Melbourne is often dubbed the most liveable city in the world, and it’s not hard to see why, especially as the city is very Muslim-friendly.
The multicultural background of the city makes it an incredibly welcoming place for people of all faiths and backgrounds.
Muslim travellers in the city will definitely have plenty to do; you can find everything from stunning beaches to world-class museums. Melbourne is the perfect destination whether you’re looking for a city break or a more extended holiday.
This Muslim friendly travel guide to Melbourne will help you make the most of your visit and enjoy all the city offers. From the stunning architecture of the Royal Exhibition Building to the delicious food in Chinatown, places to pray in Melbourne as well as halal food options in the city.
History Of Melbourne
Melbourne was established at the Yarra River in 1835 following a futile bid in 1803 to establish a settlement in Port Phillip Bay. Port Phillip Bay gained its independence from New South Wales in 1850.
Around 1861, during the gold rush, Melbourne was the fastest-growing city in the British Empire and became the largest city in Australia.
In the late 20th century, many people from different nations migrated to Melbourne, including Italians, Greeks, and Turks. Melbourne is now a multicultural city.
Is Melbourne a Muslim friendly City?
Melbourne is a vibrant and culturally rich city that prides itself on its diversity and multiculturalism. It is home to people from various backgrounds and cultures, making it a truly multicultural city. With many residents coming from different parts of the world, Melbourne offers various cultural experiences, festivals, and culinary delights. The city is known for its welcoming attitude towards different religious communities, making it an inclusive and Muslim-friendly city. The presence of mosques, halal food options, and a growing Muslim population contributes to the overall multicultural fabric of Melbourne.
The Muslim community in Melbourne has experienced significant growth over the past few decades. According to the latest statistics, Muslims comprise around 5% of Melbourne’s population, making it one of the largest religious communities in the city. This growth can be attributed to various factors, including migration from Muslim-majority countries and increasing conversions to Islam. Mosques, Islamic schools, and halal food establishments have also become more prevalent in Melbourne, catering to the needs and preferences of the growing Muslim population.
Best Time to visit Melbourne
For those looking to escape the European winter, visiting Melbourne during Spring (September to November) a good. With mild temperatures, blooming flowers, and pleasant weather. It’s an excellent time for outdoor activities and exploring the city’s gardens and parks.
From December to February, the weather can be warm to hot, with occasional heat waves. It’s a popular time for tourists, as many festivals and events take place during this season. You can enjoy outdoor markets, music festivals, and the vibrant beach scene.
March to May is considered Autumn in Melbourne which brings mild and comfortable weather, making it a favourite season for many visitors. The city’s parks display beautiful foliage, making it a picturesque time for sightseeing and outdoor walks.
June to August is Melbourne’s winter, which is relatively mild compared to other parts of the world, but it can be chilly and rainy. If you enjoy a quieter atmosphere, lower tourist crowds, cheaper hotels, and cosy experiences like sipping coffee in charming cafes, winter might be the time for you.
12 Muslim friendly places in Melbourne, Australia
1. Visit the Islamic Museum of Australia
The Islamic Museum of Australia (IMA) is located in Thornbury, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. It is the first Islamic museum in the country and aims to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of Islamic art, culture, and history.
The museum’s collection includes a variety of exhibits that showcase the diverse aspects of Islamic culture. These exhibits explore topics such as calligraphy, architecture, fashion, and science, offering visitors a unique insight into the rich heritage of the Muslim community.
Moreover, the museum’s architecture is noteworthy. The building blends contemporary design with traditional Islamic influences, creating a visually stunning space that adds to the overall experience.
The Islamic Museum of Australia is a valuable resource for those interested in exploring and understanding Islamic culture. Whether you are a student, a scholar, or simply curious, this museum provides an immersive experience that celebrates the beauty and diversity of the Islamic world.
