Here I’m going to talk about some of the experiences that I had in Melbourne and that I thought worth sharing. If you’ve been there too, share in the comments your favorite adventures/bars/nightclubs/restaurants/walks that you did and you think are worth seeing too!
Elected for the 7th year most livable city by The Economist it looks like that Melbourne is definitely a city to visit once in a lifetime.
My personal opinion about Melbourne, although I saw beautiful places in and around was that it wasn’t a city for me. I think Big City lovers are definitely going to love it but if you are more confortable in little cities, you probably want to stay few days and leave it.
Now, I’ll share with you my top 20 thing that I did and liked in Melbourne.
1) St Kilda
One of my favorite place in Melbourne because it’s close to the beach! It’s also one of the biggest neighborhoods of Melbourne. My favorite street over there was Acland Street where you can find Readings, a really nice library, Sister of Soul and plenty of bakeries selling big and attractive pastries (food lovers alert: you might not resist!!!)
2) Street Art all over the city
I tried to find a map to see all street art places in Melbourne and didn’t succeed to find a really good one. All I can do to help you on this is just look the walls in the tiniest streets while visiting Melbourne and you’ll see some everywhere! Although, you can still go to Hozier’s Lane which is one of the most famous Street Art spot of the city.
Have you ever been in a nightclub that is opened from Fridays to Mondays? Personally I haven’t and I couldn’t wait to go dance in it to see how it looks like. As a lot of friends talk to me about it, I wasn’t too reluctant to pay the 25$ to go in as I was almost sure it would be good. But finally I was disappointed. I really found that it was a squat and the place looked too creepy for me to really enjoy it.
4) Walk along the river
I only walked along the river from Melbourne Exhibition Center to Flinders Station but this is quite a nice walk to do in the city. I liked doing it at the end of day when everyone is starting to go out, prepped and ready to go into some fancy restaurants with their friends.
5) Rooftop at QT
Amazing rooftop in CBD neighborhood to have a drink with a view over the city. I had a Rooftop G&T cocktail with West Winds Sabre, Elderflower Quinine, Lime, Cucumber, and it was delicious! You can also check here their menu and drinks card.
I was just quite sad as I arrived there to realize that the terrace was closing at 10p.m. So go early!
6) Naked for Satan
Another cool rooftop, Naked for Satan is located in Fitzroy. It really has a nice atmosphere. Same thing that for Rooftop at QT, go there early if you want to grab a spot outside and don’t forget a sweater, it can get cold pretty quickly in Melbourne. I just saw on their website that they also wrote a cookbook so maybe the food is also as good as the cocktails! Try it and tell me if it’s good, I hope I can try it next time I go back!
7) The Store of Requirement
I found The Store of Requirement completely randomly in Collingwood neighborhood. And that was such a good surprise as I’m a huuuuuge Potterhead (understand Harry Potter fan). You can find clothes, wands, books, jewellery and a lot of other accessories or marketing products derived from the famous saga. Keep you wallet close if you don’t want to spend all your savings!
8) Brighton Boxes
If you go there from the city, it’s quite easy as you just have to take a train from Flinders Station in Sandringham direction. When you go down at Middle Brighton Railway station, walk 10 minutes and you’re there. It’s a nice though short walk on the beach where you can see some beautiful painted bathing boxes. I would suggest to go there early if you want to take a pic in front of the famous box with the Australian flag (biggest tourist pic in Melbourne!).
9) Yarra Valley
You’ll need to have a car or book a tour to go in the Yarra Valley. I would suggest renting a car for the day is easier if you want to wander all around. There, I visited Healesville Sanctuary, which was ok. I’m definitely not a zoo fan but my friend was so happy to bring me there that I have to say that I decided to be a people pleaser on this point and I went. If you never saw kangaroos or koalas, now is the time! But you can also see lots of other animals (who didn’t look really happy and confirmed the fact that I don’t want to go to zoos anymore but let’s not open this big debate today). But my favorite place was with no doubt Redwood Forest. Located not far from Warburton, it’s a beautiful hidden forest of Californian Redwoods, Sequoia. All trees were planted in 1930 and are now between 20 and 55 metres tall. Quite impressive to see, the trees are also planted in a geometric way, which makes of this place a great spot for graphic pictures (you can know more about it here).
I was also suppose to see Hedgend Maze but it was unfortunately close. But it looked really beautiful so check out the times if you want to see it!
Instead of seeing it, we went to visit Alowyn Gardens and I have to say that it was really disappointing…It certainly must be beautiful in Spring or Summer but in Winter, there is really nothing to see and I was quite surprised that they didn’t reduce the price because of the season.
10) Luna Park
Didn’t got the chance to go in it as it was closed but definitely a must-see in the city. Check the price of the tickets and rides on their website.
11) Penguins at St Kilda Pier
At sunset, go to the end of the pier close to the rocks and wait for penguins to go out. They are not shy at all and used to the public. If you can do it, come the first time to see the penguins and the second time to actually watch the sunset xD
12) Queen Victoria Market
In the heart of the city, go wander in Queen Victoria Market, one of the biggest Market I’ve ever done! Honestly I didn’t like it as much as Adelaide’s one but it’s still a good place to visit while you’re there. You can see dozens of different vegetable, fish, meat and souvenirs shops. There is also a little food court if you want to eat there but not that big (honestly I wasn’t really attracted to eat in it…).
