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A woman wearing all black and holding a pale umbrella trudges across Little Bourke street in Chinatown
Photograph: Visit Victoria

How to stay warm in Melbourne in winter

Baby, it's cold outside. Take off that Oodie and get out there, Melbourne: these are the hottest ways to beat winter's chill

Leah Glynn
Written by
Leah Glynn

As one of Australia's southernmost cities, Melbourne tends to get a little chilly during the winter months. Yes, we know that in a global context our weather really isn't that bad, but we would also argue that many homes and buildings in Melbourne (and Australia we might add) are famously not designed for anything other than cardigan weather. But you don't have to stay home and rack up a huge heating bill to stay toasty. Here's how to keep warm in Melbourne during winter and still have fun.

1. Hang out in the hot houses at the Royal Botanic Garden and Treasury Gardens and pretend you're somewhere tropical.

2. Beginning at Flinders Street Station, see how far you can make it underground and undercover through the CBD. Start with the Degraves Street Subway and get exploring.

3. Knit yourself a woolly scarf. Thread Den and Wool Baa can help you brush up on your skills, and many wool merchants host in-store stitch'n'bitch classes so you can buddy up with fellow knitting nerds in the process. Or if you're already confident with the basics, order a knitting kit from Cardigang.

4. Hot water, hot water, hot water. When you’re chilled to the bone nothing beats a hot soak or sauna. Try Sense of Self or Alba Thermal Springs if you fancy a day trip. 

5. Rug up, whack on your waterproof gear and go on a hike to stay warm by moving.

6. Sweat the sads away at hot yoga. Try One Hot Yoga or for those in the east head to Bikram Yoga Richmond

7. Make like a fancy lady or gent and have a spot of high tea. Scones, warm tarts and warm brews are just the thing on a cold day.

8. Enjoy a brew (a tea, not a beer) at one of our fine tea establishments (like Tea Drop).

9. Enjoy a brew (a beer, not a tea) at one of our fine drinking establishments that also boast open fires. We know exactly where to go.

10. Shoot stick. Pool’s the indoor sport of the gods, and there’s no better time to indulge than when the weather’s cruel. Head to Red Triangle Snooker Room – you can get a table of your own for a measly $20 an hour (half-price rates are available before 6pm on weekdays). Or for a selection of indoor sports and games (including pool and shuffleboard), head to Ballers Clubhouse

11. Get slurpy. We've ranked the best noodle soups in Melbourne – there's nothing like a steaming bowl of ramen or pho to warm your insides.

12. Hunker down and watch a game of footy over a pint at one of Melbourne's best pubs.

13. Pick your day right, and the movies make for a cheap, warm, winter date. Try Mondays at Cinema Nova, Tuesdays at Lido and the Classic, and Mondays and Thursdays at the Astor

14. Pick up a new skill at General AssemblyLaneway Learning or the CAE.

15. Warm the cockles of your heart with a parma.

16. Sample (read: feast on) cheese and red wine: we love Milk the Cow or any of these places.

17. Pretend you're in Europe by pulling up a stool at one of the CBD's laneway bars or cafés on a cold afternoon. Wine or espresso, your choice.

18. Embark on a marathon board game tournament at home with games from Gameology or in a bar with board games.

19. Stomp around in your gumboots at the Collingwood Children's Farm, then head to the Farm Café for some warming baked beans. 

20. Become obsessed with hot alcoholic beverages. We're partial to savouring a spicy mulled wine but a Melbourne bar is also serving boozy hot Milo this winter, too. 

21. Bite into a slow-cooked, smoked or slow-roasted anything. We love the smoky meat at Fancy Hank's.

22. Make use of someone else's heating bill and get cultured at the same time by visiting one of Melbourne's winter masterpiece exhibitions. For 2023 that means checking out ACMI's Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion or the NGV's Pierre Bonnard: Designed by India Mahdavi.

23. When all else fails, have a doona day and just hang in your PJs. Treat yourself to some swish new sets from Kip and Co.

Strap on your skates

Here's to the colder months

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