Turn the globe on its axis and explore Melbourne, Australia with local blogger Charlotte Bridgeman of Winston & Willow.
PACKING LIST Although many people might not know this, Melbourne is considered the fashion capital of Australia, and now that the weather is starting to warm up (don’t forget the southern hemisphere seasons are reversed from the US), here is a list of essentials for your trip:
- A pair of statement sunglasses, not only to cover those tired eyes after the long flight, but to shield your eyes from Melbourne’s strong sunlight - A pair of comfy leather sandals, stylish enough to take you from the beach to shopping, then to the bar - A wide brimmed hat, fedora, cap or a stylish hat is essential in Melbourne during the warmer months to protect you from the sun - Boyfriend denim shorts, easy to dress up or down - A light cotton t-shirt - A statement lightweight jacket, in Melbourne we truly do have four seasons in one day so be prepared for rain at any moment - A pair of ankle strap high heels for those fancier nights out on the town
TIPS Unfortunately there is no train line from the airport into Melbourne and don’t even think about getting a taxi unless you want to have no spending money for the rest of your trip. Instead, the Sky Bus takes you straight to our main train station Southern Cross every 10 minutes for $17 one-way.
The famous Melbourne trams are not only the best way to see the city but are also easy to use and cover the entire central business district as well as surrounding city neighbourhoods. The free Melbourne City Circle tram (No. 35) is especially for tourists, making stops at the major city attractions.
STAY The Langham Rated one of the best hotels in Melbourne, The Langham offers timeless yet modern sophistication. Located right on the Yarra River in Southbank, the location is hard to beat. Surrounded by fabulous cafes and restaurants, the Langham also offers panoramic views of the city, a grand marble staircase and indoor fountains.
The Olsen Located on Melbourne’s famous Chapel Street, The Olsen Hotel is the best place to stay if you are looking for accommodation in South Yarra. This boutique hotel has 229 five star suites, two wonderful restaurants as well as breathtaking art throughout the corridors.
Crown Towers Also located on the banks of the Yarra River in the famous Crown Casino, Crown Towers is definitely the most luxurious place to stay in Melbourne. Guests are spoiled with dining options from restaurants within the Crown complex and on Southbank with rooms fitted with the latest technology, luxury furnishings and marble bathrooms.
DINE The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Us Melbournians love our trams, so much so that someone decided to turn one into a restaurant. Starting near Crown Casino in the CBD, the Colonial Tramcar takes you throughout Melbourne and its surrounding suburbs while dining on a five star 3- or 5-course meal. Although it is little pricier than most meals around Melbourne, the food is excellent and it is an experience like no other. Book early as the Tramcar does sell out.
Movida Movida is a prime example of Melbourne’s distinguished and culturally diverse culinary offerings. On the famous graffiti covered Hosier Lane, Movida is a well-known Spanish restaurant in Melbourne. Worth a visit just for the street, Movida serves up delicious tapas sharing plates and fabulous Spanish red wine.
No. 35 Located on the 35th floor in the Sofitel Hotel, Collins Street, No. 35 boasts fantastic floor to ceiling views of the city skyline. Fine dining at its best, No. 35 serves up modern Australian dishes with exquisite food and service. Book early to ensure that you get a table by the window.
DRINK Degraves St. One of the best things to do in Melbourne is to (figuratively and literally) lose yourself in our famous alleyways. Degraves St. is the perfect example of a typical Melbourne alleyway, lined with restaurants and coffee shops and is a regular hangout for all locals. It is also one of the best streets in the city to get a really good cup of coffee.
Rooftop Bar and Cinema Now that the weather is warming up, the Rooftop Bar and Cinema is the perfect place to go for a drink and, if you’re so inclined, a movie. This bar has fantastic views and is open from noon to 1AM daily, with movie times beginning at 9:30PM.
DO Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) If you really want to get a good feel of Australian culture, head to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) either in the winter for an Australian Football League (AFL) game or during the summer to see a cricket match. Melbourne is the biggest sporting state within Australia with the MCG being one of our most famed venues.
National Gallery of Victoria If art and history are more your thing, then you’re in luck. Melbourne is fortunate to not only have the oldest art gallery in Australia, but also one of the best. Divided into two separate galleries, NGV International on St Kilda Road and The Ian Potter Centre in Federation Square, the National Gallery regularly hosts world-famous art exhibitions as well as indigenous and non-indigenous Australian art.
Eureka Towers For an aerial view of Melbourne then the Eureka Sky Deck is the only place to go. Eureka is the tallest skyscraper in the Southern hemisphere and the 360-degree views from the Sky Deck cannot be matched. You can also experience ‘The Edge’ which suspends you in a glass cube 3 metres out at over 300 metres above the ground.
Melbourne-based Charlotte Bridgeman is the face and voice of Winston & Willow, a blog that chronicles Charlotte's fashion savvy and travel adventures.