Melbourne is my favourite city in Australia, and one of my favourite cities in the world. Why? Melbourne is dynamic, its has character and flair. Its cosmopolitan vibe is exemplified through the numerous hip hidden bars and individual restaurants, whilst the city is defined by its every growing arts and cultural scene. Melbourne is a constant buzz of people from different places congregating together to create this city, nosily and happily swapping stories and sharing pints. The streets are elegantly decorated, however I think you can only discover true Melbourne until you explore like a local, or act like a tourist and get lost in it. That’s what we did. We got lost by accident and found ourselves down some cool alleyways with graffiti, artsy cafe’s and vintage shops called “Shag”. If I only I had money I could have experienced what true city life was like, which means one day I will grace Melbourne again, but with a suitcase instead of a backpack.
The city has much to offer and you can easily pass your time quickly here. Head to Collins Street or Queen Victoria Market where you can catch glimpses at other tourists who are aimlessly wandering and browsing the stalls. Check out the flurry of vintage clothes shops at George Street (which will make you wish you weren’t broke) and rest your feet at the beautiful botanical gardens.
The main tourist destination in Melbourne is Philip Island. Philip Island is an island where at dusk, flocks of tourists sit on tiered seating in street lamps and watch hundreds and hundreds of tiny penguins dressed in their Sunday best shuffle to the beach to their various nests finding their partners with their specific mating calls, hoping for a night of romance and romping. It really is a fantastic experience to see all these animals arrive at a specific certain time, as if all listened to an alarm clock whilst swimming in the ocean, to remind them off their important date with their loved ones, – just respect them by keeping quiet and not using your camera with a flash on.
After spending half our time in the city centre we took the tram to glitzy and arty St.Kilda. Another reason why I love Melbourne! Sydney has hectic Bondi but chilled Manly, whilst Melbourne has its only beach spot with the perfect vibe to it. The beauty of nice restaurants and cafe’s dotted along the sea front, while people skate and bike along the pier, create this funky artsy feel to the place. We spent our nights drinking goon and went to Fitzroy street, famous for its gay clubs and cocktails. Ending our night at The Vineyard we came to the conclusion that St.Kilda definitely made us fall in love with Melbourne even more.
The one thing that I couldn’t recommend more is the hostel we stayed in at St. Kilda: Habitat HQ. Although many prostitutes gather on the street outside, don’t be put off. This hostel has a friendly atmosphere to it with free internet, sofas and a community area as well as a kitchen that has free food. FREE FOOD. Not even noodles that people leave behind, but chocolate cake and sausages. That place won us over by the most amount of food we ate in 4 months.