Budget Travel, Lifestyle, Reviews
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Playing tourist in my own city for the day – Melbourne

Having traveled to so many other cities around the world, I seem to forget to truly appreciate my home city. So I decided to take a day off to explore Melbourne as I would in any other city; as a tourist. Armed with my iPhone 6 and a travelers attitude in mind, I took to the streets and grew to love Melbourne even more than I already did.

Melbourne is filled with the best lane-way culture I have ever seen, incredible graffiti art, an abundance of cafe’s (we have the largest cafe culture out of all Australian cities), bars, restaurants and beautiful parks. It has it all. I’ll leave most of the talking to the pictures, but here’s what I discovered (or re-discovered) on my day as a tourist. And all without paying a cent (well except for my train ride in).

Flinders Street Station


I still marvel at this beautiful building every time I see it. The iconic station is the oldest in Australia. The first station on the site opened in 1854. The famous station there today was built in 1910 and it is the busiest suburban railway station in the southern hemisphere.

Degraves Street

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No doubt that Melbourne has some of the coolest lane ways in the world and this would have to be my favorite for some super cool cafes. Right off of Flinders Street, opposite the famous station, it’s always bustling with locals.

Block Arcade

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Head to the corner of Elizabeth and Collins Street to find this beautiful arcade for a bit of shopping or just to enjoy the beautiful architecture. Another lane way filled with cute restaurants will meet you half way through the arcade.

Royal Arcade

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My favorite of the arcades and just a block from the Block Arcade, this one sits off of Bourke Street Mall. If you’re a crazy macaroon fan like myself, head to A La Jolie (center stall) for a wide range of flavors. I chose the ‘candy floss’ and I have to say, it was the best I’ve had since France over two years ago.

Bourke Street Mall

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Not a real secret but I had to add it anyway. The epicenter of the city, come here to check out some local buskers and indulge in some shopping!

Union Lane

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One of the most popular graffiti alleys, it’s just off Bourke Street Mall and full of color and talented artists work!

ACDC Lane & Duckboard Place

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These two streets link together and have some pretty cool pieces. I was a first time explorer of this one, and whilst it wasn’t as colorful and crazy as Union Lane, it was creative in its own way.

Hosier Lane

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My new favorite spot in Melbs! The art in this street is incredible. The city’s council pays most of the artists to do some incredible stuff as you can see in my photos (I went a bit snap crazy). Easy to get to as well, just off of Flinders Street, opposite Federation Square.

Federation Square

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Find more cafes, bars and shops here as well as an array of museums and galleries (most are free). Check out what events are running here. Find the information center here as well. The big screen in the square makes it a popular venue for major events that are broadcasted for the public.

Alexandra Gardens

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A nice place to relax and just a few steps from the bustling city center.

Queen Victoria Gardens

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Keep walking and you’ll find these pretty gardens, often scattered with students during summer, relaxing under the trees.

Shrine of Remembrance

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A beautiful monument to the Australians who fought for our country. Climb the stairs to the top for an amazing view of the city skyline (and free!).

Royal Botanic Gardens

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Also not a real secret, as it’s very popular with tourists and for a reason. Beautiful and a peaceful getaway from the CBD (Central Business District). You could either spend a whole day exploring it, or just sit around one of the lakes for a picnic lunch.

Southbank Promenade

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Southbank is a beautiful spot to walk around and there are many fab restaurants such as this popular one (pictured above) sitting in the middle of the Yarra River. Many beautiful and unique bridges span the Yarra, and provide beautiful views of the buildings behind it, old and new.

Crown Casino Promenade

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Continue on from Southbank to get to some even more fancy restaurants and bars along the river. They often have markets (like pictured above) and buskers thrive here for some afternoon and weekend entertainment.

Overall, my day as a tourist really made me realize what a great city Melbourne is, and how lucky I am to call it home.



  1. WAHIDA says

    Thanks for your interesting short trip story. These should be the best way on how I and my family will explore one of the most expensive city in the world perhaps seems your are a local from there and know more about the best things inside the city. I always looking for the best part for photos opportunity rather than spend a hundred dollars for a various fees. However, if we pay for something different with our culture and nature experience, it is not a big matter to us actually. The circle city tram will help us more. I would more appreciate if you can tells us, where we can start our steps starting from the first day visiting Melbourne during autumn 2016. We will stay at Ibis Budget by the way. Thank you

    -From Malaysia to Australia

    • Hi 🙂 sorry for the late reply. A good place to start would be Flinders Street station. You can use that as a base as Federation Square is right across the road, South Bank (with beautiful views) is just behind it along the river and the main shopping streets are all very close by. Queen Victoria Markets will be a tram or train ride away from there but most other things should be walking distance. How long will you be in Melbourne for? I hope you have an amazing time and this helped a little. I have also written a piece on the 13 best things to do in Melbourne. Just search for Melbourne on my home page and it should pop up or find it under ‘Location Reviews’.

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