When it comes to travelling to Melbourne, you definitely need resources to help you find the best places and to really get the full Melbourne experience. Or know someone from the city. You will stumble across places by doing down the small laneways and realise that suburbs aren’t just filled with houses full of families and homeowners.
So I have put together some key tips when coming to Melbourne so you can get the most out of your time!
There is more than the eye can see
Melbourne likes to play games on tourists by making some places harder to find. The city of Melbourne utilises all the provided space to ensure nothing is wasted. So sometimes you need to head down that alleyway or go underground to see everything on offer!
Myki free tram zones
If you’re travelling within the city, you don’t need a myki, the trams are free! So you don’t have to take the big city circle red rattler tram – well if you don’t want to. The tram system is a great way to get around the city. You can download this app to help you get to your destinations. If you’re travelling outside the city, you need a myki card. You can get these from any 7-11 store and top up as you go. They cost $6 and any travel a day is around $8, so the value if good. This also means you can catch any bus or train!
Cafes are better in the suburbs
Most of Melbourne’s top-rated cafes are in the suburbs, so head on the tram (this is when you will need you myki). From Richmond to Fitzroy there is so many to choose from! Highly rated cafes include Code 21, Tinker, Field Black, Pillar of Salt, Top Paddock, Lights in the Attic and loads more – you can read some favourites here.
The weather is as inconsistent as my attempt to “have a weekend off drinking”
When packing for Melbourne weather, pack for all seasons. In summer we can have days of 40+ degrees Celsius and the next day – or even the next hour – it could have dropped 20 degrees and be raining. Yes, it can be frustrating but it’s all the fun and games of being in Melbourne! So if you travel in summer, pack some jeans and a jumper just in case!
Bars and restaurants are hidden
Like I said before, we utilise our space, that means bars and restaurants are hard to find! Some can be underground or up above and some you even have to ring a doorbell to get in! But it is all part of the fun experience! Some bars hard to find include Madame Brussels and Goldilocks, signs are limited. The same goes for restaurants, some of the most inclusive ones are down laneways, out of site!
Sport is life
Melbourne is the sporting capital of the nation! From aussie rules and rugby in winter to cricket and tennis in the summer, you will always see a game in your time in Melbourne! The MCG is the sporting colosseum and is a stadium you need to see, even if there is no sport happening. Research before coming to Melbourne and book tickets to one sporting event, the atmosphere will have you coming back for more.
Food markets are where the good food is at
From Queen Vic Market to South Melbourne, the food markets offer a great taste of the melting pot that is Melbourne. In the summer months both have night market showcasing all the best food trucks in the area, Queen Vic even have a winter one as well. These can be a little costly if you’re keen to try as much food as possible! Melbourne is very known for food trucks, so much so that they even have permanent sites hosting food trucks every day! Welcome to Thornbury is a must visit!
Coffee is life
Melbourne is known for coffee! We love coffee and we offer a lot of coffee. Nearly every cafe you go to will offer you an amazing coffee, but the cafes in the suburbs offer the best. Industry Beans in Fitzroy is very talked about cafe for their coffee.
Piccolina is the best ice cream
Don’t worry about Messina, although a great experience, it isn’t the best ice cream in Melbourne. If you really want the full gelato experience, a place that sticks to the original flavours and does them very well, head to Piccolina! If you know Italian you can even order in the language. They have three stores in Hawthorn, Collingwood and St Kilda! Plus you get out of the city and experience the suburb life. They even have a Nutella free flowing tap!
Different suburbs/streets are known for different cuisines
Different areas in Melbourne are known for different cuisines. From Lygon Street and their amazing Italian to Chinatown for Chinese and Victoria Street for Vietnamese. You will not be disappointed with the food!
You can do it cheap
From the free museums to cheap eats in Chinatown, you don’t have to spend loads of money to get a full Melbourne experience! You can even explore the beautiful gardens in Melbourne, for an amazing day out. From Albert Park, the Botanical Gardens and Edinburgh Gardens, take some platter food and take in the beautiful scenery. You can click here to see how to do Melbourne cheap!
Day drinking on a Sunday is 100% okay
A Sunday session in Australia is more than acceptable and in Melbourne is a must. There are so many great day drinking places around Melbourne including down in St Kilda with the Espy to Brunswick’s Howler, The Provincial in Fitzroy and even on the Yarra in the city. Head to Fitzroy, St Kilda or Richmond for some great Sunday drinks!
Street art is massive
From the suburbs to the city, street art is everywhere! Head down ACDC lane or Hosier in the city for some of Melbourne’s best! There is a huge street art culture, you just have to head down laneways to really experience it all!
Wineries are the best
Although these are directly in Melbourne, there are loads of tours you can take directly from the city! From the Yarra Valley to the Mornington Peninsula it is always a great day out, experiencing what Victoria can offer when it comes to wine.
The suburbs aren’t as busy as the city and there is loads to see
If you want to experience more of Melbourne’s culture, then head out of the CBD! There are loads of amazing suburbs to explore including in the west Williamstown and Yarraville, in the north Fitzroy, Northcote and Carlton, or head east to Richmond, Hawthorn and Camberwell and then south with South Yarra, St Kilda and Port Melbourne. Even stay out of the CBD where the street are a little quieter but you still get the full Melbourne experience.
Bars have themes
Loads of bars in Melbourne are themed and that’s what makes them more fun! With Storyville offering a fairytale experience to even a bar where you can play mini golf with Holey Moley, you will always have a great experience discovering the amazing themed bars of Melbourne. Often some will even take on a theme depending on the time of year or the events happening in town!
The “feed me” option is definitely the way to go
Restaurants in Melbourne offer the most amazing meals, sometimes it is way too hard to choose. If you’re happy spending the extra money, go with the “feed me” option where the restaurant picks for you! You will have the most amazing dining experience, my favourite in Melbourne? Pastuso, but there are loads more to try. Some of the best can be found here.
You don’t need to dress OTT to go out
What I love about Melbourne, you don’t have to be extremely dressed up to go out. In fact, you have more fun if you’re not! A pair of jeans, a nice top and maybe some heels if you want and you’ll fit right in! Or if you want to dress up, there are definitely opportunities to! Everyone is super friendly and either way, you’d never feel out of place!
There are beaches
We might not have a Bondi beach, but there are some great beaches to visit in Melbourne! St Kilda and Elwood are always a great hit, or you can head west and see what is on offer in Williamstown and Altona! If you want a proper beach, head out of the city on a day trip to the Mornington Peninsula or along the Great Ocean Road!
There are loads of shows and concerts to see
You only need to walk down Collins Street to see all the amazing theatres offering shows! But there is always something on in town, from a concert at Rod Laver to any musical or stage show playing at the many theatres around town. It is definitely a must do.
It is better than Sydney
So I will leave you with the most obvious one, it is better than Sydney. I know I’m biased, but you only have to head to Melbourne and spend quality time getting to know the city to agree with me. So much character, so much history and a lot to offer tourists, you just have to find it! You can read more on that here.
If you want to read more about what you can do in Melbourne, click here.