Hostelworld Guide for Melbourne

The Essentials Getting There
By plane: Melbourne's international airport is 14 miles northwest of the city centre. The 'Skybus' connects the airport to downtown Melbourne. The 20-minute journey costs $16 one-way/$26 return and terminates at Southern Cross Station near the corner of Little Bourke Street and Spencer Street. By train: Melbourne has connections with all major Australian towns and cities. Travelling there by train, your journey will end in Spencer Street station in the city centre.

Melbourne enjoys a temperate climate with hot summers and mild springs and autumns. Even though the weather here is famously temperamental, it still experiences less rainfall than Sydney and Brisbane. January and February, the height of Australia's summer, are the hottest months. Spring and autumn are very pleasant months for visiting while in winter it can get cool, but never freezing.

Rivalling Sydney as Australia's number one city, Melbourne is famously the country's most European city. Capital of Victoria, here you will find some of Australia's coolest bars, restaurants and cafés. While it doesn't have the harbour or beaches of its eastern counterpart, it does have some of the country's trendiest neighbourhoods. It is also the home of Aussie Rules Football which is a massive part of Victorian life. This is a city that's just as pleasant to visit for three days as it is to live in for three months.

By bus: If your journey to Melbourne is on a bus, you will reach your final destination when you get to Melbourne Transit Centre on Franklin Street.

Getting Around
By trams: Melbourne's trams are as much an attraction as they are a mode of transport. Slower than other modes of transport, they serve all major areas of the city centre. By train: An overland train network also operates in the city centre and is sometimes an easier way to get to/from some suburbs. By taxi: Just like in all Australian cities, you can wave down taxis in Melbourne on the street.

Good to know...
Language: English Currency: Australian Dollar Electricity: 240AC/50Hz Area Code: +61 (Aus), 03 (Melbourne) Emergency Codes: Ambulance/Fire/Police 000 Time Zone: Australian Eastern Standard Time (GMT+10) Central Post Office: Melbourne GPO, Corner Little Bourke St & Elizabeth St Main Tourist Office: Melbourne Visitor Centre, Federation Square

In this Guide...
Useful Information After Dark Places to Eat Top Attractions Budget Tips Where to Shop

Melbourne facts
Location: The city of Melbourne is located in south eastern Australia on what was originally the land of the Kulin Nation. On the banks of the Yarra River, many of Melbourne's suburbs look out onto Port Phillip Bay. Population: Around 4 million people live in and around Melbourne. Area: The Melbourne Metropolitan Area covers approximately 7,700 kilometres squared. Founded: Melbourne was founded by Sir John Batman in 1835.

USA: +61 (0)3 9526 5900 UK: +61 (0)3 9652 1600 Canada: +61 (0)3 9653 9674 South Africa: +61 (0)3 8825 4114 Ireland: +61 (0)3 9397 8940 Germany: +61 (0)3 9864 6888 Spain: +61 (0)3 9347 1966 Italy: +61 (0)3 9867 5744 New Zealand: +61 (0)3 9642 1279 France: +61 (0)3 96025024

Hostelworld Guide for Melbourne

Cheap Eats
Niagara Hotel, 385 Lonsdale Street Located in the heart of Melbourne's CBD, the Niagara Hotel has one of the city's best deals. For a very affordable price, you can get yourself a pizza and a glass of wine or pot of beer. Here you can choose from 17 pizzas so you're bound to find one that tickles your fancy. Open Mon-Sat 11am-close. Grill'd, 83 Acland Street, St Kilda Specialising in burgers, burgers, and burgers, this is one of ten Grill'd restaurants around Melbourne, yet doesn't have that 'franchise-feel' of other fast food restaurants. The varied menu has beef, chicken and lamb burgers, plus veggie ones too. Open Sun-Thurs 11.30am-10pm, Fri & Sat until 11pm.