Open daily except Sunday | Islamic Museum of Australia website
2 Explore the Royal Botanic Gardens
Wander through the beautiful gardens, visit the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, and enjoy a picnic by the lake. The Royal Botanic Gardens is a renowned tourist attraction located in Melbourne, Australia. It is spread over 38 hectares and offers a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Take a leisurely walk through the stunning landscapes and explore the diverse plant collections. The gardens are home to over 8,500 plant species, including rare and exotic varieties. Marvel at the vibrant flora and enjoy the serene atmosphere.
Also, make sure you visit the Melbourne Observatory, which allows visitors to explore the stars and planets. Learn about astronomy, attend guided tours, and peek through telescopes for a unique celestial experience.
Being a place for all, the gardens include a Children’s Garden to encourage young gardeners and a tranquil Well-being Garden for yoga, exercise, and out-of-home workouts.
The space also hosts a live theatre and open-air cinema in summer evenings. The lakes, lush fields, healthy green plants, and fresh air make this destination a not-to-miss on any list.
Operating Hours: Mondays-Sundays (7:30 am – 7:30 pm)
3 Queen Victoria’s Market
Are you an avid shopper who can’t leave without buying mementoes? There’s no need to worry. Melbourne has you covered. Queen Victoria’s Market, a retail and wholesale centre, is a historic open-air market known for its impressive architecture and cultural activities.
Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it here – the market offers a wide range of items, including crafts, clothing, accessories, food, fresh produce, and drinks. This iconic landmark attracts over 10 million visitors each year.
Situated in Melbourne’s central business district, the authorities aim to have the market recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site by maintaining and developing the venue.
Address: Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Operating Hours: Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays (6:00 am – 3:00 pm), Saturday (6:00 am – 3:00 pm), Sundays (9:00 am – 4:00 pm)
4 Discover the National Gallery of Victoria
Appreciate the extensive collection of art and admire the Islamic art pieces on display. Explore the wonders of the National Gallery of Victoria, where you can immerse yourself in a vast collection of art. Marvel at the impressive range of Islamic art displayed, each piece offering a glimpse into a rich cultural heritage.
From intricate calligraphy to mesmerizing patterns and motifs, the gallery showcases the beauty and diversity of Islamic art throughout history. Whether you are a seasoned art enthusiast or simply enjoy aesthetically pleasing displays, the National Gallery of Victoria is a must-visit destination for art lovers of all kinds.
5 Melbourne Cricket Ground and Museum
The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is one of Australia’s most iconic sporting venues, located in Yarra Park, Melbourne. It is the largest stadium in the southern hemisphere and has a seating capacity of over 100,000 people.
The MCG has a rich history dating back to 1853, when it was first established. It has hosted numerous significant sporting events, including the first Test match of cricket in 1877, the 1956 Summer Olympics, and the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
There is also a museum that showcases the history of Australian sports. It features various exhibits, including memorabilia, artefacts, and interactive displays. Visitors can learn about the MCG’s sporting heritage and explore the achievements of Australian athletes.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground and Museum is a must-visit destination for sports enthusiasts. Whether you attend a match, take a tour, or explore the museum, you can immerse yourself in the world of Australian sports.
Operating Hours: Sundays – Fridays (10:00 AM – 5:00 PM), Saturdays (11:30 AM – 1:45 PM)
6 Brighton Beach Melbourne
Whether you are looking to soak up the sun, explore a unique cultural enclave, or simply unwind by the ocean, Brighton Beach Melbourne is a must-visit for beach enthusiasts and curious travellers alike. Brighton Beach in Melbourne is a popular destination for beach enthusiasts and curious travellers.
The beach offers a beautiful stretch of golden sand and crystal-clear waters, providing the perfect setting for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying water activities.
One of the main attractions of Brighton Beach is its iconic colourful bathing boxes. These historic wooden huts line the beach and have become a symbol of Melbourne. Each bathing box is uniquely painted, and they create a vibrant and picturesque backdrop for photos.
In addition to the beach itself, Brighton Beach is also known for its unique cultural enclave. The surrounding area offers a vibrant mix of cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops. You can indulge in delicious food, browse through local art galleries, or explore the charming streets of this beachside suburb. Whether you are looking for relaxation or adventure, Brighton Beach has something to offer. You can take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, enjoy a picnic with family and friends, or engage in water sports such as kayaking or paddleboarding.
