National Gallery of Victoria#5 in Best Things To Do in Melbourne
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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