Melbourne is the second most populous city of Australia and a very populair destination for tourists. Unfortunately Melbourne is also one of the most expensive cities in the world. So what should you do and see when you visit Melbourne city and its surroundings? Below you can read about some of the places we have visited and things you can do on your trip to Melbourne.
Melbourne is a big city and there are many things to see. Most of the things to see in Melbourne are completely free. You could for example spend a whole day to visit some of the beautiful parks and churches. When you plan your trip, make sure you use the free City Circle Tram.
Go on a shopping spree in Melbourne City or discover some of Melbourne’s many little streets that are decorated with beautiful graffiti. In the evening you can visit China Town and enjoy a great dinner. Or walk to the Princes Bridge to see the Melbourne skyline at night.
If you are willing to spend some more money and would like to do something spectaculair, take a Balloon Ride to see Melbourne from the top. Prices go up fast though and this is only possible if you have a large budget.
Some less expensive options are the Melbourne Museum or the Melbourne Zoo. The Melbourne Museum cost $0 – $25 depending on your age and what you would like to see. The Melbourne Zoo will set you back $20 – $30.
Restaurants and Coffeeshops
Melbourne is famous for its coffeeshops. There are tons of coffeeshops where you can order a latte, espresso, cappuccino, mocha or flat white, but one place is better than the other. We decided to try out some of the more famous coffeeshops in Melbourne, including Brother Baba Budan and Quists Coffee.
Melbourne is a multicultural city, resulting into a wide variety of restaurants. There are many Asian restaurant in and around China Town, but there is also plenty of choice between Italian, Western and France cuisines. We enjoy Asian food, so we went to a South Korean restaurant (Hwaro Korean BBQ), a Thai restaurant (Chin Chin) and a Vietnam restaurant (Pho24). We enjoyed all three of them.
When you think about Melbourne you don’t directly expect beautiful landscapes and wildlife. However, soon after you leave the city behind you, you will find a tropical forest, a stunning and impressive coastline, beautiful beaches and unique wildlife such as koala’s, birds and penguins. We advice you to take a Great Ocean Road tour to see all of these beautiful places in just one day. Or rent your own car and enjoy these sights at your own pace.
When we visited Melbourne, we decided to take one of these Great Ocean Road tours. There are many tour companies that head out to the Great Ocean Road, but we booked the “1 Day Great Ocean Road Tour” from Sightseeing Tours Australia for $94 per person.
The tour guide picked us up at 7:35 AM and we came back at around 9:00 PM. Which is extremely long for a tour. The main reason for this long timespan is the distance between all the destinations, which is a total of 600 KM.
Some of the best places we stopped includes the 12 Apostles, the Memorial Arch, Kennett River “where we spotted Parrots and koalas”, Apollo Bay, the Otway Rainforest, the Shipwreck Coast, the Loch Ard Gorge and the London Bridge. Each one even more beautiful than the other.
On this day we experienced some of the most spectacular views we have ever seen. At one point the tour guide dropped us off to spot some koalas and native parrots. These wild parrots are so used to tourists that they will fly up to you and land on you arm or head, because they expect you to feed them.
However, if these long tours are not your thing, take a trip to Puffing Billy. Puffing Billy is Built in 1900 and is Australia’s oldest steam railway. From Melbourne city you can take a train to Belgrave, which is a 70 minutes trip. From here you follow the blue line painted on the platform to find the Puffing Billy railway, which is just a 5 minutes walk.
Tickets are not cheap and vary depending on your destination. We bought the cheapest ticket, which is a round trip from Belgrave to Menzies Creek. We paid $17.50 because we had a student card. Tourist prices start at $21.50.
If you are not interested in old trains or have more time to spend, join one of the many winery tours or take a trip to Phillip Island. There are many great places to visit in and around Melbourne. We unfortunately only had time to visit the Puffing Billy railway and join the Great Ocean Road tour.