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May 14

Weekend in Melbourne

Chin Chin, Melbourne, Victoria. Copyright 2014 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

When we lived in Sydney, Melbourne was one of our favourite frequent getaways for a weekend of eating, drinking and shopping. Here are our quick tips for a Weekend in Melbourne. Get a taste of its mouthwatering food scene here.

Check in

Stay in one of Melbourne’s city centre hotels if it’s your first trip to the city. The Metropol is sexy, The Hotel Windsor oozes history, and the Jasper is great if you’re on a budget. But if it’s not, consider family-owned boutique hotels such The Lyall or The Hatton in South Yarra or The Prince or Hotel Urban in St Kilda.

Friday Night

Queue for a table for Thai at buzzy Chin Chin — if the line’s long you sip a drink downstairs bar while you wait — or book a table at Rumi for authentic Lebanese. After do a bar hop, calling into quirky spots like Cookie and Croft Institute. More bar ideas here.

Saturday Morning

Melburnians love their coffee, so kick-start your day as the locals do with a coffee at one of the city’s countless cafés, such as our favourite, Market Lane. Do Hidden Secrets Lanes and Arcades tour for an introduction to Melbourne’s history, architecture, coffee scene, street art, and secret shops.

Saturday Lunch

Slip into Movida for a light lunch of tapas, Spice Temple for yum cha or Bistro Guillaume for a French classic, but save some room for later.

Saturday Afternoon

Browse the city’s most idiosyncratic boutiques and do some vintage shopping then indulge in another quintessentially Melbourne experience — afternoon tea at the Hotel Windsor.

Saturday Night

Sip some glasses of wine while the sun goes down at Siglo then dine downstairs at The European for the buzzy atmosphere as much as the comfort food. After, hit rooftop Madame Brussels for cocktails.

Sunday Morning

Graze your way around one of Melbourne’s mouthwatering local markets such as the Queen Victoria Market, South Melbourne Market or Prahran Market, which all offer foodie tours.

Sunday Lunch

Head to Victoria Street for Vietnamese or if you like your food fiery to South Yarra for Dainty Sichuan.

Sunday Afternoon

Amble a park such as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Fitzroy Gardens or Albert Park, then hop on a tram to sprawl out on the sand at St Kilda Beach to savour the sunset.

Sunday Evening

Head to a pub, such as Middle Park Hotel, for a pub counter meal and boutique beers before your flight.

Getting there and around

Check out dialaflight for flights to Melbourne offered by many international airlines as well as air passes and fly-drive packages — handy if you extend your stay and add on a wine trip to the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula. Take the SkyBus from Melbourne airport to Southern Cross Station. For info on using trams and buses, see our post on Melbourne on a Budget and for more ideas on how to spend a weekend in Melbourne see Weekend Notes which has lots of listings on events, tours and activities.

‘Weekend in…’ is a new series motivated by the many requests we get from readers and friends for itineraries to a places, the most common being for a short stopover, a weekend, three days, or a few weeks in a destination. With the imminent launch of our new site design we will be introducing a bespoke itinerary service that we have been offering on a request basis. Until then, if you have a destination for which you’d like to see an itinerary here on Grantourismo let us know in the comments below.

2 comments

  1. Katie

    After experiencing the Canadian cultural hotspot of Montreal for the past several days, I’ve wondered what Melbourne would be like as Australia’s equivalent … sounds like I have a lot to look forward to!

    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Katie – I’ve never been to Montreal (though I’d love to) so I can’t compare, however, as much as I adore Melbourne I’d argue that Sydney is more cultural than Melbourne. There’s the world class Sydney Opera House, which is home to all of Australia’s greatest performing arts companies: Australia Ballet, Opera Australia, Sydney Theatre Company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Bell Shakespeare Company, Chamber Orchestra, etc. I’m a massive fan of the opera house. Have such fond memories of when we used to have subscriptions and were regulars. And then Sydney has countless other superb theatre companies, many of them very edgy and experimental, wonderful art museums (AGNSW, MCA etc) and countless small galleries, and it’s always been home to talented filmmakers etc. Melbourne is magic also and definitely very arty, but it’s just not on the same scale. Let’s face it: they’re both incredibly cultural cities. What about Montreal? Does it have an equally arty little sister-city? What about Toronto?

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