Melbourne first-timers are in for a treat. Experience some of what makes the Australian continent so special, from Michelin starred restaurants and world-class coffee culture to leading art galleries and modern museums; and from wineries just beyond the city boundaries to inner-city beaches. We’ve put together a list of some of Melbs’ most famous attractions and things to see, as well as some of the best places to eat to discover your inner Melburnian.
What To See
Even if you don’t know the rules of ‘Aussie Rules’, watching a game of AFL is a rite of passage. Games at the ‘G are best enjoyed with a beer and pie for the complete Melbourne experience. As one of the world’s largest capacity stadiums, the MCG is an impressive stadium and also home to the Boxing Day Test cricket and other major events throughout the year.
With 10,000 plants from around the globe, a collection of impressive old trees dating back more than 150 years, picture-perfect lakes and ponds as well as lawns and green spaces for relaxing, the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is the perfect spot for an inner-city chillout.
What To Eat
Part dining destination, part shopping hot spot, the Queen Victoria Market sells a little of everything from fresh fruit and veg to the best of what’s seasonal and local. You’ll also find stalls selling plenty of other options of the non-edible variety. Open throughout the week except Monday and Wednesday, even if you aren’t in the mood for buying, the atmosphere is worth experiencing.
Eat Michelin starred food on a budget at Hawker Chan. Lonsdale Street’s most famous culinary resident serves up soya chicken dishes that earned their Singapore store a Michelin star. With dishes less than $10 the queues aren’t surprising.
Some of our other favourite places to eat and drinks include the Lamington Jaffles at Bad Frankie, coffee perfection at Proud Mary, and cocktails at one of Melbourne’s smallest bars, Bar Americano.
Where To Go
Take a drive out of the city to the Yarra Valley and discover established farms and green countryside that is distinctly wine focused. Tastings (both wine and food) at any of the Yarra Valley’s vineyards is a good idea, but with so many to choose from and some of the best producers on the continent located here, it’s worth planning your wine route or taking a guided wine tour.
Melbourne’s famous laneways include highlights like Centre Place, Flinders, Hosier and Degraves. Each of these quaint streets has a charm that is distinctly Melbourne, but also feels a little London and a little Paris. Great coffee with world class baristas, Instagram worthy street-art scenes, laid back bars with excellent menus, and plenty of gift buying boutique possibilities, Melbourne’s laneways are the perfect excuse to get lost in the city.
Where To Sleep
Unsurprisingly in the ‘world’s most liveable city’ there’s no shortage of great accommodation options. But if you value a great sleep and a great location as well as up-to-the-minute modern amenities and a reputation for class-leading service, then The Como Melbourne is a winner. One of TripAdvisor’s top hotels, this 5-star boutique-beauty is as business ready as it is tourist-friendly and is just minutes from the city centre in the art deco surroundings of South Yarra.