Top 5 Things to do in Melbourne

I love Melbourne! It’s a city full of culture, character, and energy. So often however, it is over looked by its neighbour Sydney in international ad campaigns. So much so, most people aren’t aware of all that Melbourne has to offer as a city until they visit Australia and see for themselves. I also love Sydney, but I thought it would be useful to list my top 5 things to do in Melbourne (based on the 3 months I lived in the city), for people visiting right now, and also those who may not be considering the city as a destination at the moment, unaware of what it has to offer.

Go to an Australian Rules Football match

Contrary to popular belief, Australian Rules Football (AFL) is only particularly popular in the Australian state of Victoria. Everywhere else in Australia, Rugby is the main sport which local people follow. Melbourne being the state capitol of Victoria, this means it the main hub for all things AFL. This provides a great opportunity for any travellers in the Melbourne area to use their time in the city to experience what is a sport unique to Australia. The MCG Stadium in particular is a really spectacular stadium if you are looking to check out a local game. AFL pitches are much bigger than what is used in other sports, such as football (soccer), and rugby. A visit to the stadium alone I think is worth it for some cool panoramic pics, but it also provides a chance to experience AFL at its best!

Go to Queen Victoria Market

Queen Victoria Market is my favourite market in the world when it comes to food. The food here just tastes so scrumptious and fresh, with everything from fresh fish, chicken, fruit, vegetables, and delicatessen products available, taking up around 50% of the market. It’s also very affordable, and is definitely somewhere you should go if you are looking to save money and eat in while you are in Melbourne, but would still like to buy good quality fresh produce. You’ll have to take my word for it, but the food here just tastes better than at any other market I’ve been too!  The other 50% of the market also has a variety of stalls for you to browse around, covering a variety of products such as books, CDs, DVDs, clothes, and more. You could easily spend half a day here, wandering around the stalls, and mixing with the local Melbourne people.

Go out in St Kilda

St Kilda is a cool, inner city suburb of Melbourne, and a popular place to go out at night. There are many pubs, and nightclubs here, as well as many cafés, shops, and restaurants lining the main streets. One of my favourite places to go out in St Kilda is the Espy, a cool live music bar, playing a variety of music all week long. St Kilda is also the only place in the world I have come across with an all night bakery! Everybody eats fast food sometimes after a night out, but you haven’t lived until you’ve eaten a pastie and some chocolate gateau, drunk at 4am! Many backpackers base themselves in Saint Kilda due to the abundance of night life, and it’s probably not the best place to go if you want to hang with the locals, but if you like a good night out then it’s definitely one of the best places to go in Melbourne.

Hang out at the Crown Casino Complex

Situated smack bang in the city centre next to the Yarra River, the Crown Casino is the largest casino and entertainment complex in the whole of Australia, and the Southern hemisphere. Personally, I’m not into gambling. In fact, casinos as a whole bore me, but the even if you don’t casinos like me; the Crown Casino has so much more to it than just the casino complex. There is a cinema, cheap dinning hall, many restaurants lined along its front, plus shops and nightclubs inside. In particular, I used to love hanging out in the little discount CD shop inside. These days I just use Spotify, or download tracks when it comes to music, but you can get really cheap CD’s and DVD’s in this shop, and the staff were all really cool. The dinning hall was also really good if you wanted cheap Chinese, Italian, Thai, or Indian food, amongst many other varieties. You could literally spend an entire day in here shopping, eating out, going to cinema, and then into one of the many nightclubs inside. Then of course, there is also the huge casino too! At night sometimes there was also sometimes a lights/fire show, with flames emitting from the big columns outside (next to the Yarra River) which also provided for some cool night time pics. If you live anywhere in the city centre, it is definitely somewhere you should check out in my opinion.

Experience the culture

They don’t lie when they say Melbourne is the cultural hub of Australia. When it comes to festivals, music, drama, comedy, and art, Melbourne wins hands down in my mind as the best place to be anywhere in the southern hemisphere – the Melbourne Comedy and Fringe Festivals being two of its main attributes. It was also the second city after Edinburgh to be named a UNESCO City of Literature, and is the home of the Australian Ballet, and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Buildings such as the Princes Theatre, Coops Shot Tower, and the National Gallery of Victoria are also simply stunning pieces of architecture. The latter being both the oldest and largest art gallery in Australia. Melbourne is also just a great place to see live music. As I mentioned above, the Espy in St Kilda is a particular favourite of mine, but there are many live music bars and gig venue’s dotted throughout the city. The music scene here is alive, and you’ll usually find most of the Australian bands that have made it internationally, usually hail from Melbourne.

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4 Responses to “Top 5 Things to do in Melbourne”

  1. Andrea says:

    I’ve lived in Melbourne for the last four years and agree with all of these! The suburbs of Fitzroy and Richmond have a lot to offer too. If you’re here to shop, you can’t miss Chapel and Greville streets.

  2. Nancie says:

    Technically I have been to Melbourne. Many, many years ago my flight touched down on the way to Sydney. Would love to go back, and actually get off the plane!

  3. Sophie says:

    I really like the Dandenong ranges.

  4. I have often wondered what Melbourne was like after a friend moved there permanently! After reading your post, I think I would check out the casino first!

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