We’re spoiled for choice on what to do in the world’s most liveable city. The sprawling metropolis has activities to suit everyone, and summer is the best time to enjoy them. Whether it’s a caffeine fix, retail therapy or parks and recreation you’re after, this city has it all!
1. Loveable laneways
Get happily lost and explore Melbourne’s myriad laneways and arcades, and take your pick of dining options on Hardware Lane, Degraves Street or Centre Place. Thatsmelbourne.com.au has maps and other useful information.
2. Relax and unwind
World heritage listed site Carlton Gardens is startlingly tranquil for its location, just northeast of the CBD. The magnificent Hochgurtel Fountain, circular French Fountain, Melbourne Museum and Royal Exhibition Building are situated here.
3. Religious experience
Enjoy some of the best cheap eats in town at Lentil As Anything, a volunteer-run vegetarian café that operates on a pay as you feel basis, in the historic Abbotsford Convent.
4. Street food
You’ll feel like you’ve arrived in a faraway land with the range of exotic cuisine on offer at the Suzuki Night Market, on every Wednesday at the Queen Victoria Market.
5. Different dining
Since 1867 the South Melbourne Markets have been a go-to for produce, deli foods and more on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. On Thursday nights it becomes Style After Dark, a lively night market.
6. Move it
Within Federation Square – an attraction in itself – the Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI) has interactive exhibits and cinemas.
7. Rare sightings
If you happen to be at ACMI on a Wednesday, check what’s screening at the Melbourne Cinémathèque, a not-for-profit volunteer-run film society.
8. Paint the town
The street art and galleries in Melbourne’s CBD are ever changing, but there’s also lots to see in suburbs such as Fitzroy. Get a guided tour or follow your nose – See thatsmelbourne.com.au for locations.
9. Rooftop movies
The top of Curtin House, 252 Swanston Street, hosts outdoor screenings five nights a week throughout summer, starting in December.
10. World-class coffee
Melbourne is known for its love of joe, and iconic institutions Proud Mary (Collingwood), Patricia (CBD) and Wide Open Road (Brunswick) are the crema of the crop.
11. Park up
Albert Park has everything you need for fun in the sun. Hire a boat to sail on the lake, play golf, or dine in the Swan Picnic Area.
12. Sorrento Serenity
Located on a thin strip of the Mornington Peninsula, Sorrento Beach is worth the drive.
13. Vintage shopping
Chapel Street is a treasure trove for vintage shopping, with Chapel St Bazaar, Fat Helen’s and Bleecker St. The Lost and Found Market, Smith St Bazaar and Friperie in Collingwood are also top-notch.
14. Dream jeans
Pick a pair of pants at Dejour Jeans at 542 Sydney Road, Brunswick, and get them tailored to fit you, all for no more than $50!
15. Local talent
Deck yourself out in Melbourne-designed duds at Gorman, Jack London and Scanlan & Theodore.
16. Dessert for dinner
Skip dinner and go straight to dessert at Café Rosamond at 191 Smith Street, Fitzroy.
17. Iconic street
Peruse Brunswick Street’s boutiques and colourful cafes and indulge in a slice of cake at Joe’s Garage or a vegetarian meal at Vegie Bar.
18. Row your boat
Paddle through Melbourne’s inner city bushland on hand-built skiffs from Fairfield Park Boathouse.
19. Art attack
Soak up modern and ancient art from around the world at The National Gallery of Victoria.
20. Weird science
Geek out at Science Works, a fun and interactive museum that brings the natural world to life.