How to Spend a Long Weekend in Melbourne

Delicious food, quirky laneways, countless coffee spots, boutique fashion shops and footy at the MCG are just some of the things which mean a long weekend in Melbourne is never really long enough. 

We absolutely love Melbourne and feel lucky to have lived here for the past 5 years. Across those years we must have visited hundreds of bars, rummaged in every market across the city and have covered a lot of kilometres around the CBD. 

Thanks to Melbourne’s fantastic tram network, getting around is really easy – especially if you’re staying in central Melbourne accommodation. Below we have put together your go-to guide for your next long weekend in Melbourne.

First things first, your accommodation. We recommend you stay on Flinders Lane in Melbourne or somewhere close to the CBD

Located on one of Melbourne’s most iconic laneways and in the heart of the fashion district, The Sebel Melbourne Flinders Lane Hotel is a sophisticated sanctuary. This hotel is one of our favourites and is one of the top spots we recommend to family and friends, it’s a great spot to base yourself while you explore Melbourne. Check out the oasis-style courtyard right in the city:

If you base yourself here you are in for a treat. There is so much to see, eat, drink and do! We have put together our ultimate long weekend itinerary below (thank us later!).

Friday Morning and Afternoon: Walk around the city and check out the South Melbourne markets (our personal favourite for food!)

A simple walk through the CBD reveals a treasure trove of heritage-listed buildings like Flinders Street Railway Station and St Patrick’s Cathedral. If you base yourself at The Sebel Hotel (or any hotel in the CBD) then you are spoilt for choice when it comes to streets, buildings and things to explore on foot. 

Be sure to check out both ACDC Lane and Hosier Lane for insta-worthy laneway photos (they are just near each other). 

You could check out these Melbourne walking tours:

The South Melbourne Markets is one of our personal favourites. It’s a lively, vibrant indoor market with stalls for produce, meat, seafood, wine, coffee and gifts. Be sure to check out the market website beforehand so you can plan your visit, there are often events, live music and family activities taking place.

Friday Night: Dinner in the city 

Did you know there are more than 1,600 cafes and restaurants to choose from in the CBD of Melbourne?! When we found out about this crazy number, we have been trying to conquer a large sample of Melbourne’s culinary offerings. Okay, we may have only gotten through about 40 of them in the city, but that’s still a fair chunk for a couple of hungry bloggers!

Here’s a list of some of our favourite dinner spots to-date:

  • Chin Chin
  • Lucy Lui
  • Mamasita
  • Hu Tong Dumpling Bar
  • Cumulus Inc
  • Tipo 00
  • Coda
  • Supernormal
  • Cutler and Co
  • Maha
  • Tonka
  • Red Spice Road
  • Left Bank Restaurant and Cocktail Bar 

Saturday Morning: Check out Queen Victoria Market

Another market because you really can’t get enough! The Queen Victoria Market is iconic to Melbourne. The market covers seven hectares and is the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Queen Victoria Market is very different to the South Melbourne Market and we would definitely recommend checking both of these out if you love your fresh produce, food, wine and quirky gifts. Check out the website for what’s on as there is usually a night market with food stalls, entertainment and cooking demonstrations.

Saturday Morning and Afternoon: Bar Crawl Around The City 

Bar crawl – need we say more? We have listed our top recommendations to check out here: 

  • Madame Brussels
  • Bomba Tapas Bar and Rooftop
  • Good Heavens Rooftop Bar
  • Garden State Hotel 
  • Young and Jackson
  • Campari House (rooftop)
  • Transit rooftop bar (Next to Flinders Street Station)
  • Arbory Bar and Eatery (on the Yarra River) 
  • Riverland Bar (on the Yarra River) 
  • Ponyfish Island (on the Yarra River) 
  • Leftbank Melbourne (on the Yarra River) 
  • State of Grace (Hidden Bar)
  • Goldilocks (Hidden Bar)
  • Cherry Bar

Saturday Night: Dinner at Crown (or along the Yarra River)

If you are in town celebrating something or feeling fancy then we definitely recommended spending your Saturday night at Crown Casino and Crown Towers. Within Crown you will find restaurants, bars, spas, shops, entertainment and so much more. 

Rockpool Bar and Grill is one of our favourite spots for a “treat yourself” dinner out. Rockpool is the place we would go to after winning some money in the Crown Casino and want to experience the finer things in life! The price of the dishes can be high but the service and food are exceptional. The food is always beautifully presented and you can tell the chefs here take a lot of pride in the dishes they serve.

