Top 10 reasons to visit Melbourne (and never come back)

Choosing just 10 reasons to visit Melbourne is like an irony in itself. Melbourne was so very special to us from the moment we landed, and we could literally write a book on it!

Top 10 reasons to visit Melbourne

1. The Coffee

As coffee lovers, we thought we knew coffee. But we had no idea just how intense the coffee culture in Melbourne’s million cafes was. From lesser known nooks tucked away in the laneways, to our friend Kimmi whipping up Macchiatos and Expresso Martinis with the flair of a proper Barista at home, to a coffee tasting platter at St. Ali’s, that comprised house blends, single origins from Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Honduras or from brewing options like Cold Drip, Pour Over and Syphon, we knew tasting coffee will never be the same again. Melbournians really know their coffee, and they have every right to be proud of it.

Reasons to visit Melbourne

Reasons to visit Melbourne

2. The Food

When we say Australia is the food capital of the world right now, we’re not just going by what we’ve seen on Masterchef. We’re going by the passion with which locals buy and sell produce at the Queen Vic market. We’re going by the flair with which our friend Brett served up home-made beer ice cream on a peanut crunch with jasmine infused apricot puree as a part of a 6 course meal he whipped up at home. We’re going by the incredibly rich ice cream that was worth the endless queue at Messina. We’re going by the people at the Hardware Society who whip up a mean repertoire of egg based breakfasts. We’re going by the light and airy Vanilla slice from any of the cafes in St. Kilda. We’re going by the crispiest Barramundi we had for dinner at Chin Chin. We’re going by the unique flavours we discovered on Nobu’s dessert platter. (As you can tell we did a LOT of eating in Melbourne, and had to leave primarily for the sake of our waistlines).

Reasons to visit Melbourne

Reasons to visit Melbourne

Reasons to visit Melbourne


3. The Art

Melbourne wasn’t just a feast for our tastebuds, but for the eyes as well. We strolled around the laneways gawking at the breathtaking graffiti until our necks hurt. We even managed to catch some of the artists in action, and ended up standing and watching them create beauty from nothing for a few spellbound moments. (Read about our walk through the laneways here.) The National Gallery of Victoria, the Ian Potter Potter Square hold some incredible exhibits inside, and are stunning pieces of architecture in themselves. We gasped and oohed and oohed over them just like we did at the Flinders Station, Eureka Tower (where we were lucky enough to be staying on this trip), and the State Library. The thing about Melbourne is, every time you step out, you’re going to see a thing of beauty.


4. The Nightlife

Melbourne’s got a pretty crazy nightlife, especially over in the hipper neighbourhoods of Fitzroy (where we downed some mean Huxtaburgers while surrounded by hipster bars) and St. Kilda. For us however, the clincher was the nondescript Eau de Vie. A speakeasy cocktail bar, hidden behind a regular unmarked door. Knowing the bartender helped us get in on a pretty packed night, and were captured by the drama oozing out of theatrical cocktails like peanut butter jelly time (served in a teacup) and smoked whiskey (with actual woodchips burning away) or frozen expresso martinis. Another freakish experience was the Croft Institute where we felt like we’d just agreed to participate in some weird science experiment. We walked into a lab, where even the loos were like hospital waiting rooms and shots were served up in test tubes and other bizarre glassware.

Reasons to visit Melbourne

Reasons to visit MelbourneReasons to visit Melbourne

5. The Wine Region

Speaking of drinking, both Yarra and Mornington are within a morning’s drive away from the Melbourne City Centre. So off we went, all packed into a car visiting Paringa, Moorooduc, Stonier, where we downed wine after wine, to a point where we really couldn’t distinguish anymore. Patient winemakers personally talked us through their vintages, blends and tasting notes, encouraging us to spit out the ones we didn’t like. Thankfully the fresh crisp winter air kept us alert, and we did leave knowing and understanding a lot more about the region’s chardonnays.

