The Best Museums in Melbourne

Going to the museum is not just an activity for kids. We would argue that going to museums is actually way more impactful as an adult, as we have context for the stories that we see and they can leave a lasting impression on us.

Museums are also a lovely way to pass the time. There’s usually terrible phone reception, it’s almost always pretty silent and there’s just something about a quiet environment surrounded by art that allows you to stop worrying about reality for a moment and get lost in something bigger than just our generation.

Victoria is rich with history in all areas of the arts, culture, science, technology and creativity and luckily for us, there’s heaps of proof.

Here are the best museums in Melbourne, Victoria:

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Lyon Housemuseum / Facebook

Lyon Housemuseum

The Lyon Housemuseum is actually a house. It’s the super-stylish home of Corbett Lyon, his wife, Yueji, and their children, who live surrounded by collection upon collection of incredible Australian contemporary art in many forms of modern media, from painting, to video installations. Corbett spent five years designing and two years building the house, as the structure is a work of art within itself and he wanted it just right. Now one of Melbourne’s best-kept secrets, the house is open a few times a month to the public, so we can marvel at the Lyons’ fabulous lifestyle and appreciate their taste in architecture and art. 
How to book: Bookings are essential as tours fill quickly. You can book via their website.

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Melbourne Museum / Facebook

Melbourne Museum

Right next to the gorgeous and historic Royal Exhibition Building and in the middle of Carlton Gardens sits the Melbourne Museum; the biggest museum in the Southern Hemisphere. Inside, the history of life in Victoria over 600 million years is spanned out in visual form to explore, complete with prehistoric creatures, bugs and even the seas, in the Science and Life Gallery. The Melbourne Museum is also home to the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Museum, which explores the nest of ancestral spirit Bunjil. There is always so much to see and not enough time, and regardless of how many times you go back, you’ll always discover something new. The museum also features a living Forest Gallery which is both calming and educational, and heaps of fun interactive exhibits at IMAX Melbourne.
How to book: You can purchase entry tickets online here, or walk-in and pay at the door.

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Scienceworks / Facebook


ScienceWorks is all about robotics, space, electricity, technology, climate science and every other aspect of the modern world’s technology and science. The topics are split into themes and age groups and the whole museum is super interactive, encouraging you to engage in interactive games, conduct experiments and participate in workshops. There are activities that appeal to every age, complete with a program for kids under five, and a range for adults that are kids at heart, or have a passion in science and/or technology. One of the main attractions at ScienceWorks is the Melbourne Planetarium, which has a 52-foot domed ceiling, reclining seats and surround sound that is paired with short feature films that focus on astrology. It kinda feels like being on a spaceship.
How to book: Best to book this one prior to arrival. You can book on their website here.

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Islamic Museum of Australia / Facebook

Islamic Museum of Australia

Tucked away in Thornbury, the Islamic Museum of Australia promotes cultural diversity as the first museum in Australia that is dedicated to Islamic Art and Muslim artists. Opening up as a non-for-profit back in 2010, the museum showcases a diverse range of Islamic arts, including architecture, calligraphy, paintings, glass, ceramics and textiles, shedding light on a prominent culture and cultural influence here in Australia. The Islamic Museum of Australia is located inside a transformed bottling factory, and the actual architecture structure is gorgeous, and worth the trip alone.
How to book: You can just walk in at your own leisure, or book a special tour here.

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National Gallery of Victoria / Facebook

National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)

Melbourne CBD
NGV Melbourne is the largest, oldest and most popular art institution in Australia, and that doesn’t surprise us. Not only is the bluestone monolith building, designed by Roy Grounds in 1967 just stunning to look at and be inside of, the NGV always puts on the most amazing displays of rotating exhibitions that cover controversial and important topics in society, culture, history, evolution, art, gender, race… you name it. They host incredible events throughout the year, heroing specific exhibitions and artists, they have live music and pop-up restaurants in their gorgeous garden space and it also hosts four hospitality venues within its walls. The NGV is a beautiful place to wander around on a rainy day, to learn something new, an evening out or even to host an event.
How to book: You can walk into the NGV at any time and buy tickets on the ground floor. You can browse everything else it has to offer on its website.

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ACMI / Facebook

Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)

Federation Square
After just re-opening after a huge facelift, with new technology and exhibitions, ACMI celebrates everything film, television and video games with the best technology and game-changing modern ideas. Dedicated to everything in Australia that’s related to the screen, you always learn something new during a trip to ACMI. The Story of the Moving Image is their permanent exhibition that takes you through the history of screen culture in Australia, and they also house some incredible rotating exhibitions that are both national and international. Their cinemas are used for film screenings, events and exhibitions themselves, and they have many new spaces for hire for corporate functions, events and parties.
How to book: Find out everything you need to know on the ACMI website, or you can just walk-in anytime. 

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Heide Museum of Modern Art / Facebook

Heide Museum of Modern Art

The Heide Museum of Modern Art has an incredible story. In 1934, John and Sunday Reed bought a bucolic country property 30 minutes outside of Melbourne, where they invited artists, writers and intellectuals such as Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, Mirka Mora and Joy Hester, to stay at work at the ‘Heide’. Eventually, the Reeds and their ever-growing collection outgrew the farmhouse, so they commissioning David McGlashan to build Heide II – a modernist home and gallery. In 1981, they told their property to the government, with the hope that it would be turned into a public gallery… and they would be pleased. Today, this property is known as the Heide Museum of Modern Art and it’s known for it’s Australian historic and modern art, in many different mediums. 
How to book: You can just walk in.

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Immigration Museum / Facebook

Immigration Museum

Spring Street
The Immigration Museum is an absolute must-see. It houses the stories of immigrants and their experiences in Australia, which aren’t always digestible but extremely important to recognise. The museum focuses on the stories of First Nations people, who inhabited Australia before it was “founded” in 1770. The Immigration Museum, located across from Parliament in Melbourne’s CBD, is dedicated to stories of the stolen generation. It’s heart-wrenching and integral.
How to book: You can book here or walk-in.

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