When one thinks of Australia, what comes to mind are usually kangaroos, koalas, and Sydney. But this massive country that is also a continent is home to many other cities that are worth exploring. On the southeastern tip of Australia lies Melbourne. This coastal capital is about an hour and a half flight away from Sydney. It’s a vibrant city that is the focus of my latest Overnight Series.
In the past, my Overnight trips would be bite-sized versions of the cities I would visit. Not spending more than 36 hours in every city, I had to leave out many things from my videos. This time, I was able to spend more time in Melbourne. I was able to go more in-depth, go around more, and really show you the best of what the city has to offer.
Overnight Melbourne consists of 5 episodes, starting with a general introduction to the city and ending with the best markets in Melbourne.
Best Things to Do in Melbourne
Melbourne is one of the most liveable cities in the world. I often wondered to myself if I could ever make the move to this city. So when I started making this series, I asked myself: what makes Melbourne so lived-in? It’s a city that is familiar and friendly even though you’ve never been here, or haven’t been here for years. There’s more to it than a rivalry with Sydney.
Melbourne is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in Australia, and is known to be the home of the cultural sector in the country. With such a diverse population, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to food and shopping.
The weather in Australia can be pretty erratic. It can be cold in the mornings, then sweltering hot in the afternoon, and then raining at night. So come prepared with gear for any climate, and double check the weather before you get there.
How to Get Around
But first, here’s how you can get around Melbourne. A 30-minute taxi ride from the airport to the CBD can cost you about 50 AUD. A 50-minute ride on the Taxi Smart Bus costs 5 AUD per person. There’s a free tram system in the CBD which makes Melbourne very convenient for commuters. A Myki Card with a 7-day pass gives you access to the metro and bus systems for 43 AUD. Unfortunately there aren’t any single journey tickets but a Myki card is valid for 4 years so hold onto it!
Where to Stay
There are many neighbourhoods in Melbourne you can stay in. The city is quite compact, just walking 15 minutes from the CBD can lead you to a suburb. My crew and I were based in a central location, but here’s a rundown of the other areas you can stay:
Albert Park: home of the F1 Grand Prix circuit. North of St. Kilda.
St. Kilda: beachfront area with a lovely Sunday art market.
South Melbourne: shopping district that’s home to the Clarendon Centre and Melbourne Night Market.
Carlton: university town with a large Italian community.
Fitzroy: Bohemian quarter filled with restaurants and boutiques.
Richmond: where you’ll find Little Vietnam and low-cost shopping.
Collingwood: hip shopping area.
Brunswick: multicultural suburb with Middle Eastern and Mediterranean restaurants.
Prahran: my favourite shopping and eating district!
South Yarra: high-end shopping.
Where to Drink Coffee
Starbucks failed to capture the market of Australia and you’ll see why clearly in Melbourne. This city is packed with local coffee shops and hipster baristas crafting flat whites. When in Melbourne, get ready to drink lots of (amazing) coffee! You can grab a tram to the following coffee shops:
Market Lane Coffee: 8 Collins St., Melbourne VIC 3000
Marios: 303 Brunswick St., Fitzroy VIC 3065
Rudimentary: 16-20 Leeds St., Footscray VIC 3011
Code Black: 15-17 Weston St., Brunswick VIC 3056
Mr. Sister: 81 Waverley Rd, Malvern East VIC 3145
Seven Seeds: 114 Berkeley St, Carlton VIC 3053
Higher Ground: 650 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Top Paddock: 658 Church St, Richmond VIC 3121
Two Birds One Stone: 12 Claremont St, South Yarra VIC 3141
Manchester Press: 8 Rankins Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hardware Societe: 118 to 120 and 123 Hardware St, Melbourne VIC 3000
The Kettle Black: 50 Albert Rd, South Melbourne VIC 3205
Friends of Mine: 506 Swan St, Richmond VIC 3121
Where to Eat
Arbory Bar and Eatery: 1 Flinders Walk, Melbourne VIC 3000
Lune Croissanterie: 119 Rose St., Fitzroy VIC 3065
400 Gradi – Brunswick: 99 Lygon St., Brunswick East VIC 3057
Tipo 00: 361 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Supernormal: 180 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Chin Chin: 125 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Long Chim: 8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC 3006
ShanDong MaMa: Mid City, 7/200 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Abacus Bar and Kitchen: 383 Chapel St, South Yarra VIC 3141
Smith and Daughters: 175 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Miznon: 59 Hardware Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Abyssinian: 277 Racecourse Rd, Kensington VIC 3031
Sunda: 18 Punch Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Ishizuka: basement level b01/139 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Atlas Dining: 133 Commercial Rd, South Yarra VIC 3141
Cumulus Inc: 45 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Kisume: 175 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Cutler & Co: 55/57 Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Greek Precinct: Lonsdale St., Melbourne
Stalactite: 177/183 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Osteria Ilaria: 367 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Rice Paper Sister: 15 Hardware Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
HuTong: 14-16 Market Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Little Saigon: Victoria St, Richmond
Chinatown: Little Bourke St, Melbourne
Where to Get a Drink
Enjoy a good drink, but always in moderation.
