Famous as Australia’s vibrant and verdant garden city, Melbourne is an epicurean paradise with incredible cultural diversity, natural beauty, and cosmopolitan splendors. Also dubbed the sporting capital of the world, Melbourne is famous as a city that loves art, culture, and coffee.
This eclectic Australian treasure trove is brimming with endless entertainment, cultural attractions, and an action-packed social calendar. You can spend your days touring the many art galleries, museums, and cultural centers, reserving the nights for fine dining on traditional Australian flavors, and partying at upscale clubs.
Read on to explore some experiences that deserve a spot on your itinerary.
1. Take a Street Art Tour
Melbourne ranks among the world’s street art capitals, and every street is lined with breathtaking spectacles created with multiple art mediums. The city streets are like melting pots of artistic and cultural creativity. We urge you to walk through the streets lined with graffiti, spray-painted murals, poster art, reverse graffiti, sticker art, and wood blocking techniques.
The experience is deeply inspiring and transformative, for the quality of street art in Melbourne is truly exceptional. The city authorities have designated some streets for street artists to express their creativity, and the street installations are changed regularly.
The cobbled street known as Hosier Lane is the best street to experience Melbourne’s most iconic installations and regularly updated canvases of graffiti art. We advise booking a tour with a street artist to gain deep insight into the symbolism of Aboriginal art and politically-charged graffiti.
2. Shop until you Drop at Queen Victoria Market
Do you love shopping for fresh produce, thrifting your way through incredible vintage finds, and devouring steamy hot street food treats? In that case, head over to the thriving Queen Victoria Market to indulge in the Australian passion for organically farmed, fresh produce and an outstanding variety of boutiques, streetside stalls, handicrafts, and other trinkets.
Queen Victoria Market is a Melburnian’s go-to spot to shop an endless variety of ethically farmed, fresh fruits, vegetables, vegan dairy products, and other dietary staples. The market is brimming with stalls selling clothing, jewelry, accessories, homeware, and other trinkets.
The street food here is extraordinary, and you must try the sweet and sticky jam donuts from a popular food truck, the American Doughnut Kitchen. Be sure to shop some locally farmed vegan cheeses, smoked meat varieties, and fresh olives.
3. Fine Dining Gastronomic Pleasures
Travelers with deep pockets have much to rejoice in the lavishly opulent fine dining establishments that offer a luxurious Australian gastronomic experience. The luxury side of Melbourne is all about world-class dining, Michelin-starred restaurants, and expensive rooftop bars overlooking the stunning skyline.
Some of the most celebrated restaurants in the city include Flower Drum, Vue De Monde, Attica, and Lûmé. It’s wise to peruse the menu and social media to examine their ambiance and offerings and decide where you want to splurge your money.
Farmer’s Daughters is a promising new entrant that has taken the Melburian fine dining scene by the storm with its specialized farm-to-table experience. Founded by one of the city’s most talented chefs, Alejandro Saravia, this establishment honors the farmlands of Gippsland with a stellar combination of a deli, fine dining, and wine.
Foodies eager to delight their taste buds with an unforgettable taste of luxury should visit the Michelin-starred Vue de Monde – Melbourne’s finest dining establishment. Dining at Vue de Monde isn’t about the food but the experience. Located on the 55th floor of the domineering Rialto Tower, this restaurant offers a magnificent 10-course spread curated with native Australian flavors and freshly farmed ingredients.
Vue de Monde also has an a la carte menu, and you can also enjoy amazing cocktails with spectacular 360-degree views of the skyline. Keep in mind that these dining establishments are exuberantly expensive, and you need to make ample room in your budget. We always advise travelers to cut corners with reducible expenses, like airfare, accommodation, travel insurance, and commuting.
For instance, when you’re exploring flights to Melbourne, compare airfare and packages from multiple airlines. Emerging airlines like Cathay Pacific offer consumer-friendly packages and use attractive loyalty programs to attract more travelers. Saving money on airfare will enrich your travel experiences by splurging on food, retail, and more.
4. Hiking in the Dandenong Ranges
Here’s something exciting for nature lovers and adventurers: plan a bushwalking or hiking adventure in the breathtaking Dandenong Ranges. Tucked on the fringes of the city, the Dandenong Ranges welcomes serenity seekers and outdoor enthusiasts to explore its scenic expanse with innumerable hiking trails.
This majestic mountain range with verdant meadows and sweeping views has a humbling effect on the mind and heart. One can lose oneself in nature for hours, indulging in activities like hiking, cycling, bushwalking, or bird-watching. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or an adrenalin-pumping adventure, the Dandenong Ranges will prove utterly delightful.
The verdant valleys are home to countless quaint little villages and sleepy towns, serving the most incredible farm-to-table dining experiences. Don’t forget to hop aboard the world-famous steam train, the Puffing Billy.
5. Explore Cultural Heritage at St. Kilda
The most adorable and vibrant neighborhood in Melbourne, St. Kilda offers an abundance of unforgettable experiences to enrich your vacation. This neighborhood houses some of the city’s most iconic historical sites, popular beaches, and seaside restaurants.
St. Kilda’s upbeat café culture is infectious, and you need an entire day to tour the neighborhood and sample some of Australia’s finest cuppa Joes. This side of town is known for its wildly glamorous nightlife and beachfront parties. St. Kilda is an exciting world on its own, drenched in an old-world charm and refreshed by cosmopolitan upgrades.
Don’t forget to visit Chapel Street – the entertainment and retail hub of Melbourne, famous for high-end boutiques and luxury brands. Spend your day touring the shopping malls, exploring the historical buildings, and snacking at the cutely decorated cafes.
Then, when it’s time for sunset, start walking toward the St. Kilda Pier to see the landscape transform into a live painting. As the sun melts into the sea, the sky will entice you with the most spellbinding shades of orange and purple.
When in Melbourne, one truly has to find their own experience. Connect with your inner traveler to connect with the side of Melbourne you want to explore – the foodie’s paradise, art and culture hub, or a world of opulent luxury. Or perhaps, you’d like to balance your itinerary with all the artistic and cultural diversity this eclectic Australian metropolis has to offer.