Melbourne is Australia’s 2nd largest city and in order to explore everything the city has to offer you definitely need more than a few days to see all that there is see. However if if you are short on time, Emelie has got some great tips on what not to miss when visiting Melbourne.
24 Hours In Melbourne
We stayed a few train stops from Melbourne City center in an area called Flemmington. It was a self-catering apartment hotel that had a roof top pool with great views of the city. I’d definitely recommend staying here as the apartment was really beautiful but also much cheaper than getting a equivalent accommodation in the center of Melbourne. The location was also fantastic for us as it was just a stones throw away from Newmarket Station which was approximately a 10 minute train journey away from the city center but then also extremely easy to get to the airport from.
The accommodation is probably not suitable if you are on a very tight budget but if that’s the case there are many great hostels that you can book for all over the city. Although our apartment wasn’t super expensive we still had access to great facilities such as the roof top infinity pool and a great little gym.
1 night for around £100
Eat Your Greens At Mama Bear in Newmarket
We found this great little cafe called Moma Bear about a 2 minute walk away from where we were staying which did incredible breakfast and lunch options and they catered for vegans and meat eaters alike. Just beware that in Australia cafe’s aren’t open all day so generally close around 3pm. No late lunchin round here!
I’m Free Guided Tour
This tour was recommended by our friend who moved to Australia a few years ago. She insisted that this tour was a “must do” and we are so glad we took her advice as it was absolutely fantastic. The “I’m Free Tour” is an independent non-sponsored tour which means that all the guides recommendations are genuine and non-biased. It truly feels like you have just got to a new local friend who’s also a great story teller. Our guide Tom was really good at making you feel welcome and his enthusiasm about the city he grew up in and loved was infectious. The tour is really informative and we learned so much about the history of Melbourne and where the best places to visit were.
The city is full of hidden hotpots which you’d miss unless you knew where they were. The tour will take you through lots of hidden backstreet areas which as tourists you may not be able to find on your own. The tour is based on the belief that you should be able to enjoy it whatever your budget so they do operate on a tip basis so those who can afford more, pay more. It basically means that you pay whatever you think the tour was worth. There is no need to prebooked unless you are in a group larger than 10 people.
You will meet your guide outside the State Library on Swanston St and the tour starts at two different times every day: 10.30am and 2.30pm and takes about 2.5 hours.
View the city from above at the Lui Bar
We found about this bar the evening before the tour by looking for cool bars to visit in the city. As we were curious to see the city from a different perspective, we decided to visit the Lui Bar which is situated in the centre of Melbourne on the 55th floor of a high rise building. The views are incredible but this is not a budget option as one cocktail will set you back about $25 Aus dollars (approx £16). Due to the drinks being quite pricey you may just go for the one drink but the views are gorgeous so it’s worth a visit.
Visit The Fitzroy District
When our friend told us about the Fitzroy district she described it as ” a little bit like Camden in London” and we’d certainly agree. Although much cleaner, it definitely has that Camden vibe with lots of really cool bars, restaurants and shops to visit. Even if you don’t have much time in Melbourne I’d really recommend that you pay Fitzroy a visit.
Have beers down a back alley
This is another bar we found the first night in Melbourne. It’s basically a converted back alley which the owners have decorated to look a like a beautiful flower garden. It’s really small but super cute and they do a great selections of pale ales and lots of cool sounding cocktails.
The Berlin bar is devided into two different parts to represent the times of the Berlin Wall. You have the affluent Western section and the communist Eastern part. As you enter the bar you will have to choose which part to sit in but you can of course move around the bar. It’s just a really interesting and cool concept and the atmosphere, the decor and the drinks are all great. I particularly loved how much detail and thought was put into the drinks menu. I won’t give it away incase you decide to pay Berlin bar a visit but it is an ingenious little place to visit 😉
Get Cool In Australia’s Only Ice-Bar
We always wanted to visit the Ice bar in London but never got around it so when we found out that Melbourne had Australia’s only Ice bar we just had to go. Visiting the bar will set you back about £25 which will include a strong cocktail and clothing to keep you warm. You are not allowed to take pictures in the bar itself but you can buy pictures that are taken inside. I have to admit I really didn’t think it would be as cold as it was so 30 minutes is enough. Although expensive you are not just paying for a cocktail you are paying for an experience.
Go Back In Time at the Du Vein Bar
This speakeasy inspired bar is so hidden that if you didn’t know where it was you’d never find it. Luckily our friend had told us about it prior of visiting Melbourne so we knew to look it up beforehand. The entrance just looks like a back door down a dark alley so it really does feel exclusive when you locate it. Once you are inside however, you are transported back in time and the venue, staff, service and drinks are incredible. Most drinks comes with a little show so it’s a really cool experience.
Get Naughty at Naked For Satan
This recommendation came from the tour guide. When they mentioned that we should visit “Get Naked For Satan” we were like “Where on earth are they suggesting!?”.
Naked for Satan is basically a restaurant/bar and it got it’s name from its founder, a Russian immigrsbtcalled Satanic (insane name right?). He bought a property where he found that he had two huge tanks in the cellar which he started to use to make vodka. This was during an era that it was illegal to sell alochol after 6pm so he started to sell it illegally after-hours.
Why Get Naked For Satan?
The story goes that apparently he got so incredibly hot whilst making the vodka he made the vodka naked. It became a popular underground venue and the codeword people started using was “Get Naked for Satan” and that’s where the name originated from.
They have the most extensive infused vodka menue I’ve ever seen, great burgers and chips and it’s very reasonably priced. Well worth a visit.
We had such a good time in Melbourne and to be honest we wish we could have stayed longer as there is so much to see and do there. If you are lucky enough to be visiting Melbourne, I really cannot recommend the I’m Free Guided Tour enough as they will give you so many options of things to do it will keep you busy for days.
We have now left Melbourne and heading off to the gorgeous beaches at the Whitsundays so stay tuned for more travel posts 😊
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