Melbourne, what a city. I only passed through for just short of 48 hours but damn, it has already taken pride of place as one of my favourite cities I have ever visited. It is jam packed with culture from beautiful architecture through to the most bustling art and music scene I’ve ever experienced. If you’re on a tight schedule like I was, here are my favourite activities in Melbourne:
Hidden Secrets Tour
By far the biggest recommendation I have if you’re tight on time in Melbourne is to hop onto a 2-3 hour Hidden Secrets Tour of the city. We did the Laneways and Arcades tour which was just incredible. We got to experience the small backstreets which you would never stumble upon as a tourist. They give you a true feel for the city. Highlights included Presgrave Place and Hosier Lane for street art, Degraves Street for unique eateries, Central Place for cosy cafes, and the beautiful Royal and Block arcades!
Melbourne Museum & Galleries
If you’re in Melbourne, you simply have to take advantages of the bustling art, culture and music scenes. There are amazing exhibitions at Museum Victoria, beautiful galleries such as the National Gallery of Victoria as well as numerous theatre shows and unique markets, such as the Queen Victoria Market.
Go For A Morning Run
One of my favourite ways to explore a new city is to head out on foot at sunrise and watch the city wake up around me. In Melbourne I ran from my hotel, Ovolo Laneways, down to the southbank and ran alongside the river, seeing the sun rise over the cityscape. It was beautiful!
Explore The Parks
As a country bumpkin at heart I love green space, and Melbourne isn’t short of it! There is an abundance of beautiful park scattered across the city. You can’t go long without coming across the next one! Don’t miss the Royal Botanic Gardens and Fitzroy Gardens.
Rose Street Artists Market
This small local market is made up for about 30 stalls packed full of unique handmade products. These range from ceramic reusable coffee cups and delicate jewellery, through to unique kitchenware and candles. Anything you pick up is 100% unique and most pieces are one-offs. Plus you’re supporting local Melbourne artists and businesses, which I am always happy to do.
Take a Tram
Live like a local! Get a Myki card (an Australian version of an oyster card) and use the public transport systems. They’re much cheaper than constant cab rides. Plus they’re great fun and let you get more of vibe of how it would feel to live in Melbourne.
Go To The Beach
Melbourne has beautiful beaches which give stunning views of the city skyline. I particularly loved the relaxed vibe of St Kilda and exploring the pier which is apparently a great spot at sunset for penguin spotting! In general, I love it when cities have beaches as it encourages a lifestyle which is such a contrast from that typical of a metropolis; evenings and mornings with sand between your toes. That is a life I want to lead!
Eat & Drink Coffee
Melbourne is best known for its food and coffee scene. There is something for everyone from casual beach front cafes through to sophisticated city steak houses. The two areas where Melbourne is set apart from the rest, in my opinion, are their coffee and vegan scenes. Their coffee is damn delicious and the diversity of vegan restaurants is the best I have ever come across! Read my favourites in my Melbourne Food Guide.
What about Accommodation?
I stayed at Ovolo laneways in the CBD. A modern hotel with fun decor (multi-coloured doors and grass chairs!), free sweets in reception (winning!) and free laundry service (a life saver!). It was perfectly located, right next to the theatre distrcit, 2 minutes walk from a park and 5 minutes walk from the popular Federation Square, which has transport links across the city. I cannot recommend it enough!
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