying dinner in one of the trendiest parts of the city is the perfect way to bring closure to your fun-filled, action-packed two days in Melbourne. 

Melbourne Tour Ideas 

Great Ocean Road Small-Group Ecotour from Melbourne

During this Great Ocean Road tour you will have plenty of opportunities to spot koalas in their natural environment while you admire the magnificent coastal scenery. Make the most of the unique photo ops as you pass the Twelve Apostles and the Gibson’s Steps.  

Seascape of the Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road, Australia. These limestone sea stacks are located along the shore line of Port Campbell National Park.

Spirit of Melbourne Dinner Cruise

How about a splendid four course dinner as you cruise along the Yarra River? This fine dining experience takes a route that encompasses all of the most popular attractions in Melbourne. 

Sunset over the Yarra River in Melbourne - Australia, Victoria

Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne

Wine connoisseurs will love this wine tasting tour through the Yarra Valley. As you visit each different winery you will learn about the history of Australian wine making and get to sample some of their very best offerings. 

Lush golden vines in autumn at a winery in the Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

2 Day Itinerary for Melbourne – conclusion 

It is clear that there are absolutely loads of things to see and do during your visit to the multicultural and delightfully diverse city of Melbourne.

Even if you only have two days there as long as you are careful with your time and clever with your planning you should get a really authentic experience of what the city offers and having studied our two-day itinerary you will be clearer about what to see in Melbourne!

Recommended tours in Melbourne

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  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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