Melbourne isn’t just about landmarks and tourist destinations; the best way to really experience the city is to immerse yourself in the amazing food, design and culture on offer. These aren’t necessarily easy to find, so we’ve put together a handy guide to help you make the most of a weekend in town.
Friday afternoon is perhaps the best time to land yourself in this city, abuzz with end-of-week excitement. Opposite iconic Flinders Street Station sits Degraves Street, which is home to Clementine’s (7 Degraves St) and Signed & Numbered (7a Degraves St), both of which celebrate local artists and provide something uniquely Melbourne. Stick to the laneways and head north across Collins Street to the Royal Arcade, with its high glass ceiling and historical charm. Here you’ll find fashion retail gems Somewhere and Marais (both on level 2), as well as interesting independent shoe designs at Habbot (shop 23).
As the working week comes to an end, hit some of the city’s top bars and join the weekend fervor. If the sky is clear, head up to Loop Roof (23 Meyers Pl) for a cocktail with a view. Or if a cosy atmosphere is more to your liking, Von Haus (1A Crossley St) provides just that with an intimate, homely space.
When hunger hits, you’re only a short walk from local favourite Mexican eatery Mamasita (11 Collins St) – where taste adventurers can try sweet corn ice cream for dessert. Or take yourself down the hill towards Flinders Street, cross the river and enjoy glorious views of St Paul’s Cathedral and modern Italian food at Fatto Bar & Cantina (River Terrace, 100 St Kilda Rd).
Saturday mornings are made for market shopping. Head to South Melbourne Market (cnr Coventry and Cecil Sts) for fresh produce and more.
Design lovers should head to Apt Living (5 Union St) for homewares, and Vincent 2 (269 Coventry St) for international design objects and curios.
At nearby South Yarra (accessed easily by tram), join the hoards of brunching south-siders at popular spots such as Orange Café (126 Chapel St) or Ladro (162 Greville St), where you can indulge in a breakfast pizza or their famous breakfast ‘bomb’ filled with Nutella.