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Top 10 Melbourne Staycations: where to stay & what to do

Linden Brown
white bridge across city buildings
Photo by Denise Jans / Unsplash

Whether you enjoy arts and culture, foodie delights, breath-taking natural scenery or fascinating educational experiences, Melbourne has it all.

Grab a car rental and book a great hotel to remember why travellers flock from all corners of the globe to experience this city – your very own piece of cultural paradise.

We compiled this guide to Melbourne staycations to show you how easy it is to fall in love with Melbourne again. We’ll cover where to stay and what to do for some of the best experiences you can find this side of the equator. Let’s go.

Jump to:

What is a staycation, and why choose Melbourne?

Ah, the staycation. It's that perfect blend of vacation vibes without the hassle of leaving your city. Easier to organise, kinder on your wallet and usually kinder to the planet, too. Win-win-win.

But it's not just spending your holiday time at home. 

It's an invitation to explore your own city with the curiosity and enthusiasm usually reserved for far-off, exotic lands. The beauty of a staycation lies in its simplicity – the adventure into the heart of what makes your city tick. You might just fall in love all over again.

So, why take a staycation in Melbourne? 

Picture this: you sit down to brunch at a laneway café; the next minute you're on a culinary journey through Italy, Vietnam, or Ethiopia. Melbourne's food scene is a never-ending feast.

After brunch, you discover surprising art that is not only beautiful but makes you think. From street art-adorned alleyways to the hallowed halls of the NGV, culture pulses through Melbourne's veins.

And as the afternoon sun fades into evening, the Royal Botanic Gardens are so peaceful it’s hard to imagine you’re at the centre of Australia’s most liveable city.

From the gardens, you walk paths that whisper stories as you walk down the street to your evening show. Each building—each cobblestone—has a tale to tell. 

And here's the kicker: you've probably walked past some of Melbourne's best spots a hundred times without really taking them in. A Melbourne staycation is your chance to turn the familiar into the extraordinary. Find that hidden café, that secret garden, or that quirky bookstore. Melbourne is a city of layers. A staycation lets you peel them back one by one.

Best hotels for a Melbourne staycation

brown concrete building during daytime
Photo by Arun Clarke / Unsplash

Whether you’re looking at a Melbourne CBD staycation or prefer the view from bustling Southbank, we’ve picked a few of our favourite places to stay. And there’s something for every budget.

Five luxury stays you don’t want to miss

For a luxury staycation in Melbourne, these five hotels are hard to beat.

cityscape near canal with outdoor lamps under night sky
Photo by Linda Xu / Unsplash

Crown Towers Melbourne

Dive into opulence at Crown Towers Melbourne. Spacious rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows offer breath-taking views of the Yarra River or the dazzling city skyline. You’re just steps away from the Crown Casino complex, with its array of dining, entertainment, and shopping options. The Arts Precinct and Melbourne Aquarium are also close by.

Why you'll love it: A stay here is not just a stay – it's an experience. From the luxurious Crown Spa to the sumptuous dining options and the indoor pool with skyline views, it's a pampering you won't forget.

The Langham, Melbourne

Luxuriate in classically elegant rooms at The Langham, Melbourne, with a renowned afternoon tea service that's an event in itself. Nestled by the Yarra River, you're within walking distance of the Royal Botanic Gardens and the National Gallery of Victoria.

Why it's special: The Langham is a sanctuary of calm in the city's heart, offering an exquisite blend of service, style, and comfort. The Chuan Spa is a highlight, promising rejuvenation.

Grand Hyatt Melbourne

Choose The Grand Hyatt Melbourne for a blend of luxury and comfort with a notable City Club Health & Fitness Centre. Situated on Collins Street, you're in the heart of Melbourne's best shopping, dining, and cultural activities.

Why stay: Its central location and superb amenities make it an escape for those who appreciate the finer things in life, coupled with easy access to Melbourne's vibrant scene.

QT Melbourne

With its bold interior design, QT Melbourne is a boutique hotel that offers a distinctly modern and artistic stay. Right in the CBD, you’ll stay close to the fashion-forward Flinders Lane and bustling Federation Square.

