20 awesome date ideas in Melbourne to suit every budget and style

Queen Victoria Market Melbourne for free

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There are plenty of amazing places to take that special someone on a romantic day out in Melbourne, whether it’s your first date or 100th!

Here are 20 awesome Melbourne date ideas, ranging all the way from free date ideas to treating your other half to the ultimate luxury experience…

Cheap date ideas in Melbourne

The best cheap dates in Melbourne for those looking to impress their other half on a budget…

Watch the sunset on the beach

St Kilda Beach Sunset Melbourne

It should be a crime to live in a city with so many beaches close by and not make the most of them every now and again.

Pack a picnic and enjoy with your date on the sand as the sun sets over the ocean, or if you’ve got a few dollars to spare then head to one of the bars on St Kilda Promenade for a cocktail or two.

What’s more romantic than a sunset, right?

On a budget? Check out these free things to do in Melbourne.

Catch a drive-in movie

Take your basic cinema date to the next level by heading to one of Melbourne’s drive-in movie theatres.

Village Cinemas Coburg North Drive-in is sure to bring back that classic 60’s nostalgia, with 3 large screens showing new blockbuster releases and a retro-style diner that you can pop inside or have delivered straight to your car.

The drive-in cinema costs just $15 per person ($10 on Mondays) – half the price but double the fun of a regular cinema!

Watch free live music at Queen Vic Night Market

Queen Vic Market Night Market Melbourne

Head to Melbourne’s iconic Queen Victoria Market on a Wednesday night throughout summer or winter and you’ll find one of the venue’s ever-popular night markets.

Together you can browse the stalls from local traders, grab some street food and a cocktail, and enjoy the free live music in the bustling central market hall.

A cheap, cheerful, and great fun mid-week date idea!

Night owl? You might also like this post on the best things to do in Melbourne at night.

Luxury date ideas in Melbourne

If you’re looking to splash the cash a little, these are the places to head for a luxury date in Melbourne…

Take a hot air balloon ride at sunrise

Melbourne from above

As long as neither of you are scared of heights, what could be more romantic than a hot air balloon ride above Melbourne as the sun rises over the city?

A romantic way to start the day and a great opportunity to see the city from a different perspective.

Book a sunrise balloon flight here.

Go on a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride

A romantic date idea straight out of a movie…

Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through Melbourne’s central parks and gardens with guided commentary from your driver and a glass of champagne and red rose to ramp up the romance factor.

Book your horse-drawn carriage tour here.

Cruise down the Yarra River on a Venetian-style gondola

Treat your special someone with an afternoon trip to Venice, or should I say Venice on the Yarra?

Venice on the Yarra is a unique local company that offers luxury gondola cruises down Melbourne’s Yarra River in a Venetian-style gondola.

Depending on the package you choose, your private cruise can come complete with a bottle of champagne, gift-wrapped chocolates, gourmet food, and a bouquet of red roses.

Book a Venetian gondola ride here.

Or for a slightly cheaper but still romantic option, try punting on the lake at Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens.

Head for a night out at Crown Casino Complex

You don’t need to be a gambler to enjoy a sophisticated night out at Crown Casino Complex on the Southbank of the River Yarra.

Instead, head for dinner at one of the complex’s luxury restaurants, then continue the evening with a bar crawl around the numerous bars and clubs which are dotted throughout the busy casino.

And if you really want to splash out, have a staycation at one of Crown’s three luxury hotels, with their gorgeous rooms, amazing city views, and even an infinity pool to enjoy the next morning.

Foodie date ideas in Melbourne

Because the way to most people’s hearts is through their stomach…

Put together a picnic from Queen Victoria Market

Queen Vic Market Foodie Date Idea in Melbourne

One of the best Melbourne date ideas for foodies has to be a DIY picnic from Queen Victoria Market.

Take a stroll around the huge Victorian market and sample tasty goods from local traders. Then it’s time to stock up on a selection of fresh fruit, cheeses, meats, bread, and wine for a romantic picnic in nearby Flagstaff Gardens.

Just remember to bring your own blanket, glasses, plates, and cutlery.

Hunt out the best dumplings in Chinatown

Best dumplings in Melbourne Australia

You’re always guaranteed a fun foodie night out in Chinatown, especially if you’re a fan of delicious dumplings.

Hunt out the city’s best dumplings along with some other authentic and tasty Asian dishes. Then end the night at a cool cocktail bar or private karaoke room for some post-dinner fun.

Melbourne foodie? Me too. Check out my ultimate Melbourne food guide!

Boozy date ideas in Melbourne

The best boozy spots for a date night in Melbourne…

Go on a bar crawl of Melbourne’s speakeasies

Berlin Bar Melbourne
Photo from Berlin Bar Melbourne

Going on a bar crawl of Melbourne’s coolest speakeasies is a great way to show off your local knowledge to your date.

See the surprise on their face when you usher them through the back of a takeaway pizza shop to find a cool modern bar with cosy booths, a fruity cocktail menu, and a live DJ playing chilled-out tunes.

Or you slide open a bookcase to reveal an elegant room full of chandeliers and velvet seats where you can enjoy a glass of wine or two.

Here’s where to find some of Melbourne’s coolest hidden bars.

