This city is maybe even better than Sydney. When I was there 12 years ago, I only spent two days in the city, liked it but didn’t become a fan. Besides my short stay the reason was, that I was looking for its sights, which aren’t outstanding. But what makes this city truly unique is its vibe. It’s the bars and pubs, the cafes and little restaurants. It’s the bakeries and street art and it’s their love for sports.
And because Melbourne is the one city outside of Switzerland where we know the most people, we learned about its vibe directly from the locals. And we took our time and stayed an entire week to present you our top picks:
Watch the Brighton Bathing Boxes
They can’t be used for anything else than storage and hanging out. They don’t have power and you’re not allowed to cook or sleep in them. But they are quite expensive and rarely on the market. Maybe it’s the one thing you buy when you already have everything else.
They all got a similar shape and size and are beautifully painted. And they are a major Instagram attraction. We haven’t seen that many Asian Instagram tourists as we’ve seen in Brighton but we still liked it very much there.
Do a free cultural walking tour
As mentioned earlier, Melbourne does not offer spectacular sights, but outstanding street art. And that is why we decided for the cultural tour. We walked through many narrow lanes and learned about the art on it’s walls, the artists who produced them and the city itself. There is even a little Banksy hidden somewhere.
Eat and Drink in Melbourne’s Bars, Pubs, Cafés and little Restaurants
Besides the street art, they are the main items that define the unique vibe of Melbourne. We’ve already been to some cafés and pubs on our own but with Konrad and Rosalind we made an entire pub crawl. We had met them on our trip into the jungle of Borneo and this time they showed us the way through the jungle of Melbourne. Amongst other bars we’ve been to Section 8 and Troika Bar and had the most amazing and cheapest dumplings you can imagine at Empress of China.
Watch the Penguins in Saint Kilda
Saint Kilda is not only a nice neighborhood with a picturesque Luna Park and a little beach, they also have penguins. There lives a colony of small penguins at the pier and every evening after sundown they return from fishing to spend the night there.
Eat and shop at the Queen Victoria Market
This market exists since the 19th century and is the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere. You can spend hours there buying all sorts of food and you can eat all sorts of delicacies at the little food stands.
Watch a game at the MCG
Chris, who I was living with in Sydney, is a big sports fan and so he invited us to an AFL game at the MCG. AFL stands for Australian Football League and is a mix of Rugby, Football and even includes some Basketball elements. It was invented to keep the cricket players fit in winter and as we travelled Melbourne in winter this sport was on.
And luckily there was a big game happening this weekend. Richmond was playing against Essedon and despite heavy rain the massive Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) was almost 80% filled. It was a wonderful night including beers before, during and after the game.
Enjoy the view at Vue du Monde
An alternative to the Eureka tower where you pay AUD 21 pp is the bar Vue du Monde. It is almost as high and there is no charge to go up. The view from the bar at night is simply breathtaking and even tough drinks are on the pricier side it is so worth the visit.
Because there are many cafés in Melbourne, there are also many places to have an excellent brunch. We had brunch with Jaye and Erin, which we had met years ago on a two-day cruise into the Halong Bay in Vietnam. It was amazing to see them again after all this time and they even brought their kids which hadn’t been around when we last met them