Hey folks! It’s Georgia, the blogger for the Furnished Property website. I’ve just come back from a week in Melbourne, and I had an absolute blast! So I thought I’d let you guys know where are the best places to go with some friends, flatmates, or that special someone to have a great time.
WARNING: This article is super-long, but chock-full of great tips. Stay with us!
Whilst Sydney is the largest city in Australia, Melbourne is considered the cultural hub of the nation. No matter what your tastes, there’s something in Melbourne for you. From secret clubs hidden down city laneways to shopping in the biggest designer stores in the Southern Hemisphere, we guarantee that you’ll love Melbourne.
The two most common ways to get to Melbourne are driving and flying. The drive down to Melbourne is a beautiful, scenic coastal route, so if you’re after a road trip then this is the way to go. However this will take you at least two days, if not longer, so it’s faster, safer and cheaper to fly. Both Jetstar and Virgin Blue have flights leaving to Melbourne at multiple times each day.
STAYING THERE – ACCOMODATION:
There are plenty of good quality hostels and guesthouses in Melbourne. Some that we looked at included The Greenhouse Backpacker, the Melbourne Central YHA, or the St. Arnaud guesthouse. However we ended up not taking any of these options, instead finding an excellent deal on a site called lastminute.com. Hotels with rooms available will advertise their rooms secretly on this website at a greatly reduced price. It worked a treat for us, but if you’re not too keen on the secret bit, then the website also has publicly advertised hotels at reduced rates.
WHAT TO DO:
The Markets: Queen Victoria Markets
These markets are so vibrant, fresh and cheap, you’ll never want to eat anywhere else ever again! From fruit and vegetable stalls to bakeries, butchers, delis, cafés and even the occasional chocolate or alcohol retailer, you know you’re getting the freshest food around. I recommend going for breakfast or lunch, buying yourself a bread roll and some cold meats, sitting out in the laneway on the seats provided and taking in the atmosphere.
The Café: That place
This place is so great that we hardly went to another café the whole time we were there. Located in the heart of the city, this place – which is actually called “That Place” – has basically everything you could ask for, and all at a reasonable price. The coffee is superb, and the milkshakes and iced coffees are among the best I’ve ever tasted. They also offer light snacks, as well as a great range of larger meals – and almost all of these are under $10! That Place is highly recommended. That having been said, there are more amazing cafés in this city than you could poke a stick at, so be adventurous – it’s unlikely you’ll be disappointed.
The Diner: Bimbo Deluxe
Perhaps the name isn’t too appealing, but you’ll change your mind once you’ve stepped inside and tasted their pizzas. Priced at $4 on Sunday – Thursday from 7-11pm, weekdays 12-4pm, and Saturday 7-9pm, you’d be pretty hard pressed to find a better value pizza anywhere. And the price is no indication of the quality – these pizzas are 100% gourmet. There are also a range of dessert pizzas, multiple drinks on tap (including some boutique beers and ciders), and generally an excellent vibe. And, the cherry on top – it’s located in Melbourne’s chic Brunswick st shopping precinct. A winner all round!
The Shops: Brunswick and Smith sts
If you’re into alternative stores, op-shops and boutiques, look no further than Fitroy strip malls Brunswick st and Smith st. Here you’ll find one off, small chain and exclusive to Melbourne designer boutiques nestled in amongst cheap as chips op shops. Smith st is the cheaper of the two, but has less of the designer stores. For the ladies, I would recommend Kinky Gerlinky and Lion in Love, both on Brunswick st.
Check this out – the streets have their own websites, complete with full, high-res interactive street view!
The Culture: Laneways
The city of Melbourne is famous for its laneway culture. The laneways are a series of alleyways and side-streets throughout the city centre which are host to a feast of cafes, restaurants, boutiques and street art. We won’t recommend any specific laneways to you, because it’s so much fun to discover them for yourselves.
If you want more information though, go here: included is a full list of Melbourne’s laneways:
The attraction: Tim Burton exhibition
Running until October 10th, this prolific exhibition celebrates the macabre world of Tim Burton’s creations. Included in the gallery exhibition are costumes, set pieces and props from some of his films; as well as storyboards, incidental sketches and even letters and stories he wrote in his youth. If you go at the right times, you can also catch a screening of one of his films, other films which inspired him, or documentaries and other examinations of Burton’s work.
The secret club: The Croft Institute
We found this club by accident, and it was a terrifically fun adventure. You’ll almost certainly need to google it in order to find it. To get there, you have to go down a graffiti-covered alley that twists and turns around until you’re hardly sure which direction you came from. Down this rabbit hole you’ll find a venue that is the perfect mix of cool and simple. There is a downstairs area which is a bit more chilled, usually host to some cracking hip-hop beats, and an upstairs area open on weekends, playing host to some fresh house, electro and dance DJs. This blurb doesn’t do the place justice, so check out the website to get a better idea of the vibe!
The live music venue: Yah Yah’s
If you’re willing to go for a bit of a risk, Yah Yah’s is the place it’s likely to pay off. Here you’ll find all kinds of live music – the website boasts “rock, soul, garage, surf, exotica, 60s, 70s and more.” All acts are likely to be independent and/or unsigned, but there’s still a huge amount of quality. Drinks are cheap and the vibe is cool. A warning, though – ear plugs are available for sale at $2 a pop at the bar, and you’ll need them!
Phew! What a marathon article! But the fact is that these tips are just the tip of the iceberg. Part of the beauty of Melbourne is that there's so much to be discovered. So whether you're going on your own, with friends, or with your partner, you're guaranteed to have a ball. If you go, let us know what you did and how you found it!