THE ULTIMATE GETAWAY GUIDE TO MELBOURNE
Welcome to my home city of Melbourne, Australia!
Also known as the city with a buzzing atmosphere, unique style, world-class attractions, beautiful scenery and an exciting take on sports. I’ve lived here my entire life, so now I’m here to pass on some advice to you with an “Ultimate Getaway Guide to Melbourne” – I think I’ve got you covered!
(I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, and pay respect to their Elders, past and present.)
Things to see:
The real centre of Melbourne city. Federation Square is the perfect meeting place due to its central location and buzzing public social space. The square is based on the banks of the Yarra River and is surrounded by some of the most recognisable streets, many restaurants and popular Melbourne attractions that you really need to visit.
Flinders Street Station
Flinders St. Station is the central hub for the railway system in Melbourne. Over 100,000 commuters pass through this station every single day, making it an incredibly important part of the busy city lifestyle – It’s also directly across the road from Fed Square☝
The station was built over a century ago, making it the most recognisable stature in the city (hence why it’s the feature image of this post).
Queen Victoria Market
Queen Vic Market is one of the many major Melbourne attractions. In its 130 years of existence, the market’s history is certainly one worth mentioning; it’s been a cemetery, a livestock market and a wholesale fruit and vegetable market too.
Today, it stands as one of the greatest markets in Australia and is a historic site under Heritage Victoria. If you’re looking for some fresh produce, interesting goods, cheap clothing or a nice place for lunch.. look no further!
A 242-kilometre river that flows through the Yarra Valley, the centre of Melbourne and exits at Port Phillip.
There are many ways to explore this historic river; whilst on the boardwalk in the CBD, whilst cruising on its waters, or whilst camping o n its banks far out in the countryside.
The Yarra River is a part of Melbourne with great cultural significance that we really shouldn’t ignore!
“Chinatown Melbourne is the longest continuous Chinese settlement in the western world”. Dating back to the 1850’s, this is an area of Melbourne with so much history, beautiful Chinese architecture and delicious Asian cuisine.
The largest cricket stadium, and the 10th largest sporting stadium in the world; the MCG is a very notable part of Melbourne’s sporting scene. It has the capacity to hold over 100,000 spectators and is only a short walking distance from the city. It even has Richmond train station at its doorstep for easy access.
Sports lovers really can’t miss this one.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Located near the very centre of the city, the Royal Botanic Gardens is a tranquil space to have a picnic, go for a walk, see a movie under the stars or experience various types of flora. It has beautiful views of the cityscape too!
Shrine of Remembrance
World War I memorial complex is situated within Kings Domain. It was originally built as a memorial to all men and women who lost their lives during the war, but has since turned into a memorial for all of the brave Australian’s that served.
Learn about Australia’s immigration history whilst in the heart of the city. The Immigration Museum teaches you about the multiculturalism in Australia, the stories of asylum seekers and migrators to the country, the improvements that need to be made for our future, and the sheer importance of unity.
Things to do:
Shop on Chapel Street
Chapel Street – AKA The shopping precinct of Melbourne.
If you’re a sucker for fashion, this is the street you desperately need to visit. It has a great mixture of luxury and high street stores that you will literally get lost in for hours.
Have fun at Luna Park
A historic piece of Melbourne’s history; Luna Park overlooks the iconic Port Phillip Bay (only 8km from CBD) and has been operating for over a century. It is also home to the oldest operating wooden roller coaster in the world.. you really don’t want to miss out!
Visit one of our many Zoos
Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary are three beautiful zoos that are very different from one another.
Melbourne Zoological Gardens is only 4 km’s from the city centre – it’s much like a very traditional zoo surrounded by beautiful grounds and 320 animal species. Werribee Zoo on the other hand, is an open range zoo around 30 km’s south-west of the city that attempts to give you a real taste of an African adventure.
Healesville Sanctuary is where you will learn about the Australian bushland and the amazing Aussie wildlife that lives within it.
If you’re a lover of animals, it’s definitely worth giving these a visit. Although there may be some things that need to change, zoos victoria is working hard to fight the extinction of some of the world’s most endangered wildlife species.
Indulge in the rich Social Life
This city has a huge array of pubs, night clubs, music festivals, carnivals, entertainment displays and party scenes. It’s really not hard to find a place to enjoy your night out, as the city really is catered to everyone!
I’m really not much of a partier, so I’ll leave you with this site to help you out instead.
Street Art Walking Tour
Melbourne is home to some of the most impressive street art and graffiti in the world. It’s well known for its unique display of artwork around the open city streets. Exploring them on your own is not difficult, but street tours are another great option if you want to ensure you see every single piece.
Strolling through the hidden laneways is also one of the many amazing things to do in Melbourne with kids; they’ll love the bright colours and quirky designs!
Relax at the Peninsula Hot Springs
The Peninsula Hot Springs was Victoria’s first natural hot springs and day spa. Come here and relax in the balmy water, get a soothing massage and unwind in the hands of nature!
Stroll around Albert Park
A 3.2km² park just outside of the city centre. This is the perfect place to stroll around a beautiful lake before a day of exploring the city. Albert Park is also home to the Formula 1 Grand Prix – so it’s an important part of Melbourne’s sporting scene.
