Considered the most livable city in the world, Melbourne ranks high on Australian and foreign tourists’ must-visit list. Visitors flock to Melbourne to experience first-hand what it has to offer – a lively arts and entertainment scene, fabulous shopping streets, stunning architecture, great food, and most important of all, an environment that supports cultural diversity.
There’s a plethora of things to see and do in Melbourne, and even if you have stayed there for months, you can never really say that you have seen the best of it. The city is growing, evolving, and nurtures creativity in individuals and communities. There’s always something new to discover, a trail of carefully hidden gems along obscure alleys and laneways.
A major dilemma among tourists who travel to Melbourne for a short visit, say for a weekend trip, is how to cover the highlights while still having a balanced and authentic experience. To help you with that, here is a short list of to-dos that will help make the most out of your weekend trip in Melbourne.
1. Take the tram.
Taking the City Circle Tram is one of the most enjoyable things you can do during your weekend trip in Melbourne. And it’s free, too. The tram will take you to some of the city’s main attractions. During your ride, you will be treated to an interesting commentary about the attractions included in the route.
2. Eat like a Melburnian.
With the wide array of restaurants, cafes, and eateries specialising in different cuisines in the city, Melbourne is definitely a foodie’s destination. If you’re craving for Spanish tapas, go to Movida on Hosier Lane, just in front of Federation Square. For delicious Asian cuisine, you won’t go wrong with Ginger Boy. The chic restaurant, located on Crossley Street, serves exceptionally good food using the freshest ingredients. But if swanky restaurants aren’t what you’re looking for, Melbourne has a seemingly limitless selection of cheap eateries, diners, coffee shops, and take-away food joints, too. Never miss an opportunity to explore the many restaurants in Chinatown. And do not limit yourself to Chinese food while you’re there, check out the restaurants serving authentic Malay, Vietnamese, and Thai dishes as well.
3. Shop until you drop.
When it comes to shopping, Melbourne presents limitless options to even the most hard-core of shopaholics. There are many shopping precincts in the city, each holding many high-fashion boutiques from big name and independent brands. But if you’re looking for souvenirs, cheap clothing, fresh food and quirky finds, the go-to place is the iconic Queen Victoria Market, an indoor market on the edge of the Melbourne CBD. The Queen Victoria Market is easily accessible via tram.
4. Take a walk along alleyways and laneways.
Melbourne owes much of its appeal to the fact that it is filled with a maze of interesting laneways and alleyways. Spend a few hours exploring the city’s seemingly ordinary lanes and you’ll be surprised at the number of al fresco dining options, charming cafes, hip bars, shops, and even street art you’ll discover.
5. Visit galleries and museums.
A city as culturally rich as Melbourne is home to many galleries and museums. If you are interested in theatre and performing arts, check out the shows at the Arts Centre Melbourne on Kilda Road. Also on the same location is NGV International, the main gallery of the National Gallery of Victoria. NGV International houses a huge collection consisting of aboriginal, impressionist, colonial, modern, and contemporary art. To view a vast number of exhibitions on natural and cultural history, go to Melbourne Museum. Featuring several galleries, the museum has permanent and temporary exhibits suitable for different age groups.
Finally decided to spend a glorious weekend in Melbourne? Plan the perfect itinerary with these tours and activities.
By: Brendelyn Balaga