My Favourite City: Melbourne – Frances B

Another month, another My Favourite City for you guys to read! All the bloggers and writers I adore tell me all about their favourite city: why they love it, special memories from their time there, and all the secrets they’re willing to spill. This month, writer and blogger Frances B tells me how to spend the perfect 48 hours in Melbourne, Australia. Take it away Frances…

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Melbourne graffiti | this city life

Although it’s rather far away, Melbourne is the perfect city for a short break. I was lucky enough to spend a whole year here and it’s a place I’ll always feel is a part of me.

If you ever find yourself in the southern hemisphere and fancy a weekend break that involves lots of food, cocktails and culture, Melbourne should be your first choice. Here’s how to spend 48 hours in Melbourne.

DAY ONE: Breakfast and then brunch!

Pick a hotel close to the Central Business District (CBD), it’ll make getting around a lot easier. If you’re feeling plush you could go for the Adelphi Hotel – this is a dessert-themed hotel!

Melbourne CBD | this city life

Get up bright and early and aim to leave your hotel before 6am. Grab a coffee and a breakfast snack from literally anywhere – you’re in Melbourne so the coffee is always good – and take the number 16 tram down to St Kilda beach.

This is so you can watch the hot air balloons that float gently across the Melbourne sky at this hour. I used to love watching them from my window whilst having my morning cuppa. You can see the from the city too, but it’s nicer to be at the beach!

By around 7am they’ll have disappeared, and you’ll be free to explore a little. If you start walking down the coast away from the city, you’ll end up at Elwood beach. If you’re feeling up to it, you could keep going for another half hour and you’ll end up at Brighton Beach. It’s worth it – the beaches get cleaner, quieter and more beautiful the further from the city you are.

view from elwood beach | this city life

Assuming you’ve made it to Brighton Beach and taken the obligatory photos of the beach huts there, you might feel a bit far from the city and wonder where you can get food. Fear not! A stone’s throw from Brighton Beach is the Brighton Beach metro station. Hop on a train from here and alight at Ripponlea.

From here, cross the station and directly in front of you you’ll see a cafe called Hawk & Hunter. I used to live around the corner and had breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner here many times. It’s a fantastic cafe and the staff are brilliant, plus it’s not somewhere you likely to find lots of tourists.

Once you’ve refuelled, there are a number of things you could spend the day doing:

  • Take a trip up the Eureka Skydeck to take in the amazing view
  • Wander around the National Gallery of Victoria (side note, this place has the best air con and I definitely popped in a few times during the summer just to cool off)
  • Browse the shops on Bourke Street – then top up your caffeine levels at Collins Quarter on Collins Street
  • Or browse the even better shops on Chapel Street!
  • melbourne | this city life

    By around 6pm, you’ll be hungry again and probably quite tired. If I were you, I’d book dinner for around 8pm and squeeze in a quick nap back at the hotel! Dinner wise, some great city centre options are:

  • MoVida
  • Chin Chin
  • Or head to Chinatown for a very cheap, authentic and delicious dining experience.
  • I’m not going to list loads of options because in all honesty, most restaurants in Melbourne are excellent!

    DAY TWO: Go slow

    You’ll be exhausted from such an early start and busy day, so today treat yourself to a lie in! A great spot to get brunch and people watch for a while in the CBD is Brunetti’s, just across the road from Federation Square.

    Melbourne CBD view | this city life

    You could then spend your day doing the following:

  • Pick up an Urban Walkabout map and explore the many hidden lanes in the CBD
  • Hop on the Free City Circle tram to see some sights
  • Take a walk through the Botanical Gardens.
  • What next? Well, in the name of going slow and of experiencing Melbourne in full, I think you should have a drink. Here are some really nice places to unwind with a cocktail or two:

  • Gin Palace – clue is in the name, go here if you like gin!
  • Sister Bella – bit a of challenge to find this place, but worth it
  • High Society – a lovely, classy bar with nice views of Bourke St
  • Carlton Club – a lively spot where you’re bound to make new friends
  • Rooftop Cinema – worth the many steps you have to climb for the stunning views
  • Finally, if you’re feeling up to a trip to Brunswick Street, you simply must have a drink in Naked in the Sky. This bar has the BEST view of the city from the rooftop.
  • Sister Bella Melbourne | this city life

    You’ll only ever scratch the surface in a city like Melbourne, but spending two days in this way will give you a good overview of the city – and will probably leave you desperate to come back for more.

    Thank you so much Frances for sharing your favourite things about Melbourne. I’ve not made it to that side of the world yet but those tips are making me really want to book a flight. You can see more of Frances’ adventures over at @Frances_M_B and her Instagram – give her a follow!

    Want to take part and tell me all about your favourite city? Pop me an email at charley@thiscitylife.co.uk and I’ll whizz back the questions.

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    2 Comments

    1. 24th May 2016 / 4:50 pm

      Everyone needs to stop telling me how awesome australia is, I’ve wanted to go foreverrrr.

    2. 14th June 2016 / 9:34 pm

      Oh I wish I’d had this little guide when I was in Melbourne. I was there for around 3 days and really didn’t get out of it what I probably could’ve done and therefore didn’t get a good vibe from the city at all. I flew straight back to Sydney and never returned but I think I’d get a whole different impression if I was seeing the city through Frances’ eyes!