Even on its rainiest days, Melbourne pulses with lively excitement and vibrant places waiting to be discovered. From good old-fashioned family fun to pounding the pavements in upscale shopping centres, and adrenaline-fueled escapades to cultural attractions — indoor activities in Melbourne never fail to deliver.

Come rain or shine, the city ensures there’s never a dull moment. Home to a multitude of hidden gems blend of entertaining, enlightening, and engaging indoor activities, Melbourne holds your interests high and the weather woes low. Here's a closer look at some of Melbourne's best indoor activities to enjoy when next staying at Dorsett Melbourne.

1. National Gallery of Victoria

Escape the ordinary and take a voyage into the mesmerising universe of art at Australia’s oldest museum, the National Gallery of Victoria. This sanctuary of creativity is renowned for housing an enchanting collection of art pieces, flawlessly curated by both local Australian artists and esteemed international talents.

There’s always something new to discover, with the gallery constantly evolving and showcasing novel pieces and exhibitions. From classical antiquities to contemporary multimedia installations, the art palette here spans centuries and continents.

  • Address: 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3006, Australia

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Daily.

  • Entry Price: Free

  • Directions from Dorsett Melbourne (Open in Google Maps)

2. The State Library of Victoria

Within the historic walls of the State Library of Victoria, you’ll unearth a treasure trove of knowledge and history. Another of the great indoor activities in Melbourne to enjoy, the library not only houses an expansive literary collection, but also frequently hosts enlightening talks, workshops, and exhibitions.

Let each book be a portal to a new world as you delve into the aisles brimming with everything from classic novel masterpieces to self-help guidance. A sanctuary for scholars, students, and casual readers alike, the library feeds the insatiable quest for knowledge of every visitor who steps through its doors.

State Library of Victoria

  • Address: 328 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm, Daily.

  • Entry Price: Free

  • Directions from Dorsett Melbourne (Open in Google Maps)

3. The Ian Potter Centre

Just a step away from Melbourne's bustling streetscapes and nestled in the beating heart of Federation Square, The Ian Potter Centre serves as a testament to Australia's vibrant art scene. The gallery exposes the depth and breadth of Australian creativity over the years, amalgamating the traditional artistic expressions of indigenous Australians with the innovative approaches of non-indigenous artists.

No matter your age or inclination towards art, a visit here promises to enlighten, inspire and evoke a deeper appreciation of Australia's cultural heritage.

  • Address: Federation Square, Flinders St &, Russell St, Melbourne VIC 3000,

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Daily.

  • Entry Price: Free

  • Directions from Dorsett Melbourne (Open in Google Maps)

4. Melbourne Immigration Museum

Situated in what was once the Old Customs House, the Melbourne Immigration Museum is a gateway to the compelling chronicles of human translocation. As you stroll through its grand halls, each display rings with tales of struggle, success, hardship, and hope from countless immigrants who have sought a new life on Australian soil.

Personal anecdotes intertwine with overarching narratives of migration history, crafting a multifaceted storyline of Melbourne's evolution. This heartwarming collection of stories presents an opportunity to understand, empathise, and appreciate the diverse roots that have collectively transformed Melbourne into the multicultural metropolis it is today.

  • Address: 400 Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Daily.

  • Entry Price: Adults $15.00 | 16 and under enter free

  • Directions from Dorsett Melbourne (Open in Google Maps)

5. Koorie Heritage Centre

Escape the drizzle and step into a journey through time at the Koorie Heritage Centre. It presents a riveting narrative of the Aboriginal people from South-Eastern Australia, eloquently illuminated through its interactive displays and indigenous exhibits.

This cultural hub invites you to delve into the rich tapestry of Aboriginal history, providing an enriching educational experience that is among the best indoor activities in Melbourne. Each visit promises new and profound insights, making the Koorie Heritage Centre a must-visit destination.

  • Address: The Yarra Building, Federation Square, Flinders St &, Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Daily.

  • Entry Price: Free

  • Directions from Dorsett Melbourne (Open in Google Maps)

6. Puffing Billy

Embark on a captivating journey through the Dandenong Ranges aboard the Puffing Billy, a charming, historic steam railway. Enjoy the beauty of the lush landscapes from the comfort of enclosed carriages as you venture through the scenic winding tracks.

