Planning a trip to Melbourne but only have one day to Live La Vida Loca?! I know, it can be stressful trying to work out how to each as much food as possible in a short window of time. There, there, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. With SO much to do and so little time to do it, I put together this guide just for you! Here are my tips on how to spend 24 hours in beautiful Melbourne.
Coffee, coffee, coffee
The best part of visiting Melbourne is getting stuck into as much food and drink as possible, which obviously includes C-O-F-F-E-E! Patricia is one of my favourite places to grab a cup of coffee, because the coffee is amazing, the little cafe is so cool and it’s nicely tucked away, making it a small adventure to find. Also, they do this thing where they put a brownie in a coffee. Holy crap! They’re only open Monday to Friday from 7am, so if you find yourself in Melbourne on a weekend, try Brother Baba Budan instead (my other fav!) Find Patricia Coffee Brewers here.
Breakfast at the best cafes in Melbourne
Breakfast is, without a doubt, my favourite meal of the day (unless you get to count alcohol as a meal, in which case it’s booze. My favourite meal is booze.) So, I want to hit you with a few amazing options for a breakfast you won’t forget anytime soon, to fulfil your Melbourne food-lust dreams! Try:
- The Kettle Black, set in a gorgeous white heritage building and serving up treats like ricotta and blueberry hotcakes (YUM!)
- Chez Dre, a warehouse converted into a cafe and bakery, tucked down a laneway (of course) and serving up yummy stuff like pain au chocolat French toast
- St. Ali, a spot that looks very low-key from the outside but is super cool inside, offering up great breakfasts like wild vanilla and chia seed porridge (the food here is beautiful!)
- Giddiup Espresso, another really cool space that’s minimalist and gorgeous. Get your hands on their cinnamon and chai spiced toast with espresso mascarpone, among other things.
Morning shopping, to suit any budget
I recommend you spend the morning shopping, because it’s kind of the Melbourne way. For the big name shops you know and love, head into Melbourne’s CBD, starting on Bourke Street where you’ll find shops like H&M. If you’re more of a savvy shopper, dig a little deeper to find some amazing thrift shops dotted around town (peep this list on Yelp!). If you prefer more of a market scene, I recommend a trip to the Queen Victoria Market. Wander through the maze of stall holders selling everything and anything from jewellery, clothes and hats to toys, weird souvenirs and much, much more.
The best places to grab lunch
Because you haven’t quite enough anywhere near enough food yet, these are the places you should stop to grab a bite. If you haven’t worked it out already, you’re going to need an outfit that stretches with you on this trip. This is no time for a bandage dress! Try:
- Chin Chin, a ridiculously cool spot that serves up some of the best Asian food available. The trick here is just to say, “Feed Me” and they’ll start wheeling out the food for as long as you can take it, at a set price per person. So. Damn. Cool.
- Chuckle Park, a brightly adorned laneway that offers up an awesome spot to photograph, sit and eat at. The food is simple and delicious, like Spanish lentil salad or pulled pork roll.
- Din Tai Fung, the most well-loved of dumpling houses. If you love dumplings (like me!) and haven’t had the chance to sample these yet, you gotta give it a try. It’s affordable, delicious and just a nice way to fill your belly.
- + 39 Pizzeria, my favourite place to grab amazing pizza and pasta in Melbourne. Whenever I find myself in town I have to have at least one meal here. Their pizzas and pasta are fresh, home-made and so, so good.
You have a few options when it comes to spending your afternoon in beautiful Melbourne. You can jump in taxi or uber and head out to Brighton Beach, where you’ll find brightly painted bathing boxes just begging to be photographed. You could take a trip to the Eureka Skydeck and soak in the very best views of Melbourne, watching the sunset and the city come alive with twinkling lights.
If you’re on a tighter budget, consider exploring Melbourne on foot. Start at Hosier Lane, checking out the tapestry of street-art covering every inch of the walls. Then, take a stroll through the CBD, along the Yarra and across to South Bank, where you’ll find the National Gallery of Victoria and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Spend an evening at the best places to eat and drink
Now that you’ve whipped up a third wave of hunger, it’s time to get out into Melbourne’s evening scene. For the budget savvy, I recommend a trip to Melbourne’s China Town district and stopping in at one of the eating houses that takes your fancy, you’ll find most are BYO and this district doubles as a great spot for photography. You may also like to try grabbing dinner at Gumbo Kitchen, Miss Katie’s Crabshack or Hellenic Republic.
However you start your evening, you should try to end it at Ruby’s Music Room, an awesome Jazz Club that’ll bring your night alive. I also recommend Union Electric, one of Melbourne’s best laneway cocktail bars, and Lily Black’s, a space with a prohibition era vibe and amazing drinks.
Where to stay
Deciding where to stay in Melbourne can be a tad overwhelming with so many hotels on offer. If you aren’t going to be getting around town with a hire-car, I recommend staying somewhere central and easy to navigate your way to and from. When it comes to accommodation in Melbourne, TFE Hotels have a whole range of hotels that work with all budgets, from the fancy to the budget-friendly.
For a unique stay, check out the Rendezvous Hotel, built in 1913 and lovingly restored, it’ll give you a sense of old-wold magic in this beautiful city and is a really nice change from hotels you may be used to staying in. Tip: stay in one of their incredible Heritage Rooms to get the full experience, they’re seriously so gorgeous!
Watch: our ‘Things to do in Melbourne’ video
Phoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger with a love for storytelling. Phoebe creates practical, fun and engaging written content designed to inspire and energise travel-lovers and dreamers. Follow her and Matt’s adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and through Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.