Everyone who has been to Melbourne and especially those who live in Melbourne would all agree that there is ALWAYS something to do in Melbourne. On any given weekend you can find market stalls in a plentiful amount of different suburbs around the city, mini food and wine festivals, a new cafe opening or maybe even a mini music festival.
If you’re a foodie, love afternoon cocktails on a terrace, enjoy city nightlife, or going to the theatre, then Melbourne is one of the best cities in Australia to visit.
I think 2-3 days in the city itself is the perfect amount of time to see everything and get a real feel for the city. If you have more time, I would definitely recommend renting a car or organise some bus trips out to some of the wineries and outer Victorian areas for a different view of the state. If you have the time, drive the Great Ocean Road. We didn’t do that on this trip, so hopefully next time!
Must do’s when in Melbourne:
Flinders Street Railway Station- this is Melbourne’s main railway station, located on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets. It serves the entire metropolitan rail network and makes for an iconic photo of Melbourne.
Hosier Lane- the city council of Melbourne grew tired of seeing lots of unwanted and messy graffiti on buildings, and spending thousands of dollars in getting it painted over. Instead they decided to dedicate a few particular streets and lanes within the city, providing graffiti artists with a space to create without getting in trouble with the law. This particular lane has been noted for high quality and often political nature of its art. Thousands of tourists flock here to see urban street art in all its glory.
Degraves Street- provides very chic vibes with row upon row of outdoor seating. Very hip, very Melbourne. Good luck deciding where you want to eat in this busy little hub of very trendy restaurants. I suggest checking out E-dumpling just off the corner of Degraves Street.
Federation Square- this is one of Melbourne’s most popular public spaces and is where people come to watch the major sporting events and is often shown on television while the events are happening (cue Australian Open).
Royal Botanic Gardens- if you have a few hours to spare and it’s a lovely sunny day, check out the beautiful gardens.
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium- allow for an hour or two to peruse through the aquarium. This is perfect for little kids or rainy days.
National Gallery of Victoria- if you an art lover, this place will definitely satisfy you.
Shrine of Remembrance- this is a nice walk from the CBD and up to the Shrine. The architecture is beautiful and definitely something to check out when in Melbourne.
St Kilda Beach- a must for all Melbourne visitors. Definitely not the best beach Australia has to offer, but it is an icon for Melbourne and if you are a tourist, you may as well play tourist. The surrounding shops and cafes are really nice also. Allow for half a day to enjoy lunch or breakfast here.
Fitzroy- if you are interested in architecture and enjoy perusing the streets everywhere you visit, check out Fitzroy. Catch a tram and enjoy being away from the hustle and bustle of the CBD, surrounded by beautiful terrace houses. I suggest coming here in the late afternoon and finding a chilled out pub or restaurant to spend your evening in.
My Three-Day Itinerary:
We were greeted with perfect blue skies for our first day in Melbourne! We caught the train to Top Paddock in Richmond. This was on my list of things I wanted to go to in Melbourne as I’d seen all the foodies blog about it on Instagram and I needed to taste the flower food for myself! I opted for the healthier option with the bircher muesli, which was nice but not amazing. I received high recommendations for the ricotta hotcakes (which also come with flowers). So if you go, let me know what flower meal you opted for!
Then we caught the train to famous Flinders Station. I can’t help but photograph the station building every time I am in Melbourne as it’s my favourite! We walked through Hosier Lane, checking out the newest graffiti on the walls. Passing through Degraves Street, with all the trendy outside cafes. A perfect spot if you like to be in amongst the hustle and bustle of a trendy city whilst sipping on wine and delving into some tasty dishes from the plentiful array of cafes.
If you prefer a quiet terrace atmosphere to enjoy your cocktails, then Madame Brussels is the perfect afternoon spot for you. Everything is very pink and very cute.
My friend Rachel (her family) has a beautiful holiday house in Merrick’s Beach. We drove there the night before so that we could have the whole day down there.
We visited two wineries in the Mornington Peninsula. The first winery, T’Gallant had a real vintage feel to it and our server was lovely. The second winery we went to was Foxeys Hangout. We also had lunch here and oh boy, it was delicious!
If you have a car when visiting Victoria, this is such a nice way to spend the day. It is roughly only 1 hours from Melbourne CBD as well!
We spent the afternoon in the spa eating apple pie and ice-cream.
We also happened to visit Melbourne when the Comedy Festival was on! As I said, Melbourne ALWAYS has something going on. This was a fun way to spend the evening, complete with cheap wine and Chinese food in China Town, followed by a night of dancing on Chapel Street.
Our last brunch was at Fourth Chapter. Just a small tip from me to you, if you want to get brunch in Melbourne, be prepared to wait anywhere from 20 minutes-1 hour. I am told this just adds to the Melbourne experience. I guess people in Melbourne have more time than Sydney-siders. 😛
Then we drove to Port Melbourne’s Westgate Park, to see the pink lake. We all exclaimed, “It really is pink” when we saw it.
We had enough time to drive out to Brighton Beach to see the famous beach boxes. If you’ve got a spare $1mil you could buy your own coloured box too.
In three days we had successfully completed the “So Melbourne” guide (that I made up in my head, just now). Give it a go, I promise three days with friends, food and wine won’t go unappreciated.