Well, not really, the weather in Melbourne is actually quite temperamental, but that’s the image I’m choosing to keep.
Melbourne is the coastal capital of the state of Victoria, Australia. It is such a cool city! For a place that is so new (I mean, their history as an official city only goes back to 1847), there was a surprisingly big amount of culture. Everything looks fairly new (no old-it’s-about-to-fall type of buildings like in good old Europe) and so wide, you’ll find no teeny little streets!
It is also a very big city with so much to do that six days weren’t enough and I’ll definitely need to go back to explore more of Victoria – I really have to go to Phillip Island next time to see some penguins. So here are 10 of the coolest things we were up to over that week (mostly in photos).
Indie shops and bars, wide streets, some serious coffee and an overall cool vibe. Brunswick is also home to the well-known Ceres Community Park where they make and sell vegan chocolate, honey lollies and all the organic produce you can imagine. This suburb was one of my favourite parts of town!
2. Art Lanes
Melbourne sees public spaces as an outdoor gallery where legal art boosts the urban environment, and trust me, it works. There are some really good artworks but I’d say being in the lanes is almost like you just stepped outside of the city and are in a parallel, extremely colourful world.
Here‘s a map with the best lanes and respective locations.
3. National Gallery of Victoria
Established in 1861, the NGV is the oldest art museum in Australia. Located in the lively Federation Square, it houses lots of Australian art and most of it is completely free of charge. The majority of the artworks are from the late 1800s onwards, but they do also display some aboriginal art and going through its multiple rooms is a little like reading about Victoria’s history.
4. Federation Square & Flinders Street Station
Federation Square is home to the NGV, art galleries, restaurants, an outside seating area with a big screen, shops and lots of public events. It is built right above railway lines that lead to the nearby Flinders Street Station.
Flinders Street Station is the busiest railway station of the country. What I loved about these two places is how aesthetically pleasing they are and how you can really get a feel of the city – with the love for culture and what feels like an easy going livestyle on one side, and the contrasting active lives that Melburnians lead on the other.
5. Royal Botanical Gardens
The famous Botanical Gardens host over 10,000 floral species! It is insane how big and well looked after it is. The immense sea of green is beautiful to see and the atmosphere is very peaceful.
Fitzroy wins the best suburb of Melbourne! The place for vintage clothes, second-hand book and record shops, vegan restaurants and alternative bars, like Fitzroy Social, where the interiors are full of art, and cult movies are projected on the wall, adding to the creative edge that rules the area.
7. St Kilda Market
Using St Kilda beach as a backdrop, in this market you can find hand made jewellery, indie designer clothing, artisan food and even live performances! The celebratory mood continues by the sea, with lots of didgeridoo and singing around the fire. Not really my scene but it goes to show that there is something for everyone.
Apparently once neglected and very industrial, this area is now full of life with street performers and art installations spread throughout the Southbank promenade, right along the south side of the Yarra river.
Go to Ponyfish Island (a bar right under the bridge) for a traditional Lemon Lime and Bitters and pop some soap bubbles along the way there!
9. Melbourne Skyline
Right on the Southbank side, the top of Eureka Tower provides a beautiful view of Melbourne’s skyline. Just enjoy the view…
10. Brighton Beach
There aren’t many beaches that really blow my mind away, so this one looked pretty similar to many others; the unique things about this coastline are the view of Melbourne’s skyline and, of course, the iconic bathing boxes, on Dendy Street Beach. These picturesque cabins represent a time when visitors had private changing and storage rooms, in response the “public decency issue” of the era – they were built over a century ago and retain almost every original feature.
Finally, here are some photos of buildings in the city centre.
Melbourne’s centre has that busy city vibe but feels less crowded than your average big city. This might be due to the super wide streets (they have so much land!) and the well-functioning tram, which is free in this part of town, so less of the chaotic traffic. I mostly liked the tall buildings and skyscrapers and really enjoyed the side streets – if you pay attention, you’ll find lots of social protests in the form of posters and other street art.
Thank you my beautiful friends for showing me around!