If New York and Europe had a baby it would be Melbourne. This world-class city is full of art and culture with a big city vibe and tons of amazing food. If you go to Melbourne you’ll be kicking yourself if you miss out on these Melbourne must dos:
Hosier Lane- While Melbourne is famous for its many graffiti lanes, Hosier Lane is probably the largest and fastest changing graffiti alley. Famous Australian and international artists like Banksy are known to cover the walls with their street-art and the easily accessible location of Hosier Lane, near Federation Square on Flinders St, make this graffiti alley one of the best. Although I strongly recommend walking down as many random alleys as you can while in Melbourne, you should visit Hosier Lane multiple times on your trip as it’s evolving daily.
Top Paddock- Like most of the top restaurants in Australia, brunch is no joke at Top Paddock. Everything we ordered on the menu was incredible. I ordered the pan-fried snapper with a chilli fried egg, avocado, tomato, lime and a corn tortilla (It’s even gluten free). This restaurant is located outside of the city centre but is most definitely worth the trip.
Chez Dre- Ok so I’m not a coffee drinker but I do travel with a coffee addict so I feel that I have some expertise here. Actually never mind this is not a coffee recommendation, this is a chai tea recommendation. Chez Dre had the best chai tea that I have ever had. I hear the coffees pretty good too… This is another place that’s not in the CBD but is definitely worth the short trip to South Melbourne.
Bibelot- So it was a total mistake finding this gem when we accidentally stumbled upon it looking for Chez Dre (Bibelot is in front of Chez Dre). This luxury dessert boutique has many low gluten options, and the price point is quite reasonable. I don’t care if you’re stuffed you have to go here!
Hopetoun Tea Rooms- I have to admit, Hopetoun Tea Rooms is a tourist hot spot, the line is long and the service is not that great. However, for all that Hopetoun Tea Rooms lacks it more than makes up for in location, history and deliciousness. Located in the famous and historic Block Arcade, Hopetoun Tea Rooms combines old world charm and heritage with delicious desserts. I recommend the pavlova.
City Circle Tram- The great thing about Melbourne is that you can essentially get around for free. The city circle tram circles the entire CBD and is a great way to see the city and the sites at no cost. You can hop on and off as you please and there is even a commentary onboard that tells you the attractions at each stop and the history. It is useful to know that all the trams in the CBD are free and are marked “free trams zone”.
China Town- Although transit is free in the CBD I often liked to walk around Melbourne because I would always discover something new. One of my favourite places to walk around at night was China Town. Melbourne’s China Town is the longest continuous Chinese settlement in the Western World. At night it is lit up with lanterns and filled with people.
Lanes and Arcades- Hidden in the urban streets of Melbourne are many European like lanes and arcades that can only be stumbled upon when walking. It is important to note that these lanes and arcades are in the CBD and may not be open at night.
Hotel Windsor- One of Melbourne’s most historic buildings, I was very lucky to stay at this beautiful 5 star hotel that has a long list of celebrity guests including Meryl Streep and Katharine Hepburn. This hotel is pricey, but we were lucky to find a deal on a discount travel website. If this hotel is out of your price range I would still recommend going to see it for the history and architecture (and celebrities!). It is also within walking distance to Fitzroy, a young and trendy area.