State Library Victoria picture
TerrySze/Getty Images

Key Info

328 Swanston St.

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Museums, Sightseeing, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.6

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

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, the library houses a variety of books and historic artifacts, including famed Australian outlaw Ned Kelly's suit of armor and a collection of rare children's books from the 19th century. The site's architecture is equally as impressive. Pay close attention to the library's exterior, which features neoclassical architectural details like stone columns and a symmetrical layout, as well as the octagonal La Trobe Reading Room.

One of the best ways to see the State Library Victoria is to participate in one of the property's free tours. Most recent travelers said all of the tours are informative. Some tours are offered once daily, while others are only available on select days, so consult the library's website and plan your visit accordingly. Tours last approximately one to two hours.

You'll find the State Library Victoria within walking distance of The Block Arcade and the Old Melbourne Gaol. No on-site parking is available, but visitors can take the train to Melbourne Central Station or the City Circle Tram to one of several stops on La Trobe Street. Bus stops for multiple routes are located nearby as well. Library hours vary, but the sight's main public areas are open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. In addition to the property's galleries and reading rooms, the State Library Victoria has restrooms, a cafe and a bookshop. No fees apply to visit the library or take a tour.

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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 sights like the Parthenon and the Acropolis, features several memorials, including the bronze Gallipoli Memorial, The Forecourt (a World War II memorial that houses the Eternal Flame) and the Remembrance Garden (where fallen soldiers from post-World War II conflicts are honored). Several military-themed exhibits are also available inside the shrine.

According to many recent travelers, the Shrine of Remembrance is one of Melbourne's best attractions. Though a sobering experience, you'll walk away with a greater understanding and appreciation of Australia's participation in major conflicts. Past visitors recommended joining one of the free property tours, which are offered daily at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and last about an hour. And for incredible views of the grounds and the Melbourne skyline, check out the second-floor balcony.

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