After Dark
Vineyard, 71a Acland Street, St Kilda Extremely busy at weekends due to a constant stream of Melbourne bands that play in this St Kilda Bar, Vineyard is one of Melbourne's best live music venues. When things get quite busy though, you'll be thankful of the large outdoor seating area overlooking Luna Park. Open daily from 10am-3am. Cookie, 1F 252 Swanston St Wondering why Melbourne is always referred to as Australia's most European city? 'Cookie' on Swanston Street will answer that as it feels like it's been transported direct from Germany or Belgium. This beer hall, which doubles up as a restaurant, has an extremely relaxed atmosphere and a vast selection of beers. Open daily from 12 noon-11pm. Bar With No Name, 302 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy Walking down Fitzroy's Brunswick St, it will soon dawn on you that it is peppered with some of Melbourne's coolest bars. Step inside 'Bar with No Name' and it you'll soon realise that this is arguably its coolest. This bar is full of small nooks and crannies perfect for catching up with friends. Open daily from 4pm-1am.

Don't Miss
Aussie Rules game in the MCG Built in 1853 and today home to 4 teams, the MCG is Australia's largest sports stadium, holding over 100,000 people. The season starts each year in April and ends the following September so if you're in Melbourne during these months make sure to get hold of a ticket for a game. Ticket prices vary.

Mark Your Calendar
January - Big Day Out Australia's annual 'Big Day Out' brings the world's top acts to the country's top cities and the end of January is when the tour visits Melbourne. Acts who have played in the past include the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Nirvana. January - Australian Open The Rod Laver Arena is the location for Australia's annual tennis open. The first of the year's 'Grand Slams', each year the world's top players compete against each other. January/February - Midsumma Melbourne's 3-week long gay and lesbian festival is its answer to Sydney's Mardi Gras. Like most gay and lesbian festivals, the highlight of the festival is the 'Pride March' which attracts 40,000 revellers. Februay - St Kilda Festival This annual festival in Melbourne's celebrated beach suburb bills itself as the largest outdoor crowd gathering in Australia. Over the course of the festival, thousands visit to enjoy free music, extreme sports and much more.

A drive to remember

Alfresco eating

Gay / Lesbian Melbourne
It may not be as famously gay as Sydney, but Melbourne's gay scene is extremely active. The main 'strip' is Commercial Road in Prahan. The Market (143 Commercial Road) is a two-storey bar also known as 'the meat market'! Not far away, Xchange (119 Commercial Road) is one of the road's firmly established gay bars and is open over 20 years. While both these venues cater mainly for men, Glasshouse Hotel (51 Gipps Street, Collingwood) caters for Melbourne's growing lesbian community. Red Rhythm, 10 Centre Place, Off Flinders Lane When on a budget its always nice to enjoy cheap booze that isn't from a supermarket or off licence. That's why Red Rhythm gets our stamp of approval. Every Thursday and Friday evening between 5pm and 8pm all beers in this extremely intimate bar are half price. To top things off, they give you a free bowl of chips too. Open daily from 5pm-1am. Bimbo Deluxe, 376 Brunswick St, Fitzroy It's Saturday night. You want to finish the night off with a bang. You need to get to Bimbo Deluxe. Once you get by the burly bouncers, step inside to see why this is Brunswick Street's most happening club. Open 12 noon-3am.

The Great Ocean Road Stretching 400km between Torquay and Warrnambool, Victoria's Great Ocean Road is one of the world's most spectacular ocean drives. Best known for the '12 Apostles', a drive down this road is not to be missed. Autopia Tours operate 1 and 3-day tours from Melbourne which can be booked at Eureka Skydeck 88, Riverside Quay, Southbank Perfect for visiting either during the day or at night, as this is the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere it will come as no surprise to learn that the views are breathtaking. Make sure not to leave withot checking out 'The Edge' - a glass cube suspended 300 metres above the ground. Open daily from 10am-10pm; admission $17.50. Federation Square Melbourne's newest attraction, directly across from one of its oldest, Flinders Street Station, is a mix of museums, restaurants, cafés and bars. It is also a great meeting place and home to lots of live entertainment at weekends. Drop into the Melbourne Visitors Centre on the square for details of what's happening there when you're in town. Old Melbourne Gaol, Russell Street between Victoria & Latrobe Streets Between 1842 and 1929 when this 'gaol' was open, Melbourne's famous jail was the scene of 135 hangings. The most famous of these was of Aussie bushranger, Ned Kelly. Open daily from 9.30am-5pm; admission $22.