Why it's cool: For the culturally curious, QT Melbourne is a blend of luxury and avant-garde, perfect for those who seek a side of artistic discovery with their comfort.

InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto

Set in a stunningly restored 19th-century building, the InterContinental is where a unique blend of historical charm meets modern luxury. You’ll be minutes away from the Southbank Promenade and the bustling laneways of Melbourne CBD.

Why you'll adore it: This hotel stands out for a taste of Melbourne's rich history with all the contemporary luxuries. The high tea here is a must-do.

If none of these luxury stays are ticking all of your boxes, try The Westin Melbourne – enjoy the art deco inspired lobby and world class guest rooms. After a buffet breakfast, head out onto Collins street in search of some french-inspired pastries, or find your way to Om Nom on Flinders Lane for a memorable cocktail.

Five budget hotels to consider

Now, let’s look at five of the best Melbourne staycation deals.

The Ibis Melbourne Central

The Ibis Melbourne Central has bright, contemporary rooms in the heart of Melbourne. It offers comfort without the price tag. Located centrally, it's a quick hop to the Queen Victoria Market and Melbourne Central.

Why stay here: It's perfect for explorers looking for a comfy, no-fuss base with the city's delights at their doorstep.

Space Hotel

Space Hotel is chic and budget-friendly. It has a rooftop terrace and offers dormitory-style and private rooms. You’ll be just a short walk from the Melbourne Museum and the Royal Exhibition Building.

Why it's great: Ideal for those who want to blend the social aspects of a hostel with the privacy of a hotel, all while being in the middle of Melbourne's cultural precinct.

The Victoria Hotel

The Victoria Hotel has a historic feel with modern amenities, including an indoor pool, mere minutes from the Arts Centre Melbourne and Federation Square.

Why it's a gem: For those who love a touch of history with their stay, this hotel provides comfort and convenience at a great price.

Pensione Hotel Melbourne

Discover your own cosy corner of Melbourne at the Pensione Hotel. Inspired by European pensione hotels, it offers a warm, inviting atmosphere with stylish rooms. Nestle into the heart of Melbourne, near SEA LIFE Aquarium and the Docklands.

Why you'll love it: A prime pick for those who appreciate design on a budget and want to be close to Melbourne's waterfront activities.

City Centre Budget Hotel

Simple and central, the City Centre Budget Hotel is a straightforward, comfortable option that gives you everything you need to explore Melbourne. Situated near Parliament House, enjoy easy tram access to the MCG and Rod Laver Arena.

Why it's perfect: For guests who want a clean, affordable place to rest between city adventures, this hotel offers unbeatable value and location.

Each of these hotels is a brilliant starting point for exploring Melbourne's vibrant tapestry of food, art, and experiences. 

Whether you're soaking in panoramic views, diving deep into cultural excursions, or simply enjoying a moment of peace in a beautiful garden, these picks for a Melbourne staycation package ensure your trip is nothing short of extraordinary.

Now, let’s take a look at our top five things to do during your stay. We’ve crafted experiences that turn the everyday into a shared adventure, building connections at every turn.

Five things to do on a couples staycation in Melbourne

a man and woman walking on a street at night
Photo by ayumi kubo / Unsplash

1. Discover the world of moving images at ACMI

Engage with cinematic art, digital culture and video games together. It's not just an outing – it's an immersive dive into visual storytelling in the heart of Melbourne's Federation Square. Perfect for culture-savvy couples.

2. Step back in time at The Johnston Collection

This 'Aladdin's cave' of antiques offers a unique blend of art and history. Pre-booking a tour of this hidden gem adds an element of anticipation and exclusivity to your adventure.

3. Explore Wunderkammer's enchanting curiosities

For those intrigued by the peculiar, a visit to Wunderkammer's collection of natural wonders offers a quirky detour from the usual tourist path. Spark interesting conversations and share the wonder.

4. Stroll Through the Block Arcade 

Immerse yourselves in the elegance of Melbourne's Victorian era. The stunning architecture and boutique shops provide a romantic backdrop for a leisurely day out.

5. Relax in Carlton Gardens

Picnic here for a relaxing window of peace and quiet, with the majestic Royal Exhibition Building in the background. You’ll almost forget that there’s anybody else around. It’s a chance to enjoy each other’s company in one of Melbourne’s most beautiful settings.

