Melbourne is known amongst Australians for its vibrant city life as well as its unpredictable weather conditions which are prone to sudden and often unexpected change.
Weather patterns can change drastically in a single day, especially during the city’s busy tourism seasons. Some days can see sudden cold snaps, thunderstorms and heavy rain causing many to seek refuge indoors.
However, don’t let the turbulent weather of Melbourne put you off exploring this beautiful city. There’s a huge variety of indoor activities in Melbourne for you to enjoy, even on the most rainy of days.
So if you’re wondering what to do in Melbourne on a rainy day, you’ve come to the right place!
In this article we’ve listed 10 of the best things to do in Melbourne when it’s raining. You can also check out other activities to do in Melbourne by visiting Get Your Guide below.
Melbourne Indoor Activities for When it’s a Rainy Day
While sudden thunderstorms can be a downer for any kind of city trip, “Melbourne-ites” are lucky to have access to an impressive range of things to do in Melbourne on a rainy day.
Although known for its many outdoor sites and attractions such as the Botanical Gardens, don’t be fooled, there’s also countless of indoor activities in Melbourne. The city has numerous indoor events and venues that you can enjoy.
To help you escape the rain, here are some of our favourite rainy day tours and activities in Melbourne.
Here’s a brief summary of some popular experiences you can check out:
- Join the Chocolate Wonderland Walking Tour through Melbourne
- Buy a ticket to Melbourne Sea Life Aquarium
- Indulge your taste buds on the Melbourne Coffee Lovers Walk
- Try a Virtual Reality Escape Room Experience
- Get your dose of sport on the MCG and Australia Sports Museum Tour
- Join a decadent Culinary / Foodie Walking Tour
- Join the complete degustation food and wine walking tour
For the complete list of the best indoor activities and things to do in Melbourne when it’s raining, you can read more below. Alternatively, you can check out Trip Advisor for a wider selection of “rainy day” activities in Melbourne.
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The 10 Best Things to do in Melbourne When It’s Raining
1. Explore Melbourne’s Most Charming Buildings
In Melbourne CBD, there’s a variety of impressive art museums, cultural hubs and public sites sprinkled throughout the city for you to explore.
As an example, why not take a trip to the National Gallery of Victoria to admire one of the world’s most extensive and impressive art collections, featuring dozens of exhibits from all over the world.
Or if you’re an avid reader, why not escape the rain by visiting the striking Victoria State Library.
This heritage building was one of the world’s first free public libraries and is a great place to shelter from Melbourne’s turbulent weather – even if just to admire its Neoclassical architecture including a central dome of glass-stained window.
A little tip for newbies to the library:
- Upon entry, make your way to the left or right staircase and walk your way to the “dome” room.
- The doors will open automatically at your arrival which adds great dramatic effect.
- As you enter the dome room, take a moment to awe at the glass ceiling, intricate details, levels of bookshelves, and old mahogany desks with green-shaded desk lamps.
I must admit, this is one of MY favourite buildings in Melbourne!
2. Savour the Taste of Mouth-Watering Chocolate
Certainly one of the most delicious things to do in Melbourne on a rainy day, this chocolate wonderland walking tour will have you visiting a selection of the most impressive chocolatiers and boutique chocolate stores in the CBD.
Start at the Chocolate Bar New York where you will be met by one of Australia’s most passionate guides.
From there, you’ll head to a variety of boutique shops throughout the city and:
- Learn about the process of chocolate making in Australia – from plantation to palate
- Get to enjoy different chocolate tastings designed by some of the finest chocolatiers in the world
- Take a trip to one of Melbourne’s most popular wine bars to enjoy a specially designed tasting session that combines handcrafted chocolates with delicious local wines
- Learn about some of Melbourne’s history including it’s distinguished lanes and arcades
So why not enjoy some heart-warming chocolate and wine while sheltering yourself from the rain – surely this has to be one of the best rainy day activities in Melbourne!