13) Melbourne Central
Melbourne Central is one of the most incredible malls I’ve ever seen. I don’t really like malls but I got to confess that I got stuck in this place multiple times. You’ll surely be impressed by this amazing big tower in the mall which gives a really new perspective at mixing old and modern architecture buildings.
14) Air Bnb experience at Mornington Peninsula
As much I can often like city life. Melbourne was too big for me and I couldn’t wait to visit and book a trip outside the city just to have some fresh air. I found Hike and Seek Tour at Mornington Peninsula while looking all the Air Bnb experiences that I could do in the city on Air Bnb. And it was really great! We were 8 with the guide in a little van. We did some really nice walks in the forest and along the coast stopping along the way to see a beautiful lighthouse. For lunch, we ate a wonderful organic meal prepared by his wife. And we spent the afternoon enjoying the warm and cold pools of Peninsula Hot Springs. It was really nice. I got the chance to connect with the other people of the group and try around 16 different pools (only the temperature change as well as the location). My favorite was the hot one on the highest pool where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the valley.
15) Royal Botanic Garden
I decided to go there by walk from Flinders Station and that was a good walk! After walking on a bridge and walking along the river, I arrived later as planned at the Royal Botanic Garden (didn’t thought that it was that far from the city!). It’s a really beautiful park that is kind of Melbourne’s Central Park but just not in the heart of the CBD. I walked there for approximately 2 hours but I’m sure you can definitely walk more if that’s what you want. If you have the whole afternoon ahead of you, take your time and rest on the grass of the gardens, close to the lake (or not!), and enjoy some reading in the sun (if you’re lucky to have some, Melbourne’s weather is pretty chaotic!).
16) State Library of Victoria
You can’t miss the State Library of Victoria as it is in the heart of the CBD, close to the busy Elizabeth Street and Flinders Station. I had this feeling to arrive suddenly in an American movie. What I appreciated in it is that you can go the highest level that give you a nice view over the whole place.
17) Going to footy at MCG
That was one of the funniest experience I had in Melbourne. I went there to see a final of a footy game: Collingwood VS Sydney’s team (sorry don’t remember their name). The stadium can fill up to approximately 100,000 people and that night we were 70,000. I was lucky to go see the game with an Aussie who explained the rules of this strange game that I’ve never seen before to me. I thought that I would finally see Aussie’s angry that night, comparing to when French people are watching football and their language become really messy, Aussie’s were once more really polite (just saying “booooouuh” when they were not happy!). I always loved the feeling of being in a stadium
18) Beneath Driver Lane
While looking for one of the famous hidden restaurants of Melbourne (find some other ones here) for my last night out in Melbourne, I found this little restaurant in the CBD. It’s a really nice place to spend some chill time with friends. The atmosphere is cosy, the decoration is worth having a look and cocktails and food are good.
19) Restaurant in Little Bourke Street
I went to this restaurant with a friend and I loved it! If you love Asian food like I do, it’s definitely a place for you. Enjoy ordering lots of different meals and sharing them altogether. I also ask the waiter to create for me a surprise cocktail and he also did really great. With a cosy atmosphere, this place is perfect to have a cool night with some friends or your loved one.
20) Wander randomly into neighborhoods
The thing I’m never doing while visiting a city is planned to do things. I love getting somewhere and for example a neighborhood and just walk in the street only guided by my feelings. It’s smelling good around there! I’ll go there! This little street looks nice? I’ll walk through it. Nothing is ever planned! And the good thing when you start to relieve yourself from the pressure of doing and seeing everything to see in the city that you’re in, you actually start enjoying walking for miles and miles. Actually I’m mostly driven when I see parks! My favorite parks in Melbourne were: Fitzroy Gardens, Carlton Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens, Parliament Gardens
These are the Air Bnb’s that I did and liked:
Hippie Air Bnb: a beautiful hippie atmosphere with an amazing view over the city and with gym and pool access in CBD
Breathtaking view Air Bnb: a nice flat where you truly have a movie-scene view over Melbourne and with gym and pool access (in CBD too)
Fitzroy luxury a nice and cosy flat with a perfect host in Fitzroy with gym and pool access too
Other tips which are good to know:
- Skybus is way cheaper than Uber from Airport to CBD or CBD to Airport
- Note that it’s super cold in the winter (I completely agree as it was the season when I went) and apparently super hot in summer
- Come with a nice budget: lots of things in Australia are quite expensive and especially when it comes to visiting big cities, you don’t want to restrict yourself on everything.
What I wished I had the time to do it: cycling along the Yarra river at Abbotsford & day tours with Hike & Seek at Phillip Island, Great Otway National Park, Wilsons Promontory, Grampians, Geo-Kayac Adventure.
Did this article motivated you to go to Melbourne? Tell me!
And read about my other travels here!