There is always something going on in this laid-back, open and fun city. A great variety of cultural events and institutions, pretty cafes with great coffee and beautiful parks and beaches characterize this Australian city.
Stay: If you want to stay really central consider Citadines on Bourke. The apartments are spacious, there is a nice pool and gym and it’s in the middle of Bourke Street with two tram stations just a minute away.
Do: The Queen-Victoria Market is one of the famous touristy sights in the city but it’s a nice place to spend a relaxed morning. Grab a fresh coffee and some pastries at one of the stalls in the market hall, sit outside in the sun and listen to the talented street musicians. The State Library Victoria is worth a visit because of its beautiful old building. Around the central Federation Square you find the free National Gallery of Victoria with a colorful mixture of indigenous and colonial, traditional and modern art. From here you can explore the bustling alleys and arcades like the old Cathedral Arcade around Flinders Lane, take a walk along the Yarra river, or take a rest in the beautiful Royal Botanic Garden. St. Kilda is where the beach is, it’s a good place for people watching or a drink but there are much nicer beaches around Melbourne if you drive a little bit out of the city. In summer a great way to spend an evening is to see a movie in one of the many open air cinemas, like Moonlight or Rooftop cinema.
Eat: There are many cute, healthy cafes all over the city like Tall Timber, Top Paddock or the classic Matcha Mylkbar in St. Kilda. Here you can also sit directly at the beachfront at Captain Baxter. The french Patisserie Laurent creates delicious cakes and pastries. But you also get fresh coffee and almond croissants at the famous Queen-Victoria Market. If you want to go out for dinner don’t go to late as surprisingly many restaurants close the kitchen rather early. A good choice for food and drinks is Feast of Merit, open all night is the fantastic Melbourne Supper Club.
Shop: For neighborhoods with pretty shops and cafes go to Toorak, Prahran or South Yarra. On Chapel street for example, there are local boutiques and brands like Seed Heritage and Gorman. For books and design visit the shop Happy Valley.
Getting around: It’s nice to take walks along the beach, in the parks or stroll along the pretty shopping streets in the neighborhoods but as Melbourne is pretty spread out it’s best to use the tram and buses for longer distances. A rental car is also a good idea, there are just a few traffic-related peculiarities you should know before you drive in the city.