(Photo by Nicholas Petridis)
Perfect for a weekend break, Australia’s second biggest city has some of the country’s best bars, restaurants, galleries, and public spaces. Melbourne is relatively easy to traverse by foot, and offers free trams within the city centre for those who prefer to stay out of the heat. If you’re considering a weekend trip to Melbourne, plan ahead and make sure you enjoy these top attractions!
Eat and Drink at Melbourne’s Cafés, Restaurants, and Bars
Melbourne is known nationwide for its commitment to incredible coffee, and what better way to admire this commitment than in one of Melbourne’s many cafés? St ALi employs baristas who have won numerous coffee-related awards - surely a testament to the quality of their coffee. The café, located in South Melbourne, also boasts a food menu that easily competes with the very best Australian cafés.
Another flawless Melbourne café, Grain Store is perfect for brunch. The light, airy space and impeccable service creates an atmosphere perfect for enjoying a lazy weekend meal alongside a hot cup of coffee.
Visitors more inclined towards alcoholic beverages over coffee will not be disappointed – Melbourne has no shortage of trendy bars. An easily missed gem found in the city centre, cocktail bar 1806 creates a wide array of speciality cocktails from the last 200 years. The prohibition-style theme and the menu in which drinks are categorised by era add to the novel experience 1806 offers its visitors; the bar is perfect for an intimate date or relaxed evening with friends.
For lunch or dinner, try the curiously named Naked for Satan. The upper level of Naked for Satan provides guests with a panoramic view of Melbourne, and as such is perfect for a relaxed lunch on its large terrace. With eccentric dishes like baked camembert and grilled octopus on the menu, the stylishly decorated restaurant is sure to be a hit for foodies visiting the city.
Visit Melbourne’s Art Galleries and Museums
Melbourne is no stranger to art and culture - one of the most popular things to do in Melbourne is visit its expansive array of street art, and the city contains over one hundred galleries, many of which represent artists from Melbourne itself.
The ever-impressive State Library welcomes both locals and tourists, who can view its free exhibitions and long-standing collections, or simply admire the library’s architecture.
Visitors who enjoy experiencing new art on their travels might consider Tolarno Galleries. The gallery, which was established in 1967, specialises in showing the works of young, emerging artists. Focusing largely on contemporary art, the gallery showcases sculpture, painting, photography and video, and is located on the aptly named Exhibition Street in central Melbourne.
Other museums and galleries that should not be missed include the National Gallery of Victoria, which hosts exhibitions of prominent artists alongside displaying its own sizeable collections of colonial-era art by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists. The Australian Centre for the Moving Image focuses on film, television, video games, and digital culture, while the Immigration Museum showcases Australia’s history of, and relationship with, immigration.
Wander in Nature
Easy accessible from the city centre, yet pleasantly feeling as though they are miles away from busy streets, the Royal Botanic Gardens offer something for everyone in their 38 hectares. Alongside the native Australian flora and fauna that can be found throughout the gardens, visitors can enjoy walks of varying length and difficulty, and treat themselves to coffee at the onsite café afterwards.
By keeping an eye out for cheap flights to Melbourne, you’ll be living like a local in one of Melbourne’s many cafés, bars, or galleries in no time!