Melbourne is known for its coffee drinking culture, its amazing arts, sports events and its great shopping opportunities. If you want to do at a true Melbournian city trip, then you must visit the iconic laneways, covered in colorful gravity, sip coffee at hidden coffee shops and spend evenings in art galleries(dreamy).
The city is sophisticated, gritty and known for its 4 seasons in 1 day(be aware) and is a definite must-see when you are in Australia.
In this blog post, you will find what you must see, where you must stay, where to get a tan and where to entertain yourself during your trip to Melbourne.
WHAT TO DO
Melbourne is a diverse city with lots to see and do. Here are just a few suggestions.
The number one un-missable thing to do in Melbourne is to wander the iconic laneways.
Although street art can be found everywhere, the most popular places to find them are in Hosier Lane, AC/DC Lane, Degraves Street, Duckboard Place, Croft Alley, Smith Street and Brunswick Street (Fitzroy).
When it comes to street art, Hosier Lane is by far Melbourne’s most famous laneway. No trip to Melbourne is complete without a stop here. Located just a couple of blocks from Federation Square, Hosier Lane is easy to find.
Whether it’s skim, soy, almond or deconstructed, Melbourne likes its coffee like no other. Therefore, you can find good coffee just about everywhere in the city. It’s part of their culture.
If you ever meet a Melbournian, they will often have a cup of coffee in their hands or are on the lookout for one. A friend of mine is born and raised in Melbourne, and she is pretty much always sipping on a hot cup of coffee, its pretty much a must-have accessory for them haha.
Explore the strip of nineteenth-century buildings between Swanston and Spring streets and on Little Bourke Street – Australia’s oldest Chinatown.
Home to some of the best Chinese food in Australia, The Chinese Museum – where you can learn all about how the Chinese came to settle in Australia and much more. China town in Melbourne is busy, but the great food and colorful surroundings make it worth wandering into.
QUEEN VICTORIA MARKET
Queen Victoria Market is an iconic landmark in Melbourne where you’ll find an array of amazing food vendors, fresh food grocers, local and imported gourmet food stalls, souvenirs and some fashion stalls.
In the summer months, The Night Market is held here and is not to be missed. This event runs every Wednesday evening (5pm-10pm) from November until April. At the night market, food vendors offer delicious food from all corners of the world. They have live performances throughout the evening as well, making this is an event not to be missed.
STROLL THROUGH THE MELBOURNE GARDENS
If the concrete jungle of Melbourne city has you in its grips after a few days and you require a moment of peace and quiet, then you should hop on a tram and get over to the Shrine of Remembrance and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
A touch of green always clears the mind from the hustle and bustle of the busy city and this well-maintained garden will make you feel zen again.
ST. KILDA BEACH
A city trip in Australia is not complete without a trip to the beach. In Melbourne St Kilda beach an great place to spend a sunny afternoon.
Stroll up the St Kilda Pier at sunset for a chance to see adorable little penguins return to their burrows between the rock formations along the pier, take a dip in clear blue waters, and have lunch at one of the cafés and restaurants lined along the foreshore.
While you are in St Kilda don’t forget to go to Luna Park. One of the best things about Luna Park Melbourne is that it’s free to enter so you can just browse around and take in the exciting atmosphere of Melbourne’s historic amusement park.
SIGHT THE BRIGHTON BATHING BOXES – VERY INSTAGRAM-ABLE
Some of Melbournes most icon backdrops can be found at Brighton beach. These colorful bathing boxes are the bay and Penisula’s symbol of summer. Lately, they’ve also become a popular tourist attraction, as its a great insta-backdrop and therefore can now be seen in many many many Instagram pictures.
VISIT A MUSEUM
Melbourne is home to quite a few museums. A typical Melbournian is proud of this fact. Underneath are some of the museums that I advise you visit:
- Shrine of Remembrance
- National Gallery of Victoria
- National Sports Museum
- Arts Centre
- Melbourne Museum
- Immigration Museum
These are just some options that you can do, check out their website to see what exhibition they currently have on.
Federation Square (known locally as Fed Square) is a unique cultural precinct in the heart of the city.
