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A city of culture, coffee, and magical adventures, Melbourne has owned this corner of the world and made it famous for its vibrant cultures and interesting attractions that blend together to create a city filled with life. Every tourist is familiar with the renowned sightseeing spots like the Federation Square and Queen Victoria Market.
But if you’re in search of a more authentic and local experience, there are some great spots Melbournians love and frequent. Whether you’re planning on having a romantic getaway, shopping and dining or exploring the undiscovered, here’s what to do in Melbourne according to a local.
Touted as “the world’s best” by a New York Times writer, The Lune Croissanterie is a bakery beloved by the locals.
Crafted with precision in a climate-controlled glass lab, the croissanterie churns out a variety of croissants, cruffins (croissant muffin hybrid) and kouign-amann (multi-layered butter cake) daily. However, its cult status means that you might have to get in line early and brave the long queues as everything in the shop is usually sold out by noon!
Another local activity you can indulge in during your stay in the city is having a picnic at the sprawling sculpture gardens of the Heide Museum of Modern Art just a 20-minute drive from the heart of the CBD. Spanning 15 acres, there’s plenty of room for families, children and even your furry, four-legged friends! You can find a spot near the river Yarra on one side or admire the museum building from the other side.
For the full, authentic Aussie experience, you can even pick up local snacks like Tim Tams, Lamingtons (sponge cake covered in chocolate or berry sauce and coconut flakes) or the nostalgic Cheezels for your picnic.
The best scoops in the city are found at Pidapipo, whose owner Lisa Valmorbida actually graduated from a gelato university in Italy!
We would recommend you try the Baci or banana milk gelato on brioche or the Nutella on tap. The gelato is made Italian style – an authentic treat for hot and even cold days.
A local favourite since 1949, the South Melbourne Market Dim Sim is one of the most delicious foods you can try while in the city. These are not the bulk standard dim sim; choose from fried or steamed large, round cricket ball-sized parcels stuffed with meat or cabbage and spices – be sure to enjoy them with a drizzle of soy sauce and chilli.
If you’re not ready to wait in line with the locals, frozen dim sims are also available at local supermarket Woolworths.
The famous beach is best visited from around noon. You can relax on the beach, enjoy a swim or read a book while waiting for the sunset. Particularly breath-taking from here, Brighton Beach offers a panoramic view of the setting sun over Port Philip Bay.
Feeling adventurous? You can also head out to catch some waves on a surfboard. Don’t leave without snapping some photos with the iconic colourful bathing boxes that line the beach.
The Rooftop Bar is the most popular site for locals for some time now, and for a very good reason – the view is spectacular! Melbournians never get tired of looking at their city’s lights while sipping on a cocktail. Just a ten-minute walk away from Fraser Place Melbourne, you can freely let your hair down for some late-night drinks here without worrying about your commute home after.
Or if you prefer to stay in, the prime location of the serviced residence offers guests on its rooftop terrace a splendid view of the city with space to wine and dine.
There’s no better way to be introduced to the Melbourne music scene than at Revolver Upstairs. Located in the Prahran suburb, the nightclub has been a hit in the city since it opened in 1997.
The vibrant colours of the place, cool DJs, art shows, live bands, and restaurant makes this spot irresistible. Just don’t forget to buy tickets for the gig you want to see or make a booking before you visit.
Need a good read at the late hour? Look, buy, browse and even smell the books at the Readings Carlton bookshop till as late as 11pm! Aside from featuring a vast assortment of books, the bookstore also makes it a point to help and support local authors with prizes.
Staff here are friendly and helpful and are always on hand to give you useful recommendations on what to read next. They also have other outlets across the city, including one in the very instagrammable State Library Victoria.
Once an old car factory, Welcome to Thornbury is now a popular beer garden with a rotating schedule of food trucks. The first permanent bar and food truck stop in Melbourne, it is also dog-friendly, making it a hit with the locals.
The park opens Tuesdays to Sundays from afternoon till late – perfect for after-work gatherings or simply winding down for the night.
A pub might be one of the most unlikely places for a quiz, but that’s exactly how it’s done in Melbourne. These fun trivia nights at some of the clubs in the city feature questions on everything from British comedies to alien conspiracy theories. Moreover, you can enjoy this testing of your general knowledge with a cold beer and a plate of fish sticks on the side – what’s not to like?
If you’re game, in the CBD there’s The Mitre Tavern, holding the record for Melbourne’s longest and continuously running trivia night. For fans of the silver screen, here’s an option for you. Cinema Nova hosts a trivia night at their bar on Tuesdays where you stand a chance to win movie tickets, DVDs and even books!
Ready to see this city in a different light? Refresh and recharge in comfort and luxury at Fraser Place Melbourne. Tucked away in a charming lane within the CBD, the fully furnished serviced apartments offer a premium address within easy reach of dining, entertainment and retail options.