Getting lost in a destination and discovering new places and experiences is the part of travel that is long remembered after the actual moment has passed.
Melbourne is a great place to lose yourself and just wander. Meander down city laneways and historic arcades, encounter hole-in-the-wall cafes, and explore picturesque parks and gardens. There’s a wealth of top things to do in Melbourne, places to eat and drink, and experiences that you won’t find anywhere else in Australia. Here are six Melbourne travel tips for the urban explorer from RNR Serviced Apartments.
Location, location, location
There are plenty of hotels across the city, but for the more adventurous and self-sufficient traveller, serviced apartments in Melbourne are a great option. Try and base yourself within walking distance of the city centre. An apartment will mean extra space and full cooking facilities. Head for the historic Queen Victoria Market and shop with the locals for fresh ingredients for a home-cooked meal.
Riding city trams and other free activities
Trams are a way of life in Melbourne and a key part of the public transport landscape. In 2015 Melbourne City Council introduced a free tram zone in the city centre. This enables passengers to travel for free when completing their journey solely within the city grid.
There are plenty of other free activities to enjoy when exploring Melbourne. For example, the prestigious NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) offers free entry to its permanent collections at St Kilda Road and Federation Square. ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) at Federation Square pays homage to the celluloid and digital artefacts of the Australian film and television industry. Entry to the permanent exhibitions here is also free of charge.
To market, to market
We mentioned the Queen Victoria Market earlier, but the attractions there go well beyond the fresh fruit and veg. The real highlights for many can be found inside the impressive cheese/meat/fish hall. There’s also a specialty shopping section and an atmospheric night market in winter. Complement your visit with a cheap and tasty side of street food (the jam donuts are legendary!).
Eat your way around the city
To really experience Melbourne is to taste it. Long touted as Australia’s culinary capital, the city boasts an absolute array of mouth-watering culinary styles — from fine-dining to street-eats, and everything in between.
It’s all about dining precincts in this city, many of which specialise in a particular type of cuisine. Just north of the Melbourne CBD you’ll find Gertrude Street, Brunswick Street, and Smith Street in Fitzroy — great for Modern Australian cuisine. Not far away is the much more touristy Lygon Street in Carlton — renowned for Italian food. Sydney Road in Brunswick abounds with dining options from all around the globe, but in particular Turkish food, while over in Victoria Street in Abbottsford it’s all about the great (and cheap!) Vietnamese.
Melbourne for culture vultures
Melbourne is also known as Australia’s cultural capital, which is due to its swag of cultural institutions and festivals. The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is one of the largest in the world and offers hundreds of shows and events.
Prefer live music? You’ll find great venues across the city, but particularly around the inner-north.
To experience the city’s legendary sporting culture, attendance at an AFL (Australian Football League) match is mandatory!
Get around on two wheels
Central Melbourne has a hill or two but they’re reasonably gentle, which makes bike riding a great way to explore. The inner city offers an extensive network of shared bikes, which you can hire at hourly or daily rates. There are also plenty of clearly marked bike lanes.
Just remember that all riders are required by law to wear a helmet. They’re available from convenience stores dotted across the city centre, and will only set you back a few dollars.
This post was provided by RNR Serviced Apartments and edited by The Big Bus tour and travel guide.
Do you have any Melbourne travel tips to suggest? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.
Additional images: Bigstock