Al Fresco Art on Hosier Lane!
Imagine the smell of fresh coffee roasting as you wander down laneways completely filled with colourful murals from artists around the world. The pace isn’t too fast or too slow, but just right so that you can enjoy all of the sensations around you. Where in the world could it be? You guessed it! Melbourne.
Originally named Batmania, Melbourne, is the capital of the state of Victoria in Southern Australia. It was discovered in 1835 but really flourished in the 1850’s after a gold rush to the North. Today it is a multicultural and trendy city, consistently voted as one of the best places to live in the world. The love for sports, festivals and fun, in general, gives the city a vibrancy that can’t be found anywhere else. Just outside of the bustling city in places like Sugarloaf Reservoir you can spot kangaroos and other exciting wildlife, the perfect recipe for a well-rounded trip.
Although quite a journey from Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef, there are plenty of things to do in Melbourne. Here are some of my recommendations:
- Royal Botanic Gardens – Located on the south side of the Yarra River, these legendary gardens were founded in 1846 and extend over 38 hectares (94 acres). There are guided tours and rides to take throughout the tranquil landscape.
Queen Victoria Market will leave you feeling Victoria-ous!
- Queen Victoria Market – This is the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere and the oldest in Melbourne. It’s 19th century architecture, historical significance and modern improvements make it an important landmark of the city. You can find a wide range of goods from food to clothing.
- Events at MCG – Within walking distance of the city centre, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, or “The G”, is home to the National Sports Museum as well as the proud host of many different sporting events such as Australian Rules Football, soccer and rugby matches as well as concerts and other cultural events.
- St. Kilda – About 6 kilometres south of the Melbourne’s centre is the beachside neighbourhood of St. Kilda. It is not only home to the famous amusement park, Luna Park, but it is also a great place to explore fun bars and restaurants, indulge in water- sports of all kinds, and spot wildlife like penguins and who knows, you may even see a shark!
Bright Brighton Bathing Boxes at the Beach!
- Carlton Gardens – This 26 acre World Heritage Site contains the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Museum, lovely fountains and even an award winning playground (I wonder whose job it is to give that award?!). This is a great spot to enjoy a picnic or the occasional event!
- Museums and Galleries – The culture and art scene in Melbourne is very vibrant, it’s even painted on the walls! There are over 120 galleries and museums in the city. I highly recommend Heide Museum of Modern Art, ScienceWorks science museum, and the Old Melbourne Gaol.
Here’s a Pro-Tip: Take a stroll through the laneways to see colourful street art and snap the perfect Instagram photo!
If you prefer a more private ride, Uber and taxis are also widely available. Within the city, the City Circle Tram is a historical, mostly free, and iconic Melbourne way to travel around and see the sights. The city also has convenient train and bus systems although you can bike or walk your way around easily.
It’s no wonder Melbourne is called the Garden City
Here’s another Pro-Tip: The weather in Melbourne is very changeable. Be sure to pack for all four seasons as you may find yourself needing to one day!
Melbourne has been ranked one of the world’s most liveable cities many times. Even if you are only there for a short stay you will surely experience why. Hotel Windsor has been up and running since 1883 and has had many famous guests such as Metallica and Vivien Leigh pass through. For quirkier accommodation, check out Notel. It is made up of six 1970’s campers secured atop a carpark and transformed into boutique suites.
Jasper Hotel is a colourful gem conveniently located near Queen Victoria Market while Ovolo Laneways nearby is a quieter stay within the active city and offers a free minibar in each room!
A feast for all of my senses!
For some of the city’s best sushi, head over to Minamishima while Tulum has incredible Turkish food. Amongst all of these worldly delights, Taxi Kitchen and Attica, which regularly appears in The World’s 50 Best, stand out as having some of the best traditional Australian cuisine. Higher Ground is another one of my favourite places to dine, especially for brunch and coffee.
Once it’s time to switch from coffee to cocktails, one of my favourite places to enjoy a few is Romeo Lane, and not only for the amazing drinks list. The atmosphere is charming and cosy. Ponyfish Island is another favourite of mine. It is accessible by only one staircase which leads under the Yarra Pedestrian Footbridge and into the delightful waterfront bar.
For unique cocktails, head over to Byrdi and for a real taste of Australia, make your way to Bad Frankie, where only Australian spirits and native ingredients are served. To dance the night away, The Toff in Town or Revolver Upstairs are fun.
Sydney may be for the daytime but Melbourne shines at night!
With so many places to visit in Melbourne, your days will be as full as your heart!