Five things to do on a family staycation in Melbourne

white bus near brown and yellow dome building
Photo by Weyne Yew / Unsplash

Uncover Melbourne Zoo

With a wide range of species from around the world, the zoo is a fantastic place for a family day out. It’s both educational and fun, offering close encounters with wildlife and conservation programs.

Visit Scienceworks

Hands-on exhibits and interactive displays make learning about science and technology a blast for kids and adults alike. It’s an opportunity to spark curiosity in young minds.

Explore the Royal Botanic Gardens

The vast, beautiful landscapes provide a great setting for a family adventure. Join a guided walk or simply enjoy a stroll and a picnic in nature.

Spend a Day at St Kilda Beach

For families looking for a mix of relaxation and activities, St Kilda Beach offers beautiful sands, a vibrant boardwalk, and Luna Park nearby for thrilling rides.

Discover the Queen Victoria Market

Queen Victoria Market is a bustling marketplace perfect for a family excursion. Grab an ice cream and enjoy the diverse food stalls, fresh produce, and the lively atmosphere that captures Melbourne’s multicultural essence.

And if these five things aren’t quite enough to keep your family going, check out our guide to Melbourne’s free activities.

How to get around during your staycation

green trees near body of water during daytime
Photo by Pat Whelen / Unsplash

Consider your Melbourne staycation with a fresh twist. It’s simple – grab the perfect car when and where you need it.

With Uber Carshare, thousands of cars are parked close to Melbourne's best spots. Fancy a sporty ride for a day out at the Yarra Valley or a compact car for easy city parking? Pick up a car rental in Melbourne close to where you’re staying. No queues, no paperwork. Just you, your favourite people, and endless possibilities.

Final word: Making memories on  your Melbourne staycation

Travel lets you try new food, delight your senses, discover new things and new ways to be. Maybe even change your life. But you don’t have to go far to find such adventures. 

Just imagine the freedom to explore Melbourne at its best on a whim, without booking flights, navigating unfamiliar language or changing time zones. Grab a fun new car rental in Melbourne, and it’s your adventure – on your terms.

For even more inspiration, read about day trips from Melbourne and the best Melbourne hikes.


Where can I go for a staycation in Melbourne?

For a memorable staycation in Melbourne, dive into the city's rich arts and culture at the many art galleries and theatre shows, savour the diverse culinary scene, and relax amidst breath-taking natural scenery. The city's vibrant mix offers something for every taste, making it the ultimate staycation destination.

What is the best staycation for families?

The best Melbourne family staycation deals might include exploring educational attractions like the Melbourne Zoo or Scienceworks, offering both fun and learning experiences in a lively, interactive environment. Visit the beach at St. Kilda and venture into Luna Park for some thrilling rides.

What is the best staycation for couples?

Couples looking for a romantic Melbourne staycation package can rediscover the magic of moving images at ACMI, enjoy the timeless elegance of The Johnston Collection, or share moments of wonder at Wunderkammer. These unique experiences are sure to add a touch of magic to any couple's staycation.

Where is good for a staycation in Melbourne?

Melbourne offers an ideal staycation with its mix of arts, culture, food, and natural beauty. From laneway cafes to the Royal Botanic Gardens, there’s a wealth of experiences waiting to be rediscovered in your own city.

Where can I relax in Melbourne?

For a rejuvenating retreat in Melbourne, the Royal Botanic Gardens offers a relaxing escape in the city’s heart. This peaceful haven is ideal for anyone looking to relax and unwind in nature. You could also try one of the city’s famous day spas, like Chuan Spa, at The Langham Hotel. 

What are some good luxury hotels for a Melbourne staycation?

Luxury seekers on a Melbourne staycation should consider Crown Towers Melbourne for its opulent offerings and breathtaking views, The Langham, Melbourne, for its classic elegance, or the InterContinental Melbourne, at The Rialto Towers, for a blend of historic charm and modern luxury. These hotels promise an unforgettable luxury staycation experience.

Did you like our Melbourne Staycation article?

Checkout our Sydney Staycation article for more great tips.