Get to know Melbourne's quirkier side

Melbourne is a haven for pop culture aficionados. You can spend hours sifting through comic books, fight zombies in VR, check out the city's esports scene, and enjoy a drink with a side of pinball or a game of Gotcha. 

Don't miss some of the quirkier venues and events around town, either. Have a hit time at the Smash Room, where you and a bunch of mates can smash things like TVs in a safe, clean space, as well as enjoying VR walk-the-plank experiences and arcade gaming. For a glimpse of Melbourne's pop icons, check out the latest exhibitions at ACMI, the National Gallery of Victoria, and The Lume. Whatever you're into, there's something weird and wonderful to enjoy in Melbourne. 


Stage a daring escape at one of the city’s best escape rooms, or double-bounce your mates at trampoline park, Bounce Inc. Wander through the giant screens of Lume on Southbank. Explore Melbourne from a VR pod or precarious plank high above the city at Melbourne Skydeck. Finally, don't forget to collect $200 (figuratively speaking) when you pass GO at Monopoly Dreams, Melbourne's interactive Monopoly wonderland. 


Put your collector's hat on and discover the wonderful assortment of comics, graphic novels and merchandise on offer in brick-and-mortar stores. Cult classics like Minotaur keep the city bursting with comic books and pop-culture nostalgia. Keen for a screen culture fix? The ACMI Shop at Federation Square has products to suit all curiosities, or check out one of the city's best bookshops to pick up a classic or discover a new author.


Sink your teeth into a hamburger or hotdog from 8bit and wash it down with a creamy milkshake and a game on your favourite old-skool video game machine. For a feast worthy of a Viking, charge to the dining hall at Mjølner and fill up on carvery meats and cocktails at the themed venue and late-night speakeasy. Get your history fix while enjoying classic pub fare at Natural History on Collins Street, where you can grab a pint and admire museum-style exhibits at the same time.


Drink and play the night away at one of Melbourne's best hybrid bars. Chill out on the rocks at Ice Bar, get your karaoke on at Ocean 12, or check out Melbourne's best tiki bar, the LuWOW. Fancy a cocktail with a side of wonder? Head down a hidden laneway and climb the stairs to StoryVille, Melbourne's very own fairy-tale themed bar.


Along with sporting events, Melbourne often plays host to off-beat exhibitions, interactive shows, and pop culture icons. The calendar changes every year, so your best bet is to jump online and check out the latest from ACMI in Fed Square, The Lume on Southbank, or the iconic National Gallery of Victoria, which has featured everyone from Andy Warhol to Picasso.

Further afield

The city isn't the only place for an out-of-the-ordinary experience. Head to Bulleen to check out the famous Heidi Museum of Modern Art. Wander through real(ish) castles at Fairy Park in Anakie, or Kryal Castle in Ballarat. Visit nerd HQ at Geelong's Pupcultcha, or immerse yourself in the surreal beauty of Cactus Country: Australia's largest cactus garden.