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National Gallery of Victoria picture in Melbourne
François Philipp / Flickr

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  • Museums Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.6
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  • Value
    5.0
  • Facilities
    5.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

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Opened in 1861, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is the oldest and most visited art gallery in Australia. Local artists are mostly featured, although there are works from international masters like Anthony van Dyck, Claude Monet and René Magritte. You'll also find unique exhibits like Ichwan Noor's "Beetle Sphere" – a Volkswagen Beetle that's been molded into a sphere – and Kohei Nawa's "PixCell-Red Deer" – a taxidermied deer covered in glass and crystal beads.

Though many of the museum's free collections are worth exploring, several recent travelers said paying extra for specialty exhibits is a must. Notable current and past temporary exhibits focus on iconic artists and art styles. The permanent Pacific Art collection, which displays indigenous artwork and artifacts from Pacific nations like Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and New Zealand, is another favorite.

The museum's collections are located in two buildings – The Ian Potter Centre in Federation Square and the main building on St Kilda Road – near the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. Australian art is housed in The Ian Potter Centre, while international works can be found in the main building. Both sites are open daily (excluding Christmas) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are free to enter. Keep in mind that hours are restricted on Anzac Day (April 25) and additional fees apply for temporary exhibits. Amenities found inside the museum include restrooms, a gift shop and several restaurants and cafes. Free collection-specific tours are provided every day at select times.

Travelers can get to The Ian Potter Centre and the main museum by car, taxi, bus or tram. The Circle City Tram's Swanston and Flinders streets stop sits within walking distance of both buildings. On-site parking is also available, though some people recommended avoiding the garage due to its high hourly rates. To learn more about the National Gallery of Victoria's exhibits, events and facilities, visit the gallery's website.

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#1 Shrine of Remembrance To commemorate the 19,000 Victorians killed during World War I, the city of Melbourne built the Shrine of Remembrance in 1924. The monument, which was inspired by famous Greek ... Read more » Wojtek Gurak / Flickr

#2 Port Campbell National Park One of Australia's most stunning natural wonders is the Twelve Apostles rock formation found in Port Campbell National Park. Seven stacked rock structures constitute the Twelve Apostles, six of ... Read more » Pascal Charpentier/EyeEm / Getty Images

#3 Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne Founded in the mid-1800s, the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne encompass 94 acres of greenery. Some of the gardens' highlights include region-specific plant collections, the Rare and Threatened Species Collection, the ... Read more » 4FR / Getty Images

#4 Yarra Valley Though you'll find five wine regions near Melbourne, the area's most well-known is the Yarra Valley. More than 70 wineries are located in this region. Two of the ... Read more » Australian Scenics / Getty Images

#5 National Gallery of Victoria Opened in 1861, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is the oldest and most visited art gallery in Australia. Local artists are mostly featured, although there are works from international ... Read more » François Philipp / Flickr

#6 State Library Victoria The State Library Victoria is a must-see attraction for book worms, architecture lovers and history buffs. Built in 1856 on 2 acres of land in Melbourne's central business district ... Read more » TerrySze / Getty Images

#7 The Block Arcade Whether you're an architecture enthusiast, an art lover, a fashionista or a foodie, you'll find something to enjoy at The Block Arcade. More than 25 boutiques, galleries and ... Read more » John Benwell / Flickr

#8 City Circle Tram The City Circle Tram is a must-do. For one, it gives you a nice overview of Melbourne's top tourist attractions. More importantly, it's free. Just look for a ... Read more » Helen K / Flickr

#9 Melbourne Museum This is Melbourne's natural and cultural history museum, and there are all sorts of wonders to peer at, including several dinosaur skeletons and the preserved Phar Lap – Australia's ... Read more » Travis / Flickr

#10 Melbourne Cricket Ground The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is Melbourne's main stadium for cricket and the beloved Aussie rules-style of rugby (or footy). The National Sports Museum is also located here, and ... Read more » GaryRadler / Getty Images

#11 Melbourne Zoo The Melbourne Zoo opened in 1862 and holds the distinction of being Australia's oldest zoo. The property is home to more than 300 animal species, most of which are ... Read more » nedjelly / Getty Images

Shrine of Remembrance picture in Melbourne
Port Campbell National Park picture in Melbourne
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne picture in Melbourne
Yarra Valley picture in Melbourne
National Gallery of Victoria picture in Melbourne
State Library Victoria picture in Melbourne
The Block Arcade picture in Melbourne
City Circle Tram picture in Melbourne
Melbourne Museum picture in Melbourne
Melbourne Cricket Ground picture in Melbourne
Melbourne Zoo picture in Melbourne
Shrine of Remembrance picture in Melbourne
Port Campbell National Park picture in Melbourne
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne picture in Melbourne
Yarra Valley picture in Melbourne
National Gallery of Victoria picture in Melbourne
State Library Victoria picture in Melbourne
The Block Arcade picture in Melbourne
City Circle Tram picture in Melbourne
Melbourne Museum picture in Melbourne
Melbourne Cricket Ground picture in Melbourne
Melbourne Zoo picture in Melbourne

Grand architecture and stunning views of downtown Melbourne await you at the Shrine of Remembrance. Wojtek Gurak / Flickr

If you love natural wonders, go see the Twelve Apostles at Port Campbell National Park. Pascal Charpentier/EyeEm / Getty Images

Although you'll likely come to the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne to see the property's impressive 31 plant collections, see if you can spot native fauna like black swans, short-finned eels and brush-tailed possums during your visit. 4FR / Getty Images

Wine aficionados cannot visit Melbourne without exploring the Yarra Valley, one of the area's most popular wine regions. Australian Scenics / Getty Images

Before entering the National Gallery of Victoria's main building on St Kilda Road, take some time to admire the entrance's famous water wall. François Philipp / Flickr

One of the State Library Victoria's most notable features is its La Trobe Reading Room, an octagonal domed room that's six stories tall and holds approximately 32,000 books. TerrySze / Getty Images

For a dose of Melbourne history while sampling some of the city's best fare, peruse the halls of The Block Arcade. John Benwell / Flickr

You'll find the City Circle Tram traveling on the Harbour Esplanade and Flinders, Spring, Nicholson, Victoria and La Trobe streets in Melbourne's CBD. Helen K / Flickr

Historic Melbourne artifacts, dinosaur fossils and hundreds of taxidermied animals are just a few collections housed in the Melbourne Museum. Travis / Flickr

Head to the Melbourne Cricket Ground to witness Melburnians' passion for sports. GaryRadler / Getty Images

Though you won't be able to hold koalas at the Melbourne Zoo, you'll find several of these furry creatures sleeping in the attraction's eucalyptus trees. nedjelly / Getty Images

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