The Capital of the Australian State of Victoria
Travel Review and User Reviews of Melbourne, Australia
by Cory Thomas
Currency: Australian Dollar
Melbourne is the coastal capital of the southeastern Australian State of Victoria within Australia and it’s the second most populated city on the continent. The city is known to be one of the most livable cities in the world, topping the list for seven years straight until 2018 and it doesn’t surprise me visiting late summer. Melbourne is known to have amazing transportation, a dynamic art scene, eclectic nightlife, worldly food, coffee shops, and hidden spaces all around the city. The ancestry is mostly English and Australian, but I call this city the “Australian Toronto” with all the ethnic groups from Irish to Lebanese living in harmony. Be aware that Melbourne experiences all the four seasons with less intense winters, but the seasons are opposite times versus the United States so plan accordingly.
Melbourne Things to Do and See
Melbourne Chocolate and Walking Tour
Everyone likes chocolate to some degree, so this tour will reveal the high quality and creativity of the Melbourne chocolate game. What’s included is chocolate tasting and drink pairings, a local guide, and a chocoholic survival kit. There were about four or five locations and every location had a great atmosphere like I was in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Hidden Laneway Bars
I took a hidden bars tour and it was a blast. Some bars were hidden but others were notOn the tour, one bar didn’t have a menu at all, but if you want a drink that reminds you of Captain American you will get it! I met a friendly family that was celebrating Father’s Day and after the tour invited me for dinner in the city, so there are many friendly people in the city. I also ventured out and found some other hidden and rooftop bars in my free time.
Check out the Eureka Skydeck which is a tall building close to the center of the city, so you can see the whole city from above.
Laneways are the alleyways between the buildings, and they are quintessential to the overall style of Melbourne. These bustling alleys lead to the city’s best bars, eateries, and boutiques. Check out a few of them or all of them if time permits!
St Kilda Beach
I went to this beach for a short time at night, but the nightlife is there, art galleries, and the penguins appear close to the pier at sunset. This is a tourist beach, so if you want to go to a quieter beach, South Melbourne is your best bet.
Yarra Valley Wine and Wildlife Day Trip
If you want to get slightly out of the city and get a more authentic wildlife experience than the zoo, this day trip will fulfill your needs with some wine tasting on the side. What’s included is lunch, wine, driver/guide, and Entry to Healesville Sanctuary. I saw many native animals and with some of them, they can wander outside their living quarters so you can play with them. Honestly, the wine tour made me a true fan of wine and cheese pairing with every location we went to was top level and great at their job.
The hidden bar, rooftop, and over bar scene is massive through the city. You can discover them through yelp, bar crawls, hidden bar tours, and other means. Basically, if you don’t live in the city it could be difficult to find the real uncut gems in the city for nightlife, but it’s always fun to find locations like a pocket monster in Pokémon. My favorite bar I discovered was Berlin Bar that had two separate bars in one, having West Germany on one side and the other side of the bar was East Germany. Other bars to note are Seamstress (where an Olivia Munn look-alike works as a bartender), Bodega Underground, and Pizza Pizza Pizza.
The food scene is very broad but very rich for an Americanized taste or any taste. There aren’t too many signature dishes in Melbourne, but Parma which is a chicken parmigiana over fries and there are different types to suit your taste. Also, there is always a great steak or dumplings at many restaurants. Checkout Supernormal, which is a fusion Asian spot that locals took me, but yelp is always your friend for food discoveries. For multicultural food or on a budget check out Queen Victoria Market from Turkish food to jam-filled doughnuts. The market houses many shops selling authentic items for you or gifts for the family.
Melbourne is one of the most expensive cities in the world, so have your finances in check before visiting to enjoy the trip. Go to markets that serve food to save money or buy groceries if you’re on an extended stay. The price of transportation is reasonable and very convenient through the myki cards that serve trains, trams, and buses in the city. Also, the trams are free in the city center area and uber is available too.
Melbourne has one of the lowest crime rates in the world and I felt safe on the whole trip. Just use common sense and everything will be alright.
Things to Do and See
The Capital of the Australian State of Victoria