Been to Melbourne plenty of times and need something new to check out? Or maybe you’re still a newbie to Australia’s best city. Either way, there’s no doubting that the charm of Melbourne and its foodie culture will have you going back for more. Here’s what to check out and where to stay whilst you’re there.
Where to stay
Citadines on Bourke
Citadines on Bourke Apart’hotel is what you want when looking for accommodation in the heart of the Melbourne CBD. Vibrant, loads of room to spread out and just a few minutes from all the major shopping hubs including Bourke Street Mall, Emporium Melbourne and Melbourne Central. So you can indulge in some retail therapy in the morning, head back to the hotel to drop off your bags, and then head back in for lunch a little more shopping. Convenient!
Citadines offers 380 serviced apartments, each with separate living and dining areas and fully-equipped kitchenettes. There’s also a gym and indoor pool if you want to work off all the eating you’ll be doing.
What to do
See the sights and landmarks of Melbourne from above at the Eureka Skydeck located inside the 297.3-metre tall Eureka Tower skyscraper.
If you’re somewhat of a thrill seeker or want to conquer your fears of heights, you need to check out The Edge, a glass cube which extends out from the 88th floor. Once in the cube, look down through the clear floor and admire the view.
Eureka Skydeck is open from 10am until 10pm daily, but go early to avoid the crowds.
In between shopping and dining, immerse yourself into Melbourne's cultural scene at the largest museum in the southern hemisphere. One of the current exhibitions is Gut Feelings, featuring interactive and multi-sensory displays exploring how our our minds, guts and microbes are linked in ways you never would have imagined.
What to eat
You really are spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants and cafes in Melbourne, with arguably the best dining scene in Australia. We tried out Burma Lane in Little Collins Street and were not disappointed by the spice and flavours the menu promised.
Make sure your order the Cauliflower dumpling with potato, green bean, peanut, chilli, and Sichuan. Oh, and you’ll definitely need one of their refreshing cocktails to help with the heat.
It might sound cliché, but walking into Pellegrini’s is like taking a step back in time. Not much has changed since it opened in the 50s, and was then taken over by Sisto Malaspina and Nino Pangrazio took over in 1974.
Walk in, take a seat and don’t look for a menu because apart from a wooden board hanging from the ceiling, there isn’t one. The pasta changes daily depending on what has been freshly made that morning, and each delicious plate is served with a buttered bread roll. If you want to feel at home, this is where to go. After I polish off my gnocchi napoletana, chocolate cake appears in front of me because I “look like my daughter’s daughter-in-law”, according to one of the employees. Now that is hospitality.
Where to breakfast
Just a few minutes walk from Citadines you’ll find Lune Croissantarie in Flinders Lane. I had heard from a few locals that you need to get down early to avoid the mid-morning queues, so I walked over when it opened at 7am and glided straight into the smell of freshly baked pastries.
With only a few other customers in the store, I was able to enjoy my almond croissant and coffee at one of the chic concrete benches. I can confidently say that the flakey goodness lived up the hype.
Oh, and the locals weren’t lying about the queues! I happened to walk past the bakery again at 11am and the line was at least 30 people deep. Get. There. Early!
Where to drink
Glamp Cocktail Bar
Located above modern African eatery PolēPolē, Glamp Cocktail Bar gives tourists and locals alike a taste of safari glamping. Just less animals, and more drinking.
Nibble on African inspired snacks whilst sampling beers from Namibia, Mauritius and more African destinations. Not into beer? The cocktail list doesn't disappoint.
Queen Victoria Market
Head to the 140-year-old market for teas, spices, cured meats and baked goodies.
Swap the CBD for the seaside suburb of St Kilda.
Who could say no to a little wine tasting? If you have your car, take the hour drive to Melbourne's wine region of the Yarra Valley and pick up a good bottle of red or white to take home.
Chapel Street, South Yarra, Prahran and Windsor
Restaurants, cafes, and some of the best shopping the city has to offer.