Melbourne is a great walking city. I love walking cities. For me, a walking city is one where you can just wander without an itinerary, and discover something at every turn. Whether its somewhere interesting to eat, interesting architecture, or a new neighborhood, these are some of the joys of discovery in a new city. Other great walking cities are of course, New York, and Paris.
I feel like there is so much more to see and do in Melbourne, and I did not spend nearly enough time. I will have to go back so this is by no means a guide to Melbourne, but a summary of some of the more memorable things.
- Walk along the river in South Bank
- walking along the river
- lots of cafes and restaurants
- Eureka Skydeck 88 (view below)
- repeat walk at night and check out the many floating bars along the river
- check out the Crown casino; its a huge complex with tons of restaurants and nightlife
2. Markets – There are many markets in Melbourne. The one we went to was the Queen Victoria Market.
At he market, I had the quintessential Australian meat pie. I had a few throughout the country and I really like them. They are traditional served with tomato sauce (ketchup). One thing I found throughout Australia is that sauce/condiments do not come with whatever you order. You have to pay extra – usually $1-$2 for a packet or small container. So, if you want ketchup with your fries, you pay, tartar sauce with your fish and chips, you pay…
I also had some great coffee which they take very seriously in this country.
3. Explore Laneways (alleys) – Melbourne has a lot of laneways where you will find amazing wall art, places to eat, and nice shops. Here is one example:
4. Walk and Eat – It seemed like every second store in the city was an eating or drinking place. Once day we decided to walk towards Chinatown, and stop and eat along the way. First, we came across this rooftop bar at the QT Hotel. It was 4PM on a Friday and already packed. Its a sign of an intelligent culture when they know how to unwind.
Next we stumbled across Mr. Crackles, a place which specializes in Chicharron (fried pork skin that has ZERO carbs by the way). This made me very excited and it was delicious.
…followed by some some Korean/Japanese bbq. We ordered a sample of Australian Wagyu from Wagyu One…
…and then entered Chinatown
…and lined up for Xiao Long Bao at Shanghai Street. The outside of this restaurant looked impressive enough with the ladies making the XLB fresh in the window. However, the dumplings were not good. The skin was way too thick, none of them had any soup, and the filling was bland. I would skip this place.
On another day, we walked down Flinders and tried the pho at Pho Flinders. There are a LOT of Vietnamese restaurants in Melbourne. The pho was pretty good. As was the case in many less formal places in Australia, there is no table service. You order and then sit down. All beverages etc are self serve. Note too that tipping is not a common practice in Australia.
After the pho, we walked by Walkers Doughnuts, and had some jelly filled doughnuts and coffee. Even in a casual place like this, the coffee was freshly made to order from Italian machines. Very impressive. Everything was delicious.
As mentioned earlier, I did not spend nearly enough time in this city. There were so many places I wanted to eat at. Some cities, I spend 2-3 days and am done, and would never return. Melbourne is definitely not one of them. Where do you like to eat in Melbourne?
Melbourne is also great for shopping. There are many malls and great streets to walk on a nice sunny day. The two we checked out were Chapel St and Collins.
Collins – a nice walk with many high end designer brands having a presence
Chapel – more boutique type stores with a lot of interesting cafes
Can’t wait to go back to Melbourne! What else is good to do in Melbourne?