A quick question for Australia’s visitors: what is the difference between Sydney and Melbourne for night owls? Well, nightlife options in Sydney may be limited, whereas the question to ask after dark in Melbourne is this: “Where to next?”
If you are planning your Melbourne holidays, know that there will be no shortage of late-night Melbourne activities for you to enjoy. It’s all part of the city’s drive to revitalise its visitor economy, by ensuring that it has something to offer everyone, at every hour.
Looking for things to do in Melbourne tonight? Here are some insider tips for places to visit in Melbourne at night from the team at PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport!
The Melbourne “Must Eat” List: Restaurants That Open Late
As nocturnal travellers are aware, nothing soothes a sleepless soul like comfort food. Guests at PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport who fly in late can have a relaxing dinner at our in-house Airo Restaurant, which opens at night from 6.00pm to 10.30pm.
Airo Restaurant offers French-influenced Australian cuisine that will delight your taste buds. Watch skilled chefs cooking up gourmet specialties in the open kitchen as you enjoy your meal. If you are a wine or cheese connoisseur, you’ll appreciate the restaurant’s top-label wines and handpicked Australian artisanal cheeses. (View Airo’s dinner menu here.)
Out on a late-night adventure? Get souped up at Twenty Pho Seven, where dinner is served anytime from 5.30pm to 4.00am. Here, you can tuck into traditional pho (Vietnamese soup with noodles, pronounced “fuh”) while tapping your feet to R&B tunes.
What’s the inspiration behind Twenty Pho Seven? “We grew up in Melbourne's Vietnamese community having pho for breakfast, lunch and dinner," says Thai Ho, one of the restaurant’s founders. "When we were out late at night, we always used to say, wouldn't it be great to get a bowl of pho at three or four in the morning?”
While you’re here, don’t forget to sip on alcohol-infused bubble tea (yes, it is a thing) or Vietnamese beer.
Staying out till sunrise on a weekend? Grab a burger, or more precisely, Melbourne’s “best cheeseburger,” at Le Bon Ton, which opens till 5:00am on Fridays and Saturdays. Or try any of their other dishes inspired by the cuisines of the American South—two brothers born in Alabama and raised in Texas head Le Bon Ton’s kitchen team. And yes, there’s a bar too, where you can linger till 6:00am.
For more round-the-clock restaurant suggestions, see Concrete Playground’s 2019 list.
Things to do in Melbourne After Dark: Fun without Alcohol
Queen Victoria Night Market
Address: Queen Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Telephone number: +61 3 9320 5822
Opening hours: Wednesday: 5.00pm to 10.00pm (10 April to 8 May 2019); click here for day market hours.
Address: 309 Lygon Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
Telephone number: +61 3 9347 6633
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 9.00am to 11.00pm; Sunday: 10.00am to 9.00pm
Il Dolce Freddo
Address: 116 Lygon Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
Telephone number: +61 3 9639 3344
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 12.30pm to 10.30pm; closed on Monday
If having a late tipple isn’t your thing, consider these other options.
The largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere, Queen Victoria Market is a Melbourne institution, with origins dating back to the 19th century. Its well-loved market hall is famed for its fresh foods, baked goods, and artisanal products—if you’re looking for things to do in Melbourne at night for free, a stroll through the Queen Victoria night markets is a great way to begin your evening. The night market typically runs on Wednesdays in the summer from 5.00pm to 10.00pm.
If you’re in town on, or before, 8 May in 2019, you can experience the “Europa Night Market,” featuring over 40 stalls along with Euro-inspired “live” entertainment. Be sure to try German currywurst, Portuguese barbecue, Belgian frites, and Irish Guinness wings!
Tired of crowds? Hole up in the Readings Carlton bookstore on Lygon Street, which opens till 11.00pm on most nights. This award-winning bookstore has been operating since 1969—to some, it exudes a “quiet... folded-page dignity,” which is exactly the vibe that bibliophiles love. Recently renovated, this book haven is now bigger and better than before, which is all the more reason to pop in.
Feeling peckish after all that reading? Walk to the nearby Il Dolce Freddo, and order the Asian-inspired durian gelato if you dare. Or proceed to Cinema Nova to cap your night with an arthouse or award-winning movie; the theatre hosts late-night screenings on Saturdays.
For your after-hours culture fix, look out for Melbourne Museum’s Nocturnal series, which runs on the first Friday of every month. You can catch stellar music performances, explore its much-lauded exhibits, or participate in pop-up activities—plenty of excitement for a night.
Best Melbourne Attractions at Night: The City’s Top Bars
Address: 304 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia
Telephone number: +61 3 9417 0455
Opening hours: 5.00pm to 3.00am daily
Here’s a local nightlife tip, courtesy of The Urban List: “Draw a red line around Victoria Street, Smith Street, Alexandra Parade, and Nicholson Street, and you’ll catch most of the city’s best bars—everything from cheap brewpubs and candlelight wine bars to schmancy cocktail lounges where you can blow a week’s wages on a single martini.”
This is the area known as Fitzroy, and the shining star here is Black Pearl, which has picked up such awards as “Best Bar in Australasia” and “Best International Cocktail Bar.” Black Pearl regulars are also keeping an eye on Fancy Free, a new bar project (currently in its experimental pop-up phase) by three notable figures in the scene, who first met while working at Black Pearl.
For fervent craft beer fans, head to Moon Dog Craft Brewery, where rules about what craft beer should taste like have been tossed out the window. Here’s what the owners say: “We’ll put pretty much anything into a beer if we think it will taste good. So strap in and get ready to try something a bit different.”
Head there on a Thursday night at 7.00pm and you’ll get to join the free brewery tour. It’ll certainly be interesting to hear from brewers who admit to throwing “everything but the kitchen sink” into their early yeasty creations!
Need a Guide in Melbourne? Book a Night Tour
Sometimes, it’s easier to leave the planning to the experts. Fortunately for busy travellers, Melbourne has plenty of tours offering authentic local experiences along with the chance to meet fellow travellers.
Foodies will appreciate the Progressive Degustation Walking Tour by Hidden Secrets Tours. Instead of racking your brains over which Melbourne restaurants to try, you’ll get to visit three unique dining spots in one evening. Great food aside, you’ll hear about the inspirations and stories behind these restaurants—truly the best way to get a taste of the city.
For bar-hoppers: what’s classier than a bar crawl, and more fun than a walking tour? It’s the Drinking History Tours, which are part educational, part social, and of course, you’ll get to do what you do best, which is to drink and party. Sign up for a tour to discover Fitzroy or Melbourne’s laneways.
Thrill-seekers, here’s an otherworldly experience you can’t pass up: visit the Old Melbourne Gaol at night, and choose from the hangman’s tour, or the ghost stories tour.
Need some background information to send a delicious chill down your spine? When the Old Melbourne Gaol was built in the mid-1800s, it was the city’s symbol of authority. Inside the Gaol, dangerous criminals were held alongside petty offenders, the homeless, and the mentally ill. Up until 1929 when it closed, the gaol was the site of 133 hangings. That’s plenty of restless spirits in one space!
Welcome to Melbourne! Why stay at PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport? Being adjacent to the Melbourne Airport has some clear advantages such as hassle-free stopovers, but that’s not all. You can explore the local neighbourhood, or take a 15-minute drive to the popular Sunbury Wine Region, where the vineyards have been winning awards since the 1850s. If you would like to experience more, Melbourne’s city centre is located just 20 minutes away. View our accommodation offers, or contact our friendly staff today.