As a Sydney-sider and recently moved to Australia, I’ve only been three times in total to Melbourne. So I am still to discover parts of the city but each time I went for a weekend in Melbourne, I really really enjoyed it and did so many things. If you are planning on a weekend in Melbourne soon or just want to know where to go or what to see, then continue to read below! If not, just watch the images, it’s as enjoyable!
Sweet and short: Melbourne is located in the Victoria State, on the South side of Australia and not too far from Tasmania. Melbourne is the second most populous city down under and has been praised many times as “The World's Most Liveable City” . It is now praised for its cultural activities, its beautiful food, amazing street art but the weather is a bit… capricious. Think four seasons in a day.
Melbourne is very easy to access by plane from anywhere in Australia and even internationally. The Sydney to Melbourne road trip is also really nice to do at least once in your life, I did it at the beginning of the year - read more about it here. Also, if you are in Tasmania, you can also catch a ferry from Hobart to Melbourne, how cool!
So what should you do if you only have a weekend in Melbourne?
1. Discover Melbourne CBD’s famous spots
Melbourne’s CBD is really easy to walk around. It isn’t too big so you can definitely see different things in an afternoon or a day if you stop longer at some locations.
Flinders Station: it’s an architectural icon you can’t miss when discovering Melbourne. Built in 1909, Flinders Stations looks beautiful in photographs and can take you to many places around Melbourne. It is also where most trams are departing. Melbourne kept a really good tram network - with most of the CBD’s ones are free now, watch for the green line. You can also take the free tourist tram, 35 City Circle, which will take you around Melbourne with some commentary.
Hosier Lane: you can’t go to Melbourne without seeing its street art. One of the most famous street art lanes is really close to everything in the CBD and showcases enormous graffiti. They change all the time so don’t be surprised if you see something new at another visit. I never saw the same ones. Make sure to take pictures and notice the little details. For a full list of where to look for street art, check That’s Melbourne website here.
Arcades:mostly from the Victorian era, you will find many beautiful lanes and arcades in the CBD. Some have hidden coffee shops, some have really cute shops.
State Library of Victoria:This is probably one of the most beautiful libraries in Australia. Make sure to check the magnificent LaTrobe room where architecture meets greatness. Nothing better than the calm of a library to relax for a bit.
2. Spend an afternoon at the museum
It might be short for a weekend in Melbourne, but if you have some time, make sure to check some of the museums. And if it is raining, that’s generally a good choice.
The ACMI: or the Australian Centre for the Moving Image is an amazing museum to discover if you like everything film, television, games and digital culture. I visited it three years ago and could have easily spent hours and hours in there. I also saw a wonderful exhibition of costumes in all kind of movies. At the moment, the ACMI is showcasing Martin Scorsese’s work. I didn’t get to go, but you have until 18 September 2016 to check it! The ACMI is also at the heart of Melbourne’s meeting place: Federation Square. Right next to Flinders Station, you can’t miss it.
The National Gallery of Victoria:another beautiful museum with great exhibitions. I can’t get enough of museums I know! The general entry is free and you can purchase a separate ticket for exhibitions. At the moment, I would recommend going to Degas: A new Vision exhibit which showcases the most beautiful painting of the famous french artist.
The Museum of Immigration: it’s definitely not as known and not the first choice when you come in Melbourne. Nonetheless, this museum is really interesting and important to understand the story of Australian immigration until today. A well worth museum you can do in 2 hours.
3. Get away from the CBD
So now you’ve explored the CBD, you kind of want to see a bit more of Melbourne, right?
Well although Melbourne has its centre pretty much inland compared to Sydney, there are some nice places to discover not too far from it.
St Kilda: located at just 6 kilometres south of Melbourne or about half an hour in trams and it is definitely one of the most famous beaches. A great place to walk around and enjoy, if possible, a sunny afternoon!
Brighton Beach: now this is one of my favourites. Brighton Beach has two amazing assets: the view of Melbourne from it and its very original beach baths. It is only 11 kilometres from the city centre and very accessible via tram as well. Make sure to take photos in front of those colourful beach baths. So lovely!
Abbotsford Convent: located not too far from Collingwood, the Abbotsford Convent is a really cool place to go for a morning coffee breakfast or vegetarian lunch at Lentils as Anything. The rule, you give whatever you think is right or what you can afford for a lunch and the money will be used to help other people in need. Only volunteers help out there and the food is more than delicious. Around the Convent, there are also a few contemporary art exhibition, workshops, fairs and a really cute farm! So many activities to choose from.
4. Go party in Fitzroy or Collingwood
It can’t be a weekend in Melbourne without partying a bit in Melbourne!
Melbourne is luckier than Sydney as there aren’t any lock outs there and you can really feel it in the city’s atmosphere. Everybody is coming out later and stays out a lot later as well. Most of all, everybody seems to have lots of fun each time I go out in Melbourne.
I’ve always been told the best neighbourhoods are Fitzroy and Collingwood to go out. Tested and approved! Although I didn’t get to do all the bars, I went to Yah Yah’s and had a great time. Melbourne is definitely a lot more laid back than Sydney!
I’ve also heard the Tiki bar in the same area is a really fun place to go, adding it to the list for next time!
If you’re up just for a chilled drink in the CBD, go next to the yarra river. There are a few bars/restaurants and it’s really nice to enjoy the yarra river view with the South Bank and a few beers.
5. Go shopping
I’ve always found Melbourne really good to shop in. Whether it is in the CBD or around it, there’s always some good stuff to shop. There are also many individual shops where you can buy cheap and unique clothes or accessories.
I went to Prahran and really like the vibe there, many shops, cafes and a really cool market as well! It can’t be a complete weekend in Melbourne without buying a few things.
If you plan on a long weekend, or come back but seen it all, why not plan a bit further than just Melbourne?
My top recommendations would be: Phillip Island for the surf and seeing penguins and the Great Ocean Road but the most amazing landscapes ever. You can read more about those here for the Road Trip from Sydney to Melbourne and here for the Great Ocean Road!
So, what’s your favourite thing to do in Melbourne?