A woman in a camel trench coat ice-skating.
Photograph: Jacqueline Mazloum

Everything we love about winter in Melbourne

With its cosy eateries and bars, Melbourne is arguably a city made for the colder months – so prepare to embrace the chill

Adena Maier

As much as Melburnians love to complain about the cold, winter is really when our city comes into its own. As a city that takes pride in its top-notch food and drink culture complete with cosy underground lairs and pubs with fireplaces, Melbourne is never more inviting than during winter.

To help you make the most of it, we've rounded up the things we most look forward to doing in Melbourne each winter. Rug up and prepare to hit the town.

Is it bucketing down? Here are our favourite rainy day activities in Melbourne. Or, if you're keen to get out of the city, here are our favourite winter getaways.

Mulled wine

If the cold starts to get you down, there’s nothing like hot red wine infused with citrus and spices to bring you back to life. You'll find mulled wine in bars and pubs all over Melbourne in the colder months, and let's just say it's the drink equivalent of a crackling fireplace.


Art galleries and museums

Avoid the bone-chilling cold by ducking into some of Melbourne's best art galleries and cultural institutions. Over at ACMI, meet curious ever-evolving digital characters at Beings. For a look at the wonders that can be achieved with the humble Lego brick, check out Art of the Brick Immersive Experience. Check out NGV's blockbuster exhibition Pharaoh, which brings together more than 500 ancient Egyptian works, or witness Australia's first major survey of First Nations Fashion at Piinpi: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion

Winter fashion

When it comes to layering, Melburnians do it best. Splash out on high-quality minimalist sweaters, coats and dresses at Alpha 60, or choose from a kaleidoscope of colours and thermals at Uniqlo. If you're looking to go green and add some ethical pieces to your wardrobe, shop from these sustainable fashion brands.

Hot spring and onsen getaways

The natural hot springs of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs are the perfect antidote to the cold. Unwind in the warm waters of Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa, treat yourself to a massage and eat a pub meal by the fireplace at the Daylesford Royal Hotel. And just over an hour's drive from Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula is the naturally healing waters of Alba Thermal Spings and the Peninsula Hot Springs. Closer to the city you can also check out an onsen like Japanese Bathhouse or Sense of Self

Wine and cheese

Sure, you could hunker down at home feasting on vin et fromage, but going to a specialised wine and cheese bar like Kirk's Wine Bar or Embla guarantees you expert advice on the most delicious pairings. But there are plenty more spots to gorge on cheese and wine in Melbourne, you just have to know where to find them...

Hot chocolate

There's nothing quite like sitting inside a café on a miserable Melbourne day and enjoying a rich hot chocolate. Yes, the drink comes standard at basically every café — but if you really want a top hot choc then try one from Hash Specialty Coffee and Roasters, Mörk Chocolate Brew House or Koko Black (where you can even add a spicy pinch of chilli to your cup).

Playing board games in a bar

Spend a long, boozy afternoon battling your mates in Scrabble, Connect Four or Balderdash. Our favourite board game bars include Katuk, the Rooks Return and 29th Apartment.

AFL at the MCG

Nothing says winter in Melbourne quite like cheering for your team at the MCG, steaming tea in one hand, hot jam doughnut in the other, wrapped in a scarf. If you're keen on a frothy pint, make sure to bring some gloves to keep your hands from turning into icicles.

Ice skating

Lace up those skates and give ice skating a go this winter. Whether you're a fearful edge-clinger, a perpetual twirler or a gangling scrambler, there's a rink out there for everybody

Rugging up

Yes, literally. Nesting is one of winter’s great pleasures, so buy yourself a soft, beautiful blanket from homewares stores like the pattern-obsessed Otto and Spike or monochrome prints at Marimekko.

Snow breaks

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