Moving to Melbourne was one of the best experiences of my life. You get off the airplane and think to yourself “Yes! I have finally arrived after 18 hours of flying. Do I even remember how to walk?” You hop in your Uber and head into the city, check into your Air BnB, and put your feet up. Except you realize YOU’RE IN MELBOURNE! You put your shoes back on and head out the door. What to do first. See the sights, find a good restaurant with some drinks, hit up the beach, go shopping. The possibilities are endless.
How to get around:
Myki card. This is your ticket in and out of the city. You can purchase this at almost every main train station or 7 Eleven. Main train stations are Flinders Street Station and Southern Cross station. Anywhere you want to go outside of the city; these trains will take you. There’s also your trams and buses. Trams are free in certain parts of the city center so make sure to take advantage of that.
What to do:
Royal Botanical Gardens
- Feel like you’re outside of the city when really, you’re still in the city
- Nature filled adventures
- Many different walking paths
- Lay by the pond and catch some rays and read a book
- Get lost in the “wild”
- Have a picnic
Shrine of Remembrance
- National War Memorial of Victoria
- Displays of uniforms, weapons, photos, findings and everything in between
- Walk to the top of the Shrine and enjoy views of the city all the way over to St Kilda
- See the men and women who served their country in the war
- Man-made lake just outside the city
- Beautiful views of the skyline and an amazing walking path around the lake
- Great for a morning walk/run or a sunset stroll
- Attempt to walk back to the city…it’s about a 4km walk (YOU CAN DO IT!)
State Library Victoria
- Located in the heart of Melbourne CBD
- Established in 1854, is Australia’s oldest public library
- The architecture of this place is breathtaking
- On those random rainy days in the winter, come here to get lost in a book and stay warm
Food and Drinks:
Newmarket Hotel –Located at 34 Inkerman St, St Kilda
My favorite all you can drink place. If you are looking for a feel-good vibe, want to be with your girlfriends and have drinks, go here. They have partial outdoor seating to make you feel like you are in a secluded forest. The inside has a classy feel but you won’t feel out of place if you are wearing jeans and a cute top. (The typical go-to outfit). Best part, you pay $49-$54 (taxes included because in Australia that’s how it works) and you get to drink as much as you want for 2 hours. Bottomless espresso martinis, mimosas, bellinis, and selected beers & wines. Food is also included and there is a generous menu for meat eaters, vegetarians, and vegans.
Hopscotch – Located at Ground Floor/4 Riverside Quay, Southbank.
This is by far my favorite place in the city. Located in Southbank, you are still in the city but don’t have that claustrophobic feel. This is a great place to people watch on their front patio or if people watching isn’t your thing, the views of the river and the city are wonderful. This place has everything you want. There is a huge drink selection including your wines, mixed drinks, and shots. Also, live music on the weekends for a laidback vibe.
Father’s Office – 249 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
If you’re looking for a happy hour kind of place, this is it. Father’s Office is right in the middle of the city, which is very convenient especially if you are commuting from the surrounding areas. The train is right across the street. Happy hour! Monday – Saturday: 5-7 & 8-10 and Sundays anytime after 11 am! Can someone say SUNDAY FUNDAY? $12 cocktails, $14 martini’s, $7 spirits, $5 wines, $6 schooners, $12 jugs; does life get any better? Right, there’s an outdoor, almost rooftop patio.
Matcha Mylkbar – 71A Acland Street, St Kilda,Vegan. Everything is Vegan. Located right near the beach, you can go stuff your face with the best vegan food (in my opinion) and then head to the beach to digest and relax. The variety of food this place has is insane. There’s breakfast, burgers, smoothie bowls, coffee. I mean so many things to choose from. I recommend sharing so you get the best of both worlds.
Beaches in Melbourne
St Kilda Beach
- One of the main beaches everyone flocks to
- 30-minute tram ride from Flinders Street Station
- Plenty of restaurants and bars to check out
- Luna Theme Park is pretty much right on the beach
- A walking path along Port Phillip Bay all the way to Brighton in one direction and Williamstown in the other direction
- You can see Penguins at the St Kilda Pier in the evening – free of charge
- Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes – 82 colored beach huts dating back to the 1900s and a great place for a photo op
- Clean, crisp, not so busy beach
- Beautiful views of the city
- Cute restaurants along the water to have a lunch break at
- About an hour train ride from the city but it’s worth it
- White sand and clear water
- Large beach so if you want a quiet space, surely you’ll be able to find one
- BBQ and picnic area so no need to leave the beach for lunch
There are plenty of other places that I fell in love with over the time I lived in Melbourne. For example The Great Ocean Road, all of the Yarra Valley wineries, the animal sanctuaries, all of the graffiti allies, but you’ll just have to discover the things that you love. These are just some of the top places that I would recommend checking out. Honestly, this city is wonderful. There are so many things to do and places to see that there will never be a dull moment. I find just walking around and exploring is the best way to see everything. There are so many little towns outside of the city that all have their own “thing” you should definitely check out. Melbourne will not disappoint. Enjoy each moment. Take in each experience. Remember, this journey is yours.