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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
A nice place to relax and just a few steps from the bustling city center.
Queen Victoria Gardens
Keep walking and you’ll find these pretty gardens, often scattered with students during summer, relaxing under the trees.
Shrine of Remembrance
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
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 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
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.