With easy access via train from Southern Cross Station, the Puffing Billy provides a memorable experience as it transports you into a world of picturesque panoramas and vibrant nature, making it the perfect excursion for any age or occasion.

Train amongst palms and ferns

  • Address: 1 Old Monbulk Rd, Belgrave VIC 3160, Australia

  • Opening Hours: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm, Daily.

  • Entry Price: $20.50 - $155.00

7. Scienceworks Melbourne

Perfectly encapsulating the notion that knowledge can be entertaining, Scienceworks Melbourne is one of the best indoor activities in Melbourne — a cocoon of stimulation and excitement for both kids and adults. An array of interactive exhibits encouraging hands-on learning provides the perfect backdrop for young scientists to explore and spark their natural curiosity.

As the enthralling science shows bring theoretical concepts to life, the awe-inspiring Planetarium provides a special link between Earth and the infinite expanse of the cosmos. With each feature meticulously designed to evoke wonder and understanding, this museum truly celebrates the extraordinary union of learning and fun.

  • Address: 2 Booker St, Spotswood VIC 3015, Australia

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 am - 4:30 pm, Daily.

  • Entry Price: Adults $35 | Children over 3 $20

8. O'Brien Icehouse Melbourne

Whether you're an expert on skates or a beginner finding your balance, O’ Brien Icehouse proves to be one of the most popular indoor activities in Melbourne. Engage in a friendly game of ice tag or show off your dance moves on skates during their public ice skating sessions.

For sports enthusiasts, catching a thrilling ice hockey match within the facility's state-of-the-art arenas is a must. And if all these icy adventures give you a chill, fear not! The Icehouse maintains a comfortable ambient temperature so that you can enjoy all the magic of a wintry wonderland without any of the uncomfortable cold. So, lace up, hit the ice and cool down your day with the O'Brien Icehouse.

  • Address: Ground/105 Pearl River Rd, Docklands VIC 3008,

  • Opening Hours: 9:00 am - Late, Daily.

  • Entry Price: Adults $35 | Children under 9 $19

People floating on giant leaf

9. ArtVo Melbourne

Step right into the world of imagination and creativity with ArtVo Melbourne! This one-of-a-kind art gallery takes the term "interactive" to new heights, allowing visitors to become part of the art itself. Featuring an extensive array of spectacular 3D-painted walls, ArtVo Melbourne invites you to strike a pose, snap a photo, and bring the magic to life.

The immersive scenes and artistic installations offer you unparalleled photo opportunities, transforming each captured moment into a dramatic work of art. A perfect indoor activity to escape the ordinary, ArtVo Melbourne is a must-visit for both tourists and locals seeking fun-filled experiences.

  • Address: Shop NCF 07, Level 1/26 Star Cres, Docklands VIC 3008

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, Daily.

  • Entry Price: Adults $30 | Children $20

10. SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

Dive into the underwater world without even getting wet at the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium. A veritable treasure trove of marine life, this aquarium offers a unique opportunity to discover Australia's diverse aquatic residents, all under one roof.

From the awe-inspiring sight of powerful sharks cutting through the water to the playful antics of adorable penguins, the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium houses a magnificent variety of creatures that will captivate both kids and adults alike. Each exhibit is meticulously designed to mimic natural habitats, providing an immersive and educational experience for all.

  • Address: King St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Thursday - Monday.

  • Entry Price: Adults $47 | Children $32

11. Queen Victoria Market

Experience the authentic charm of Melbourne at its beating heart, Queen Victoria Market. Steeped in history, this iconic marketplace is much more than just a shopping destination. It sparkles as a lively epicentre of local culture, bringing together a vibrant collection of fresh produce, delectable deli goods, and unique crafts from artisans near and far.

Whether you're on the hunt for the perfect ingredient, seeking out a one-of-a-kind gift, or simply looking to immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere, this bustling market delivers on all fronts. Perfect as a rainy day refuge, Queen Victoria Market invites you to explore, enjoy, and discover everything it has to offer.

  • Address: Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

  • Opening Hours: 6:00 am - 3:00 pm. Closed Monday & Wednesday.