3. Make a Visit to Melbourne Aquarium
If you’ve found yourself stuck and wondering what to do in Melbourne on a rainy day, then go ahead and buy yourself a ticket to Melbourne’s Sea Life Aquarium.
This aquarium has over 550 unique animal species and features numerous exhibits spread across its impressive four-story high complex. It’s very easy to kill several hours exploring this cool underwater world, admiring Australia’s unique sea life.
While in the aquarium, you can also:
- Admire Australia’s mighty crocodiles
- Watch darting reef sharks
- Feed a colony of penguins
- Visit the Bay of Rays to see sting rays up close
- Gain insight to active conservation efforts that are happening throughout Victoria and
- Learn about the centre’s world-class sea turtle rehabilitation program
Make sure to finish your trip to the aquarium by visiting the enormous Mermaid Garden oceanarium, which contains over 2 million litres of water. It is home to nearly 2000 marine creatures including three unique shark species.
4. Get Lost Admiring the Many Exhibits of Melbourne Museum
The Melbourne Museum is an award-winning museum and often considered one of the best tourist attractions in Australia, and one of the best things to do in Melbourne when it’s raining.
It is the largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere and Victoria’s most important cultural institution.
While exploring the museum you can:
- Explore hundreds of fascinating exhibits and over 17 million artefacts (considered to be of historical or cultural importance)
- Visit the Science and Life Gallery to see a substantial gallery of bugs, dinosaurs, fossils, animals, human biology and more
- Learn about Australia’s history from the prehistoric era all the way up to Melbourne’s modern-day government
Also make sure to check out the Museum’s theatre which has the world’s largest IMAX screen, or cross the road and make your way to the world heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building.
So, if it’s a rainy day and you’re looking for something to do, why not take a moment to enjoy one of Melbourne’s best indoor activities, located within one of the most architecturally unique buildings in Australia!
5. Discover Melbourne’s Charming Cafe Culture
Melbourne is renowned across Australia for its uniquely charming and niche café culture with endless lanes of coffee shops for the bean–obsessed to explore.
This cafe culture tour takes you to some of Melbourne’s best-hidden food and coffee spots and will give you the opportunity to get accustomed with unique businesses that are passionate about coffee.
This 3-hour Melbourne Coffee Lovers Walk takes you to visit some of the famous laneways best and most unique cafés.
During the tour, you’ll get to:
- Listen to tales of Australia’s fascinating coffee history and the vital role that cafés have played in Melbourne’s culture scene
- Enjoy delicious roasted beans and settle in at one of Melbourne’s most charming cafés for a delicious lunch
Keen to get out of the cold and wet? Perfect! Join the tour and warm up your hands and belly with a decadent cup of the city’s best coffee.
6. Evade the Weather in Virtual Reality
Thanks to the outstanding innovations of the new digital age, you can now experience incredible adventures in virtual reality.
When the weather is less than ideal, why not escape to an entirely new world as part of a virtual reality Escape Room experience.
This unique one-hour experience gives you plenty of space to take on a variety of virtual challenges, games and more! You can enjoy it on your own or with up to six other people.
This experience is by far one of the most immersive 3D activities based in Melbourne and is a perfect for a rainy day.
It’s also something that is both challenging and extremely fun!
7. Treat Yourself to a Special Night at Crown Casino
Located in the city’s central business district, the Crown Casino Complex is one of the largest casino entertainment complexes in the Southern Hemisphere.
It provides endless choices when it comes to delicious meals and drinks out, featuring:
- 4 luxurious hotels
- Dozens of delectable restaurants
- Several bars and nightclubs
And with over two city blocks of floor space, it offers countless things to do in Melbourne when it’s raining.
With a selection of clubs and a huge gaming floor that plays host to all the classic casino games, it is the perfect place to spend a glamorous night out. You can also enjoy a cheeky cocktail or two from one of the many casino bars.
