If you come to Australia, a trip to Melbourne should be in order to explore the country’s mecca of all things tasty and trendy. From its bustling laneways, captivating museums, and world-class restaurants, this modern-day city offers exhilarating sports, abundant opportunities to experience art, and exquisite dining experiences. As Australia’s sports capital, tons of sports events are held here throughout the year, offering you a sense excitement that’s like no other, with rooftop bars all over the city that give you the perfect after-match destination. The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is home of the Australian Football League from March to September.
In Melbourne’s cobbled laneways, you can find cafes, coffee shops, and shopping boutiques dotted along the sides. You can walk from Flinders Street Station down to Degrades Street and be in awe to see street art around every corner and beautiful arcades.
For most of us, coffee is just an essential part of our morning routine. However, to the Melburnians, it is something that has been embedded in their culture and evolved into an art form. You’ll be fascinated to know that the city is home to thousands of cafes where some of the world’s best baristas concoct their finest mixes. When here, you should not miss to taste their signature white flat, which is similar to the latte. That’s not all because they also have cold-drip, siphon, green matcha, pour-over, and blue algae and turmeric-infused lattes.
Melbourne is famous for a lot of things, but one of the most popular experiences is shopping. Its renowned markets sell everything from local produce to crafts and arts and vintage fashion. The Queen Victoria Markets is the Southern Hemisphere’s largest open-air market where you can enjoy dim sim or street-style Mexican food. And on weekends, you can enjoy picking handmade pieces from numerous emerging Melbourne designers at the Rose St. Artist’s Market in Fitzroy.
These are just the tip of the iceberg because Melbourne is, without a doubt, one of the trendiest cities to explore in the world. Ideally, you should explore it for five to seven days to imbibe its atmosphere. However, if you’re tight on schedule and budget, you can opt to spend 3 days, making sure to cover the best spots to make the most of your excursion.
We are recommending this 3-day itinerary. Check it out!
It is only right to start your first day of excursion exploring Melbourne’s Central Business District where all the known sights and attractions can be found.
Flinders Street Station is the central transport hub of the city where you can start your journey getting lost around Melbourne. This is considered one of the oldest and prettiest buildings in the city, with an interesting decaying ballroom situated on the third floor that is only open on specific dates to visitors.
Federation Square is located across the road from Flinders Street where lively bars and eating areas can be found. There are also outdoor entertainment screens that feature sports matches. Here, you can find the Australian Centre for the Moving Image that holds exhibitions based on culture, film, and art. Essentially, the Federation Square is the modern-day piazza of Melbourne that has become the city’s square.
Next up is an exploration of Melbourne’s laneways, which are world-famous due to their graffiti and urban art that are splattered on their surfaces. Among the best-known laneways are the Hosier Lane, which stands directly opposite Fed Square; Union Lane; Tattersalls Lane; and AC/DC Lane named after the Australian rock band. If you crave for food, Degraves Street, Hardware Lane, and Centre Place offer you a wide array of gastronomic delights.
Continuing your journey, visit next the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Also known simply as ‘G’ to the Australians, it is the largest sports stadium in the country and the tenth-largest in the whole world. As they say, if a sport is a religion, then, MCG is the cathedral. Obviously, Cricket is played on the grounds but come wintertime, MCG becomes the home ground of Aussie Rules. It’s a nice experience coming here during the football season from March to September, but a tour of its grounds is enough to get a feel of Australia’s sporting history.
From here, you can proceed to the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), which is one of the country’s loveliest art galleries. Throughout history, it has featured numerous acclaimed international exhibitions such as those of Van Gogh, Dior, and Calver. You can come and visit the permanent collection for free but pay for other exhibitions.
The Shrine of Remembrance is easily accessible by walking across St Kilda Road from NGV. Admission is free as it pays homage to the fallen soldiers of Australia. You have to climb to the top to enjoy magnificent views of the city. From here, take a short walk to the Royal Botanic Gardens, which is free of charge. However, if you wish to do any of the tours here, you will need to pay. One of the must-do tours here is the Aboriginal Heritage Walk where you can drink lemon myrtle tea, see a traditional smoking ceremony, and learn about the plants that are an integral part of the indigenous culture of Australia.
Then, cap the day with a visit to Melbourne’s Chinatown. The entire day of walking should already have worked up an appetite, and there’s no better place to eat and explore than Chinatown.
This Chinatown has been around since the 1850s, and many of the Chinese migrants have stayed, making it one of the busiest parts of the city and the longest continuous Chinese settlement in the western world. Go around and be in awe to see lines of cafes, shops, and bars, as well as historic buildings. Aside from these, you shouldn’t miss exploring the Chinese Museum composed of five levels of history and artefacts, including the Finding Gold experience and the Dragon Gallery.
Welcome your 2nd day in Melbourne the Melburnian way, which is with coffee and breakfast. Depending on which suburb you are staying in, the best breakfast places remain to be Three Bags Full in Abbotsford, Proud Mary in Collingwood, and Industry Beans in Fitzroy. Whichever of the three you choose, you are guaranteed an experience that’s really going to let you imbibe the Melbourne vibes.
Then, it’s time to start the hype and explore Fitzroy and Collingwood, which are part of Melbourne’s hipster hub. You will be in awe of murals that are on every other block. Aside from new pieces of street art popping up every now and then, your eyes can also feast on numerous quirky shops, art galleries, and ethnic eats that abound in the place.
While in Collingwood, make sure to stop at the Collingwood Children’s Farm even if you’re not tagging along kids with you. It’s certainly entertaining seeing one of Melbourne’s urban farms that brim with horses, sheep, cows, and chickens.
After lunch, it’s time to head out farther southside to Brighton. Though Melbourne is not that famous for its beaches, it does have a few noteworthy beaches. One of the most famous ones is Brighton Beach—known for its colourful Bathing Boxes.
Then, just follow the pathway and walk for about 1 to 2 hours all the way up to St. Kilda Beach. This place is Melbourne’s unofficial backpacker headquarters, so you should expect tons of tourists in this place. The beach is not the only thing worth coming here, but its amazing sunset and the little penguins in the area as well.
Later in the evening, you can opt to have dinner and some drinks in St. Kilda or head up south to Yarra. Just a heads up—both areas are full of young folk and social venues. Whether it’s your thing or not, both are really good places to explore. Plus, the dining scene here fabulous, so you might just want to stay and compare it with the north that you saw just earlier in the day.
After spending the first two days exploring the city and its suburbs, it’s time to do something that many Melburnians love to do—cycling! Yes, one other great thing about Melbourne is how bike-friendly it is with a lot of bike paths and designated bike lanes. You can bike and feel safe. Just rent a bike from one of the many shops in the city and you can be on your way to spend a day of exploring the rest of the city.
You can cycle in Brunswick, the hipster heart of Melbourne. Or you can follow the Merry Creek Trail and pedal along the creek until you reach the main Yarra trail. Both trails are really filled with trees and greenery, with a farmland on one side.
Then, if you still have the energy and vigour to do something special at night and make your last day in Melbourne even more memorable, you can climb the Eureka Skydeck by sunset. Purchase the ticket at $25 each and see sweeping views of Melbourne from 300 meters above street level. It’s one of the most exciting things to do in the city.
For dinner, you won’t run out of options in Melbourne as it has an extensive list of restaurants that offer various choices of food at different price ranges. Then, make sure to experience the atmospheric laneway bars in the CBD. Get ready to be confused with the overwhelming choices of bars in the area alone.
There you go! We’re sure you will be longing to extend your stay in Melbourne. You might even consider moving here. That’s not surprising at all with all its offerings!