When you get lost in Melbourne, you never stop finding new things to see and do.
From soothing seaside walks to curious cobblestone streets. Street art and expansive city gardens. Grungy bars and hearty meals at hidden restaurants. These are things you can’t miss on your next Melbourne getaway.
Things to do in Melbourne
Blender Lane and Hosier Lane
Some roam museums, others roam the streets to see contemporary art at its most raw. You could spend hours checking out the murals, stencil art, posters, and spray paintings that colour the brick walls of Melbourne’s Blender Lane and Hosier Lane. Perusing the city’s street art has become a quintessential activity for a Melbourne getaway. Whenever you need a break, just pop to a hole-in-the-wall café, bar or restaurant before continuing your exploration.
Centre Place and AC/DC Lane
There’s every reason to get lost in Centre Place. Marvel at the street art, treat yourself to some boutique shopping, and go café hopping. Once you realise that you’ve been there all day, it’s not difficult to find a place for dinner and a drink.
If you’re after a grungy, rock ‘n’ roll experience, look no further than AC/DC Lane. The world-famous Cherry Bar has free shows most weeknights. Like most of Melbourne’s laneways, it’s also a hotspot for street art, with some murals honouring rock ‘n’ roll legends.
Australian Music Vault
The stories of some of Australia’s greatest music legends come to life here. Visitors will learn about the history of genres, music journalism, design, and Maton guitars. The exhibition is free, but there’s an option to purchase a mixtape card. This allows you to create a Spotify playlist based on songs mentioned in the experience which is emailed to you at the end.
Consider taking a private walking tour around Melbourne to get a real sense of the history, culture and goings-on of this vibrant city.
Gardens and walks in Melbourne
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
An amble through Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens is the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Admire the lush green lawns and lily-spotted lakes as you while away a few hours in absolute serenity. If the kids are coming along, take them to the children’s garden, where they can enjoy plant tunnels and a bamboo forest. The gardens also host summer events such as theatre performances and movies on the lawn.
Williamstown Heritage Walks
Take a gorgeous waterfront walk and feel the breeze coming in from Port Phillip Bay. Williamstown is full of shops and restaurants to browse. Try a self-guided walking tour of the seafront and gaze at beautiful views of historic buildings and the Melbourne skyline. The Williamstown Botanic Gardens are also a soothing place to take a relaxing stroll.
Best restaurants in Melbourne
Get a taste of the fresh flavours of the Peruvian coast, jungle and Andes mountains in a colourful and modern atmosphere. Chef Alejandro Saravia is well-known for bringing Peruvian cuisine to the Australian food scene. Here, he leads the way, serving ceviche, grilled and smoked meats, and his take on Peruvian street food. There is also an extensive, mostly South American wine list and cocktails spiked with pisco, a Peruvian brandy.
The Meatball & Wine Bar
The humble, unassuming meatball gets its time in the spotlight at this meat-loving, fun-loving establishment. It’s comfort food in a comforting atmosphere in a comfortable price range. This place is a fantastic option after a long day of roaming the laneways. Needless to say, if you have a penchant for Italian wine with your ‘balls, you know where to go.
HuTong Dumpling Bar
This old-style Chinese restaurant takes its name from the alleyways, or ‘hutongs’, that characterise the most ancient parts of China’s cities – so it’s perfectly situated in Market Lane. This is the place to go for dim sum and the traditional dishes you might find in everyday Chinese households.
Great bars in Melbourne
The Workers Club
This Fitzroy music hub is the perfect place to see an up-and-coming band on the cheap and have a drink any day of the week. You can’t go wrong with daily specials, hearty and filling pub food, and an easy-going atmosphere.
TRAPT Bar & Escape Room
Have a little adventure by solving an escape room with a group of friends before getting to the bar. There are several themes including Prohibition, the Wizard of Oz and Espionage. After flexing your puzzle-solving skills, make your way to the speakeasy-style bar for some themed cocktails to commemorate your experience.
Get a taste of the posh garden-party lifestyle at this cheeky rooftop bar. Jugs for sharing, cocktails with naughty names and fancy party food are the stars of this luxurious spot. It’s the place for parasols, pastels and pursed lips from the afternoon until late.
Glamp Cocktail Bar
This quirky bar is decorated with colourful patterns and canvas to give the appearance of a glamorous camping trip – hence its name. Start the evening with an East African dinner at Polēpolē downstairs. Then head up to Glamp for African-inspired cocktails and snacks.
Check out this Hidden Bar Tour of Melbourne’s lesser known watering holes.