Whether you’re on an organised Melbourne tour or getting lost in the inner city’s ubiquitous alleyways, Melbourne will take a hold of you. Melbourne is, quite possibly, the most beautiful city in Australia. It’s beautiful in a far less obvious way than Sydney; its showy sister to the north has the harbour, the beaches and the constant sunshine.
Yet Melbourne is like the girl in your art class you can’t stop looking at. She’s enigmatic, cool without trying, artsy, kooky and passionate all at once. Melbourne is one of the best places in Australia for music lovers, art lovers, fashion lovers and sport lovers. It’s an eclectic mix of food, fun, culture and quintessential ‘Australian-ness’. If you’re lucky enough to be planning a visit to Melbourne in the near future, here are 5 things you simply have to experience.
1. Watch an AFL game
You haven’t seen passionate footy fans until you’ve seen the Aussie Rules fans that live in Melbourne. In Melbourne, the team you barrack for isn’t just a passing interest, it’s a rite of passage passed down from birth by your family, a team you stick by your entire life, no matter how often they disappoint you. Asking someone who they barrack for is like asking them for their life history—there is so much history in a person’s football team that the scarf around their neck may as well be a tattoo.
2. Drink on a Rooftop
Melbourne has mastered the art of the rooftop bar to such an extent that you really can’t say you’ve been out on the town in Melbourne unless you’ve experienced one. Melbourne is the New York to Sydney’s LA – it’s grungier, more intense, and definitely cooler. As the harsh Victorian sun sets over the city, the skyscrapers light up in varying shades of orange and gold and you feel, well, a little artistic, really!
3. Shop on Chapel St
Melbourne is known throughout Australia as the shopping and fashion capital. Melbournites (though notoriously favouring a monochromatic sartorial style) have an innate sense of style, and this is evidenced by the many unique boutiques that line Chapel St, ground zero for shopaholics and fashionistas alike.
4. Eat on Lygon St
If you only eat in one area of Melbourne for the entirety of your stay, make sure it’s Lygon St in Carlton. Originally populated by Italian immigrants, Carlton has transformed from a somewhat seedy underbelly to a gentrified foodie haven. Fear not, however, the food (and the dons sitting around drinking espresso) are still as authentic as ever, and you’re in for a real treat if you stop for a bite here.
5. Take a Day Trip To Phillip Island
About 140km outside of Melbourne is beautiful Phillip Island. While it’s not technically part of Melbourne, we had to include it because it’s so easy to skip to while you’re in town. Take a Phillip Island tour and check out the daily Penguin Parade, one of the only opportunities in the world to see Little Penguins in their natural habitat.
The sights and sounds of Melbourne will lure you in and leave you wanting more. Get started on your Melbourne adventure with our tips, and let this city sweep you off your feet!