While we’ve written about spending 48 hours in Melbourne before when you only have 48 hours to take in a location it’s easy to miss a LOT. Not to mention everyone’s tastes are different so I bring you an alternative view on spending 48 Hours in Melbourne written by April Lipson.
￼Melbourne (pronounced ‘melb’n’) has been dubbed the ‘Most Liveable City In The World’ and I have to agree. It is a great city and if you live and work in Melbourne it is affordable, however for those visiting it is not a cheap place to holiday. Located in the very south-western corner of Australia, Melbourne is a bustling hub of arts and culture. I moved to Melbourne from The Surf Coast a few years ago and in those short years I haven’t once been bored, hungry or sober… no I’m just kidding. But seriously I’m 21 and Melbourne hasn’t just taught me how to party, it’s taught me what good coffee tastes like, how to shop, how to use (and hate) public transport and how to prepare for the likely event of experiencing 4 seasons in one day.
Things To Do
Melbourne may not have the name that Paris or Milan do when it comes to shopping but it will not disappoint. Melbourne loves shopping so while you are there take a look around Melbourne Central for mid-range shopping, or the newly built and beautiful Emporium for something a little more expensive. Bourke Street is home to lots of larger chains like David Jones or Zara and QV has local Australian shops, pop-up shops and boutiques as well as a few quirky non-retail venues like the new Strike Bowling Escape Rooms amazing ice cream at Movenpick and the Japanese super store Daiso (everything is $2.80??).
The Botanical Gardens are located south of the Yarra River, just a 10 minute walk from the city and make for a beautiful afternoon stroll. The gardens are beautiful in both summer and winter and are super close to the Arts Precinct, so you can check out what the National Gallery has on exhibit in the same afternoon. The Shrine of Remembrance is also located just near the Garden’s city entrance off St Kilda Road. The Shrine has a beautiful balcony that is open to public and makes for some amazing panoramic views.
Speaking of amazing panoramic views, the iconic Eureka Tower is the highest vantage point open to the public in the Southern Hemisphere. It costs $10 to take the elevator up 975 ft. to reach the ￼￼Skydeck on the 88th floor. It is an amazing observation point and the view is worth scoping in the day or night.
Peninsula Hot Springs
Located one hour and ten minutes out of the CBD these hot springs can be busy over the weekends so it is recommended that you visit during the week (if you can) and during sunset as the pools are located in the hills and allow for amazing sun set views, all from the comfort and warmth of a natural hot spring. The springs are not accessible by public transport but a shuttle bus runs 3 times a week from the city. In all honesty, if you are planning on visiting the hot springs it would be worth hiring a car. Melbourne have various car rental services, including some you can rent for an hour at a time.
What To Eat And Where To Drink
Melbourne has lots of quaint lane ways and alleys overflowing with cafes and bars, the most famous being Degraves Street. Use your meal times to explore the winding lanes and hidden walkways of Melbourne’s CBD that have come to be a large part of it’s culture. If you drink coffee you will love Melbourne. As is the saying at Market Lane Cafe in the city, “We love to make coffee for the city that loves to drink it”. Melbourne is overflowing with cafe options. The best are the ones you will, inevitably, stumble into accidentally.
Located in Tattersalls lane, Shanghai Dumpling has become an iconic place to eat in Melbourne. The lack of service is made up for in lack of expense. The service is quick and I recommend the fried pork dumplings. As with most well-known restaurants in Melbourne, expect to wait for a table during busy times. Right next to Shanghai Dumplings is the very cool and relaxed outdoor bar called Section 8, perfect for a casual drink and some live music on a warm summer evening. Just a little further up the lane and looking over section 8 is Ferdydurke, a multiple story bar that has a huge open fire, mulled wine and a very ‘Melbourne’ feel to it, perfect for the colder months.
For a dinner option that is a little more refined but just as quintessentially Melbourne, try Chin Chin’s on Flinders Lane. Chin Chin’s does not take bookings and again, expect a long line of hopeful walk ins during busy times. But it’s worth it, trust me. If you visit Chin Chin I recommend the Sashimi Kingfish. Just thinking about it has my tummy rumbling…
Depending on what time you are visiting Melbourne, the Victoria Market’s have a night food market. It runs during summer and winter and offers a broad range of local food stalls as well as stalls from local businesses selling everything from soy wax candles to handmade puppets. There is a bar right around the corner from the Markets that is also worth a visit called Warehouse Bar. Warehouse offers a very lush balcony that has a view of Elizabeth street, hip hop vibes and regular live djs.
Melbourne has a great nightlife. From high-end bars to dingy pubs, Melbourne has it. The Last Jar on Elizabeth Street is an Irish Pub with numerous beers on tap and a classic Aussie pub menu available. Naked for Satan is a swanky bar in Fitzroy and is ￼famous for it’s amazing city views and infused vodkas. The Corner Hotel in Richmond or Max Watt’s House of Music (formerly The Hifi) in the city ooze down to earth vibes and are a must do for any live music lover. Check out what’s on prior to your visit and see if anything tickles your fancy. For something a little more underground, Revolver Nightclub in South Yarra is open all night and boasts famous world-renowned DJs.
For all the fitness freaks that cannot go 48 hours without exercising Melbourne has options for you too.
The Brighton Baths are great for cooling off if you happen to visit during a heat wave. They have an outdoor saltwater swimming area and an outdoor gym. As well as this, the baths have a private gym, group exercise classes and amazing bay views.
The St Kilda baths have a heated 25 metre seawater pool, a hydrotherapy spa, ‘aromatherapy’ steam room and a lounge area offering magnificent views of the bay.
Both are famous in Melbourne and have been established for a long time.
Where to stay
The YHA hostel is located on Flinders Street in Melbourne’s CBD and is your typical hostel, nothing fancy but it’s clean, safe and has a rooftop terrace which boasts awesome (and rare) city rooftop views.
For something a little bit special check out the Adelphi Hotel located on Flinders lane, just a stone’s throw from Federation Square and Flinders street station the Adelphi is a modern hotel surrounded by famous lanes decked out in graffiti, just up the road from Chin Chin and numerous other bars and restaurants. The Adelphi also has a heated 25 metre rooftop pool complete with a city views and bar. Need I say more?
Getting around Melbourne is super easy. Trams run from about 6am until 1am and are free in the CBD. ‘Myki’ is the new ticketing system used, and it involves the purchase of a plastic card which you ‘touch on’ or off and the tram fare is automatically deducted from the card. Myki cards and Myki credit can be purchased at 7/11s or train stations. Trains also operate in Melbourne and are very efficient. They operate on the Myki system also. If you find yourself in a situation in which public transport is not available, Uber is a taxi service that is a lot cheaper than conventional taxi’s and are abundant and very popular in Melbourne. Uber requires a iPhone app however. Transport to and from the Tullamarine airport is also very easy. The Skybus is a service that runs 24/7 and every twenty minutes to and from Southern Cross Station in the City and the Airport.
Melbourne isn’t the cheapest city. A bottle of water will cost you $2.50, a pot of beer about $4 and a standard meal around $15 – 20. But ￼Melbourne is a very cool city if you get to know it. The CBD has more than enough to offer anyone in 2 days and although 48 hours may not be long enough to see all the city has to offer, I bet it will enough to get you planning your next trip back