Reasons to visit Melbourne

6. The Animals

While we didn’t get to step out to the Dandenongs, we did manage to spend an afternoon feeding wallabies, befriending kangaroos, staring and sleepy koalas and curious emus, holding our breath for smelly tasmanian devils, and meeting other Aussie wildlife at the Moonlit Sanctuary in Mornington. Maybe it had to do with Australia breaking off from Pangea so early in the life cycle of the planet, but we all agreed that Australia definitely deserved the very unique flora and fauna it boasted. Read about our visit to the Moonlit Sanctuary here.

Reasons to visit Melbourne

7. The Skyline

While in Melbourne, we stayed with friends who lived in one of the city’s iconic structures. So every morning, we woke up to a view that loads of travellers and tourists pay to see. The city skyline looked gorgeous from our perch in Eureka Towers, where we watched the stars and the moon, sunrise and sunset, played name that spot, looked wistfully at the Dandenongs in the distance, checked out the Etihad stadium and more. All in our pajamas over a morning coffee. How lucky were we?

Reasons to visit Melbourne

8. The Team Spirit

The first thing Brett brandished as soon as we landed were VIP seats to an Australian rules football game. He’d been wanting to get Charles to see one for years. When Charles joked about the team Brett supported, he looked up at him with a deadpan face and said, mate, this is serious. You don’t support the Roos, you’re looking for a hotel tonight. Needless to say, Charles slipped a beanie with the mascot of the North Melbourne Football Team on his head and went to the Etihad Stadium to watch a game of what he calls the most polite form of football he’s ever seen.

Reasons to visit Melbourne

9. The Great Ocean Road Drive

We’d always wanted to drive through Australia, and seeing as I’d already driven a fair bit of it when I was younger, we picked a route that neither of us had seen before – The Great Ocean Road. Setting off from the Avis car rental shop in Melbourne, we drove for 6 days across several landscapes and weather conditions, stopping to take a chopper ride over the 12 Apostles and London Bridge, walking to Erskine falls, trekking to Seal Colonies and generally admiring the South Australian coastline from various lighthouses and watchtowers as we heard eerie tales of shipwrecks. We spotted Kangaroos in the wild, and passed hours without seeing another soul. Coming from the second most populated nation in the world, this was such an incredible concept for us to wrap our heads around. Read about our Great Ocean Road Drive here.

Check out our video from the Great Ocean Road:

Great Ocean Road from Different Doors on Vimeo.


10. Surprise Surprise

This isn’t really a physical thing to see or do in Melbourne, but it’s definitely the most important of all of the reasons to visit Melbourne. The fact that it surprises you. As travel bloggers, we as usual had a detailed itinerary of the things we wanted to see and places we wanted to go in Melbourne. The only difference? This time, we threw all our plans out the window, and decided to let Melbourne look after us. Best. Decision. Ever. We may have missed out on some of the key sights people tick off their lists, but Melbourne managed to seduce us, astonish us, delight us, and basically take over all our senses pretty much the entire time we were there.


And.. a contest for you!

That’s the best thing about Melbourne, it means different things to different people. So here’s a little contest for you. Tell us (in the comments below) Which of these places would you want to visit in Melbourne and why? The lucky ones stand a chance to win some vouchers sponsored by Tourism Victoria. Contest ends 5th Jan 2015.  The contest has ended, thanks for all your entries. 

Drumroll… and the winner is Pragati! Congratulations, your voucher is on its way!

20 Discussions on
“Top 10 reasons to visit Melbourne (and never come back)”
  • Would love to see the street art in Melbourne – have seen a lot of pictures on the web, but I bet it’s a lot more exciting to discover it in person! Love your tenth reason too – I love it when a place takes you be surprise!

  • While I was there, I was shattered that I was unable to visit Philip Island to see all the little penguins come out to the shore lines! They also have some penguins in St Kilda. But breakfast was my favorite part of melbourne. No better way than waking up, getting an awesome coffee and a yummy breakfast (like poached eggs and avo mash!). mmm im drooling!

