Melbourne is my favourite place in Australia. So if this is you considering a visit, let me offer you a helping hand. Do it.
To me this city has everything one could wish for, particularly in the region of St.Kilda, which I’ve fallen in love with. See my guide to St.Kilda here
If city life, beaches, botanical gardens, art lanes, healthy eateries and having the great ocean road on your doorstep isn’t enough, add the short plane rides to Tasmania, Bali, Sydney and Australia into the mix.
In Melbourne you can indulge in the ever addictive laid back lifestyle that Australia has to offer, but alsotake advantage of the opportunities and jobs that this creative hub has to offer.
Melbourne is becoming an increasingly popular designation for those seeking work abroad, for backpackers and for straight up adventurers. It really isn’t hard to see why…
My complete guide to Melbourne…
How do you get to Melbourne from the airport?
Melbourne (MEL) is a huge international airport, so flying there is easy! Check flight deals on Skyscanner here.
- Budget option – $19.50 Skybus (one way)
It only works out a tiny bit cheaper to buy a return, so, if you can spare a couple of dollars, I would recommend just buying a single. It is better to stay flexible in case you want to extend your trip, or you find a different way back to the airport, e.g. lift sharing. There are multiple stops on the bus routes, the buses go to multiple destinations in the Melbourne area, and you catch the bus from outside arrivals. My bus from the airport to St.Kilda took 35 minutes but allow an hour on way to airport incase of traffic. On Sundays buses return to airport every hour. Find out more about Skybus here.
- Flexible budget – Taxi or Uber ($55-65)
There are taxis right outside arrivals or, Uber operates in Australia so you can order one there. There is WiFi at the airport. Don’t be immediately put off by the price; if there are three or more of you, it can work out cheaper than the Skybus. Get £10 off your first Uber with my code 1l08a.
What’s the best way to get around Melbourne?
The easiest way to get around the city is on the tram and bus networks that are set up pretty much everywhere you’re going to be heading.
To use the networks you will need a Myki card which, for you Londoners, is like an Oyster card. Top it up and scan it when you start and end your journey. Myki cards are $6 to buy, and each trip costs around $4. The cards do cap daily too.
Tip: Download the free app ‘tramTRACKER’ for live trams updates and information in Melbourne. Check out more apps you need for your travels here!
St.Kilda to the City (Fitzroy) for example is connected by a pleasant 40 minute tram ride. Otherwise you can walk, cycle or Uber. See my perfect coastal bike ride itinerary from St.Kilda here
Where should you stay in Melbourne?
I think it totally depends on the vibe you are looking for.
- If you are looking to be super central and only have a few days to explore then… head for the CBD
- For a beach side base with access to the city… head for St. Kilda.
- For a young quirky, ‘Shoreditch’ type base just slightly outside the centre then… head for Fitzroy
These were the three recommendations I got when conducting research and the three I stand by after my time in Melbourne.
If you’re a backpacker, it’s always a good idea in Australia and NZ to google the location of Base/Nomad hostels and take note. The location of these main hostels will always indicate the popular backpacking area.
I stayed in St.Kilda and absolutely fell in love. St. Kilda is a beach side town in South Melbourne that has its own high street filled with boutiques, cafe shops and modern bars. The sea front is a 2-minute walk from the high street and is the perfect place to watch the sunset. St. Kilda is filled with young active individuals and the whole vibe is very laid back and social.
My favourite accommodation booking sites for Australia…
- Hostelworld (for searching the best hotels in the area)
- Booking.com (getting a great overall look on whats available and bagging cheaper deals on hotels)
- Airbnb (searching for a unique experience or save money via a group booking).
Where are the best places to eat in Melbourne?
- Naked For Satan
Pretty much everyone recommended this place to me when they found out I was heading to Melbourne. Naked For Satan is a rooftop bar located in Fitzroy and is a perfect spot for lunch or after work drinks as the sun goes down. I don’t think you can make reservations and there is limited outdoor seating so make sure you get there early!
- Ponyfish Island Cafe (on the Yarra River)
- Queen Victoria Night Market
The ultimate night market with food from your wildest dreams and live music and cocktails to entertain you all night long. Need I say more!
- Any of the rooftop bars, such as Palmz, Young and Jackson, Naked in the Sky, Good Heavens
A handful of the many amazing rooftop bars in Melbourne; be sure to check at least one.
- Lentils For Anything
A set of ‘pay as you feel’ not for profit vegan and vegetarian restaurants based in both Melbourne and Sydney!
Bar on the seafront in St. Kilda. Super cool hangout with outdoor quirky seating and live music!
- Head to the all Matcha – Matcha Mylkbar…
- Chinchin Restaurant
My friend that lives in Melbourne swears by this place. I didn’t get time to check it out but… I trust her!
What are the best things to do in Melbourne?
- Head for food and drinks at Queen Victoria Night Market.
- Explore the quirky boutiques and cafes within Fitzroy.
- Check out one of the open air cinemas.
The one below was the open air cinema in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens.
- Coffee shop hop.
This was at Dukes Coffee Roasters.
- Explore the Botanical Gardens.
- Check out Centre Place for cafes and street buskers!
Great place for lunch (just off Flinders St.).
- Grab a healthy lunch and juice at Laneway Greens!
Up there with my favourite salads ever!
- Go shopping.
- Head up the Eureka Tower for epic views over Melbourne.
- Wander through the famous art lanes e.g. Hozier Lane.
- Check out some of the spectator sports on offer.
Whether it’s the Australian tennis open, Formula1, tennis, netball, or the AFL, Melbourne is a great place for watching sport.
- Venture down to St. Kilda and enjoy the likes of the luna park and the penguins on the pier!
- Kick back and relax on the southern beaches.
Check the beach huts on Brighton Beach!
To extend your trip beyond Melbourne, consider…
- Phillip Island.
- The Great Ocean Road. See my Great Ocean road trip here.
- Jervis Bay See our road trip here.
- Explore the wine region that is Hunter Valley. Check out my road trip here.
- Kosciuszko National Park.
Have you been to Melbourne?
Where were your favourite spots? I’d love to know!
Love as always and happy adventuring,
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