Things to Do in Melbourne
Things to Do in Melbourne Reviews
Cafe Culture Nov 09, 2012
Melbourne 22 Oct'12 - 2 Nov'12
Booked my flight just 3 days before departure. Had no idea what to do, where to go.
Initial plans to travel out to visit the Great Ocean road, Philip Islands were not followed through.
I did check out the tours there, it was tempting. But, not tempting enough to divert my attention away from what the city offers to me.
If you like Museums, Cafes, just getting lost, walking about, people watching then keep reading.
Because I love travelling this way.
Just soaking in the way people lived there.
In addition, as I booked my stay pretty late, alot of the accommodation was filled up. But I settled for YHA Melbourne Central. Highly recommended. Clean, comfortable with wonderful staff. Felt like I was constantly traveling just by staying in the hostel on some nights, listening to tourists from all over the world talking about their home country or the places they've visited. It was wonderful.
Everyday I would walk, and uncover a new cafe. I would sit down, pick a magazine from their rack, order a cup of coffee which unlike your usual franchise of Starbucks, each cafe has their own concoction of beans. And as with the coffee, the menu is different too, just as the people working there.
Checked out 2 wonderful and higly raved cafes which definitely lived up to their 'ravings', called High Societe and The Manchester Press. Somehow I could just sit in there for hours.
Other cafes I stumbled across, forgot their names, but that's for you to discover. It's no fun with me telling you what to do. Cos when you travel, getting lost is the best part.
Just like every country/city has a street or a place just for the different locals. The chinatown of course serves chinese food. But coming from a chinese heritage I wouldn't waste my time there. The restaurants seems overpriced.
I checked out the 'Little Italy' at Lygon street. Lots of people from Italy speaking italian. I didn't feel like I was in Australia for abit. The smell of the expresso, the slurping of pasta, and of course I had to settle down in the busiest restaurant. Cafe Cavalliano. Even though it was after lunch hours, their tables were filled. I like how in the menu they offer a selection of 3pastas on the menu, portion and pricing were reasonable. Took my pick and my favorite pasta would be Seafood Marinara. I'm still drooling as I recall the taste. That's what good food should leave your sense with. Craving for more!
Besides the food, there are really endless things to see in Melbourne. Taking the tram to St Kilda is another place that I spent 2-3days discovering. So many different cafes and bars there. You have to walk down the streets yourself.
On somedays, I'd grab a sandwich and sit on one of their lovely grass patches and soak in the sun.
Perhaps only myself, coming from Singapore whereby our humidity level is 10000000. And the grass is unfit for sitting down. I tend to appreciate what I can't find. So please keep your expectations low.
There are so many other things to see and do. But the first thing to do once you get there is to head down to federation square/the tourism center at Flinders Street Station. And grab as many brochures as you can. Those were my travel guide for my 12 days in Melbourne.
And 12days was definitely not enough.
I'll be back!
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Hints and tips, where to stay, things to see and do Jul 20, 2010
Melbourne, as you can probably gather from my blog, is my favourite city in Australia and so I thought I'd share some of the things I've learned in my four trips (including my current 3 month long stay) to help you get the best of your visit, be you a backpacker or new resident. This list is not exhaustive and is just taken from my own personal experience.
Lets start with the hints and tips first:
From Tullamarine Airport: If you're staying in the CBD or one of the inner city suburbs take either the Skybus or one of the white minibuses (this is good for getting to St Kilda)located just in front of the doors as you come out, both of which can be cheaper than a taxi if you're travelling solo. If you aren't sure where to get the minibus or Skybus from ask the helpful tourist information desk located inside the airport terminal.
Get yourself some free transport maps from the Metlink desk inside Flinders Street station, these have both tram and train maps on. If you find yourself arriving at Flinders Street and need to get to a specific destination the helpful ladies and gents working here will not only looking it up on the internet for you and tell you what tram, train or bus you need but they'll also print it out for you and trust me this is much quicker than having to wait at the sometimes horrendously long lines at the Tourist Info in Federation Square opposite.
If you're going to be in Melbourne for a while as a tourist but not going to be living/working there and plan to be using public transport then get yourself something like a 5x Daily Metcard (which costs $29.30) to save money and you can purchase them from newsagents, 7-Elevens and inside most train stations. These can be used continuously throughout the day and get 5 days worth of travel. There are loads of different Metcard options and again those helpful folks at Flinders street can tell you all about them.
