Melbourne is truly one of the most explorable and eclectic modern cities in the world and with its great walkability and transport system, it's easier to navigate and enjoy in a short amount of time. However it's always evolving and with its foodie scene, caffeine culture and amazing nightlife, the city deserves multiple visits.
Fantastic coffee, great-tasting food, endless green parks, a relentless sporting and social calendar, we look at how you can enjoy an amazing 48 hours in arguably the most culturally, sporting and culinary city in Australia, Melbourne!
Day 1: Morning
Melbourne is synonymous with great coffee and fantastic food. As the city of coffeeholic’s it’s not difficult to get a cup of java perfection but you want to pair it with the perfect meal and Lune Croissanterie's croissants were named "the best in the world" by the New York Times. They also serve lemon curd cruffins, and other tasty pastries to pair with your coffee.
A stroll around the St Kilda coastal suburb of Melbourne is a must-do in the city and a good walk to burn off the morning indulgence and make room for more treats. St Kilda is defined by Acland Street with its variety of divine cake shops and bakeries, cafes and eateries.
The suburb is home to the famous St Kilda Esplanade with its many beachside activities. For Instagram and nostalgic reasons, a trip past the oldest theme park in Australia is essential - so stop in front of Luna Park for that digital memory or go inside and try out the rides.
(The nearby St Kilda pier offers the chance to possibly see penguins after sunset.)
Day 1: Afternoon
Melbourne's is famous for its street art and there is plenty of great quality on display in the back alleys and central CBD streets. Hosier Lane, a short walk from Federation Square is perhaps the most famous for its urban art but other locations to visit include Centre Place and ACDC Lane.
From the city centre, you can also make the trek to see some of the famed wildlife in Australia such as koalas, emus, Tasmanian devils and wombats, at the Melbourne Zoo. There are several huge wildlife areas and daytime as well as nighttime specific events and attractions. The zoo is vast and a little further out of town (still reachable by public transport or private taxi) and offers a wonderful chance to see wildlife from the region and globally.
The Melbourne Cup is Australia's most famous annual Thoroughbred horse race and forms part of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. As the “richest "two-mile" handicap in the world and one of the richest turf races, it draws celebrities and HNWI from around the globe.
The event takes place at the start of each November at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne and the race week is filled with champagne and canape, black tie and other glamorous events.
A small selection of VIP tickets are reserved for celebrities, political figures and those of significant importance, sponsors and their guests.
Melbourne Fashion Week
Also in November is the annual Melbourne Fashion Week which has several city-wide events celebrating local and international fashion. With exclusive events taking place, which includes design launches, catwalk events, evening socials and black tie at popular restaurants and bars.
There are even fashion capsules planned throughout the city with pop-up boutiques.
Day 1: Evening
If you have worked up an appetite after a busy day, there are so many excellent dining destinations in Melbourne to choose from in the evening.
Tonka is a foodies getaway and is considered one of the best restaurants in Melbourne. Or you can try Attica - one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, well-known for embracing local Australian ingredients and produce (bookings may be required).
The truth is Melbourne is host to numerous secret bars and new ones pop up all the time, which makes the city fun and exciting to explore on each visit. Some not-so-secret bars are the science laboratory-themed bar (Croft Institute), or Loch and Key (hidden behind a bookshelf. Get out and explore as many serve excellent cocktails and some are very exclusive to how many guests they can accommodate.
Day 2: Morning
A walk along the banks of the Yarra River on your second morning is great to get a feel for Melbourne. The river meanders through the city centre and the walk is also great for popping into the many many cafes, and restaurants on the river’s edge.
The main green areas and large parks of Alexandria and Queen Victoria Gardens, as well as the nearby Melbourne Park, are fantastic to explore.
The latter is close to the world-famous MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) which hosts cricket and AFL (Australia Football League). There are VIP and corporate box seats available for some of the biggest sporting matches in the country.
The Richmond Aussie Rules club ground is a stone’s throw away and hosts the popular Australian and state sport, while the nearby Rod Laver tennis complex is home to the annual Melbourne Open!
Australian Open - January
The Australian Open is the first grand slam of the year and has taken place annually in Melbourne since 1905. The Rod Laver Arena sits in a sporting complex of stadiums, representative of a very active and sporting city!
The Australian Open is the southern hemisphere's only Grand Slam tournament and attracts the world's best players and huge crowds despite the often extremely hot conditions. The Birrarung Marr offers live entertainment and plenty of food options as part of the Australian Open Festival, which also has live screenings of matches on big screens.
There are also world-famous chefs in attendance as part of the AO Chef Series so there is plenty to keep you busy aside from the tennis!.
Day 2: Afternoon
A walk (or tram) ride towards the hip and fashionable Fitzroy area (especially on Brunswick and Johnston Streets will take you to some of the most popular drinking and dining areas of the city and it has a hugely eclectic mix of venues.
Fitzroy Street provides retail therapy and gourmet restaurants. A slow walk around Melbourne’s rocking and rolling bars, music venues, many amazing cafes and boutique stores and markets in Fitzroy can be followed up by a visit to Carlton Garden which hosts the Melbourne Museum and IMAX.
It is worth heading over to the historical Abbotsford Convent which often has food markets and an on-site cafe that makes delicious treats and drinks. You can explore the grounds - which are a beautiful place to explore.
If you are visiting Melbourne in the summer, there are also countless pop up cinematic events, with rooftops, parks and other fun locations which often have a theme and serve food, snacks and drinks!
Day 2: Evening
Eureka Tower is another excellent stop and the 297.3 m skyscraper is located in the Southbank area of Melbourne. The tower provides fantastic views of the city and is the southern hemisphere’s highest observation deck. The Skydeck offers a range of experiences including dining at Eureka 89 or drinks at Bar 88.
As you start to wind down your 48 hours, head to Melbourne’s Chinatown – which has a few great restaurants such as Supper Inn serving congee with chicken, fresh seafood, hotpots and roasted suckling pig - it also stays open late so you can visit more secret bars before heading back for a late dining treat.
If you are searching for something more exclusive, some of the top clubs in Melbourne include Revolver Upstairs, New Guernica, The Night Cat, and Glamorama. Most will offer VIP spaces as well as private booths with exclusive bar service.
Find out about more experiences and our 48 Hour City Guides as well as our huge range of charter options throughout the globe and contact YUGO for tailored experiences and exclusive private flights.