Are you looking for some hidden gems to add to your Melbourne bucket list? Well, I’ve got you covered. Melbourne is one of the world’s most livable cities and after living and working in the city for over a year, I’ve found loads of interesting things to do in the CBD and city suburbs; many of which only locals know about.
In this post, I’ve decided to share with you some of the city’s best-kept secrets and my top picks for alternative things to add to your Melbourne bucket list. Here we go.
1.Have a Melbourne Magic Coffee
Melbourne is the coffee capital of the world so stopping off for a coffee has to make it to the top of your Melbourne bucket list. There’s no end of fantastic independent cafes to pass the time in such as Seven Seeds and Dukes Coffee Roasters. One coffee you have to try is a Magic, a Melbourne invention. The Magic coffee is essentially a stronger latte, filled up ¾ of the way and made on a double ristretto shot.
2. Go to an NGV late
Friday nights in Melbourne are for NVG lates. During these sessions, Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria stays open into the evening and guests can peruse the exhibitions, while enjoying cocktails, a live DJ and of course, a city staple- dumplings.
3.Have a drink in a hidden bar/ laboratory at the Croft Institute
A remnant from alcohol prohibition days are Melbourne’s hidden bars, a collection of bars hidden across the city down alleyways, behind bookcases and non-descript doors. One hidden bar you have to check out is the Croft Insitute. Located down the end of a graffiti-filled alley in Chinatown, this part laboratory- the part bar is about as Melbourne as you can get. Head there on a Friday night for drinks with syringes in and a party atmosphere.
4. Do the FREE salsa classes at Ms Collins on Thursday Nights
Ms Collins is one of Melbourne’s biggest and most popular clubs located on Collins Street in the heart of the city. Thursday evening is Latin Night in which the club holds FREE salsa classes from 7 to 9 pm. These are run by professional teachers and no pre-booking is needed, just show up. After the last class, the club night goes on and continues into the early morning.
5. Watch an AFL game at the MCG
No trip to Melbourne is complete without making it to a game of footy at Melbourne’s MCG stadium. Melbournian’s go pretty crazy at the AFL so be prepared for some noise. (Sorry but the scarf, beer and pie are obligatory).
6. Do the Brighton to St Kilda coastal walk
Easily Melbourne’s most scenic walks, the Brighton to St Kilda walk is a great way to get between two of Melbourne’s most popular beaches. Taking just over an hour to complete, the best thing to do is to catch the train to Brighton to see the Insta famous Brighton Bathing Boxes. From here you can follow the coast along to bustling St Kilda and then get the tram back to the CBD.
7. Wine Tasting at the Yarra Valley with Hop It
Just an hour’s drive outside of the city is Melbourne’s gorgeous Yarra Valley, an area of vineyards producing some of the best wine in the region. An easy and affordable way to get there is with Hop It, a hop on hop off bus that takes you around some of the best wineries in the area. The bus price doesn’t include the tastings but with average prices being around $5 per vineyard, it won’t set you back that much.
8. Take a trip to Italy and eat pizza at DOC on Lygon Street
In the heart of Melbourne’s inner suburb, Carlton is Lygon Street, Melbourne’s Little Italy. Packed full of Italian eateries and alfresco dining, it’s a must when it comes to Italian cuisine. Be sure to stop by DOC for the best pizza in the city.
9.Admire the skyline for free at the shrine of Remembrance
There’s no need to pay for entry to Eureka Skydeck, Melbourne best viewing platform is completely free. Located next to the Botanical Gardens is the shrine of remembrance, a war memorial that has incredible views of the city.
10.Discover Jungle Boy, Melbourne’s coolest hidden bar
Strolling along Chapel Street on a Friday night, you might be confused why so many well-dressed people are walking into a sandwich shop and going inside the fridge. Well, beyond those doors is Jungle Boy- a tiki hidden bar and one of Melbourne’s quirkiest places to grab a drink.
11. Watch a movie with a view at the rooftop cinema
A Melbourne institution, the rooftop bar at the top floor of Curtain house has to be on the top of your Melbourne bucket list. Head there in the summer to one of their cinema nights where you can enjoy a drink and a movie in the heart of Melbourne’s skyscrapers.
12. Tuck into street food at the Queen Vic Night Market
Held most months in the year, the Wednesday evening Queen Vic Market is a must on your Melbourne bucket list with no end of fantastic food stalls, showcasing every cuisine you could want. My advice: try the gnocchi from That’s Amore Cheese.
13. Pay it forward at the Soup Place, Centre Place
Whether you’re after some hot soup to go, fresh salads or panini’s, there’s plenty to keep you full for less than $10 at the Soup Place. What’s more, they offer a pay it forward scheme meaning that for just $3.50 customers can write a post stick note for someone in need to take and exchange for a hot soup.
14. Eat the cauliflower (and everything else) at Miznon, Hardware Lane
An Israeli cheap eats restaurants, centring around all things to do with pita, Miznon is a must-visit when in Melbourne. The restaurant is located in Hardware Lane, one of Melbourne’s best laneways when it comes to alfresco dining. While there’s an endless list of veggie, meat and fish options in and out of the pita to try, Miznon’s slow-baked cauliflower is award-winning and an absolute must eat.
15. Go on a street art tour
Melbourne is famous for its street art and there are examples of it everywhere across the CBD and in suburbs like Fitzroy, St Kilda and Collingwood. One of the best ways to see it is by joining a Melbourne street art tour in which a local guide will show you the best graffiti across the city.
16. See the city from the sky at Lui Bar
Melbourne’s bars often lack the glamour of those in Sydney, however, Lui Bar never fails to impress. Located on the 55th floor of the Rialto, Lui Bar has exceptional cocktails and unbeatable city views.
17. Go for a run on the formula one track at Albert Park
Car enthusiasts will be well aware that the Formula One race is held at Melbourne’s Albert Park. What you might not be aware of is that outside of race time, the park and track are open to the public so surely going for a run on it has to be on your Melbourne bucket list?
18. Get a smashed avo in bustling Degraves street
No trip to Melbourne is complete without tucking into some smashed avo toast. The most iconic street for brunch is Dgreaves street; a bustling European-Esque laneway with plenty of outdoor seating; great for a summer’s day
19. Try Melbourne’s best gelato at Pidapipo
Authentically Italian, Melbourne’s Pidapipo has two locations in the city in Degreaves street and Lygon Street and it’s an absolute must eat.
20. Take a day trip to Lorne
The Great Ocean Road is one of the most iconic drives in the world and it’s a pretty easy day trip from Melbourne. While most people head to the twelve apostles, the best part of the Ocean Road is the first stretch outside of Geelong. Here the road hugs the coast and there are plenty of stunning beaches and small towns like Lorne to explore.
21. Go for food in Melbourne’s unofficial Korea Town
Did you know, Melbourne has a HUGE Korean population and if you’re looking for some of the best bim bab around then you have to eat in Melbourne’s unofficial Korea town. Located around Lonsdale and William street, this little area boasts the city’s best spots to pick up Korean fare. My favourite is Gukbab.
Do you know anywhere else that you think should be on my alternative Melbourne Bucket List? Don’t hesitate to get in touch or share your ideas in the comments.
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