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Downpour Delights: Best Rainy Day Activities in Melbourne

Explore the city come rain or storm with the best rainy day activities in Melbourne.

My Country at NGV: Ian Potter Centre

Famed for its ‘four seasons in a day’ weather, Melburnians certainly know to always expect rain at any given time - and to always bring an umbrella.

In response, we’ve created a vibrant culture filled with great rainy day activities - because a little bad weather won't stop us from exploring Melbourne!

From art galleries, interactive exhibitions and high teas, to spa retreats and drinks at a cosy pub, we know how to plan a day of fabulous indoor activities to keep things interesting when it's pouring outside. 

Scroll down for our edit of the best rainy day activities in Melbourne.

Heide Museum

Spend the Day Gallery Hopping

Seek both shelter and inspiration at one of the many galleries located across art-obsessed Melbourne. Start with the big guns at the National Gallery of Victoria, where blockbuster international exhibitions accompany vast collections of Australian, European and Asian art.

For thought-provoking contemporary works outside of NGV International, hop over to the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Southbank, to St Kilda’s Linden New Art, or take a drive to the picturesque Heide Museum of Modern Artfor a delightful dose of inspiration in Bulleen.


Unwind at a Day Spa

While the rain cleans and revitalises the world outside, do the same for yourself with a luxurious spa session.

Comma in Cremorne offers restorative spa packages within their Japanese-inspired bath house and day spa, including massages, body scrubs and wraps, sauna sessions and facial treatments - all designed to bring a complete sense of calm and utter rejuvenation.

Other incredible options for sheer bliss both in and out of the rain include Sense of Self (SOS) in Collingwood, and further afield to Alba Thermal Springs & Spa on the Mornington Peninsula.

Rochester Hotel

Get Cosy at the Pub

What better way to escape the cold than by digging into a hearty feed by the fire? When the mercury drops, our favourite cosy pubs dial up the heat with seasonal food and beverages that’ll warm your cockles.

You can sip hot mulled cider at Fitzroy’s Rochester Hotel in winter, settle in by one of the multiple roaring fireplaces at the Grace Darling in Collingwood, tuck into a cracking roast at the 150-year-old Marquis of Lorne, or cosy up with a glass of red by the fire at The Orrong Hotel.

Royal Exhibition Building

Visit Melbourne Museum

Sometimes the best way to escape the rain in Melbourne is to fully immerse yourself in rich and fascinating history, which is exactly what awaits at Melbourne Museum.

Make your way through the museum and Aboriginal Cultural Centre (your ticket gives you entry to both) and discover the Forest Gallery, Dinosaur Walk, Gondwana Garden and a learning lab.

Is architecture more your thing? Head right next door and check out the grand opulence and impressive dome roof of one of Melbourne's most iconic landmarks - the Royal Exhibition Building. It's even more beautiful on the inside, making it the perfect rainy day activity in Melbourne.

Burrata Bar | South Melbourne Market

Roam Around the Markets

While nothing beats a sunny stroll through the open air, roving past gourmet delights at one of Melbourne's bustling markets is the next best thing.

We love the deli hall at Queen Victoria Market, a bustling bazaar of every cheese and charcuterie imaginable that includes specialty stores selling Polish, African and Greek smallgoods.

On the other side of town is South Melbourne Market, where you can load up on delicious seafood at various raw bars and grills while the croissants at beloved Agathé Patisserie always draw a queue. We should also mention the newly opened UGO Burrata Bar...

Old Palm Liquor

Wine Down at Melbourne's Charming Wine Bars

We can't think of a more suitable rainy day essential than a glass of rich red wine in an intimate Melbourne wine bar.

Whether you're partial to more natty styles at the stylish retro Old Palm Liquor, European-influenced tipples from iconic Gerald's Bar, or quirky drops from the likes of Bar Liberty or Embla, Melbourne's wine bar game is seriously strong.

You'll be spoiled for choice as you bunker down for a few hours to escape the bucketing rain. It's a good thing that all these quintessential Melbourne bars have equally as tempting food menus. 

LUME Melbourne

Wander in Wonder at LUME Melbourne 

Take a spellbinding journey into the incredible mind of Leonardo Da Vinci at THE LUME Melbourne's latest exhibition.

Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius is mesmerising audiences as his most famous and lesser-known works are projected across the open space, from the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper.

The fun doesn't stop there. LUME hosts 'Aperitivo Fridays' for after-work drinks, Italian style, 3-course feasts on Saturday nights, plus yoga and pilates for exercise with an injection of art. Rainy days in Melbourne have never looked so good.