7 Take a stroll along St Kilda Beach
St Kilda Beach, located in the vibrant suburb of St Kilda in Melbourne, Australia, offers a perfect getaway from the city’s hustle and bustle. This iconic beach is a popular spot for locals and tourists, known for its beautiful sandy shores, refreshing waters, and an array of attractions nearby.
Start your stroll at St Kilda Pier, which stretches out into the sparkling Port Phillip Bay. Enjoy breathtaking views of the beach and the Melbourne skyline as you walk along the pier. If you’re lucky, you might spot some penguins along the breakwater.
When you’ve had your fill of beach activities, take a stroll along the bustling promenade known as The Esplanade. You’ll find an array of cafes and restaurants with stunning views of the beach. Treat yourself to some delicious food or enjoy a cool drink as you watch the vibrant atmosphere of St Kilda unfold.
As you continue your stroll, explore the nearby attractions that add to the charm of St Kilda Beach. Luna Park, an iconic amusement park, is a stone’s throw away. Take a ride on the famous wooden roller coaster, enjoy thrilling attractions, and indulge in carnival games and snacks. Luna Park is an absolute must-visit for both children and adults.
8 Melbourne Skydeck
Visitors to the Melbourne Skydeck on the 88th floor can enjoy a unique and breathtaking view of the city’s winding Yarra River, picturesque parks, and the vast expanse of Port Phillip Bay.
The experience is both exhilarating and awe-inspiring, making it an excellent opportunity for Instagram photos and creating lasting memories. Moreover, the Skydeck features “The Edge,” a glass cube that extends out from the building, offering a thrilling perspective as it hovers over the city below.
In addition to the viewing experience, the Melbourne Skydeck offers various indoor activities. There may be interactive displays or exhibits that provide information about the city’s history, landmarks, and culture. These activities can be educational and entertaining for visitors of all ages.
Operating Hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, & Sundays (12:00 pm – 9:00 pm), Fridays & Saturdays (12:00 pm – 10:00 pm), New Year’s Evening and Christmas Day – (Closes at 5:30 pm)
9 Take a river cruise along the Yarra River
Enjoy a scenic tour of Melbourne’s skyline, passing by iconic landmarks such as Federation Square and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Throughout the cruise, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about Melbourne’s fascinating history and significant landmarks from knowledgeable guides. They will share interesting anecdotes, historical facts, and scenic highlights to enhance your experience.
Whether you prefer a leisurely day cruise or a romantic evening under the stars, there are various options available to suit your preferences. Some cruises even offer onboard dining options, allowing you to indulge in delicious cuisine while soaking up the panoramic views.
A river cruise along the Yarra River is not only a fantastic way to appreciate Melbourne’s skyline and beautiful landmarks; it also provides a relaxing and tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the breathtaking vistas as you cruise along this iconic river.
10 Visit the State Library of Victoria
Boasting an impressive collection of books, manuscripts, and historical artefacts, the library offers a fascinating journey through time and knowledge. The State Library is an extensive collection of books. With over 2 million items, including rare and valuable manuscripts, it is a treasure trove for literary aficionados. With its grand façade and stunning architecture, it is known as one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. With its high domed ceiling, intricate woodwork, and rows upon rows of bookshelves, it is a sight to behold.
In addition to its books and artefacts, the State Library of Victoria also offers a range of events and activities. From author talks and panel discussions to film screenings and workshops, there is always something happening at the library.
Check their website to find out about upcoming events during your visit.
11 Take a ride on the City Circle Tram
The City Circle Tram in Melbourne is a beloved and iconic attraction that offers a unique way to explore the city’s, vibrant heart. As a free and heritage-listed tram service, it takes both locals and tourists on a delightful journey through Melbourne’s bustling streets and significant landmarks.
The historic trams, adorned with vintage charm, provide a sense of nostalgia while passing by modern marvels and historical buildings. Tourists can hop on and off the tram at various stops, conveniently accessing key attractions like Flinders Street Station, Federation Square, and the Parliament House.
