3 Days in Melbourne: A Quick Guide to the Gem of Australia

Melbourne 3 day itinerary

Melbourne is a stunning city that offers travelers the perfect balance of Melbourne’s heritage and Melbourne’s modernity. Melbourne has something for everyone, with beaches, parks, pubs, restaurants and more.

I grew up in the Netherlands, and this was my first experience living in another country on my own. When I first moved to Australia, most of you didn’t know that I’d spent four months living in Melbourne. This interesting metropolis is known for its coffee drinking culture, outstanding arts and cultural events, and wonderful shopping options.

If you want to see what Melbourne is all about, make a city tour of the laneways covered in brilliant gravity, drink coffee at hidden cafés, and spend evenings viewing art galleries. The metropolis is sophisticated, gritty, and well-known for its four seasons in one day (be careful), and it’s a must-see while traveling

In this Melbourne 3-day itinerary, I’ll show you the finest sites to visit when visiting Melbourne, including a drive along the Great Ocean Road. Let’s get started…

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Melbourne 3 Day Itinerary | The Basics

Underneath are the basic that should know about when heading to Melbourne. Once that is out of the way, we’ll dive into the 3-day itinerary.

Melbourne 3 day itinerary THE BASICS

Language English
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.

Money and Price

In Australia they use the Australian dollar, currently (March 2020), the exchange rate sits around:

€1 = $ 1.74 AUD
$1 = $ 1.99 AUD
$ 1 USD = $ 1.54 AUD

In pretty much all places will accept credit cards. Some stalls at the markets do not though, so I do advise to carry some Australian Dollars with you just in case. There might also be a couple of smaller stores that do not have an EFTPOS machine.

Tipping is not expected, though it is customary to round up your restaurant bill to the nearest dollar. At more expensive restaurants, it is normal to leave a 5-10% tip.

Language

English is the official language of Australia. Underneath you can find some handy English/Australian phrases as well as some handy travel phrases that might come in handy during your time in the country.

Australian English
G’day Hello
How are ya Greeting, warm welcome
Arvo Afternoon
Catch ya later Goodbye
Good on ya Good job
Dunno I don’t know
Barbie Barbecue
Bloody oath That’s true
Beaut Fantastic, wonderful, the best
Buzz off Go away
BYO Bring your own grog/alcohol (Often seen at Restaurants)
Crikey! Astonishment, disbelief
Fair dinkum True, real, honest
Fair go To give somebody a reasonable chance at something; to treat them fairly

Where To Stay In Melbourne

  • Crown Towers Melbourne. High-end hotel with luxurious rooms & suites, plus an indoor pool, a gym & a sophisticated bar.
  • The Langham. Absolute luxury hotel located in Southbank. It offers elegant lodging with river & city views, plus a spa, an indoor pool & a refined buffet restaurant.
  • The Hotel Windsor. Australia’s only surviving grand 19th century city hotel and only Victorian era hotel was build in 1883. They offer lovely sophisticated rooms & suites in a refined hotel featuring a pub & afternoon tea.
  • Spencer Street Apartments. Offering quality accommodations in the restaurants, shopping, nightlife district of Melbourne, Spencer Street Apartments is a popular pick for both business and holiday travelers.

Best Hotels in Melbourne

Ovolo Laneways
W Melbourne
Docklands Private Collection – New Quay
The Hotel Windsor
Grand Hyatt Melbourne
Crown Towers Melbourne
Ovolo Laneways
W Melbourne
Docklands Private Collection – New Quay
The Hotel Windsor
Grand Hyatt Melbourne
Crown Towers Melbourne
Ovolo Laneways
W Melbourne
Docklands Private Collection – New Quay
The Hotel Windsor
Grand Hyatt Melbourne
Crown Towers Melbourne

Getting Around the City

Melbourne is a great city to get around using public transport as it has a well-developed system of Metro Trains, Trams and buses as well as the CBD being very walkable.

All the main methods of transport can be used on the one MYKI card which can be topped up online, at train/ tram stops and when boarding the bus. Using public transport is the perfect way to make the most of a Melbourne 3 day itinerary.

WALKING 

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.

BEST TIME TO VISIT MELBOURNE

Ask any Melburnian about the weather in their city, and they’ll tell you that it’s possible to have all four seasons on one day. It’s true. Melbourne’s weather has a mind of its own.

It follows the Southern Hemisphere’s summer (December to February), fall (March to May), winter (June to August), and spring (September to November) seasons. Temperatures will range from 70 degrees Fahrenheit in December to 80 degrees F in March, with temperatures reaching up to 90 degrees F during peak summer conditions.

The winter months are not that chilly, with highs seldom below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the weather is gloomy and gray. Because it isn’t the most beautiful period to visit Melbourne, the winter season is off-limits for tourists.

In terms of weather, spring and fall are both extremely unpredictable. For example, during the spring, you can wake up to a temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit, only to have it rise to 70 degrees Fahrenheit by mid-day. Then, as expected, the temperature drops as soon as the sun sets.

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.

3 DAYS IN MELBOURNE

Roam through Melbourne’s colorful laneways, enjoy cuisine from around the world and explore an arts scene to rival that of any Australian city. You will drive one of Australia’s most incredible Drives – The Great Ocean Road and explore colorful Brighton beach.

