Growing up in Melbourne, I often struggled to see it as a tourist destination. The problem is that I would compare it to Sydney, a city that better resembles a stereotypical travel hotspot thanks to its iconic landmarks and marquee beaches.
It wasn’t until I moved away from Melbourne that I was able to see my home city with fresh eyes. While I’d always appreciated my city’s sports-mad, coffee-obsessed, arts-loving culture, I was finally able to see the beauty of its central attractions as well as the appeal of its varied inner suburbs. Here’s how to gain your own appreciation for Melbourne in just three days.
“Four seasons in a day” is a common Melbourne saying for a reason—carry both sunglasses and an umbrella.
If you only have time for one thing, make it the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance.
Spend today exploring Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD), the heart of the city. A walking tour is an easy way to get familiar with the CBD’s laneways and visit highlights like Federation Square, Hosier Lane, and the Old Melbourne Gaol. To learn more about the area’s vibrant art scene, make it a tour led by a local street artist.
The Yarra River is another defining feature of the city center, and while you can’t go wrong with a walk along the riverfront, it can’t compete with the experience of getting out on the water on a kayak or river cruise. Some tours even include dinner.
Start the day by journeying south of the Yarra River to see more of the city center, starting with a walk along the Southbank riverfront. Next, take a tram down St Kilda Road to the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne’s hallowed war memorial. Admire its exhibitions along with a view of the city skyline.
Finish your second day with a visit to the Melbourne Skydeck on the 88th floor of the Eureka Tower. Enjoy the observation deck’s unobstructed views and test your nerve by stepping into the Edge, a suspended, glass-bottomed cube hovering far above the city streets.
Melbourne rewards visitors who venture into its suburbs, since they hold so much of the city’s character. Start the day by taking the tram to the trendy Fitzroy and Collingwood neighborhoods in the inner north. Admire the local street art and do some boutique shopping.