Home to a fantastic range of restaurants, bars and specialty stores, this iconic architectural structure and contemporary public space is the perfect to hang out and chill after a hard day at work or wandering the city.
To check if there any upcoming events on Fed Square, click HERE.
The city center is extremely walkable and for the most part flat.
FREE CITY CIRKEL TRAM
Melbourne’s City Circle Tram is an old-school heritage W class tram, and it’s completely free to ride.
The ride will take you through the city’s prime attractions, such as Parliament House, Docklands, Federation Square, Melbourne Aquarium, and many more.
TRAM, TRAINS, AND BUSES
Trams are the easiest ways of getting around in Melbourne. For information on getting around check out Public Transport Victoria.
Melbourne is the starting point for quite a few amazing day trips. From Australian wildlife to scenic cliffs and waters to some of the most delicious wineries. All can be done from Melbourne.
GREAT OCEAN ROAD
HOW ICONIC! – One of the world’s most scenic coastal drives, The Great Ocean Road in Victoria. It takes you from Torquay and travels 244 kilometers westward to finish at Allansford.
See the towering 12 Apostles, get up close to native wildlife (kangaroos, Koalas, Lorikeets Dolfines), and take in iconic surf breaks, lush rainforests, and spectacular waterfalls as you go. This is one MUST-SEE when visiting Australia.
HOW TO GET THERE?
You can either rent your own car and drive the great ocean road yourself or you can get on one of the MANY operated day trips. They leave in the morning and you are back in Melbourne in the evening.
PHILIP ISLAND – PENGUIN PARADE
If you are new to Australian and you would like to see some of Australia’s amazing wildlife, then a visit to Phillip Island is for you.
From penguins, seals, and kangaroos you can all see them on this quiet but beautiful little island.
HOW TO GET THERE?
Again, you can either rent your own car and drive the great ocean road yourself or you can get on one of the MANY operated day trips. They leave in the morning and you are once again back in Melbourne in the evening.
Wine fiends absolutely must hire a car and hit the road. You have two main options, both an hour-drive out of Melbourne.
Yarra Valley – The Yarra Valley produces some of Australia’s finest pinot noir, sparkling wine, and other cool-climate wines. The trip to Yarra Valley is seen as an amazing scenic drive.
Some of the wineries that you could visit are:
Mornington Peninsula – Combine the best of Europe’s coastal living with the traditional Aussie charm on the Mornington Peninsula, just an hour from Melbourne. Here, in the cooler-climate, they produce amazing Pinot Noir. Additionally, they produce Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Shiraz.
Fifty wineries call the Mornington Peninsula home, all varying in size. Some of the wineries that are worth a visit are:
Of course, you can also go on a wine tasting tour with a group. A helpful website to help you choose the right tour below:
- Wine Tasting & Winery tours – Tripadvisor
And of course: DON’T drink and drive (EVER) unless its a golf buggy of course hehe, although I’m sure even that would be up for debate 😉
Time Zone: UTC +10.
Electricity: Flat three-pin plug. Electrical power in Australia runs on a cycle of 50hz, and a voltage of 230 Volt.
Currency: Australian Dollar ($).
Tipping: In Australia, you don’t have to tip – ever. But you can if you want to.
Weather: Summer (December – March), Autumn (March-May), Winter (June – August), Spring (September – November) – Best seasons to visit Melbourne are generally considered to be autumn and spring. These are the best times to enjoy good weather and avoid massive tourist crowds.
AUSSIE SLANG WORDS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Underneath there are some Aussie slang words that might be useful for you when traveling down under.
- G’day – Hello
- How are ya/How ya garn– How are you? also considered a form of greeting (in some ways)
- Arvo- Afternoon
- Catch ya later – see you soon/Bye
- Good on ya – Good job or another way of saying thank you
- Dunno – ” don’t know “
- Barbie – Barbecue
- Bloody oath – That’s true/ strongly meaning – you bet
- Beaut – Fantastic, wonderful, the best.
- Buzz off – Go away
- BYO – Bring your own grog/alcohol
- Crikey! – Astonishment, disbelief – Steve Irwin’s word for almost everything lol!
- Fair dinkum – True, real, honest – absolutely 100% true/right
- Fair go – Give someone a chance, said a lot of the time when someone isn’t treated fairly