*This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.
Indoor Activities in Melbourne | 10 Best Things to Do When It’s a Rainy Day
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 of spring and summer. During these months, the days can see sudden cold snaps, thunderstorms and heavy rain causing many to seek refuge indoors.
However, don’t let the turbulent weather put you off exploring this beautiful city as there’s still a huge variety of indoor activities in Melbourne for you to enjoy.
To help you escape the dreary days or sudden downpours that can hit the city, we have listed 10 of the best things to do in Melbourne when it’s raining.
The 10 Best Things to do in Melbourne When It’s Raining
While sudden thunderstorms may seem a guaranteed downer for any kind of city trip, visitors are lucky to have access to an impressive range of things to do in Melbourne when it’s raining.
There are countless indoor activities in Melbourne and the city has numerous touring opportunities and events for the rain weary to enjoy.
To help you escape the rain, here are some of our favourite rainy day activities in Melbourne.
1. Explore Some of Melbourne’s Most Charming Public Buildings
There is a variety of impressive art museums and public sites located throughout the city and you can spend hours exploring these fascinating cultural hubs.
Take a trip to the National Gallery of Victoria and admire one of the world’s most extensive and impressive art collections, featuring dozens of exhibits from all over the world.
If you are an avid reader hoping to escape the rain why not take a trip to the gorgeous Victoria State Library?
This stunning 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 stunning architecture or central dome of glass-stained windows.
I must admit, this is one of MY favourite buildings in Melbourne because its architecture and old-world interior design is simply exquisite.
Given we don’t have countless old buildings in Melbourne (compared to Europe for example), there’s just nothing that beats the libraries charm.
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.
2. Savour the Most Mouth-Watering Chocolate in Melbourne
Certainly one of the most delicious things to do in Melbourne when it’s raining, this chocolate wonderland walking tour will have you visiting some of the most impressive chocolatiers and boutique chocolate stores in the city.
Start at the Chocolate Bar New York where you will be met by one of Australia’s most passionate guides and head to a variety of boutique shops throughout the city.
Learn about the process of chocolate making in Australia from plantation to palate and enjoy different chocolate tastings that are designed by some of the finest chocolatiers in the world.
This tour also includes a trip to one of Melbourne’s most popular wine bars where you can enjoy a specially designed tasting session that combines handcrafted chocolates with delicious local wines.
As you head from one boutique chocolatier to the next, your knowledgeable guide will provide you with the detailed history of the city’s distinguished lanes and arcades.
Enjoy warming chocolate and tasty wines as you shelter from the unpredictable weather while appreciating one of the best rainy day activities in Melbourne.
3. Admire Australia’s Unique Sea life at the Melbourne Aquarium
The Melbourne Sea Life Aquarium has over 550 unique animal species. Travellers and locals alike can spend hours exploring the many different exhibits spread across its impressive four-story high complex.
Here you can admire Australia’s mighty crocodiles, watch darting reef sharks and feed a colony of penguins.
Find out about the fascinating conservation efforts 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 and is home to nearly 2000 marine creatures including three unique shark species.
4. Get Lost Admiring the Many Exhibits of the Melbourne Museum
The Melbourne Museum provides access to exhibits that cover thousands of years of history and the buildings stunning architecture will have you captivated for hours.
Being an award-winning museum and considered one of the best tourist attractions in Australia, it also takes the cake as one of the best things to do in Melbourne when it’s raining.
The museum has hundreds of fascinating exhibits and over 17 million artefacts considered to be of historical or cultural importance.
You’ll get to learn about Australia’s history as far back as the prehistoric era all the way up to its modern-day government whilst wandering through one of the most architecturally unique buildings in Australia.
Also make sure to check out the Museum’s theatre which has the world’s largest IMAX screen.
You can also take a trip across the road to the world heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building to admire some stunning architectural design.
No matter the weather, you’ll be able to spend hours or even days getting lost amongst the countless unique exhibits and pavilions of the impressive Melbourne Museum complex.
