For festivals, culture and activities in Australia, there aren’t many places that can rival Melbourne.
Our second most populated city is constantly bustling with events and things to see and do, and any visitor would need months to get through all that Melbourne has to offer.
However, not every traveller has time to stay that long in this city – so here are all the must-do’s you should add to your itinerary:
Rise with the sun
They say the early bird gets the worm, so if you’ve got just 48 hours in the city, make sure you rise early to make the most of it. Start your day with a piping hot coffee and freshly baked breakfast from one of Melbourne’s most popular cafe hotspots – there are plenty to choose from in the inner city.
Try Manchester Press cafe, located on Rankins Lane in the heart of the city. They serve great coffee, complemented by a range of delicious bagels such as a pulled pork or salmon bagel, along with plenty of other mouth-watering treats.
Explore the inner city
While you’re in the CBD, be sure to explore all the attractions close by. Spend an hour picking up some fashion-forward pieces at the Melbourne Central shopping centre or scouring vintage clothing centres such as Out of the Closet.
Plus, no shopping itinerary is complete without a visit to the historic Queen Victoria Market. This landmark is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and both days of the weekend. Here, you’ll find fresh local produce, fashion bargains, and plenty of other goodies, in a bustling and vibrant atmosphere.
Visit the Melbourne Aquarium for premium shark and fish viewing, and the ARC ONE Gallery for a spread of contemporary art.
For a breath of fresh air within the city, a visit to the romantic Melbourne Royal Botanical Gardens can’t go amiss. Located on Birdwood Ave, the famous gardens spread over 38 hectares of land. While away the afternoon with a lovers’ walk through the gorgeous grounds.
Dine in style
Once your day of exploring the city’s best urban attractions draws to a close, make the most of the evening by dining at one of the many quality restaurants or bars in Melbourne. Don’t be afraid to ask the locals their favourite eateries, as there are some hidden gems to be found.
Secretive ‘laneway bars’ have become popular with Melbourne locals, and are known for serving up quality food and drink at affordable prices. Sister Bella is tucked away on Drewery Place, an alternative bar and eatery with a grungy yet cosy vibe. They serve up great antipasto tasting plates and a selection of wine and beer.
For a more classic dining experience, Bluestone Restaurant and Bar is a great all around venue for delicious food and even better cocktails. This basement bar is inspired by New York chic style, and offers tempting tapas and authentic wood-fired pizzas. Choose from the extensive wine list or a specialist cocktail, and toast to the ultimate weekend!
Venture to the outskirts
Since you’ve had a taste of the cityscape, spend day two of your 48 hour visit exploring the outskirts of Melbourne. The Yarra Valley is just one of the idyllic destinations located near the CBD, at just under an hour’s drive from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, and it’s the perfect way to spend your final day in Melbourne.
One of the best options is exploring the region’s fantastic vineyards. The Yarra Valley is famous for world-class wines and plenty of cellar doors, so take your pick. Yering Station is just one authentic wine experience to discover, and has been making quality wines since its establishment in 1838.
For a taste of luxury, indulge in a spa treatment at the Piaf Day Spa in the Yarra Valley. Choose from a divine facial, a spicy body glow or an aromatherapy treatment, all complete with stunning views of the surrounds. After a weekend jam-packed with sightseeing, a treatment in the Yarra is the perfect way to wind down your getaway.