March - Melbourne F1 Grand Prix For four days each year Grand Prix fever takes over Melbourne. The race is the pinnacle of a 4-day event that sees much more take place down at Albert Park where the race is staged. March/April - Melbourne Comedy Festival Founded in 1987 by Barry Humphries and Peter Cook, the Melbourne Comdey Festival is one of the world's three biggest comedy festivals. Each year it attracts top comedians from both home and abroad. September - Grand Final Weekend Victoria comes to a halt for Grand Final weekend when two teams battle it out for the title of Australia's best football team. The day before the big game both teams parade through Melbourne city centre. September/October - Melbourne Fringe Festival This event brings contemporary and innovative work created by independent artists to a broader Melbourne audience. October - Melbourne International Arts Festival The Melbourne International Arts Festival, which began in 1986, takes place over 16 days each October and includes dance, visual arts and more. October/November - Melbourne Cup Run on the first Tuesday of November, the Melbourne Cup is the biggest horse race in the southern hemisphere. This event is so big that race-day itself is declared a national holiday!

Degraves Espresso, 23 Degraves St Tucked neatly between Flinders Street and Flinders Lane, Degraves Street is one of Melbourne's coolest lanes for outdoor eating. If you like to nibble on your nosh, try the tapas in this café which include dishes such as chorizo and Spanish potatoes. There's a particularly good vibe here on Friday evenings. Open Mon-Fri 8am-10.30pm, Sat 8am-6.30pm. Spicy Fish Restaurant, 209 Little Bourke St Some people tend to like their food spicy, others don't. If you are one who does, this restaurant in the heart of Melbourne's Chinatown is perfect for you. Specialising in traditional Shanghai and Szechuan style cuisine, prices are attractive and food is top notch. Open daily from 11.30am-10.30pm. Southgate Food Court, Southgate Shopping Centre, Southgate Food courts were invented for those times when hunger strikes but you don't know what you want. When this happens go to this food court on the banks of River Yarra. Open Mon-Thurs 9am-pm, Fri & Sat to 10.30pm, Sun to 8pm. Hostelworld Guide for Melbourne

Neighbourhood Watch
South Yarra Definitely one of Melbourne's more affluent suburbs, South Yarra is best known as the home of Chapel Street, the café-lined street which has been hipper than hip for decades. Funky clothes shops and trendy restaurants are also dotted along it. Nearby Commercial Road is another shopping strip. Trams: #78 & #79 to Chapel St; #72 to Commercial Road.

Retail Therapy
Crown Casino, 2 Whiteman St, Southbank Like so many casinos around the world, many of the stores in the southern hemisphere's biggest casino belong to the world's most exclusive designers. Louis Vuitton, Prada and Versace all have stores here. But it's not all glam as French Connection, Guess and other more affordable brands have stores there too. Opening hours vary from store to store. Spencer Street Fashion Station, 1/201 Spencer St Spencer Street Fashion Station (formerly DFO Spencer) is where you will find over 100 big name brands under the one roof. Some of the top fashion names you will encounter here include Timberland, Levis and Mossimo. Open daily from 10am-7pm (until 9pm on Fri). Melbourne Central, 211 LaTrobe Street This particular shopping mall in the CBD has over 300 stores. And if they don't keep you occupied the cinema and bowling alley should. Mon-Sat 10am-6pm (until 9pm on Fri), Sun 10am-5pm. Melbourne CBD Those of you who don't want to have to explore the districts and shopping centres of Melbourne for new purchases are bound to find something in the city's central business district. Bourke Street Mall is the centre of things here, but other streets such as Swanston Street, Collins Street and Little Collins Street are also lined with stores.

