Melbourne, Australia is a melting pot of cultures with a wide range of activities and food for everyone, whether they are couples, families, groups of friends, or solo travellers. Here are the things we recommend you to eat and do to experience Melbourne city and the places located just an hour away.
1. Eat and shop at the South Melbourne Market
When someone mentions Melbourne, one of the first things that come to mind may be the iconic Queen Victoria Market (QVM). However, when it comes to markets, the South Melbourne Market is a better choice. With a variety of stalls selling fresh produce, meat, seafood, pastries, clothes, homeware, pet goods, and more, it beats touristy QVM hands down.
Don’t miss the fresh Oysters from South Melbourne Seafoods, fantastic meats from Tony’s Meats Supplies and Ralph’s Meat Company, and great coffee from just about any stall.
2. Cafe-hop all day
If you haven’t been to a cafe in Melbourne, you haven’t been to Melbourne at all. It’s quite impossible to get it wrong in this cafe paradise. Check out Higher Ground, Hardware Societe, Manchester Press, Proud Mary, Dead Man Espresso, and the list goes on.
3. Indulge in orgasmic pastries and desserts
In one week, I had the best almond chocolate croissant at Agathe Patisserie and one of the best cakes I ever had at Bibelot (In case you were wondering, I had the Passionfruit-Chocolate Stone but everything else looked equally awesome). Need I say more?
4. Go wine tasting at Yarra Valley with just $5
Helen and Joey Estate is my recommended destination for wine tasting at Yarra Valley. It costs only 5 AUD per person and you get to taste about five to six different wines. Their wines are good and reasonably priced. Your tasting charge comes off the bill if you buy a bottle. Find more wineries to visit here.
5. Dine at amazing wineries
When you are visiting wineries, you cannot not eat at one. Food at wineries are known to be pleasing to the eye and of course, delicious. Nothing quite beats washing down delectable dishes with good wine while enjoying stunning views.
Go to Meletos (try their apple ciders as well) at Yarra Valley and Rare Hare Wine & Food Store at Mornington Peninsula – both about an hour’s drive away.
6. Explore Melbourne’s laneways
Take your OOTDs at graffiti filled Hosier Lane, appreciate street art at AC/DC lane, have brunch at Hardware lane, and sip coffee at Degraves Street. Melbourne’s laneways are a great place to people watch and soak up Melbourne’s art and culture.
7. Have a picnic at the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens
You may be surprised to find such a beautiful garden in Melbourne city. Have a picnic on one of the many sweeping lawns and slowly take in the colours and textures of over 10,000 plant species.
8. Slurp a bowl of pho at Footscray
The pho at Footscray is arguably even better than those you can find in Vietnam, thanks to the quality beef available in Melbourne. If you are looking for authentic pho, you will not regret going to Pho Hung Vuong Saigon.
9. Buy local and international brands/products at a cheaper price
Some Australian brands like Aesop and Sukin may be significantly cheaper in Melbourne than in Singapore. If you are looking for personal care and beauty products or supplements, you have to visit The Chemist – Australia’s cheapest pharmacy.
For outlet shopping, you can consider DFO South Wharf where you can find Bonds, Witchery, Victoria’s Secret, Kathmandu, Superdry, The North Face, Nike, Adidas, Camper, Industrie, Furla, Sheridan, and many more. Also, before you come back to Singapore, don’t forget to pop by a supermarket to stock up on unique snacks, cheeses, and even honey!
10. Watch penguin come home at St. Kilda Beach
St. Kilda Beach is a nice beach where you can enjoy the sea breeze, dine at impressive restaurants like Republica, and even watch penguins come home after the sun sets – for free. If you are visiting the penguins, do note that you have to observe rules and give them space and respect. You can find more information at the St Kilda Penguins website.
Here are our top credit card picks for your amazing Melbourne holiday:
- Citi Rewards Card for clothes, bag and shoe shopping (4 miles/dollar)
- DBS Altitude Card for your online flight and hotel booking (3 miles/S$1), and overseas transactions (2 miles/S$1)
- BOC Family Card for your dining (10% cashback, S$700 min. spending, S$30 cap a month on dining)