A neat and orderly blend of towering skyscrapers, friendly locals and lively neighbourhoods, the effortlessly diverse state capital of Victoria is an intoxicating place to explore over a couple of days. If you’ve got 48 hours in Melbourne, you’ll want to make the most of it.
Think: taking in the city centre’s historic buildings, bustling markets, and glorious parks by day, then making friends for life in the convivial bars and clubs tucked down the super-trendy laneways.
How to Spend 48 Hours in Melbourne
Get Your Bearings on the City Circle Tram
Once you’ve finished check-in at the trendy Hotel Ovolo Laneways, head outside and stroll over to the nearby City Circle Tram stop. In short time, an uber-charming and totally gratis heritage tram will rock up and take you on a leisurely tour around the Central Business District (CBD). If there’s a better way to get your bearings and check out the sights then we’ve yet to ear of it!
Visit Melbourne’s Incredible Loo with a View
There’s a good chance you’ll need to ‘go’ after your tram ride so do yourself a favour and get off somewhere close to the so-called ‘Paris’ end of Collins Street. Why here? Well, if you nip into the Sofitel Hotel, then take the lift up to the 35th floor, you’ll be presented with a view that is, quite literally, shit-hot. The floor-to-ceiling windows will encourage you to stick around for a Number Two…
Stretch Your Legs
Through no fault of your own, you may well have spent several hours sitting on your backside since arriving. To counter this, take a languid stroll around the walkable city centre. After taking in historic sights like the General Post Office, Parliament House and Old Treasury Building, head on over to bustling Victoria Market and soak up the bustle. The food court is a fine place to refuel with some tasty street food. Kangaroo burger optional
Lose Yourself in the Laneways
When evening kicks in, Melbourne’s labyrinth of hip laneways are where you need to be. As well as being home to cutting edge urban art and lively street performances, this inviting and evocative warren is chock-a-block with trendy cafes and cool bars. Don’t worry about Googling recommendations; just ask someone – anyone – “where’s good tonight, mate?” as soon as you hit the narrow streets.
Ease Into the Day with a Stroll
Start your day with a leisurely stroll along the scenic banks of the Yarra River, taking in legendary sports venues like the Rod Laver Tennis Arena and the colossal Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) as you go. A wander around the always gorgeous (and ever-peaceful) Royal Botanical Gardens is a great way to start the day, too.
Hit the Beach
Less than four miles south of the city centre, is St Kilda, a rather lovely stretch of biscuit-coloured sand that somehow manages to be all things to all people. Whether you’re looking for a spot of relaxed ray-catching time, a choice of lively watersports or an afternoon of theme-park fun, you’ll find it all on hand here. Tram 96 gets you there in around 20 minutes from Southern Cross Station.
Savour an Evening Meal at Stokehouse
After mooching around the open-air stalls of Esplanade Market and checking out the arts and crafts, treat yourself to an evening meal at the Stokehouse. A much-loved St Kilda institution, this swanky beachside eatery on Jacka Boulevard whips up the kind of seafood platters that dreams are made of. The ocean views are Insta-heaven, too.