Are you planning a weekend getaway at the cultural capital of Australia? Then this detailed plan of how to spend 48 hours in Melbourne is just right for you.
If you’re arriving on a Friday evening, then our first tip for you is to head to Eureka Tower. All the way up from the 88th floor of the tallest building in the city, you’ll have a pretty good notion of what the next 48 hours in Melbourne might look like. Also, the bright lights reflecting on the Yarra River are really something to see from above.
Another place to go when the sun goes down and the flickering red lanterns are on is Chinatown. There, you can have a late dinner of unexpected flavours at the wonderful modern asian restaurant Annam.
Riding trams and greeting penguins
First thing’s first, and on your first morning in Melbourne we recommend you take the free City Circle Tram. During this charming ride, you might notice the Victorian buildings rubbing shoulders with modern architecture. It also offers comment on the main tourist attractions and lets you hop off and on if you want to have a closer look.
Once you’ve seen the bigger picture, it is time to explore the maze of laneways and shopping arcades. From Spring Street all the way west to William Street, there are plenty of live music bars, pet friendly cafés, books, bikes and designer shops. Have a look at Block Arcade, Little Collins St. and Guildford Lane for shopping. And take a stroll down Hosier Lane if you’re into street art.
Reserve some time to visit the beautiful State Library of Victoria, the Art Deco Manchester Unity Building and the Queen Victoria Market. If your 48 hours in Melbourne happen to be during the week, make sure to grab a bite at the night market that happens every Wednesday. And since Mandarin is the city’s second language, you might feel the Asian vibe in each stall offering colourful and delicious meals.
At the end of the day, catch the 96 tram to St. Kilda’s beach. This artsy neighbourhood is made of picturesque corners and iconic places like the Palais Theatre and the Luna Park. Although the real treat rests on the beach, more specifically at dusk. Grab a good spot and you’ll soon see penguins waddling out of the ocean and into their burrows. You can also experience the Penguin Parade on Phillip Island, during an exciting tour that we can put together for you.
Arts and gardens by the Yarra river
Back in the city, the laid back atmosphere of the previous evening will follow you throughout the day. Although you’ve probably passed by Federation Square at this point, take some time to hang around and visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. A true landmark of the city, this is where Melbournians come together during Fed Square Live and other events that take place here every season. Check out a detailed agenda on their facebook page so you don’t miss any. Before venturing out on the southbank, stop by the iconic Flinders St. Station just across the street. The historic facade dates back to 1909 and contributes to the general European feel of this Australian city.
Finally, cross the Princes Bridge and head to the Arts Centre Melbourne for some handcrafted souvenirs straight from the Sunday market. Then, take a walk along the Yarra Promenade and the peaceful Royal Botanic Gardens, wrapping up your 48 hours in Melbourne with a city view from the Shrine of Remembrance.
Once you’ve covered our plan for 48 hours in Melbourne, you might want to come back and explore it by yourself. If so, please let us know your tips and favourite spots!