Sunday Morning: Relax, sleep in and enjoy a classic Melbourne brunch (with coffee of course)

Melbourne’s coffee scene is world-famous, and even the most modest looking cafe should serve you a pretty decent coffee. Brunch in Melbourne is a must-do, typically Melbournians will order something along the lines of Smashed Avo on Toast,  Baked Eggs or an Insta-worthy acai bowl. We have listed some of our favourite brunch spots below:

  • The Grain Store (right near Southern Cross Station)
  • Kinfolk (a social Enterprise on Bourke Street in the city)
  • Hardware Societe (Melbourne CBD)
  • Industry Beans (Fitzroy)
  • Bentwood (Fitzroy)
  • St Ali Coffee Roasters (South Melbourne)
  • The Kettle Black (South Melbourne)
  • The Stables of Como (South Yarra)
  • Moby (Armadale)
  • Seven Seeds (Carlton)
  • Top Paddock (Richmond)
  • Pillar of Salt (Richmond)
  • Axil Coffee Roasters (Hawthorn)
  • Code Black Coffee (Brunswick)
  • Three Bags Full (Abbotsford)

If you have time after breakfast head out and get some fresh air, a stroll through the Botanic Gardens is a must!

Sunday Afternoon: Shopping time!

Melbourne has always had the upper hand over other cities when it comes to shopping (and I’m not being biased!) – when you walk through the Block arcade and Royal arcade in the CBD you will find such amazing detail in the mosaic tiles and ceiling details. There are countless amounts of boutique shops in the city. Stop in Art Melbourne Central or The Emporium as well as David Jones, Myer and H&M – all within walking distance of each other. 

If it’s bargains you are hunting for then head no further than Melbourne’s DFO (Direct Factory Outlets) hot spots:

DFO South Wharf: Located in the Melbourne CBD (next to the Docklands), DFO South Wharf has more than 180 stores. There’s always a sale on, it’s usually pretty packed and you are bound to pick up more than a few bargains. Stores include Peter Alexander, Kate Spade, Adairs, Bonds, Seed, Politix, Witchery, T2, Lorna Jane and so much more. 

DFO Spencer Outlet Centre (Southern Cross Station): DFO Spencer Outlet is the smaller of the two. It’s a good one to pop into if you have some time to kill while waiting for a train at Southern Cross or are walking past. We prefer the South Wharf location because of the sheer size and variety however this one is still worth popping on your list!

Sunday Night: Head back home and relax

It’s been a jam-packed, fun-filled, adventurous long weekend – head back to The Sebel for the afternoon and relax. If you can squeeze in the Monday off then you have planned it very well, order yourself some room service and try on all your new clothes! 

Other recommendations on things to do (to swap into this itinerary):

  • Day trip to the Yarra Valley
  • Day trip to the Great Ocean Road (12 Apostles)
  • Day trip to the Dandenong Ranges 
  • Suss out if there is a an AFL game at the MCG
  • Love Italian food? Check out Lygon Street in Carlton
  • Eat your weight in cheap dumplings anywhere in Chinatown
  • Check out the latest musical, comedy show or play
  • Take the train out to Brighton Beach and check out the famous beach boxes
  • Visit The Melbourne Museum 
  • Bar hop down Brunswick Street in Fitzroy
  • Visit the Camberwell Markets (retro, vintage, car boot market on Sundays only)
  • Take a picnic to the Parliament Gardens
  • Visit the South Melbourne markets (our personal favourite for food!)
  • Go for a walk around The Royal Botanical Gardens in East Melbourne
  • Head out to Chadstone to get your shopping fix on
  • Check out the National Gallery of Victoria 
  • Get active at Clip N Climb Melbourne
  • Saturday morning only: Check out The Fitzroy Mills Market and Rose Street Market (both markets are in the same street)
  • Day trip to St Kilda – Check out Luna Park and the famous St Kilda Beach

 



Shannon Clarke - Editor, The Wild Hideaway
Shannon Clarke - Editor, The Wild Hideaway

Shannon is a travel and lifestyle writer with a keen taste for global adventure – whether it be snorkeling in the waters of Fiji, or exploring the art and architecture of Barcelona. When Melbourne calls her back home, she spends most of her time exploring and planning weekend road trips. To fund all of her trips, Shannon is a freelance writer and marketer – she was named the Australian Young Marketer of the year in 2017!

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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