Go for a flight around the City
The best way to see the city is from the air. Be sure to go on a scenic tour with PHS on your next visit to Melbourne – you’ll see everything from the city and beaches, to the surrounding country landscapes. It really is the best way to sightsee all of the Melbourne attractions.
See a world-class Sports Match
The sporting capital of the world; Melbourne is the perfect place for any sporting fanatic with football (aka. AFL), cricket, soccer, rugby, basketball, netball and motorsports all being based in this city.
It really is the city for sporting lovers, there’s absolutely no doubt about it.
Dine on the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant
Take part in a modern Australian dining experience on board the world’s first travelling Tramcar restaurant! Cruise the streets of Melbourne whilst enjoying a 4-course lunch or 3-5 course dinner whilst being surrounded by colonial period decor. A once in a lifetime experience.
Drink lots of Coffee
After all, we do have the best coffee in the world!
Outside the City Centre:
A 2-hour drive south of Melbourne will take you an island that really sums up the “typical” Australian lifestyle.
Phillip Island is home to the famous penguin parade, a lot of wildlife, beautiful beaches, breath-taking scenery and a very relaxed atmosphere. This is the perfect place to spend a few days to wind down and enjoy the Aussie coastline.
St. Kilda Beach
St. Kilda is a very popular inner suburb on the outskirts of Melbourne (just 6 km’s away to be exact). This picturesque coastal town is home to one of Melbourne’s most popular beaches, many ‘trendy’ restaurants, world-renowned beach boxes, festivals and the well-known Luna Park. It’s a great place to spend the day amongst the seagulls with some fish n’ chips on your lap.
The Dandenong Ranges are a low set of mountain ranges 35 km’s east of Melbourne that you really don’t want to miss out on.
This is a part of Melbourne that is unlike any other; Nestled in the lush forests you’ll find eclectic towns, delish places to eat, many wineries, unique shopping experiences and exciting adventures – all that will leave you completely immersed in nature (and ferns of course).
Within the Dandenong Ranges, you’ll find a 2 ft 6 wide, century-old steam train chuffing around the fern gullies and forests. Puffing Billy is one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world that takes you on an experience of a lifetime… It’s the perfect activity to do with children too!
Great Ocean Road
A 243 kilometre stretch of road along the magnificent South Eastern coast of Australia. The 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, Bay of Island and London Bridge are just a few of the amazing sights you’ll see along the way.
Take a ride in a hot air balloon whilst overlooking beautiful vineyards and the Australian countryside. Once you’ve completed your journey, head on a tour around the many wineries and spend your day with a glass in hand. Does it really get any better?
Places to stay:
Crown Towers – Right on the banks of the Yarra River in the centre of the city. This hotel is the perfect location, surrounded by everything you’ll ever need for a visit to Melbourne.
Grand Hyatt – A 5-star hotel situated on Collins St, the Grand Hyatt is the true definition of luxury.
Sofitel – Situated amongst the designer shopping street of Melbourne. Another hotel for those wanting to visit Melbourne in style.
The Langham – Less than a kilometre from all of the most popular streets and attractions in the city. A location that really couldn’t get any better.
The Art Series Hotel Group is a boutique group of hotels which have each been inspired by a namesake artist. The three that are located in Melbourne’s centre are all of a completely unique style and feel that are a great mix of contemporary and luxury.
Art Series / The Blackman: St Kilda Rd, CBD – Art Series / The Cullen: Commercial Rd, Prahran – Art Series / The Olsen: Chapel St, South Yarra
St. Jerome’s Hotel – Situated on the roof of Melbourne Central Shopping Complex, St. Jerome’s hotel is a luxurious glamping experience that you’ll never forget.
If you’re backpacking, on a budget or simply prefer to stay in more basic forms of accommodation, check out this list of the best hostels in Melbourne!
Where to eat:
Chin Chin – South Eastern Asian Cuisine: Flinders Lane, CBD
Lûme – 18-course tasting menu that is more of an experience: South Melbourne
Lygon Street – Also known as little Italy: Stroll down the streets and find some delicious Italian cuisine
Cecconi – Authentic Italian: Flinders Lane, CBD
MoVida – Tapas Bar: Hosier Ln, CBD
Trunk – An American style diner and a full restaurant too: Exhibition Street, CBD
Morris Jones – Modern Australian: Chapel St, Windsor
Spice Temple – Modern Chinese: Crown, Southbank
Maha – Middle Eastern Fine Dining: Bond Street, CBD
Lune Croissanterie – Rose St, Fitzroy
Hunky Dory – Fish n Chips: Clarendon St, CBD
8bit – Burgers & Hotdogs: Swanston St, CBD
Naughty Boy – Freakshakes (just google it – you won’t regret it): Lygon St. Princes Hill
Zumbo Patisserie – The most incredible macarons you’ll ever taste: Claremont St, South Yara
The Vegie Bar – Brunswick St, Fitzroy
Smith & Daughters – Brunswick St, Fitzroy
Shakahari – Faraday St, Carlton
Sister of Soul – Acland St, St. Kilda
Moroccan Soup Bar – St Georges Rd, North Fitzroy
Lentil As Anything – Pay how you feel, non for profit restaurant: Heliers St, Abbotsford
Have you got anything else to add to the guide? I’d love to know your suggestions so that I can try them too 😉
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