If, for any reason, your visit to Melbourne is only limited to a certain number of days, then this itinerary just might be for you. It is also suitable to a modest budget where you can experience a little bit of this and a bit of that, so you don’t miss out on anything. The itinerary only involves one or two excursions out of the city, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out more and explore what’s out there. Again, you choose your own adventure.
You don’t have to worry much about getting here to there as Melbourne has a great and extensive network of buses, trams, and trains. But you do have to be aware of the schedules of these modes of transport so you can get where you need to be on time.
Hopefully with this, planning your Melbourne vacation or your visit to Australia becomes a less daunting task. You can easily amend this itinerary to make it more fun and interesting for the family, especially for the kids. You can even add more things and places to visit on this list if you have a faster pace than others. And if you like to eat out a lot, then, I may just have a few suggestions for you to try.
Also, there are certain activities here that you might want to change since there are festivals or events that happen in Melbourne on certain seasons such as the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, the Melbourne Comedy Festival, the Australian Open, and so on.
Assuming that you have just arrived in the city and dropped your bags at the hotel, one of the first places you need to familiarise with is Flinders St. Station. It is one of the city’s most famous and familiar landmarks. From here, you can easily navigate the city streets and weave in and out of Melbourne CBD through the network of trams that runs right through it.
The trip begins here at Flinders St. Station where it is flanked by Young and Jackson’s Hotel on the left, St. Paul’s Cathedral up ahead, and right across is Federation Square where there is a Tourist or Visitor Centre, if you have exited to St. Kilda Road/Swanston St that is.
Flinders St. Station
Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia are both found here. The former celebrates the arts through films and digital media while the latter holds a collection of Australian art.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Catch the free City Circle Tram or the Tourist Bus Shuttle and you can go to your next destination in the city. Or you can simply board the train or tram and you can be on your way.
The Parliament of Victoria
There are public tours offered at the Parliament on non-sitting days. Kindly check out the calendar at their website to know if and when this is available.
66 Bourke St.
Near Parliament Station
Parallel to Bourke St. is Flinders Lane where a number of restaurants such as Chin Chin, Cumulus Inc., Coda Bar & Grill, Papa Goose, and Cecconis, among so many others, can be found. You can get a sneak peek at Melbourne Street Art/ Graffiti Art at Hosier Lane too.
Or you can go right ahead to Chinatown at Little Bourke St. where there’s also a lot of good eats.
Walk it off and give yourself some retail therapy by visiting Bourke St. Aside from malls or department stores, here, you can visit Union Lane for another a look at Melbourne Street Art/ Graffiti Art and the Royal Arcade where you can meet Gog and Magog.
If you want to continue shopping, you can head out to Docklands where Harbour Town Shopping Centre is. But if you want to entertain the kids, then maybe a short stop to Wonderland, a small amusement park, would do the trick.
Royal Botanic Gardens
But if you want a change of scenery, head on out to the gardens by catching a tram and getting off at stop 20. If you go to their website, there is a free Autumn Discovery Walk available, except for certain dates.
Open 7:30am until sunset
Shrine of Remembrance
Nearby, you can also visit the Shrine of Remembrance that commemorates the courage, dedication, and the lives of all the brave men and women who served the country.
Open 10:00am – 5pm
If you still have the energy to walk around, a stroll along the river with a backdrop of the city lights is both scenic and romantic.
Crown Casino can also be found here, not because you want to gamble, but just because there is a light show inside every 15 minutes and a Fire display outside from 9pm on weekdays and 8pm on weekends. But hey, I don’t blame you if you want to try your luck. And if that doesn’t work out, you can always just go and eat.
If you want to experience a guided tour of the city, you can do anything from walking tours, bicycle tours, hidden laneways tours, beer tours, food tours, and even a silent disco walking tour. These ranges from an hour to three or more, depending on your selection and can cost anywhere between $20 – $100.
And then there are those who offer “free” walking tours but operate on a tips-only basis, so basically, you still have to show your appreciation through cash. I did, however, find a tour operator, Meltours, who claims to offer a completely free orientation tour of the city. I haven’t tried it for myself so it’s completely up to your own discretion.
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