With informative audio commentary on board, passengers can learn about Melbourne’s rich history and cultural significance during the leisurely ride. The City Circle Tram promises an enjoyable and convenient sightseeing experience, making it an absolute must-do for anyone exploring the lively and captivating city of Melbourne.
12 Explore the Melbourne Museum
Learn about Australia’s natural and cultural history through interactive exhibits and displays. The Melbourne Museum is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in learning about Australia’s natural and cultural history. With a range of interactive exhibits and displays, visitors can immerse themselves in the rich heritage of this fascinating country. Explore the diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife that call Australia home and the Indigenous cultures that have shaped its history.
From the awe-inspiring dinosaur exhibitions to the captivating stories of the First Peoples, there is something for everyone to discover. Whether you are a science enthusiast or simply curious about the world around you, the Melbourne Museum offers a memorable and educational experience. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of Australia’s past and present with engaging activities and informative presentations. Plan a trip to the Melbourne Museum and let your curiosity unfold.
Melbourne Museum website adult tickets cost $15 AUD kids go free.
Halal Restaurants in Melbourne
Dining in Melbourne can be quite expensive, so if you want to save money on food I recommend cooking if you stay in an apartment. However, there are also plenty of halal dining options in Melbourne. Some are suggested below, and we have a complete guide on halal food in the city here.
1 Blok M Express
Blok M Express is an Indonesian restaurant located in Melbourne. The Restaurant serves authentic Halal dishes that serve as a treat to eat while exploring the city’s beauty.
The dishes of this Restaurant are incredibly famous, consisting of fried chicken covered in spicy red sauce served with rice. You can also have Ayam Bakar(grilled chicken), a favourite choice for halal foodies in Melbourne.
Their Instagram is here
From sizzling charcoal-grilled meats to aromatic stews and flavorful mezze, Dunyazad captivates taste buds with its array of delicious Halal dishes. The warm and inviting ambience complements the dining experience. If you are hungry for Lebanese food then this place is a must.
Check the reviews here.
3. Nasi Lemak House
Nasi Lemak House is named after a famous dish Nasi Lemak. It is a dish that many Malaysians and Indonesian people love. The signature Nasi Lemak dish is a must-try.
You can get some hungry inspiration from their Instagram here.
4. Bowtiful Halal Lanzhou Noodles
Piping hot and delicious broths of chicken go perfectly with the cold weather. Do try this dish if you are visiting in the winter. They are halal certified and have a few walk-in branches.
5 Marmara Restaurant
The restaurant is a popular halal option for locals with a wide selection of traditional Turkish dishes, from savoury kebabs on open flames to mouthwatering mezze platters.
Mosques to pray in Melbourne
There are several mosques in Melbourne where you can pray. Depending on where you are staying, you can visit the nearest mosque, and Google will help navigate you.
Here I have included some of the most popular mosques in Melbourne
- Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) | 66-68 Jeffcott St, West Melbourne VIC 3003, Australia
- Muslimin Melbourne Mosques near city centre | 17 Victoria St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
- Maidstone Mosque | 34 Studley St, Maidstone VIC 3012, Australia
In conclusion, Melbourne stands out as a vibrant and inclusive city, offering many experiences for Muslim travellers seeking a Muslim-friendly destination. With its diverse Muslim community and Halal amenities, such as mosques, restaurants, and accommodations, Melbourne welcomes visitors of all backgrounds.
Muslim travellers can immerse themselves in the city’s rich culture, explore its historical landmarks, and savour delicious Halal cuisine from various cuisines worldwide. Visiting Melbourne is an opportunity to cherish cultural diversity, learn about the city’s history, and connect with a warm and friendly community. Whether strolling through botanical gardens, savouring exotic flavours, or engaging in cultural festivals, Melbourne has something to offer every Muslim traveller seeking an unforgettable experience.
With its inclusive atmosphere and Muslim-friendly amenities, Melbourne undoubtedly remains a top choice for those wishing to create cherished memories and discover the allure of Australia’s cultural melting pot.
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