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Melbourne: Experiencing the Other Popular Australian City

January 30, 2023
by Eliza Drohan

Your time in Sydney is going to come and go very quickly. Before you know it, it'll already be a few months since you have been here! (Trust me, it happened to me!) With that in mind, you will want to optimize your free weekends and plan accordingly. Behind Sydney, Melbourne is the second most popular city located in the state of Victoria. It is well known for its artistic, culinary, and social elements and ranks as one of the world's most livable cities. Melbourne is a must-do weekend trip and truly encompasses some of the best of Australia.

How to get to Melbourne from Sydney

There are a couple of options for how to get there: plane, train, or automobile. Since we don't have access to renting cars, the latter is automatically dismissed. When looking at prices and travel time, my group ended up taking the train. It was the cheapest option and we were looking forward to experiencing it, it was something new! The first train was Thursday night at 8:30pm and we arrived at 7am in Melbourne the following day. I was able to make a friend next to me and sleep a couple of hours which made the train ride go by fast!

On the way back to Sydney, we took the day train on Sunday from 8:30am-8pm all in one day. This ride felt a little longer, but I am still glad I did it. You get amazing views of the countryside full of kangaroos, sheep, and beautiful landscapes. One of my friends did decide to fly, and if you choose that option I would recommend booking a decent amount of time in advance to secure a cheaper ticket. In reality, it only takes an hour and a half by flight so it could be worth it if you are in a rush to get to and from your destination.

6 things to do in Melbourne

  1. Queen Victoria's Market

This is one of the most iconic things to experience while in Melbourne and probably my favorite. I would recommend going on a Saturday or Sunday morning because they have tons of food options and nothing beats the smell of fresh baked goods, Greek food, and coffee. I went during breakfast time and got a Greek breakfast sandwich filled with spinach and cheese. Melbourne has an extremely large Greek population so I would recommend trying a bit of what the Greek culture has to offer. My friends and I also waited in line to get the famous "American" donuts filled with fresh jam.

The American Doughnut Kitchen at Queen Victoria's Market
The American Doughnut Kitchen at Queen Victoria's Market.
  1. National Gallery of Victoria and Fed District

Both are free activities, and the Fed Square is known for its unique architecture and buildings. It is fun walking around there"”it so happens that the National Gallery of Victoria is located close by. There is a lot of Aboriginal art and it has some unique exhibits including a room full of giant skulls.

Aboriginal Art at the National Gallery of Victoria
Aboriginal Art at the National Gallery of Victoria.
  1. Saint Kilda Beach

A short bus ride away, Saint Kilda Beach offers sunshine, a beautiful view of Melbourne, and if you are lucky"¦penguins! If it fits in your schedule, try going during sunset because that is when the "little penguins" come back from their swim to sleep. There are also some great restaurants alongside the water if you get hungry like we were!

View of Melbourne from Saint Kilda Beach
View of Melbourne from Saint Kilda Beach.
  1. Concert

Melbourne is known for its art and culture scene and what better way to experience that than by going to a concert there! A couple of us went to see Tame Impala (who is from Perth, Australia) and it was absolutely incredible. The energy, music, and people made it an experience I will never forget.

Tame Impala at Rod Laver Stadium in Melbourne
Tame Impala at Rod Laver Stadium.
  1. Walk by the water

The best way to explore a new city is to walk around and learn about different features and landmarks on your own. The two areas I enjoyed strolling through were Port Phillip and the Yarra River. You may run into some events going on as well; at Port Phillip they were having a boat show that my friends and I were able to go see! Both bring lots of excitement and places to stop and shop, grab a coffee, or eat outside on a nice day.

Port Phillip
Port Phillip.
  1. Royal Botanical Gardens and Shrine of Remembrance

The beautiful inner city gardens are perfect for a nice day or if you are looking to fill up an hour or two of your plans. Walk through to see the different landscapes and find yourself at the Shrine of Remembrance. This landmark is a dedication for all the Australian service men and women, with a torch lit at all times.

Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne
Shrine of Remembrance.

If you are in Australia, visiting Melbourne is a must! Take advantage of the multiple transportation methods and pack in as much as you can. I was able to make some great memories that will last a lifetime.

Eliza Drohan is the Content Creator - Blogger.
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