If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll have seen that I recently arrived in Melbourne. This is my first trip to the other side of the world, and I’m so excited to be exploring Melbourne.
Exploring Melbourne: Federation Square
After the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had following the longest journey of my life, we went straight to Melbourne’s Federation Square. Opened in 2002, the Square has divided opinion thanks to its interesting contemporary architecture. Apparently, you either love it or hate it. So, what do you think?
Personally, I’m not a huge fan in comparison to the beautiful golden stone and architecture of Flinders Street Station. There’s one thing about the Square that everybody can agree on, however. Thanks to its bustling atmosphere, handy meeting place location next to the iconic clocks of Flinders Street Station, buzzing cafes, and blend of tourists and Melburnians, there’s always something going on here.
Lucky for us, we arrived just before the Australian Grand Prix was about to kick off. This meant a colourful range of events were on offer for tourists to enjoy. Think tyre changing competitions, stall upon stall lining the Yarra River flogging F1 merchandise, and even Daniel Ricciardo’s car on show! Those interested had the opportunity to feel the tyres used on the F1 cars – and they’re surprisingly solid, with hardly any grip!
Other activity in the area was the annual Moomba festival, which was crammed with fairground rides, eateries, and celebration. It was so nice to relax at the river bank and watch the water skiing championships with the sun warming up our backs.
Queen Victoria Market
Soon it was time to move on.We walked to the famous Queen Victoria Market via the Parisian chic of leafy Collins Street. The market is bustling with all kinds of food, from incredible blue crabs to fragrant cheeses, fresh fruit, and vegetables.
Food isn’t the only thing you can buy at a bargain price from here. It’s also a great opportunity to buy a souvenir with a difference. Check out the impressive arrays of local photography, art, tapestries, and even didgeridoos sold on the market stalls. We grabbed a few bits and some smoothies from Collins Street before exploring Melbourne and walking to our next destination.
In a busy day of exploring, we set off for more of Melbourne’s downtown district, starting with the beautiful Royal Arcade.
Royal Arcade, Melbourne
As the capital of the state of Victoria, Melbourne naturally harbours some incredible Victorian architecture. The Royal Arcade is no exception.
One of my favourite things about exploring Melbourne is stumbling upon cafes that tucked away into the many alleyways scattered around. Each of them offer tasty food and great coffees with people perched on small tables in the alleyways.
Even inside the arcade, there are cafes with outdoor seating, allowing hip locals to enjoy post work drinks. A spectacle you also can’t miss is the Hopetoun Tearooms.
With beautiful William Morris-inspired wallpaper and Victorian ornaments throughout, it’s hard not to step inside. You can also check out the incredible display of cakes on offer outside. They very literally look too pretty to eat!
If a calorific splurge isn’t on your itinerary, be sure to check out some of my other highlights of downtown Melbourne.
Exploring Melbourne: AC/DC Lane
Venture on a walk past AC/DC Lane. Admittedly, it isn’t much to look at. It’s cool nevertheless to see the street that the Victorian government renamed in homage to the legendary Aussie rock band. And so they did, simple as that!
The street art of Hosier Lane
Finally, Melbourne is rich with street art, and it boasts some of the best I’ve ever seen! Even if Banksy isn’t your thing, head to Hosier Lane and you’ll be amazed by the splattering of art all over the walls and floor. Some of the murals and street art are politically motivated; others are simply entertaining.
Dubbed a ‘graffiti tolerance zone’, the cobbled street of Hosier Lane has a mixture of graffiti, stencils, and art installations. One of the coolest things is that the art changes almost daily for a never ending spectacle for tourists and locals alike.
Strolling around downtown Melbourne has been an absolute blast. It’s such an incredibly underrated city. If you haven’t been, make sure you get there one day! For now, I’m off to check out the Great Ocean Road.
What would you recommend doing in Melbourne? Leave me your suggestions in the comments.