Melbourne- A city guide!
Updated: May 24, 2020
Melbourne is one of the most eclectic cities in Australia. It's got a more grungy and artistic side than Sydney and definitely has its own character. Located in Victoria, Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia.
The first European settlers arrived in Melbourne in 1835 and began building the city. By 1850, Melbourne had a huge gold rush and the population drastically increased. Melbourne had another boom in 1880 when it became home to the International Exhibition- the largest trading centre in Australia. Now, Melbourne is home to over 3.2 million people and one of the most culturally diverse cities with large populations of Italian and Greek Immigrants. The Gold Rush also brought a large Chinese population.
Visiting Melbourne is a fusion of so many cultures! There are so many things to do in Melbourne whether you want to spend the day wandering through the graffiti lanes, soaking up some sun at the beach, or visiting some of the esteemed museums, there's something to do for everyone in this city!
HOW TO GET TO THE CDB:
The easiest way to get into the city from the Tullamarine Airport is the SkyBus. It's really easy to buy tickets and make your way to the city in under half an hour (traffic pending) to the CBD. The SkyBus has six different destinations depending on what neighborhood in Melbourne you're heading to. You can buy tickets at the ticket booth at each arrival terminal at the airport, or online here. Tickets are between $19-25 AUD depending on how far the neighborhood is. To Southbank, tickets are a fixed price of $19.75.
If you're traveling with many people, it would be easiest to call an Uber at the airport and cheaper. Prices can range from $30-50 AUD depending on traffic.
WHERE TO STAY:
I personally loved staying at the Novotel on Collins Street. The hotel was in prime location to walk to almost every sight in Melbourne. It was very close to China Town, to the shopping malls, and to the Yarra river. Click here to book your stay at the Novotel.
WHERE TO EAT:
This is one of the IT places for brunch in Melbourne! It's got that quintessential Melbourne vibe to it and the food is absolutely delicious here! It's best to make a reservation online as it can be SUPER busy, but we got really lucky on a Saturday and only had a 20 minute wait for a table. Click here to make a reservation and check out the menu!
Side note: The coffee at Higher Ground was the BEST coffee I've ever had in my life! The food is just as good!
There's always something happening in Chinatown. There are so many restaurants to pick from and offer a variety of Asian cuisine, not just Chinese food.
One of the happening places for an Asian fusion meal. This restaurant is edgy, but girly at the same time. We only stayed for appetizers and drinks, but I would love to come back for a full meal! The Frose was absolutely delicious!
Hopetoun Tea Room
One of the most iconic cafes in Melbourne. Located in the Block Arcade, you're instantly drawn to the window display of cakes and treats! This cafe is the perfect pick-me-up during the day. They offer a variety of sandwiches as well.
My absolute favorite donut shop in Australia! They have several locations closer to Brisbane, but it is such a gem to find one in Melbourne. My favorite donut is called "The Slim Shady."
WHAT TO SEE:
Victoria State Library
This is not just a library! This is a must see in Melbourne. It's one of the oldest libraries in Australia, and also one of the first free libraries in the world! If you head to the upper levels, you can walk around the main room and visit the museum. This museum is fascinating as it walks you through the history of print and the evolution of books. Also, there's a beautiful view from above of the library.
St. Paul's Cathedral
Located just across from the Flinder Street Station, The St Paul's Cathedral is a a beautiful cathedral almost reminiscent of a European style church. It was constructed in 1835 and the first Christian service was held here in 1835. It's a beautiful cathedral to walk through. Please be respectful and quiet during your visit.
Hosier Lane/ ACDC lane
Melbourne is known for it's more grungy scene and this is exactly where you'll find it! Hosier Lane and ACDC lane are filled with graffiti. Click here to find exact location on Google Maps.
A beautiful traditional mall in Melbourne built in the late 19th century. It's a beautiful piece of history and you feel transported back in time walking through here. The Block Arcade also has some great cafes to stop and admire.
WHAT TO DO:
Have a drink along the Yarra River
On a perfect sunny day, nothing beats a beautiful drink along the river! One of the most happening places is Arbory Afloat.
Take a day trip to the 12 Apostles
One of Australia's most iconic destinations is located 3 hours from Melbourne. The 12 Apostles can easily be reached on a day trip. Click here to book a day tour to visit the 12 Apostles. If you've got the time, it would be best to visit over a couple of days to see all the Great Ocean Road has to offer. Check out my other blog posts over the 12 Apostles and the Great Ocean Road.
Enjoy a day at Brighton beach
Brighton is another beautiful beach in Melbourne and most known for it's beach boxes! Click here to see my blog post and learn more about this beach!
A Sporting Match
Melbourne is one of the most sport crazy cities in Australia. It is host to some of the most iconic events including the Australian Open and the Melbourne Cup! Check out the upcoming sporting events whether its watching a basketball game, a rugby game, or a tennis game!
Hot air ballooning over the city
One of the most beautiful mornings I experienced was a hot air balloon adventure over the city of Melbourne. I booked my tickets with Klook ANZ. We were able to be picked up at a location very close to our hotel and the Gobal Ballooning Australia team was super professional. After an early pick up, (around 5 AM) we were divided into groups and taken to a field where the hot air balloons were being built. Once the sun came over the horizon, we were up in the air! We floated over Melbourne for over an hour and experienced one of the most beautiful sunrises. After, we headed to the Sofitel for a delicious breakfast! It's the best luxury experience in Melbourne!
We hope you have the best time exploring the city of Melbourne! It is the perfect mix of historic and edgy!
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