Budget Tips
Go to the movies on a Tuesday If there's a movie released when you're in Oz and you really don't want to miss it, do your best to catch it on 'tight arse tuesday'. On this day cinema tickets are up to 50% cheaper than any other day of the week. A good place to catch a movie in Melbourne is either in Hoyts Cinema in Melbourne Central (see 'Retail Therapy') or Greater Union Cinemas on Russell St. Chill out in Melbourne's parks Even though Melbourne's city centre is one of the world's more pleasurable cities to walk around, it's still nice to retreat to a quieter place every now and then. When you get an urge to do that, make your way to the city's famous Albert Park or Royal Botanic Gardens. Both are free to enter. Bring your own alcohol when eating out A host of Melbourne's restaurants are 'BYO' restaurants. This stands for 'bring your own', meaning you can bring your own wine or beer when eating out. As casks of wine in Australia hardly ever cost more than $15, bring one with you when eating out with friends and the bill won't be that expensive!

A Day in Melbourne...
Start the day exploring Federation Square, Melbourne's newest attraction. Full of museums, restaurants and cafés, it has something for everyone.

Life's a beach

Hop on the free City Circle Tram at Federation Square and get off at the stop for Queen Victoria Market. Take a walk around the stalls of the city's best-known market. Take the opportunity when in the QVM to grab lunch also. Its food court, Vic Market Place, offers Middle Eastern, seafood, Italian and Asian food. Use the tram to get back to the CBD. Get off on Flinders St, close to Melbourne 360° (Rialto Towers). Get in line, then take the elevator to the top for amazing views. Explore downtown Melbourne. Stroll through Chinatown, take a picture of Flinders St Station, shop on Bourke St Mall...the list of things to do is endless. Take tram #16 or #96 for St Kilda, Melbourne's beach suburb. Grab a coffee on Acland Street, catch some rays on the beach and ride the rollercoaster in Luna Park! Head back to the city and go for a bite to eat on Degraves St, just across from Flinders St Station. The choice of food here is endless. Now go bar hopping in Fitzroy's Brunswick St. Check out 'Labour in Vain', 'Black Cat', 'Black Pearl' and our favourite, 'Bar with No Name'. Finish the night off dancing the night away in Brunswick St's number one late night venue, 'Bimbo Deluxe'.

St Kilda Melbourne's famous beach suburb is a haven for backpackers who long for sun and sea when living in the Victorian capital for the summer. Its main thoroughfare is Acland Street which is dotted with clothes shops, restaurants and cafés. It is also one of the more vibrant neighbourhoods at night time. Trams: #16 to the Esplanade, #96 to Acland St. Fitzroy With its funky bars, restaurants, cafés and shops, Fitzroy is arguably Melbourne's most eclectic neighbourhood. The heart and soul of the district is Melbourne's famous Brunswick Street, a street best visited after dark on a weekend night. Another notable street is Johnston Street, Melbourne's Latin American quarter. Tram: #112 to Brunswick St. Carlton One of Melbourne's trendier precincts, Carlton is just north of the CBD. Here you will find lots of cafés and bookstores. It is also home to a large Italian community. This is particularly evident on Lygon St, one of the city's premier dining strips and full of Italian restaurants. Tram: #1 to Lygon St. South Melbourne This suburb on the banks of the River Yarra is home to the city's number one green area, Albert Park. Once a year it hosts the first Formula 1 Grand Prix of the year, while the rest of the time it acts as an inner-city oasis to joggers, walkers and tourists. Tram: #96 to Albert Park.

Fancy a free ride?

A bit of this, a bit of that

Queen Victoria Market, Corner Elizabeth and Victoria Streets Since it opened back in 1878, Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market has been the city's premier market. Here you will pick up every kind of food imaginable in the food market, while further back from the main entrance you can find all types of clothing in the clothes market. Open Tues & Thurs 6am-2pm, Fri 6am-6pm, Sat 6am-3pm, Sun 9am-4pm.

Take the 'Circle Tram' around the city Operating every day (except Good Friday and Christmas Day) between 10am and 6pm (9pm Thurs-Sat), the free City Circle Tram passes by many of the city's top attractions. This includes the Old Melbourne Gaol, St Paul's Cathedral, Federation Square and the Telstra Dome. Visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image Located on Federation Square, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image is solely dedicated to the moving image, making it the first centre of its kind in the world. Inside enjoy film, TV, games and more for free. Open daily from 10am-6pm; admission free.

Hostelworld Guide for Melbourne

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful