The best quirky getaways in country Victoria
Leaving the city behind for a few days to recharge is always a good choice. These days, accommodation options reach far beyond a traditional hotel, cabin or B’n’B; Victoria is home to beachside glamping spots, art-filled mountain retreats, farm stays, campsites and lots more. We've searched the state for our favourite quirky getaways, which range from romantic trips for two to houses with space for all your friends or family. For more travel tips, check out these epic road trips from Melbourne or take a staycation at the best boutique hotels in Melbourne.
The 12 best things to do in Delhi
Are you ready to fall in love with India? A rhetorical question, obviously, as you don’t really have a choice. Everyone who ventures to this famous country will find it coursing through their veins eventually. Delhi is the epicentre of it all, a populous capital with a reputation for overwhelming newbies with its mass of traffic, relentless heat, restless energy, vast sprawl and abundance of experiences. That is what travel is all about, right? If you want to experience India, embracing the best things to do in Delhi is the best place to start? From delicious street food to bustling markets via fascinating museums, excellent shopping and more, Delhi is ready to reward the adventurous and convince the cynics.
The 7 best markets in Delhi
When it comes to the best things to do in Delhi, choosing where to start can be a difficult task. This place is ginormous, after all, with a dizzying array of museums and restaurants vying for your attention, not to mention the glitzy shopping and world-beating street food scene. For us, getting to know Delhi begins with a trip to its markets, where the hustle and bustle of everyday life are married to colour and conversation in equal measure. You’ll find anything and everything here, from fresh produce to soft furnishings. The best markets in Delhi are more than just street shops; they are a history, art, culinary, fashion, language, culture, architecture and etiquette lesson, all rolled into one.
A local's guide to Collingwood
Update [26/7/21]: During Victoria's fifth lockdown, hospitality venues can only open for takeaway and delivery. You can still support many of these local venues by purchasing food, drinks or products online or over the phone – click each individual venue for more details on what they're currently offering or contact them directly to find out their opening hours. Entertainment venues and non essential retail cannot open during this time, but some venues may offer click and collect services or delivery. Victorian residents cannot travel further than 5km to access essential supplies or exercise during lockdown. The stomping ground of street gangs in the 1800s, Collingwood has a long, proud, chequered history of giving the middle finger to authority. A stroll around the neighbourhood reveals a hotchpotch of architectural styles that reflect the evolution of the inner-city suburb. There are renovated workers cottages, student share houses, rundown industrial warehouses, modern apartment buildings and public housing towers adorned with murals painted by artist Matt Adnate. Collingwood may be in a state of flux as gentrification transforms the once working-class area, but it’s still holding fast to its reputation as a suburb of scrappers who don’t give a damn. As the footy team song goes, "good old Collingwood forever." Jump to a section: EAT DRINK COFFEE THINGS TO DO SHOPPING What’s Collingwood known for? Rowdy footy pubs, refined wine bars, vinyl record stores and Vietnamese bak
The 11 best things to do in Jaipur
The universal appeal of the Pink City and the diverse array of things to do in Jaipur has kept Rajasthan’s capital on the radar of travellers for centuries. Fans of literature, architecture, history and art will love being immersed in this cultural hub. Jaipur is also arguably one of the best places to buy handmade art and crafts, so if you play your cards right you’ll leave Jaipur with a full heart (and backpack bursting at the seams). Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. Find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.
The 11 best things to do in Colombo
There are plenty of amazing things to do in Colombo, the gateway to Sri Lanka. It's a city on the move with an eye on the future and a foot planted in the past. Modern skyscrapers may be flying up at breakneck speed in Sri Lanka’s capital, but Colombo’s heritage as a centre of trade is still evident in the city’s melting pot of religions, cuisines and architectural styles. Before heading off to explore the country’s national parks, hill stations, surf breaks and UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites, get to know Colombo’s markets, mosques and museums. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. Find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.
Listings and reviews (24)
Art Series - The Cullen
The Cullen – located two minutes’ walk from buzzing Chapel Street – was the first creation by the Art Series Hotel Group, whose hotels blend the visions of some of Australia’s most influential modern and contemporary artists with clever design and seamless service. Every room of the hotel, from the compact studio suite to the sprawling penthouse, pays tribute to Sydney artist Adam Cullen, thanks to a large private collection of his work. The option of hiring a Smart Car, bicycle, pram or scooter makes getting around easy, whether you’re exploring Melbourne’s trendy inner south or venturing further afield. Time Out tip: In the last two years, the neighbouring suburb of Windsor has become one of the city’s hottest dining strips. Head north on Chapel Street and you’ll find top-notch bars and restaurants, including Malaysian eatery Hawker Hall, Mexican favourite Fonda, and Jungle Boy – a secret tiki bar located behind a sandwich shop, accessed through the door of a fake fridge (so Melbourne!).
This designer boutique hotel is housed in a building that was once a prestige car showroom. While the modern fit-out hits all the right notes, the Royce still carries an understated historical elegance, with a grand staircase, ornate ceilings and statement chandelier evoking a sense of theatrical drama in the lobby. Whether staying in the Standard Room or the Royal Suite, guests are assured five-star service every step of the way. Time Out tip: No visit to Melbourne is complete without brunch. Luckily, you’re five minutes’ walk from one of the best cafés in town, Kettle Black. Their famous ricotta hotcakes make the wait for a table worthwhile.
