OLIVIA ROUND MELBOURNE

Known for: National Art Gallery
Trams
Fantastic Food
A young city with many layers of history
Beautiful parks
Chapel St thrift stores
Gelato Messina

A while ago I travelled to Melbourne for the first time. Here’s my first impressions city guide and tips. Feel free to add suggestions in the comments, I would love to hear from you.

Melbourne. The Wellington of Australia.

My friend Michelle and I went there with zero plans, no accommodation and no contacts – and it was the best decision ever. We asked the shuttle driver to drop us at a hostel in St Kilda (the only suburb both of us knew about) and booked at the nearest travellers accommodation. We checked in and it was all fun from there (until we almost missed our flight upon checking out, but that’s all part of the fun of travelling… right?)

Beautiful street graffiti
Beautiful street graffiti

Where to eat

1. COMBI

Combi – delicious food, but under par service... Read my full review on Zomato
Combi – delicious food, but under par service… Read my full review on Zomato

2. BEN AND JERRY’S

@oliviaroundtown: Dear Ben & Jerry, You have made possibly the best assortment of ice-cream flavours yet however you don't supply to NZ which saddens me. I had the best experience in Melbourne (give the Chapel St kid that served us a pay rise) and now I have to travel 1630 miles for my next ice-cream fix. Please open a store in NZ, my friends and I would be regulars. Your loyal customer, Olivia xx 🍦😋😘
@oliviaroundtown: Dear Ben & Jerry,
You have made possibly the best assortment of ice-cream flavours yet however you don’t supply to NZ which saddens me. I had the best experience in Melbourne (give the Chapel St kid that served us a pay rise) and now I have to travel 1630 miles for my next ice-cream fix. Please open a store in NZ, my friends and I would be regulars. Your loyal customer, Olivia xx 🍦😋😘
UPDATE: BEN & JERRY’S HAS JUST OPENED IN PONSONBY!

3. RADIO MEXICO – didn’t take any photographs since we were so hungry, but yummy Mexican fare. You can read mine and other foodies reviews here.

4. GRILL’D – also didn’t take any photos (once again ravenous) but these burgers are darn good. I had the fish burger (because they’re the best type) and it was light, fresh and the bun is ridiculously good. I spotted our neighbours had ordered some zucchini fritters and (due to travellers budgets) we looked at them longingly and the lovely couple gave us some to taste, and boy were they good. That’s another thing I love about Melbourne, everyone is super friendly!

What to do

1. Get lost in Flinders Lane

Flinders Lane
Flinders Lane – my travel rule is always to look UP.

2. Visit the National Gallery

3. Gelato Messina

I see this as more of an attraction than an eatery, due to the fame of this place. Located in the heart of Fitzroy, on a sunny day you’ll fine a queue a mile long. 100% worth the wait, and no doubt you’ll be back on the reg. I had the dark chocolate sorbet and it was divine.

4. Hit the town on a week night to find live music.

We had the best night out at The Vineyard in St Kilda. We saw two guys setting up and doing a brief soundcheck so decided to grab a table at the front with a group of locals and backpackers. Turns out the guys performing played percussive style guitar (both Michelle and I are big fans) and we hung out with them after the gig. Listen to Citrus Jam here.

5. Chapel Street Vintage Stores

If you think K Road or Cuba is cool, think again. These thrift stores are as cheap as Sally Army’s or Hospice shops, donate profits to great causes and have the best stuff. I picked up a pair of brand new Gorman sandals for $20 (RRP $250), you’re always guaranteed to pick up some little treasures.

Travellers tip: if you’re a fan of Lucas Pawpaw Ointment, purchase it in AU, it’s usually 1/2 price

Where to stay

St Kilda Beach House – we “roughed it” at the local backpackers which we booked the day we arrived, and it was great! Dorms were mixed and had four sets of bunk beds, and it’s a great option if you’re out all day.

Travellers tip: if you’re worried about theft in the hostel, just put a lock on your suitcase and take the key with you
And that's a wrap! Until next time Melbs (this was dinner upon departure)
And that’s a wrap! Until next time Melbs (this was dinner upon departure)

Overall Melbourne is one of those cities where you just have to follow your nose and wing it. Don’t go with a planned and highlighted timetable, instead wander through the little alleyways, follow the sound of live music and Zomato your way through the cheap and cheerful eateries (Lygon Street for Italian, Little Bourke Street for Chinese (Chinatown), Ackland Street for sweet treats, Victoria Street for Vietnamese and Brunswick Street for bars. Or if you want to escape the buzz of the city, grab a picnic and visit one of the many beautiful parks. There is something for everyone in Melbourne, full of culture and arts, food, fashion and sport. Pick up a What’s On brochure and enjoy the city life!

Love,

Liv x

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