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.
The 3-hour Melbourne Cafe Culture Tour takes you to visit some of the famous laneways best and most unique cafés.
During the tour, your informative guide will share tales of Australia’s fascinating coffee history and the vital role that cafés have played in Melbourne’s culture scene.
You’ll also get to enjoy delicious roasted beans and settle in at one of Melbourne’s most charming cafés for a delicious lunch, while you wait out the rain.
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. Party the Night Away at the Crown Casino Complex
Located in the city’s central business district, the Crown Casino Complex is one of the largest casino entertainment complexes in the Southern Hemisphere.
With over two city blocks of floor space, this casino complex features countless things to do in Melbourne when it’s raining.
The complex has a huge gaming floor that plays host to all the classic casino games like blackjack or poker, making it 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.
The resort has four luxurious hotels, dozens of restaurants, and several bars and nightclubs, providing you with endless choices when it comes to delicious meals and drinks out.
Stay up to watch the iconic Gas Brigades Fire show (one of Melbourne’s most prominent attractions) which is located just outside the casino along the river. You’ll get to see fireballs blasting 3 meters into the air from 8-10-meter-high towers 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 fire bans.
- Melbourne Hidden Bars Tour – Is it Worth the Money? | An Honest Review
- South Melbourne Attractions | 14 Top Things to do in South Melbourne and Surrounds
- 5 Epic Melbourne to Great Ocean Road Tours for Solo Travellers
8. Explore Australia’s Unique Sporting History
Whether you are a lover of cricket or Australian football, the Australian Sports Museum is Melbourne’s perfect rainy-day activity for sports lovers. There is also a great MCG “behind the scenes” tour available for you to enjoy.
Located within the Melbourne Cricket Ground, visitors to the museum can view exhibits for some of Australia’s most popular sports including cricket, Australian rules football, rugby and many more.
The museum also has fantastic displays on Australia’s team during the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, creating a monumental timeline of sporting history.
You can also check out the adjoining Melbourne Cricket Club Museum and take a tour of this impressive and stunning 100 000 capacity stadium.
If you’d like to do a Melbourne Sports Tour, you can check out one of the most popular Melbourne Sports tours below.
9. Shelter in Melbourne’s Laneways on a Delicious Foodie Tour
This thrilling culinary walk allows you to experience the fantastic gastronomic culture of Melbourne’s city centre.
By far one of the tastiest indoor activities in Melbourne, the 3-hour Culinary Walking Tour is perfect for those with a passion for food and looking to avoid the rain.
Discover some of Melbourne’s best-hidden highlights where you can savour delicious coffees, savoury dumplings and more.
Enjoy some of the best food in the city as your informative guide provides you with the fascinating history of Melbourne’s Central Business District.
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 a Luxurious Melbourne Wine Tasting Tour
This degustation food and wine walking tour is a superb activity for those seeking things to do in Melbourne when it’s raining.
The tour takes you to some of Melbourne’s most famous restaurants to savour delicious wine and menu pairings as part of a luxurious experience including three of the most unique venues in the city centre.
Here you can enjoy private wine and menu tastings allowing you to truly discover the savoury expertise of Melbourne’s best chefs.
Learn about the history of local wines from vibrant sommeliers and listen as passionate chefs and owners reveal how their remarkable restaurant designs and menu combinations have become some of Melbourne’s most famous dining experiences.
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 including:
- Explore Melbourne’s historical buildings: National Gallery of Victoria & Victoria State Library
- Chocolate Wonderland Walking Tour through Melbourne
- Melbourne Sea Life Aquarium
- Melbourne’s Charming Cafe Culture Tour
- Melbourne Museum
- Virtual Reality Escape Room Experience
- Enjoy the Crown Casino Complex
- MCG “behind the scenes” and Australia Sports Museum Tour
- Delicious 3-hour Culinary / Foodie Walking Tour
- Melbourne degustation food and wine walking tour