Welcome to Melbs!
This is in extra long guide of Melbourne because it’s my favorite city. I’ve been coming here for over 17+ years, weeks at a time, and I’ve lived here for 2.
From MEL airport to Melbourne CBD you can grab either an Uber or Skybus:
Skybus – Quick and fuss free. Take Skybus from MEL to Southern Cross. R/T tickets available.
When you arrive in the CBD, grab a city transportation pass called: Myki & top it off.
Once you have it, you may have to tap on and tap off on trains and trams. Check for rules on how to use it, as they always change. http://www.metrotrains
You’ll use the train map quite a bit if you want to explore.
You’ll probably use Flinders station pretty often to get around the city via trains, trams… Both super easy and great.
Southern Cross station has regional trains around Victoria.
–Royal Botanic Gardens – Definitely put this into your itinerary. Go to the Rose Pavilion/William Tell area and chill on the grass near Ornamental Lake/central lake. Best spot to hang out/relax: map. Perfect for runs if you’re up for a good jog.
–Queen Victoria Market – Great to pick up a snack/light meal and sometimes they have summer events. Check it out!
–National Gallery (NGV)
–Southbank Promenade – walk along the Yarra River towards the Casino, Start from the opposite side of Flinders Station next to Hamer. On your return, Cross the river over the bridge the lead to a boardwalk strewn with bars and quick eats, beneath Flinders Station.
–St. Kilda Pier – Penguins at sundown
–Brighton Beach & Bathing Houses
–Fed Square – City Center/CBD
-Shopping and Groceries – Melbourne Central + map
–Puffing Billy – Train along the Dandenongs
-Ferntree Gully trails outside the CBD – Hike and parrot feeding
This city is packed with great restaurants and bars. Choose your breakfast, coffee, dinners and bars wisely. I suggest nothing below 4 stars and definitely no chains. It’s also a great idea to check on Zomato 🙂
On the go (quick bite)
Jimmy Grants!!!! Get the gyro!!! ** this is one is my favorite.
You have to do a hotel Pub/Bar. It’s a Melbourne institution! 🙂
Some fun “hotels” are in the Timeout guide here
Some of my personal favorites include:
-cherry tree hotel
-Fitzroy Town Hall
-the rose but maybe it’s seen better days
-marquis of Lorne
-Abbotsford – Three Bags Full
-Richmond – top paddock
-richmond – Touchwood
-Proud Mary Fitzroy
–Liar Liar is one of my fav
-kettle black cafe in south Melbourne
-two birds one stone south yarra
-A Thousand Blessings
-Pillar of Salt
-Niche on Bridge
-richmond hill cafe & larder
-Is it Cafe
and a ton more really good places for brekky!
The real Aussie breakfast experience awaits!
***See this full list here
CBD – Chin Chin (My fav)** lunch or dinner. Lunch is fun though. Gets packed, worth the wait 😉
-jimmy grants for casual
-mr. scruffs – collingwood
-mamanee thai – collingwood
-red sparrow pizza – collingwood
-bimbo deluxe Fitzroy
-Queen Victoria Market
-Tusk cafe Windsor
-CBD – Chin Chin
-Naked for Satan in Fitzroy
If you wander around Flinders Lane (where chin chin is, you’ll find more food options)
–DOC Pizza & Mozzarella Bar In suburb, Carlton. great for pickup, if packed.
–Borsch Vodka & Tears (south yarra/windsor on chapel street) – More food choices around here.
-China town has great choices like gingerboy
-rice paper scissors
-meat and wine co
-smith and daughters
-speakeasy kitchen bar prahran/s yarra
-lucky coq Windsor
Melbourne has a ton of hidden bars, which are fun for exploring. I think they even have hidden bar tours, if you’re bored or need instant company.
-CBD/Rooftop – Siglo (chic, one of my favs)
-CBD/rooftop – QT Melbourne (hotel with rooftop bar)
-CBD/Yarra River – Ponyfish (happy hour)
-CBD/Rooftop – Rooftop Cinema (casualish)
-Fitzroy/Rooftop – Naked in the Sky (good views)
-CBD – GoGo Bar (under chin chin)
-CBD/Yarra River – Arbory Bar & Eatery (Great around Happy hour time on a sunny day!) **
-CBD – The Everleigh
-CBD – Movida Bar de Tapas
-1806 Cocktail Bar
-Lily Blacks (had my 30th here)
-Whiskey & Alement
-Eau De Vie Melbourne
-honey bar and restaurant
-syracuse restaurant & wine bar
-Around Smith and Gertrude street heading towards Fitzroy
-Chapel Street in S. Yarra
-Toorak Road up from chapel
-South Yarra is my favorite suburb, but there are quite a few surrounding CBD that are equally as great in their own unique way. Fitzroy is cool, Prahran, Windsor, Hawthorne… Just have to wander and explore.
If you’d like to see where I lived in college, go to Katuk Cocktail Bar in South Yarra.. I used to live in that exact space, before it turned into a bar. Some funny stories from there. It was like the real L’Auberge (The Spanish Apartment, if you’re familiar with the movie)
The second (and longer) time I lived in Melbs, it was the suburb up from CBD in East Melbourne on George Street, just off the Jolimont train stop. There’s a beautiful park between East Melbourne and Parliament station (CBD): Fitzroy Gardens. If you stroll around through there, in the evening, you’ll spot possums.
-st.kilda – hippy
-fitzroy – hipster. Boutiques
-cbd suits after work, late night, great restaurants
-south yarra/prahran – Trendy & Stylish. young, fun vibe. Boutiques
-Carlton – Italian
-Abbotsford, hawthorn and Richmond are great to go to with a purpose. If you have a hotel pub of restaurant in mind, it’s perfect!
Melbourne’s nightlife is the best in AU. Along with that, there are hundreds of music venues around the city: https://www.timeout.com/
I used to go to Night Cat for live music
Federation Square has a bunch of events in the summer. Tourist center on the corner of Fed Square across Flinders Station is worth a visit if you need a lot of extra tips.
Exploring beyond the city:
**If you’re interested in getting out of the city for the day, you can do the following, but will require a car:
-Mornington Peninsula – Redhill is beautiful. True Australian region with wineries, nice beaches and good eats. Montalto & Johnny Ripe were two spots my friends took me to and I liked it a lot.
-Coldstream – close to Yarra Valley – punt road winery was one of our stops
-12 Apostles along the ocean route
-Dandenong Ranges hike (by train)
-Wine tasting in Yarra Valley, Healesville & Marysville area are wonderful choices
I rented from Hertz in CBD years ago. It’s a little tricky to get the hang of driving on the opposite side of the road. Just watch out for hook turns in the city.
This city was rated the most livable city in the world, several years in a row, and truly does not disappoint. I’ve been going here for 17+ years now (before it even had that rating) and always want to return. To me, it’s truly wonderful; the cuisine, people, design, culture, parks, wineries, nature, beaches… everything is quite enjoyable. 🙂