Ok, well here's a list of things I recommend visiting while you in and around Melbourne (these aren't in order of favouritism just more as they fall out of my brain):
1. The Great Ocean Road - take a (long) day trip down one of the best coastal routes in Oz in my humble opinion
2. Do a wine tasting tour to the Yarra valley, I booked one through Backpackers World Travel on Flinders Street and I thought it was really great value for money (think they're now around the $100 mark), we toured around 5 wineries in total, 4 of which were independent and had a really excellent lunch included (I had Kangaroo Steak - yum!) and you don't have to worry about drinking and driving because they pick you up and drop you off at various locations in the CBD.
4. Visit (my favourite museum) the ACMI - this stands for The Australian Centre for the Moving Image. Great for film buffs and also a good way to keep the kids entertained, some parts are free but special exhibits aren't.
5. National Gallery of Victoria - great contemporary and more traditional art, again with a mix of free and paid exhibits housed in one hell of great building.There's also a second NGV in Fed Square which is equally as good.
6. Australian Center for Contemporary Art - need I say more? This museum however is totally free.
7. Watch an AFL match live at the MCG or Ethiad, tickets are pretty reasonably and its great fun with the two sets of spectators intermingled - even if you don't understand what's going on! Also if you're around at the end of September there's the Grand Finals, get yourself to a pub and revel in the atmosphere.
8. Explore the Laneways - Melbourne is a city of hidden gems. Melbourne is one of the cities in the world that is famous for its street art, check out Hosier Lane opposite Fed Square or just wander around areas of Brunswick or Fitzroy. Also visit Degraves Street just opposite Flinders Street Station for a coffee or visit one of my favourite places if you have a sweet tooth, Little Cupcakes.
9. Check out one of the markets either Vic Market or South Melbourne Market. South Melbourne boasts amazing Dim Sims and Vic Market amazing Bratwursts, both have great fresh produce and I love going there for good quality meat, fish, fruit and veggies.
10. Go for an Italian on Lygon Street, Vietnamese in Richmond, the list is endless, Melbourne is renowned for being a foodies paradise and is now gaining international recognition as a top food venue worldwide. You don't have to break the bank though and most places have lunch specials or deals on Tuesday or Wednesday nights, for example The Lucky Coq on Chapel Street had 'Cheap Arse Wednesdays' where pizzas are just $4.
11. Go to a live gig, Festival Hall tends to boast some of the bigger names but there are lots of more intimate venues around the city such as The Espy in St Kilda.
12. Visit St Kilda, go for a run down the promenade, chill out on the beach, check out the Sunday market on the Esplanade, Luna Park or just hang out at one of the cafes. If you're staying there I recommend Base Hostel on Carlisle St as its possibly one of the best hostels I think I've ever stayed in.
13. Go shopping on Brunswick Street, home to lots of individual shops.
14. If you like looking for cheap second hand bargains check out Savers on Sydney Road, a friend introduced me to this place and it's awesome!
15. Check out the State Library on Swanston Street and marvel at the beautiful dome in the Latrobe Reading Room (Hint - don't take any bulky bags with you otherwise they won't let you in).
16. If you need a literary fix check out one of the five Readings stores in Melbourne, another independent store, these guys have a great collection and the staff are really friendly (I wanted a typical Australian kids book for nephew and these guys came up trumps). The original store is on Lygon St but I frequented the St Kilda branch.
17. Check out Melbourne Central - not necessarily for the shops more for the impressive 50m high Shot Tower located inside.
18. Go take a peek inside the GPO (General Post Office) on the Bourke Mall that has been refurbished and fitted out with designer shops.
19. Go sports mad, these guys love there sports! Take a swim at the historic city baths, the open air pool in Fitzroy, run down by the Yarra, visit the Australian Aquatic Center in Albert Park (one of the venues for the Melbourne Comm games), take a spin class at Vuelta in St Kilda...the list is endless, and from my experience whatever club, team or activity you are into the people there will make you feel really welcome.
20. Soak up the cafe culture, coffee fiends beware Melburnians love their coffee! Also indulge in the weekend tradition of eating breakfast/ brunch out with friends and there are no shortage of places to try out with each neighbourhood being crammed full of options, I'm quite partial to Little Creatures (which I think is in Fitzroy).
21. Try some Gelato at Trampoline - interesting flavours with equally interesting names (I like Jaffa Smasher myself), branches in St Kilda and Brunswick St, Fitzroy though I'm sure there are probably more.
22. Check out one of the many festivals in wintertime such as The Fringe Festival (end of Sept/ start of Oct) and the International Film Festival (August I think) to name but a few.
23. Center for Contemporary Photography - George Street, Fitzroy. Another free venue which has great photography exhibits.
24. Go visit the iconic Skipping Girl located on Victoria Street in Abbotsford - she'll make for a cool photograph and is an icon in Victoria (note: she was due to be restored at some point in 2009 so may not be back in place just yet).
Part of the Round and round I go, where I'll stop nobody knows travel blog
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