  • Entry Price: Free

Melbourne Central shopping centre clock tower

12. Melbourne Central Shopping Centre

Nestled within an architectural gem, the Melbourne Central Shopping Centre offers a unique retail experience combining both history and modernity. Housing a multitude of clothing stores, dining options, and entertainment venues, it presents itself as the ultimate shopping destination and a haven from Melbourne's unpredictable weather.

From the latest fashion trends to unique boutiques, Melbourne Central Shopping Centre caters to the tastes of every shopper. Embark on a retail therapy adventure under the magnificently preserved historic structure, creating a harmonious blend of past and present.

  • Address: Cnr LaTrobe and Swanston Streets, Melbourne VIC 3000

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm, Daily. Open til 9:00 pm Fri & Sat

  • Entry Price: Free

  • Directions from Dorsett Melbourne (Open in Google Maps)

13. Emporium Melbourne

Emporium Melbourne is the ultimate shopping hotspot for luxury-seeking fashion enthusiasts. Ideal for exploring on rainy Melbourne days, it presents a wide array of international and local brands. Beyond fashion, you can find accessories, cosmetics, and homeware, making it a diverse shopping experience.

Moreover, it's home to various eateries for when you need a shopping break. Regardless of the weather, Emporium Melbourne provides a day filled with retail indulgence and discovery.

  • Address: 287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm, Daily. Open til 9:00 pm Fri & Sat

  • Entry Price: Free

14. AFL Footy Finals in Melbourne

Experience quintessential Melbourne at its best during the AFL Footy Finals! This thrilling event is an exhilarating blend of competitive fervour, team dedication, and the pervasive energetic atmosphere that fills the stadium.

Whether you're a seasoned fan or new to the sport, the Footy Finals promise a remarkable spectacle as teams battle it out on the field amidst roaring cheers from enthusiastic supporters. So, join in, pick a side, and bask in the infectious spirit! No matter the outcome, the Footy Finals in Melbourne are a testament to the city's love for the sport and an event not to be missed.

  • Address: Brunton Ave, Richmond VIC 3002, Australia

  • Opening Hours: Varies

  • Entry Price: Varies

Discover The Difference at Dorsett Melbourne

When it comes to discovering the best that the city has to offer, Dorsett Melbourne serves as the ideal base. Located in the heart of the city, this city centre hotel places you at the forefront of everything that Melbourne shines for — its thriving arts scene, eclectic shopping districts, delectable food, and diverse indoor activities.

Our commitment to providing a memorable experience goes beyond just offering a convenient location. Our friendly staff are always on hand to provide personalised recommendations based on your own unique interests, ensuring that you make the most out of your time in Melbourne.

Whether you're looking for the best art galleries to explore, the trendiest shopping spots, or the hidden culinary gems, our knowledgeable team will guide you to discover the city's hidden gems and create lasting memories. Check into the ultimate inner-city oasis, perfect for exploring the city's landmarks and escaping the unpredictable weather.

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What recreational activities are available in Melbourne?

In addition to indoor delights, Melbourne offers a myriad of recreational activities, from outdoor sports to heritage walks and nature parks.

What do people in Melbourne do for entertainment?

Melbourne offers a diverse range of cultural activities. From live music and theatres to sports events and community festivals, there's a wide range of options for entertainment.

What are the top 5 physical activities in Melbourne?

Melbourne is teeming with physical activities that cater to the active lifestyle of its residents and visitors. The city and its surroundings offer exciting opportunities for hiking, such as the trails at Kinglake National Park. The region is also a paradise for cyclists with its cycle-friendly paths that traverse scenic parks and riversides.

Water enthusiasts can enjoy surfing at the city's nearby beaches or partake in memorable kayaking experiences on the Yarra River. Furthermore, the popularity of rock climbing has surged in Melbourne, with enthusiasts flocking to indoor climbing gyms and natural expanses like Grampians National Park for a challenging adventure.

Does Melbourne have good entertainment?

Absolutely. From its dynamic arts scene and culinary delights to sports events and nature activities, Melbourne caters to everyone when it comes to entertainment.

What to do on a rainy day in Melbourne?

Pretty much anything on this list. Melbourne offers scores of indoor activities waiting to be discovered on a rainy day.

When the skies turn cloudy in Melbourne, there's no reason to bring your spirit down. The city houses an exceptional array of indoor wonders that ensure a delightful day out. Reminiscent of a surprise wrapped in a rainy day, these indoor activities are worth exploring!