Play a boozy game of minigolf

Mini golf date night Melbourne Australia

Holey Moley is truly a Melbourne date night institution. I mean, are you really a Melbourian if you’ve never taken someone to Holey Moley?

Well there’s a good reason why it’s such a popular spot…

Cleverly-themed crazy golf, elaborate cocktails, and tasty pizza. All at super affordable prices.

An evening at Holey Moley is a fun and casual boozy date night.

Get cosy at the Ice Bar

Ice Bar London
Confession time – I didn’t actually make it to the Melbourne Ice Bar, but I have visited the London Ice Bar (above) which is the exact same concept!

Give your date a reason to cosy up close to you by taking them to a bar where the temperature is kept at a rather chilly -10 °C.

The Ice Bar might be a bit of a novelty attraction but it certainly will add something a little different to your Melbourne bar crawl.

Throw on your giant coat (which is supplied) and enjoy a cocktail from your ice glass while standing at the ice bar. Or maybe play a game of air hockey on an ice table. All in a room made entirely of, you guessed it, ice!

Book your entrance ticket for the Ice Bar Melbourne here.

Active date ideas in Melbourne

For when you’ve enjoyed one too many foodie date nights and need to burn a few calories…

Go on a bike ride together

If you’re a couple who loves to get active together, jump on your bikes and head out to explore one of Melbourne’s many stunning cycling routes.

Whether you prefer city roads, the ocean breeze, or a nature trail, there’s definitely a great ride somewhere in or around the city for you.

Check out the best bike rides in and around Melbourne.

Take your date rock climbing 

Another great active date activity in Melbourne is rock climbing at one of the city’s several indoor climbing walls.

This is a particularly good option during the winter months when you’re looking for something active to do while avoiding the rain and cold outside.

These are the best indoor climbing walls in Melbourne.

Walk around Melbourne Zoo

What’s not romantic about a trip to the zoo?

Spot your favourite animals, take some photos, grab an ice cream, and don’t forget to pick up a souvenir from the gift shop on your way out so you’ll have a cute little memory of the date for years to come.

A trip to the zoo allows plenty of time to walk around and get to know each other better in a fun and relaxed environment.

Book your tickets to Melbourne zoo here.

Intellectual date ideas in Melbourne

Embrace your inner nerd and opt for a more intellectual style date…

Test your teamwork with an escape room

Adventure Rooms Escape Room Melbourne

An escape room can really end one of two ways; with the pair of your screaming at each other over a lack of coordination and communication and never escaping, or with you making a great team, successfully solving all of the puzzles together, and escaping with time to spare.

Either way, escape rooms are certainly a fun and interesting date idea. And there are a fair few of them to make your way through in Melbourne.

Book with Adventure Rooms for some of Melbourne’s top immersive escape rooms, or for something even more unique, book a unique VR escape room experience.

Have a robot make you ice cream

Niska Robotic Ice Cream Bar Melbourne

Niska Robotic Ice Cream Bar is an amazing little hidden gem in Melbourne’s Federation Square and a great way to surprise your date with something extremely unique.

The ice cream store is entirely run by robots and is the first of its kind in the world.

The human-like robots do everything, from taking your order to scooping and serving from their 16 different flavours.

It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind experience that is sure to impress your date.

Stroll around a Melbourne museum

Hellenic Museum in Melbourne

If you and your date share mutual interests, then a museum is a fun way to spend an afternoon together, from admiring your favourite artworks in the National Gallery of Victoria or geeking out over science at Melbourne’s Scienceworks.

You can also ramp up your museum date a little by heading to Nocturnal at Melbourne Museum, an after-hours adults-only event on the first Friday of every month. Here you can explore the museum with live music and a bar serving alcoholic drinks.

Day trip date ideas from Melbourne

For when you’re ready to take things to the next level and leave the city together for a day…

Wine tasting in the Yarra Valley

For wine lovers, take your date wine tasting in the Yarra Valley, the region northeast of Melbourne which is known for having numerous wineries producing high-quality chardonnay, pinot noir, and sparkling wine.

Many of the wineries offer tours of their vineyards and wineries, as well as wine tastings. Just remember to have a designated driver (boring) or book onto a pre-organised wine tour so you can both drink.

As well as wine production, Yarra Valley is also known for its gourmet food production, so you can pair your wine tastings with the likes of cheeses, chocolate, and plenty of fresh farm produce.

A relaxing day at Peninsula Hot Springs

Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs
Photo by ThinkGeoEnergy (CC BY 2.0)

Treat your other half to an ultimate day of relaxation at the Peninsula Hot Springs, an award-winning natural hot springs and day spa destination on the Mornington Peninsula, around 1hr30 minutes south of Melbourne CBD.

The hot springs complex is comprised of a series of outdoor pools and private baths containing natural thermal mineral waters, set on a hillside so that the higher pools have amazing 360 views over the peninsula.

The hot springs also have other features including a cave pool, reflexology walk, and Turkish Hamam.

Want more day trip ideas? Check out these Victoria day trips you can take from Melbourne.

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Date ideas in Melbourne Australia
London City Calling

Emily is a born and raised London girl, starting life in the north of the capital then moving down to Fulham in the southwest. She has a master’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from University College London and now works full-time running this blog and as a freelance travel writer, splitting her life between London and travelling the world as a digital nomad.

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