When talking about Australia, everyone is mentioning Melbourne as one of the best cities in the world. When we got there, we were really looking forward to go and explore this cosmopolitan city full of shops, cafes and people from all around the world. Being quite different from other Australian cities, this one is very European-like. We loved its old architecture, mixed with huge modern skyscrapers, but mostly we enjoyed its cool vibes and the lively energy of the locals. We would now like to share with you how we managed to make the most of Melbourne in one day, but first we need to do a little adjustment; we didn’t spend 24h in Melbourne as indicated in the title: we spent 10 days there visiting my mom, but we were lazy enough to only go to the city centre once and do all the sightseeing in one day, so let’s say that despite all that we are hypothetically still eligible to use this title and write this itinerary down for you. Are you ready?
To start with, Melbourne is huge. Coming form Ljubljana, a city with only 300.000 people that happens to be the capital of one of the smallest countries in the world (if you don’t know where it is, look for a tiny chicken-shaped country in the middle of Europe), Melbourne seemed like a whole universe to us. Visiting its best spots in one day could be a challenge, but not impossible. Nejc and I are quite used to doing the so-called express sightseeing in big cities, but having my mom with us slowed our pace down a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, she did her job more than good, and only cried out for a break every hour or so 🙂 We started our “sightseeing” in early morning, and came back home tired as ever. Luckily, it was Nejc’s turn to cook the dinner, which was, by the way, truly delicious 😉
Before starting your journey around Melbourne, you’ll have to buy the Myki card, a ticket to use all of Melbourne’s public transport. Unfortunately, you can’t pay your journeys by cash, so having the Myki is a must. It costs 6 AUD, and there is no way you can bring it back and get a refund for it, which would actually be a great idea (just a little hint for the Melbourne city council ;)). One ride costs 3,90 AUD (I know!!) and you can transfer as many trains and buses as you wish within the 2h period. However, the good news is that the daily fare can’t exceed 7,80 AUD, meaning that you can ride as much as you want and wherever you please for this amount of money for the whole day. Apart from that, there is a free tram zone inside the CBD and you can hop on and hop off as many times as you need to.
1. Start your day by visiting the famous BRIGHTON BEACH. It takes about 15-20 min to get there from Flinders station by metro (get off at the Brighton beach metro stop), and a couple of minutes of walking to get to the beach. You WON’T see the famous coloured bathing boxes straight away; keep on walking for a little while to finally spot them a couple of hundred meters further on. At this point, you might get a bit disillusioned by the idyllic image you were carrying in your mind about these famous Melbourne houses: there are plenty of other people doing exactly the same thing as you are, trying to capture the perfect picture of the beach with the houses in the background. Despite the fact that you will obviously not be alone there, the beach is still long enough to find a little private space and enjoy the view. Walk along the beach to finally reach the famous house, painted with the Australian flag, and get in the queue for the picture. 🙂 After that, walk to the Middle Brighton metro stop and drive all the way to Balaclava station.
2. Hop off the metro, hop on the tram and drive just a little bit more to the Lunapark stop where you’ll start your stroll down the Ackland street, a really cute area, known for its countless bars and restaurants. After the long walk on the beach, you really deserve this cup of coffee, don’t you? Walk a little bit more, trying not to get too tempted by all the cakes you’ll see in the cabinets of the cafes, although a little bite of something sweet won’t do no harm as we’re sending you for quite a walk now!
3. Drive back to Balacklava and hop on the metro, then drive to Flinders station. Right after you get out, you can see the station itself from the outside; you’ll find out that it actually looks pretty nice. In the very same area you’ll find the Melbourne Cathedral that is very pretty not only from the outside, but also from the inside, so make sure you visit it – for free 🙂 Right next to the cathedral there is the main Federal square with some abstract architecture formations; sit there and relax in one of the deckchairs as I am sure you need another good rest 🙂
4. Once you’re finished with relaxing (don’t be too long as the lunch break is still far away!), find the i-site and get the 10% discount coupons. Then cross the river Yarra and go to Eureka Skydeck, open your wallet, prepare your discount coupon and pay 18,50 AUD for Melbourne’s greatest view point.
Eureka Skydeck, a 297m high skyscraper, is the highest building in Melbourne where you’ll get a super 360° view over this massive city. The lift will take you to the 88th floor where you can walk around the tower and observe Melbourne form every angle.
5. Once the vertigo is over,come back downand have that well-deserved lunch! The restaurants on Federal square offer plenty of options.
6. After a nice lunch and all the sightseeing you should definitely do what Melburnians are best at: SHOPPING! There are thousands and thousands and thousands of shops all around the city, but this list will take you to the best shopping spots.
7. Still not tired? With your mind full of new impressions and your bags full of new things, walk or take the metro to Melbourne central and finish your day with a nice dinner and a glass of wine in one of the many restaurants in Lygon street.
A SMALL TIP: If you’re visiting Melbourne from Thursday to Sunday, you shouldn’t miss going to its largest market, The Victoria Market. We weren’t big fans of the things they sell there, but the food market is amazing!