Follow the trail of street art to the jewel of the inner north, Fitzroy. You’ll find Melbourne’s best coffee here (which, for our caffeine-obsessed city, is saying something) as well as iconic live music venues, top-notch cafés and the coolest bars and clubs.
Matchless views of the Yarra River, world-class shopping and delicious dining await at Melbourne’s premier entertainment precinct. Try your luck at the luxurious Crown Casino and fuel up at 400 Gradi, where you can (and must) order the Margherita that took out the World Pizza Championships in Parma, Italy last year. Head over to the Eureka Tower and tick off another Melbourne must-do: viewing the city 88 storeys up at the 360-degree Eureka Skydeck.
Rose Street Artist’s Market
Each Saturday and Sunday, Fitzroy’s Rose Street Market gathers some of Melbourne’s most exciting artists and designers to display their wares and talk all things handmade: fashion, food and curios.
60 Rose St, Fitzroy 3065.
The second floor of the CBD’s glittering shopping precinct is home to the largest collection of Australian designers under one roof; we’re talking Zimmerman, Jigsaw, Saba, Jac + Jack and the ultra-modern Dion Lee. Naturally, you’ll also find international brands like Michael Kors and Marc Cain.
287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne 3000.
A proudly multicultural city, Melbourne’s dynamic food scene is driven by diverse cultures and flavours. Chin Chin’s playful, pan-Asian menu delivers big, punchy flavours and a whole lot of fun: don’t go past the barramundi and caramelised pork salad.
125 Flinders Ln, Melbourne 3000 (+61 3 8663 2000).
Peppery kangaroo carpaccio is on the cards at this smart-casual diner, which showcases modern Australian cuisine at its best at an affordable price.
142 Bridge Rd, Richmond 3121 (+61 3 9078 0113).
Arbory Bar and Eatery
Time Out Melbourne’s Bar of the Year is home to the cocktail elite. You won’t find better shaken or stirred drinks than at this speakeasy-style joint – slip into a booth and work your way through the drinks menu.
Level 1, 150-156 Gertrude St, Fitzroy 3065 (+61 3 9416 2229).
Arbory Bar and Eatery
This new riverside bar occupies a former train line and boasts a 150m-long deck – but what locals love about it most is the excellent wine menu and delicious bar snacks. Try the crisp-shelled mushroom-and-cheese croquettes.
Flinders Walk, Melbourne 3000 (+61 3 9621 2260).
THINGS TO DO
Ascend the winding staircase in this skinny CBD building and discover cute boutique shops, buzzing bar and nightclub The Toff in Town and the crowning glory, Rooftop Bar.
252 Swanston St, Melbourne 3000.
St Kilda foreshore
Melbourne may not have the beach culture of Sydney, but the picturesque seaside town of St Kilda is a must-visit. Great bars, famous cake shops and the iconic Luna Park rollercoaster are just 20 minutes from the CBD.
Beneath the stately Flinders Street Station is a network of salmon-pink tiled corridors, where you’ll find boutiques of local artists, great coffee and a mini art gallery.
Flinders St Station, Flinders St (corner of Swanston), Melbourne 3000.
This former convent is now home to rolling green gardens, cute cafés and the super-cool The Shadow Electric bar and live music venue.
1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford.
The chance to see some world-class graffiti – Melbourne is famous for it! In the CBD, the best places to admire street art are Hosier and AC/DC Lanes and Duckboard Place; over in South Melbourne, check out colourful Yarra Place.
Public transport is good – free tram rides are even better. You don’t have to use your Myki (Melbourne’s travel card) on trams in the CBD, and if you hop on the City Circle Tram, you won’t have to pay at all. This tourist-focussed tram even delivers some cool anecdotes about the city’s history at every stop – prick up your ears!