If you’re there in the evening, ensure to take a moment to watch the iconic Gas Brigades Fire show (one of Melbourne’s most prominent attractions).
Located just outside the Casino along the Yarra River, the fire show involves fireballs being blasted 3 meters into the air from 8-10-meter-high towers.
It occurs every hour, on the hour, between:
- 9pm-12pm Monday – Friday and
- 8pm-12pm Saturday – Sunday
Note: The show is subject to weather conditions, seasonal conditions and the presence of any fire bans.
8. Explore Australia’s Unique Sporting History
Whether you’re a lover of cricket or AFL, the MCG and Australian Sports Museum tour is a perfect rainy-day activity for sports lovers.
Located within the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), visitors to the museum can view exhibits for some of Australia’s most popular sports including cricket, Australian rules football, rugby and many more.
While at the museum, you can enjoy:
- Fantastic displays on Australia’s team during the Summer and Winter Olympic Games
- The adjoining Melbourne Cricket Club Museum and take a tour of this impressive and stunning 100 000 capacity stadium
If you’re an avid sports lover and seeking one of the best indoor things to do in Melbourne on a rainy day, the MCG “behind the scenes” tour could present the perfect option.
It is one of the most popular Melbourne Sports tours, so ensure to buy your ticket early so you can indulge yourself in a day themed around Melbourne’s sport history.
9. Explore Melbourne’s Laneways on a Decadent Foodie Tour
By far one of the tastiest indoor activities in Melbourne, the 3-hour Foodie Walking Tour is perfect for those with a passion for food and exploring the gastronomic culture of Melbourne’s city centre.
Discover some of Melbourne’s best-hidden highlights where you can savour delicious coffees, savoury dumplings and some of the best food in the city.
You’ll also get to:
- Explore the city’s elegant 19th-century arcades
- Admire some of the art galleries hidden amongst Melbourne’s hip side streets and
- Discover the fascinating history of the CBD’s many unique lane ways
- Stop at multiple cafes, restaurants and boutique eateries to enjoy the endless flavours of Melbourne.
Your tour will not only take you to some of the best eateries in the city but will also have you visiting Melbourne’s most popular alternate art gallery.
End the tour with a drink at one of the city’s most popular local bars as part of this fantastic food-focused rainy day activity in Melbourne.
Note: The tour doesn’t include umbrellas so ensure to pack your own!
10. Enjoy Melbourne’s Entertainment and Shopping Precincts
If you’re looking for a rainy day activity in Melbourne that allows you to remain completely indoors, a day of entertainment or shopping could be the perfect solution for you.
Known as one of the Australia’s best cities for entertainment and shopping, you can easily spend a day enjoying one of the following Melbourne indoor activities:
- Go to the theatre and experience one of Melbourne’s latest shows and/or performances
- Go to the Cinemas and watch one of Melbourne’s latest releases
- Visit one of Melbournes arcades or gaming precincts such as Holy Moley at Crown Casino, Archie Brothers in Docklands or go gaming at Fortress.
- Go shopping at Melbourne Central
- Soak your body and relax in one of Melbourne’s day spas
- Do a day trip to Science Works or ArtVo
Other Indoor Activities in Melbourne
If you’re seeking a complete list of Melbourne indoor activities to do while it’s raining, there’s a great list of options on Trip Advisor too. If none of our above options tickle your fancy, you can get more ideas below.
Indoor Activities in Melbourne | 10 Best Things to Do on a Rainy Day
Melbourne is one of Australia’s most popular cities thanks to its unique vintage shops, graffiti-covered backstreets and charming coffee culture.
Thanks to an impressive array of things to do in Melbourne when it’s raining, the city is the perfect destination for anyone no matter the weather.
Whether you’re a lover of art, sports or stunning coastal scenery, you will never lack entertainment during your stay in Melbourne.
You can feel confident about your trip, even if the weather looks awful, because there is a fantastic assortment of indoor activities in Melbourne all year round.