Top Ten for Melbourne Tourists



So, you plan to explore Melbourne, one laneway at a time. Let me give you a few nuggets of information that may just create an everlasting love affair with this city. Apparently, the best things in life are free, and so are a number of things on this list.

1.       Rooftop Bars

In a number of places, being slightly off the main city centre can send businesses belly up before they begin. Not so, in these parts. In-fact, the more laneways, tunnels, and stairs you have to go through, the better. And that’s before you even attempt the rabbit warren towards the bathrooms. The secrecy means you’re in the know.

Once you scale the heights of no less than ten flights, there will be no flag to place at the top. You can quench your thirst, however while nestled between clusters of thirty-plus storied buildings that pierce the dusky sky with layers of oblong shaped light. Cookie Rooftop Bar is a spectacular possie to grab a refreshing beverage.

"Rooftop bar at Cookie bar" By Paul Ta Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

“Rooftop bar at Cookie bar”
By Paul Ta
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

If you prefer a taste of the tropics, we have that too, Above the Carlton Bar on the rooftop is Palmz. One thing you can always count on in Melbourne is experiencing all four seasons in one day. If it’s a little chilly, rainy, or stormy out then take a peek at the cityscape from an indoor kaleidoscopes set in the sky, Sofitel bar. The view from the men’s loo is not to be beaten! See what I mean? And before you ask, yes I can personally attest to that.

"Melbourne Sofitel Bathroom View" by Adam Selwood  "Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)"

“Melbourne Sofitel Bathroom View” by Adam Selwood
“Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)”

2.       Restaurants

Sofitel Restaurant

Sofitel Restaurant fare

I’m no foodie, but I’ve sampled enough over the years to verify that the food rumours here are all true. Like the bars, you have to know where to go but many, many sumptuous meals await you. Asian, Italian, Greek, Indian, Mexican, Vegan or Vegetarian, whatever tickles your fancy really. Try Urbanspoon.

3.       People Watch

"Degreaves" By john.trif "Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)"

“Degreaves” By john.trif
“Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)”

You can go from one suburb to the next and feel like you’re a world away, it’s fantastic. You can take a trip to the bustling Footscray Market, hear fruit mongers (is that a word?) shout “mango, mango, mango” while thrusting a plate of freshly cut deliciousness into your hands. Queen Victoria Markets is also a popular place to soak up the vibrant atmosphere and there is a night market too. I highly recommend trying a Bratwurst sausage for lunch. Or, one can go and soak up the hipster vibe in Brunswick , sit in a cafe or just wander the streets while feasting on a visual footpath feast. No people watch would be complete without a trip to Degreaves Street .

4.       Best view


Melbourne City from Shrine of Rememberance


Shrine of Rememberance

Visit the War Memorial, Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance  to learn about and pay respect to sacrifice from servicemen and women. While you’re there, experience the 360 degree views while standing on the rooftop and surveying the sprawl. When you’re finished, take a stroll around “The Tan” Botanic Gardens.

5.       Beach it


Paddling at the beach

St Kilda is awesome. It has a beach, as my title suggests. Also on hand are a range of cake shops and great eateries. If you’re there at dusk, you could visit the St Kilda Penguins at the end of the Pier. It’s free. Remember you are a guest in the penguins’ natural environment so respect the volunteer staff’s rules.

6.       Selfies Central


Popular laneway off Bourke Street

That’s right. People flock to the laneway decorated with local street art. I’m forever accidentally photo bombing people’s selfie shots. It’s amusing how many people of all sorts of ages and backgrounds conjure their inner gangster for a photo shoot destined to line the walls of facebook or twitter or the like. Click here for Street Art Guide.

 7.       Nerds are us


The grand entrance of the State Library of Victoria

Yes, I mean the Victoria State Library. I’ve already mentioned it on my blog so go and read what I said. Fellow geeks, this is a must.

8.       A Taste of the high life

"Chastelton - Toorak" By raaen99 "Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY SA 2.0)"

“Chastelton – Toorak” By raaen99
“Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY SA 2.0)”

Toorak is an iconic Melbourne Suburb, to say the least. It is one of THOSE post codes. If you want to see how the other half live with homes resembling museums, check this out. There’s extra wow factor at night when they’re lit up, and not in a tacky, Christmas light kind of way.

9.       Shopping

I shopped and dropped soon after  - you've been warned.

I shopped and dropped soon after – you’ve been warned.

Melbourne has a bit of a reputation for shopping. There are tours and allsorts. Here’s a good duty free outlet on the city skirts.

10.   Getting around


City Circle Tram Stop


City Circle Tram

I’ve told you about a bunch of places to go that are mostly in or around the city. Now I better give you a hint on how to get there. The City Circle Tram goes around the city perimeter every ten minutes and is completely free for tourists. You’ll get a spiel about popular tourist spots. It’s a good way to get orientated with the city before you start negotiating the grid of main streets and little lanes.

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