Art Series - The Olsen
The Art Series Hotel Group’s South Yarra offering has 224 luxurious rooms ideal for short and long term stays. Stepping into the lobby feels more like entering an art gallery than a hotel; a striking frog sculpture (by veteran Australian artist John Olsen, of course) sets the scene, and a curated collection of Olsen’s bright and beautiful paintings are dotted throughout the property. If you’re going all out, then you can’t go past the John Olsen Penthouse, which features an outdoor spa, timber dining table, Bose sound system, gas open fireplace, sun lounge, barbecue and stunning views of colourful city lights reflected in the nearby Yarra River. Chapel Street’s restaurants are at your doorstep, but you don’t need to venture further than Two Wrongs on the ground floor of the hotel for a high-end dining experience in a relaxed setting. Time Out tip: Feel like watching a movie? Resist the urge to stay in and head across the road to Palace Cinema Como. This plush cinema complex screens big new releases as well as arthouse films from all over the world.
Whether you’re staying in the cosy studio or splurging on a penthouse suite, fun is front and centre at this hip hotel inspired by Melbourne’s laneway culture. With interesting touches like chalkboards, pinball machines and colourful murals throughout the property, there is nothing generic about this hotel, which is well-suited to travellers who want to make the most of the enviable location right in the thick of it on Little Bourke Street. Of all the extras on offer, the free minibar is the obvious winner. Time Out tip: You’re staying in the middle of Chinatown, so why not treat yourself to a dumpling feast? Veer off the main strip and visit HuTong, where you’ll find the best xiao long bao (Shanghainese dumplings filled with pork and soup) in town.
Merging old-world elegance with modern amenities and service, Hotel Lindrum is a slice of Melbourne heritage wrapped up in a seriously luxurious hotel stay. Once a former billiard centre, Hotel Lindrum’s 59 rooms feature original windows, wool carpet and Samsung Smart LCD televisions. Enjoying a prime location on Flinders Street, Hotel Lindrum is surrounded by Melbourne’s best food and wine hotspots, yet the hotel’s own Back Bar has everything a discerning hotel guest could ever need with leather armchairs, a fireplace and a full-size billiard table. Time Out tip: Hotel Lindrum is located a short walk from Melbourne’s sports precinct, making it the perfect choice for visitors keen on catching an AFL game at the MCG or a tennis match at Rod Laver Arena.
The Church at Lyonville
Only ten minutes from the hamlet of Trentham (a small town in Hepburn Shire), this classic retreat will convert visitors to churchgoers in no time. Originally built in the 1920s, a weekend at this restored timber church is just the ticket if a slow-paced country escape is on the agenda. Featuring original stained glass windows, high ceilings, a fireplace, spa, deck and extensive gardens to swoon over, a stay here is truly a religious experience. There’s enough space here for six guests in this three-bedroom house.
French Island Glamping
A short ferry ride from Stony Point on the Mornington Peninsula, secluded French Island National Park – the state’s largest coastal island – is where you go when you need to recharge in nature, far from the madding crowd. Since there’s just one grocery store on the entire island, guests are advised to pack their own food to cook in the communal kitchen, barbecue and fire pit area. Offering towels, toiletries and all the other essentials, French Island Glamping takes care of the rest, leaving visitors free to explore the island, learn about its fascinating history or go on a wildlife spotting tour with Naturaliste Tours.
Just an hour away from Melbourne, this cute property in the bucolic Macedon Ranges ticks all the cool getaway boxes. Home to a converted train carriage and a historic van once used to house railway workers, a stay at Hedge Farm will please trainspotters, history buffs and design fans who get off on seeing what can be done in small, upcycled spaces. Wineries, farm gates and old school country pubs are all within striking distance too.
The Kiln Houses
Nothing beats a fresh blast of alpine air. A visit to Porepunkah’s Kiln Houses – located at the base of Mount Buffalo – feels like stepping back into an older, simpler world, blended with the freshness of contemporary design. Modelled on the tobacco kiln houses that once dotted the High Country, these architecturally designed retreats offer incredible views of vineyards, cattle and surrounding mountain ranges. Kitted out with a spa, wood fire and even a sauna, this property also offers a set of Chappelli bikes for guests to take for a spin to the local pub or further afield to Bright Brewery. You can choose between one of three houses depending on how much space you’re after.
Want to enjoy a taste of #vanlife without the commitment of van ownership? Wanderlings offer kitsch van accommodation options in your choice of four different Mornington Peninsula locations including the serene Balnarring Beach. The newest addition to the Wanderlings van family is Skye the 1962 Airstream Flying Cloud, complete with queen bed, retro fringed awning and air-conditioning for those hot summer nights.
Not enough annual leave to get to Dollywood in Tennessee? Luckily, you can get your dose of southern charm only an hour from Melbourne. Like the country singer herself, Dollywood in Daylesford is bursting with personality. What this four-bedroom home lacks in theme park rides it makes up in vintage bikes, Netflix, cacti, a record player a bath perfect for belting out ‘Jolene’. This thoroughly contemporary (and almost achingly hip) home features artworks by the likes of Spencer Shakespeare and Jennifer Stenglein, with fun kitsch touches like pink neon signage.
Sage Farm Stay
Located 20 minutes from Geelong, Bannockburn is responsible for some of the state’s best food and wine yet remains blissfully crowd-free. A stay in the three-bedroom guest house at Sage Farm puts visitors smack bang in the middle of a rural idyll with the power to lower blood pressure upon sight. Guests can go for long walks along the Moorabool River or around the farm to say hi to the free range chooks or friendly farm dog, Bach. Bringing true meaning to ‘paddock-to-plate dining’, visitors can cook their own meals using hand-picked produce from the farm’s garden and meat from the onsite artisan butchery