Melbourne has so many top-shelf parts to explore, taste and drink—we thought we’d narrow it down to THE most Melbourne things you can possibly do. Our tip-top seven picks of the best bits of Melbourne, the things that definitely shouldn’t be missed. The things you need to do for a truly Melbourne experience. (Hot tip: Most of them can involve Gin.)
However you’d like to phrase it, these really are the 7 MOST Melbourne experiences you need to tick off. Stat.
1. Explore The Laneways
Ok, ok, we know that we’re not the first to suggest this one as a seriously Melbourne thing to do, but there’s a reason it crops up on plenty of lists of Melbourne loves. Don’t be afraid to branch away from the more tourist-centric lanes around Degraves—Melbourne’s entire CBD is covered with them and if you’re crafty, you can just about get around the city using only laneways.
Keep an eye out for epic graffiti and hidden-find bars. These are our favourites.
2. Discover The Botanical Gardens
Whether you’re feeling inspired to don your #active wear, or you’re just after a leisurely stroll, the Botanical Gardens has to be the most tranquil place within walking distance of Melbourne’s CBD. We like to mix things up between power laps around The Tan, aimlessly exploring the tracks in the parks belly, and taking a picnic blanket and just finding a secluded spot on the grass to stretch out and call our own for a few hours. If it’s food that you’re after, you're in luck. The M Pavillion is open until February and is hosting lectures, talks and music gigs, all while serving top-notch gin. Now THAT's a pop up we can get around.
3. Sip Gin That’s Made 10 Minutes From Your House
Ok, maybe, possibly, slightly more than 10 minutes, but you get the gist! We’re well and truly used to craft beers and microbreweries popping up in every hipster nook in Melbourne, but we’re so stoked to finally be able to kick back with a truly Melbourne Gin. For something that goes waaaayyyy beyond the standard G&T, ask for a Sir Martin House at Bar Lourinha. And to enjoy in a truly Melbourne style, have them make it with the very best from Melbourne Gin Company.
4. Do A Cycling Tour
Even if you don’t consider yourself a cyclist, this really, truly, honestly is one of the best ways to enjoy Melbourne. We’re not talking about the CBD (though you can cycle that too), we recommend that you scoot out of the city centre and explore all the bike trails that Melbourne has to offer—especially the ones that you probably didn’t know existed. The Yarra Bend trail is our favourite for its café-stop opportunities along the way, the feeling of being a million miles away from the city, and the terrain that it offers. Keeping this in mind, most of Melbourne’s bike trails actually link up. So whether you nick a bike from a mate, take your own or make the most of the oh-so-instagrammable blue Melbourne bikes—go forth and explore.
5. Enjoy A Rooftop-Hop
No, we’re not talking about parkour (pretty sure our insurance doesn’t cover suggestions like that) we’re talking about a cheeky bar hop—but keeping it exclusive to bars with a view. Melbourne’s more than a tad obsessed with making the most of its rooftops. Madame Brussels, Siglo, Rooftop Bar, Goldilocks, and Bomba are just a few of our favourites. Head there earlier in the evening to enjoy the view and make the most of the sunset. G&T in hand, THIS is where we’re in our element!
6. Go On A Coffee Hunt
How you spoil thee, Melbourne! There’s really no need to have ‘one’ place you get coffee in Melbourne. WHat's that, you’re a caffeine fiend? Even if you’re only mildly addicted, we highly recommend that you mix things up. If you really, really like coffee and have no regard for your heart rate, brace yourself for a coffee crawl and head to the Fitzroy/ Collingwood area. Wind your way between Lune Croissanterie (get there early), Gertrude St Enoteca, Alimentari, and Grub Food Van and a ton of other top-notch establishments that we can guarantee you’ll stumble upon, and thus, feel very smug.
7. Discover Drool-Worthy Food Finds
Where to start, where to start?! Melbourne’s not exactly short on finger lickin’ food options of any variety, but if you know where to go you’ll be able to find some hidden gems that will leave you feeling tickled-pink that you found them, and full to the brim.
Dex2Rose is tucked off Little Bourke Street and is our pick for made-in-front-of-you level fresh gelato.
For super late night eats, Pizza Pizza Pizza on Meyers Place is our favourite, and if you still feel like another tipple, nip through the back door and grab a cocktail. Hot tip: The dirty martini is our favourite.
Editor's note: This article is proudly sponsored by Melbourne Gin Company and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.
Image credit: Michelle Jarni for The Urban List