I was contacted a while back by an American friend who was traveling to Melbourne, Australia. She was going to be staying in St Kilda and traveling with a small group of friends. They wanted some tips from a local. So I went all out…

A day in the City

Catch the tram into the city and head to the Queen Victoria markets to sample the food and grab a bargain. From there, head down to Melbourne Central and continue window shopping, check out the Shot Tower in the cone-shaped building, try a thick hot chocolate at Max Brenner, then make your way through the “mall” to Myers and onto Bourke St Mall. Walk or catch a tram down Swanston St, to see the architecture of Melbourne Town Hall, Flinders St Station and Federation Square.

One of Melbourne's alleyways adorned with street art (aka grafiti)

You’ll also want to make some time to meander down some of Melbourne’s alleyways as you go. You’ll find everything from cafe’s to restaurants, not to mention great walls of street art.

Depending on the day, there might be something to enjoy on the stage at Fed Square – this is also an ideal place to head downstairs into the information center to investigate and book some tours.

You can also check out ACMI if you are into film – they often have interesting exhibitions.

Melbourne Botanical Gardens

From Fed Square, venture across the Yarra River and keep heading down Swanston St which turns into St Kilda Rd. Take a detour to your left and venture into Melbourne Botanical Gardens – if you have your running gear, you may want to come here to run the “Tan” as the locals call it.

Shrine of Remembrance

You’ll see Government house (where the Victorian Governor lives), keep walking and head on up to the Shrine of Remembrance. From the Shrine you will get a great view of the city. There is also a free museum inside where you can learn about Australia’s war history including the legend of the ANZACs.

Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance War Memorial.

From the Shrine you can catch a tram back to St Kilda, or if you still have some energy left, head back towards the city and take a walk along the South Bank of the Yarra River. Enjoy people watching, and if it is after dark, check out the flames going off every hour in front of the Casino.

A night in St Kilda

Watch the Sun Set from the beach, then head across the road to the espy (Esplanade Hotel) to listen to a live band and eat a Chicken Parma. You may want to precede this with an afternoon of fun at Luna Park (it’s a small theme park on the beach) if it is open. If you are a sweet tooth, walk down to Acland St to 7 Apples Gelato to satisfy your ice cream cravings. Before you retire to your air BnB, venture back to the beach, walk along St Kilda pier and sit down to enjoy the city lights reflecting on Port Phillip. You may also want to take a torch (red light only) and see if you can find some penguins nestling in the breakwater.

Penguins down at the breakwater in St Kilda.

A night on Brunswick St

Put on your hipster clothes and head out to Brunswick St. Start off with some Ciders at the Cider House, then move on to Bimbos for some cheap pizzas on the rooftop. Make your way South to top up on a Chocolate Affogato at Shocolate. There are plenty of other food options on Brunswick Street, so if what I have mentioned doesn’t float your boat, just let me know.

Other things to sample…

  • Try a Grill’d burger https://www.grilld.com.au
  • Try KFC hot chips
  • Buy a bag of Allen’s Red Frogs (from a supermarket)
  • Melbourne International Comedy Festival http://www.comedyfestival.com.au
  • Great ocean rd adventure http://www.visitgreatoceanroad.org.au
  • Phillip island – visit the Nobbies – but I wouldn’t bother paying to see the Penguin parade (you can see the fo free in St Kilda http://www.visitphillipisland.com/listing/the-nobbies/
  • Melbourne is known as the sporting capital of the world so you must check out an AFL game or Melbourne Sports Museum http://www.nsm.org.au
  • Melbourne’s Alleyways http://www.australia.com/en-us/places/vic/melbourne-hidden-laneways.html
  • I also would recommend North East Victoria and the High Country, but you might need to wait until your next visit for that one!

If you have more questions about visiting Melbourne, make sure you read, “So I Have A Few Questions About Melbourne.

What are your top tips when visiting Melbourne? Comment and share below…