Melbourne is a hip, vibrant city filled with great culture and delicious food. The city centre is always bustling, and the inner-city neighbourhoods are complete with their own unique charm.
Melbourne has earned its reputation as Australia’s “coolest” city through its many laneways filled with quirky street art, roaring music scene and delicious dining options for all budgets. It’s also regularly been voted the world’s most liveable city, and for good reason!
So, what are the “must-do’s” when visiting this city?
1. Visit Flinders Street Station and Federation Square
The main entrance to Flinders Street Station is a cultural symbol of Melbourne. You will spot this on every tourist brochure or postcard in Melbourne. The building was first opened in 1910 and is listed on the Victorian heritage register.
Across the road from the station is Federation Square. This is another Melbourne icon, most notable during the Australian Open when thousands of people gather to watch the tennis matches on the television. Once you’re at the Square, make sure to visit the Australian Centre of the Moving Image.
2. Go bar hopping
Melbourne has an endless supply of bars to visit, eat and get drunk at. Make the most of your afternoon by bar hopping from bar to bar. My favourite suburb to bar hop in is Fitzroy- home to Naked for Satan, The Everleigh, Bar Liberty and Bad Frankie to name a few. (The amazing view of Melbourne’s cityscape was taken from Naked for Satan).
3. Brunch until you can’t brunch anymore
There’s nothing quite like a brunch queue on a Sunday morning in Melbourne. Picture this, you’re hungover, you’re tired, all you want is some avo toast and a coffee. You’re waiting in line for over 20 minutes, wondering if it will ever be your turn or if you will perish in Melbourne before you even get to eat at one of the famous brunch spots, but then your name is called! Your food is brought, and everything is right in the world once more.
Some of the places I’d happily line up for whilst experiencing the above scenario include: Bentwood and Faraday’s Cage in Fitzroy, Fourth Chapter in Prahran, Top Paddock in Richmond and Higher Ground in the CBD.
4. Check out the amazing street art
Melbourne is very well-known for its incredible street art. The city council actually designated certain areas that allow street artists to do their thing. Due to this, the art is always changing around the city. The most famous spot to see street art is on Hosier Lane. However, I stumbled across a lot of street art whilst wandering around Fitzroy.
6. Visit a market
There are market stalls being held every weekend in Melbourne. If you’re a lover of unique trinkets, fresh produce and supporting local artists then a visit to a market would be the perfect way to spend a morning. A quick Google search will let you know what markets will be on that weekend. I visited Rose Street Market in Fitzroy, which is open every weekend. It’s an indoor and outdoor market filled with handmade goods, complete with a diner and rooftop bar.
7. Admire art at a gallery
Melbourne has so many amazing art galleries to peruse. It is home to Australia’s oldest, largest and most visited art gallery, the National Gallery of Victoria, plus an array of smaller galleries such as Niagara Galleries, Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings or Centre for Contemporary Photography. Make sure you visit at least one gallery whilst here! In my personal opinion, Aboriginal art is some of the most beautiful so make sure you go to a gallery that has some on display for a full Australian art experience.
8. Get sporty at the MCG
One of the most important things to know about Melbourne is that it is a sports-obsessed city. The Melbourne Cricket Ground, or as the locals call it “The G”, is Melbourne’s largest sports stadium. The stadium is home to the Melbourne Cricket Club, but also hosts AFL games, and international soccer and rugby games.
To top off your Melbourne experience try to catch a game of cricket or AFL to truly experience Melbourne’s passion for sport.
9. Stroll (or row) along the Yarra River
The Yarra River is the city’s main water feature, situated in the heart of the city. Take a stroll along the Yarra and look back at the beautiful city skyline. I’ve been told that a very “Melbourne thing to do” is to kayak along the Yarra River, so if you’re after a fun, unique activity whilst in Melbourne this could be it.
10. Wander through laneways
One of my favourite things to do in any city is to aimlessly wander through the many laneways and streets, and get lost in the architecture around me. This strongly applies to when I am in Melbourne, as it is a wonderful to way to see what the city has to offer. You’ll find plenty to see, do, buy and eat, and gain a new appreciation of Melbourne.