5 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf 

Honey Bones

Get Crafty at Honey Bones Arts Club

An open space for the community to explore art-making, expression and self-inquiry, the Honey Bones Art Club is one of our top picks for rainy days in Melbourne.

The group art sessions are held every Saturday morning, hosted by Honey Bones Gallery and Arts Therapist, Donika Fazliu. Its a proudly inclusive space, where all are welcome to participate, regardless of artistic skill.

You're invited to explore a prompt/theme (like a self-portrait) with no set instructions as to how to interpret the theme. From there, it's a 2-hour art-making class that allows individuals to fully immerse in the expression of the prompt.

After each piece has been crafted, artworks are displayed and conversations are initiated around the art-making process, people's individual experiences and what has been gained through the experience. It's a prime time for self-reflection and the simple pleasure of putting paint to paper. 


46 Trafford Street, Brunswick

SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

Go Under the Sea at Melbourne Aquarium

Escape the rain and impending boredom with a visit to one of the city's most popular locations, the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium.

A fabulous day out for families, you will walk by tanks of fish of all kinds, pass by sea turtles, and walk through the Reef, filled with marine creatures of all sizes - the sharks being the biggest (and scariest) of all.

With no shortage of experiences, explore Night on the Reef (a fabulous display of bioluminescence in the ocean), gain behind-the-scenes access to the jellyfish lab, or opt for our personal favourite - the Penguin Passport, with 45 minutes inside the icy penguin enclosure getting up close to the Gentoo and King penguins that call the aquarium home.

Melbourne State Library

Escape into Literature at the State Library of Victoria.

Melbourne’s significant buildings are the backdrop to our daily lives, but when was the last time you took a closer look? You can sign up for free tours of Parliament HouseMelbourne Town Hall and the State Library, led through the gorgeous multi level buildings by passionate and informative guides.

See the ornate 22-carat gold leaf covering the ceiling of the Upper and Lower House, and hear the history of the extravagant Dome Reading Room that’s the subject of so many Instagram shots.

Peruse the aisles and settle in with a good book, or take your studying or research session to the next level, as the rain patters against the windows above. Bliss.

Little Lon Distilling Co

Sip on Spirits in Cosy Distilleries

Warm yourself from the inside out with nips of high-quality spirits made right here in Melbourne. A number of inner city distilleries have popped up in recent years, including the gorgeous Patient Wolf digs in Southbank, where they’ve turned a red brick warehouse into a playground of gin.

A rainy day is the perfect time to duck in and try the range, from summery thyme gins to oak barrel-aged numbers. We also love Little Lon Distilling Co - a micro-distillery housed in a tiny heritage cottage in the CBD - for the gin masterclasses and cocktail workshops infused with history.

Hotel Windsor

Indulge in a High Tea experience

Rainy days always call for hot cuppas, but why not up the ante by swapping the Lipton tea bags for an indulgent high tea experience?

White tablecloths and classical music at the Hotel Windsor will make you feel like you’re in a period drama as you nibble on dainty ribbon sandwiches and French patisserie.

Or step into the 130-year-old Hopetoun Tea Rooms and be transported back to the Victorian era for an authentic English tea room experience.

With fine bone china and classic melodies played live on a grand piano, you'll feel like you're sharing tea and sponge cake with Lady Whistledown herself. 

Holey Moley

Play a Round of Mini Golf

Practise your swing at Holey Moley, a colourful indoor mini-golf and bar that puts the party in putt-putt. Challenge your mates over 18 holes peppered with pop culture references, while keeping fed and hydrated with splashy house cocktails and stone-baked pizza.

If you’re keen to kick on, they’ve even got private karaoke rooms where you can belt out hits like no one’s listening. You'll be having so much fun you won't need to know if it's still raining outside.

590 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

Westgarth Theatre (Image Credit: Charlie Kinross)

Head to the Movies

Nothing beats a good old-fashioned flick at the cinemas, especially on a rainy day in Melbourne. Immersive sound, cushy seats and hot buttery popcorn make the experience even better.

What’s more, you can get an extra dose of architecture at historic cinemas like the grand Astor Theatre, where chandeliers and gold curtains hark back to old Hollywood, the upscale Art Deco beauty of Palace Westgarth, and the Sun Theatre, with its beautifully restored facade.

We love independent theatres like Carlton’s Cinema Nova, where they show blockbusters, arthouse, international flicks and classics all at the same time.

Loved our edit of the best rainy day activities in Melbourne? If the forecast is still looking gloomy, bunker down in one of these cool Richmond bars or book a table and cuddle up at a romantic restaurant.

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