Embla: 122 Russell St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Bar Liberty: 234 Johnston St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Beneath Driver Lane: basement, 3 Driver Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
The Carlton Wine Room: 172-174 Faraday St, Carlton VIC 3053
Juliet: 37 – 41 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Temple Brewing Company: 122 Weston St, Brunswick East VIC 3057
Black Pearl: 304 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Everleigh: 150-156 Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Lily Blacks: 12 Meyers Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000
Heartbreaker: 234A Russell St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Bar Americano: 20 Presgrave Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000
Above Board: Level 1/306 Smith Street Chopper Lane” , Behind “Beermash Through the back door, Collingwood VIC 3066
Cookie: 252 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Bad Frankie: 141 Greeves St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Live Music Scene and Getting Loose
Northcote Social Club: 301 High St, Northcote VIC 3070
Cherry Bar: AC/DC La, Melbourne VIC 3000
The Tote Hotel: 67-71 Johnston St, Collingwood VIC 3066
The Evelyn Hotel: 351 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Howler: 7-11 Dawson St, Brunswick VIC 3056
Boney: 68 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Workshop: 1/413 Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Section 8: 27-29 Tattersalls Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Lounge: level 1/243 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Naked for Satan: 285 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Glamorama: 393 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Moon Dog: 17 Duke St, Abbotsford VIC 3067
Westside Ale Works: 23-25 Alfred St, South Melbourne VIC 3205
Mountain Goat: 80 North St, Richmond VIC 3121
Crafty Squire: 127 Russell St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Where to Get Meat Pies
Keith’s Pies: 119 Burnley St, Richmond, Melbourne
Baker Boys in Dandenong Market: Clow St & Cleeland Street, Dandenong VIC 3175
Candied Bakery: 81A Hudsons Rd, Spotswood VIC 3015
Dinkum Pies: 29 Block Place, Melbourne VIC 3000
Pure Pie: 383 Bay St, Port Melbourne VIC 3207
The Pie Shop: 75 Nicholson Street, East Brunswick VIC 3057
Princes Pies: 10 Howey Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000
Sights and Side Trips
National Gallery of Victoria: 180 St. Kilda Rd., Melbourne VIC 3006
Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne
East End Theatre district
Mornington Peninsula: for wine
Dandenong Ranges: waterfalls and treks
Philipp Island: for penguins!
Ballarat: old mining town experience
Great Ocean Road
Point Addis: amazing views of the sea
Lorne: quaint town
Kennett River: home to one of the biggest colonies of wild koalas in Victoria
Apollo Bay: beach town
Twelve Apostles: limestone cliffs and caves
Timboon: distilleries, wineries, and cheeseries.
Best Markets in Melbourne
Queen Victoria Market
South Melbourne Market
Fitzroy Mills Market
St. Kilda Esplanade Market
Where to Shop
The CBD is littered with shops and malls where you can get clothes, shoes, and accessories. The biggest malls are:
Emporium Melbourne: 287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Melbourne Central: La Trobe St & Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Learn more by watching the whole Overnight Melbourne series below. Where should I go next? Leave ideas in the comments section!