I love Melbourne there’s so much to see and do, after spending a week there I still feel as though I was tight for time and didn’t get to see everything I wanted (although that may be down to the damn jet lag). If you’re thinking of visiting this vibrant city here’s what I got up to, and if you’re not here’s why you should be! (This list is in no particular order it was just too hard to pick a favouriteexperience)
1. I’m free walking tour – this free* (a tip is expected) walking tour is widely regarded the best in the city. Running daily at 10:30 and 2:30 from the state library of Victoria, your tour guide will share there In-depth knowledge of the city and its history with you as you see the top sights in the city. You’ll visit Hosier lane,Ned Kellys jail cell and explore the skyline from the banks of the yara river, and so much more. This tour is a wonderful way to get to know your way around a fantastic city. I would recommend doing this trip early on in your visit because there will be so many places you want to go back and visit.
2. Hosier lane – Melbourne is famous for its street art and hosier lane is the place to see it. Located in the south east of the city centre just across from federation square you’ll find Hosier lane as well as a number of other laneways filled with quirky cafes and street art, if you’re lucky you’ll even get to see an artist at work. Street art here in the city changes quickly so if you’re here for awhile make sure you go back and see what’s changed.
3. Botanical gardens and the shrine of rememberence – The botanical gardens are located just south of the city centre across the yara river, here you will find huge amounts of green space to explore, if the weather’s nice this is a wonderful spot to enjoy the sun whilst reading a book or having a picnic. In the gardens you will find government house, the observatory and the shrine of remembrance. The shrine of remembrance is dedicated to the soldiers of Australia many of whom lost their lives in the first and second world wars. Underneath this impressive building is a huge museum packed with artefacts and information including uniforms, medals, letters and stories of soldiers at war. If you visit the shrine be sure to head upstairs to the balcony for wonderful views of the city skyline.
4. Fitzroy – Looking for Melbournes answer to east London? In Fitzroy you’ll find only the coolest of cool people as well as some amazing boutiques and cafes. You could spend hours just wandering the streets of this area grab a bite to eat at one of the vegan cafes or shop until you drop, whatever you chose to do you will leave feeling inspired. If you’re after a bit of peace and quiet from the bustling city life make sure to head to Fitzroy gardens. The gardens are packed with things to see and do including cooks cottage, a model of a Tudor town and several fountains, not forgetting of course the big open spaces perfect for a picnic.
5. Rooftops – If you didn’t spend time on a rooftop did you even go to Melbourne? Melbourne is famous for its views from above and an excellent way to experience this is from the Eureka tower. At 88 floors high the skydeck is the tallest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere but don’t worry you won’t have to climb the stairs. For just $20 you can take the 38 second lift up to the top of Melbournes highest building for some incredible views, if you want the best photo opportunities head up just before the sunsets and stay until the city lights up. Weather you do chose to head to the Eureka tower sky deck, Naked for Saturn (a famous rooftop bar) or just the roof of your hotel you must see the city from above.
6. ACMI and Federation square – The Australian centre of the moving image is primarily a cinema however it also has a huge exhibition area downstairs which houses an incredible interactive museum. The museum showcases the history and progression of moving images in Australian culture from cinema to tv and video games, I particularly enjoyed the exhibition exploring aboriginal culture in cinematography. Entry to the museum is completely free and you’ll get hours of fun from it. The perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon in Melbourne. You can find ACMI in federation square, a regenerated area of the city to mark the centenary of federation in 2001. The square is home to some unique and controversial architecture, frequent events are also held here it’s the perfect place to hang out (plus the free wifi is really fast!)
7. Queen Victoria market – If you’re a market lover this is the place to be. Undoubtably the biggest market I’ve ever seen selling everything you could imagine from clothing to live chickens and fresh vegetables all at great prices. This is the perfect place to shop for gifts if your soon going to be on your way home, to buy fresh local produce for your next meal or just to chill out with a coffee listening to live music.
8. The docklands – Melbournes water front area has it all, amazing views of the city, a great shopping and restaurant scene as well as the big wheel. Easily accessible by free tram from anywhere in the city centre the docklands and waterfront are a must visit. Here you can take a peaceful walk along the waterfront boardwalk, grab some food overlooking the water or bounce around on the dodgems and fairground at harbour town, whatever you enjoy there truly is something for everyone.
9. Cafe and restaurant culture – Melbourne is known globally as having some of the best independent coffee shops and restaurants in the world, you can’t not experience at least one of them. If you’re into Italian (who isn’t!) head to Lygon street, known as the little Italy of Melbourne, or if you prefer Chinese head to china town or little Greece for Greek cuisine Melbourne literally has it all so do your research! If you’re after a famously good coffee head to the laneways surrounding hosier lane or one of Fitzroys quirky cafes.
10. The Great Ocean Road and St Kilda – If you have a little more time to spend in the city why not head out to the beachside suburb of St Kilda or take a trip along the famous great ocean road? Separate blog posts will be coming this week, so keep your eyes peeled.
If this list is not reason enough to put Melbourne on your bucket list what is. With so much to see and do you’ll be spoiled for choice.