  • Wander through Melbourne’s awesomely cool laneways
  • Eat at the best cafés and restaurants
  • Drive the Great Ocean Road
  • Watch Penguins return home from a busy day at sea
  • Explore St. Kilda and bring your inner child out at Luna Park

Melbourne 3 day itinerary

For this itinerary, I will assume that you have landed in Melbourne the day before and you can start exploring first thing in the morning.

DAY 1 | MELBOURNE CBD + ICONIC LANEWAYS

Of course, the first thing to explore should be the CBD and its iconic laneways. Firstly head to Flinders Street Station and the heart of the CBD.  Make sure to check out Flinders Street Station. This station was build in 1909 in the Art Nouveau style and is a cultural icon of the city and a true Melbourne landmark.

Cross right overhead down to Hosier Lane, one of the city’s most famous laneways made so by the ever-changing display of street art that covers almost every possible space! It’s one of the best places to visit in Melbourne if you love street art and culture. Sure, it’s busy down here but it also creates a buzzing atmosphere with many artists usually plying their trade down here each day too, doing a laneway tour is a must-do when you spend 3 days in Melbourne.

The number one unmissable 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.

When you have seen the laneways it is time to rest your feet for a bit and head back over towards Flinders Street Station and go for a trip on the historic and Circle Line Tram. The heritage line includes running commentary as it winds its way around the city taking in some of Melbourne’s most important and impressive buildings. You can get on and off as often as you’d like as this tram is completely free to use! One of the cool places to get off is at the Victorian Parliament Building and Old Treasury Building.

When you have seen enough of the tram line, get off at the closest stop near the Victoria market ( Queen St/La Trobe Stop number 4 ). 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 (5 pm-10 pm) 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.

Prince's Bridge, Melbourne

Head back to Flinders street station and walk over Prince’s Bridge for some of the best views of the Melbourne skyline as you cross the Yarra River. Wander along the river at Kings Domain and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet in this inner-city park.

Finish the day at Eureka Skydeck for some amazing city views. This is the highest public viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere; at a generous 984.3ft (300 meters) and is located in Southbank.

DAY 2 | Take a day trip to The Great Ocean Road

The reason why I think you should to a day trip on the second day of your 3-day trip is because it is a long and exhausting day. If you do it on the last day, you will be tired and stressed during the trip. This way, you can enjoy it, sleep in the next day, and still see everything you need in the 3rd full day.

One of the world’s most scenic coastal drives, The Great Ocean Road in Victoria. It takes you from Torquay and travels 244 kilometres westward to finish at Allansford.Twelve Apostels Melbourne

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

TOUR OPTIONS GREAT OCEAN ROAD

Underneath are just a couple of options for day tours to the Great Ocean Road.

If you wish to drive yourself, Budget and Kayak offer some reasonable prices rental cars.

Underneath you can find a couple more amazing day trips if you have already seen the great ocean road.

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.

TOUR OPTIONS PHILIP ISLAND 

Underneath are just a couple of options for day tours to the Great Ocean Road.

WINE COUNTRY

Wine fiends absolutely must hire a car and hit the road. You have two main options, both an hours-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:

And of course: DON’T drink and drive (EVER) unless it is a golf buggy, of course, hehe, although I’m sure even that would be up for debate.

For most of these tours, you will not be back until late in the evening. If you wish to head out, that’s up to you, but most people will be pooped, so I left this open in the itinerary.

DAY 3 | BRIGHTON BEACH + ST. KILDA BEACH

Melbourne 3 day itinerary. A must see is Brigton beach

Some of Melbournes most icon backdrops can be found at Brighton beach. These colourful 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.

A train from the city will take around 20 minutes on the Sandringham line. Catch it from Flinders Street Station to Brighton Beach Railway Station and take the scenic 500-meter stroll down to the bathing boxes.

Additionally St. Kilda is a great suburb to check out. Home to iconic Luna Park as well as some cutesy penguins. you can spot the penguins at St Kilda breakwater every evening after sunset, with the hour after sunset being “prime time”.

If it is raining (It is Melbourne, so definitely possible) and beach days are not in the cards then head to one of many museums in the city.  Underneath are some of the museums that I advise you to visit:

These are just some options that you can do, check out their website to see what exhibition they currently have on.

Have you ever been to Melbourne? What is your favourite thing about the city and what would you include when writing your own Melbourne 3 day itinerary? Let me know in the comments below.

PLANNING TO GO TO AUSTRALIA? THEN CHECK OUT SOME MORE TRAVEL TIPS HERE:

Thank You Guys For Reading My Melbourne 3 day itinerary <3

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2 Comments

  1. January 15, 2020 / 7:54 pm

    This was such a great post!! I love in Melbourne and you’ve absolutely nailed all the top things to do here, its amazing how you’ve fit everything in to a 3 day period! Reading all these things to do just reminds me how much I love Melbourne and how much there is to do here. Thanks for sharing x

    • bonditobasic
      Author
      January 15, 2020 / 8:12 pm

      ahhh Thank you so much Molly Rose! That is so incredibly kind of you 😊 I lived in Melbourne for a couple of months, so I just combined everything that I thought was a highlight 😊 I am so glad you enjoyed itxx

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