A day in the life of a Melbournian…
Whether you are a tourist travelling to Melbourne or simply bored with your current existence in Melbourne and need something to ‘spice up your life’ (credit to Spice Girls), here is how I would spend 12 hours in Melbourne’s CBD.
It is impossible to begin any good adventure without a strong, hot coffee, and thus I would begin with just that. Head to Degraves Street and soak up the culture under one of the big black umbrellas, which stretch themselves over the entire street. I recommend Degraves Espresso Bar but all the cafes on this iconic street are equally fantastic….
After you have filled your soul with the warm liquid gold we Melbournian’s like to consider a ‘good coffee’ take a walk through Hosier Lane, a Melbourne Lane very well known for its sophisticated urban art. Don’t be afraid to take a few flicks of the artwork… Even as a Melbourne veteran I can’t help but get my iPhone out and conduct a spontaneous photo-shoot every time I am in the streets vicinity.
Head Over to Federation Square and explore! Federation Square is known for having free activities open to the general pubic and for broadcasting sport games from the screens. It can also be incredibly beautiful at night, so if staying near by, you may want to head back here later on as well. Across from Federation Square is Flinders Street Station. This is an incredibly iconic building so make sure to take a look at this also! Opposite Flinders Street Station is St Pauls Cathedral, easily Melbourne’s most iconic and historical Anglican Church.
Catch a tram or better yet walk up to Bourke Street Mall for the beginning of some serious shopping! Everyday there are at least 2 or 3 buskers performing outside Myer so sit back and absorb the lifestyle that Melbourne living. From here head through Myer where you will end up inside Melbourne’s newest and so to be largest shopping centre – The Emporium.
The shopping centre completely encapsulates the epitome of Melbourne living. The ‘food court’ is home to some of Melbourne’s most iconic and treasured CBD restaurants, satisfying the many tummies of city workers, shoppers, tourists and the like. And as for the hundreds of carefully selected Boutique shops evident in the centre, it is impossible that you will leave without making at least one unforgettable purchase. With shops like Calvin Klein, Chanel and Camilla, how could one possibly leave empty handed. I also recommend grabbing a healthy fruit smoothie on the go from Top Juice on Level 3 to keep you going until lunchtime rolls around.
If you are beginning to get peckish after all that walking, sight seeing and shopping, I recommend heading back to Flinders Street and dining at one of Melbourne’s talked about Asian-inspired restaurants… yes you know what I am talking about… Chin Chin. Although the queue and the wait to dine here may seem ridiculous, the food is most certainly worth it! Every single thing on the menu is delicious and thus no recommendation is necessary.
Next head across the river to Southgate. Here there is live entertainment, places to grab a coffee or a bite to eat, and lots more culture to experience. Walking along the river is beautiful, especially on a warm sunny Melbourne afternoon. Crown casino is also part of this complex, so I recommend walking through this area and admiring the chandelier and light display that is occurring regularly in the main foyer area.
Head over to Eureka Towers and purchase tickets for the Eureka Sky deck 88. The view from the top is like nothing you will have ever seen before, and an essential aspect of your Melbourne experience.
By now you are probably ready for your second (or tenth) coffee so I suggest jumping into a taxi downstairs from Eureka Towers and heading over to what Melbournians like to call ‘Little Italy’, as known as Lygon Street. The street is filled with Italian/ European culture, the combination of restaurant owners trying to persuade you to dine at their restaurant, the strong aroma of fried garlic and pasta sauce and the fact that every single person is walking down the street holding a coffee or a gelati (or sometimes even both) makes it a vital stop during your down-under adventure.
For dinner, look no further… D.O.C Pizza & Mozzarella Bar (295 Drummond Street, Carlton)is home to Melbourne’s most flavoursome, authentic Italian restaurant yet. The choices of wood fire oven pizza, the beautiful homemade mozzarella cheese and the exquisite selection of red wine easily makes this place my favourite restaurant in Melbourne for pizza.
Lastly finish your night off with a Gelati from one of the ice-creameries in Lygon Street.