  • Undoubtedly, Moonlit Sanctuary to see the animals. Like the people, the animals make the place even more organically and originally. Meeting the koala or the kangaroo and understanding their daily habits would not only be interesting but also help understand the diverse nature.

  • Great post! After reading your post & watching all the videos, I’d most like to visit the Dandenong Ranges for it’s scenic beauty, breathtaking view and cool breeze blowing through my hair. 😛 I’d give anything away for driving through the winding roads which are present throughout the ranges. I’d love to stay at one of the bed and breakfast cottages and go on frequent excursions in the forests with my camera which provides excellent views. And not to forget the famous ride in the Puffing Billy, a day reserved especially for that. To add to that, there are also several picnic spots for me and my friends to spend a fun-filled day and the ranges are a perfect spot for hiking and cycling.

    Pingback: https://cruxrebels.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/melbourne-the-place-to-be-see/

    Wish you and your blog a happy new year! :D

  • Wonderful post and interesting videos that make me feel that
    Melbourne invites the eternal romantic in me to hold hands with my beloved and go see the Twelve Apostles .Go on long drives on the great ocean road. In the middle of nowhere in a vineyard spread a table and enjoy a meal and a glass of wine with my dear one. Enjoy the sunsets holding hands and do lots of shopping at the Queen Victoria Market and see all the graffiti being created at the hosier lane.
    Great Post and interesting videos watching them I am sure to visit Sovereign Hill for spending some time in the era gone by. The lure of gold and panning for some nuggets is a temptation that is too much to resist. After I have found the gold I am bound to celebrate it with some wine so I will visit the vineyards and enjoy some great wine from the Yarra region .Visit the Pannys Phillip Island Chocolate Factory and have my fill with this yummy delight.

  • The Great barrier reef, what else? There’s only one word to describe it completely, – Mesmerising. What more would one want if one gets to see the great barrier reef, the corals and the numerous creature our oceans have hidden away from us still preserving them for us. Ah, the sights make me yearn for a tour to Australia, atleast once in a lifetime.

    – Ranjith (http://www.alightheartedtalk.com)

  • A great post as usual! It’s almost like being in Australia.
    As for answering your question, I would love to visit the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Being a cricket enthusiast, I don’t think I would getter a better thrill in Australia than watching a Boxing Day Test Match live at the MCG. The Australian cricket fans are very hostile towards opposition players but are the first to appreciate a good player. I would want to sit amongst the 100,000 fans and cheer for my team. It would be even better if I got a seat next to Anushka Sharma so that if Virat Kohli scores a century and blows a kiss at her again, I would be on TV 😀

  • Wonderful post, Revathi..and much more grounded since you have been there in person :)..
    Missed meeting you at #IFBAatJW although I think I did see you there..been reading your posts since then..

    Driving through Victoria will be really awesome. Apart from all the listed places to see, i think it is the hinterland of a country, the unadvertised things that are the real deal. Driving through a place allows you to be spontaneous, and you can just pull over any time to take in a great view, or check out a small eating joint.. the Victoria region does seem to have a lot of diversity in terms of terrain and the scenery it offers for visitors.
    If I had to choose one, the Great Ocean Road would be it for me!

  • Interesting Post
    After reading your post and watching all the videos
    I feel I have stepped into a kaleidoscope called Melbourne
    Where Vistas of experiences would unfold one after another
    The nature lover in me is enticed by the thought of watching the penguin parade.
    Traveling though the great ocean road, soaking up the freshness as the breeze ruffles my hair gets me in the mood to pack my bags for Melbourne.
    But before I can move ,Puffing Billy whistles and invites me for a ride. The kid in me jumps with joy at the thought of visiting Pannys Phillip Island Chocolate Factory
    Even before I can deside on the list of places that I would like to see in and around Melbourne.
    What’s that noise that I hear ?
    Oh its loud cheer from MCG as the cricket world cup 2015 is about to kick start.
    So many plces to see and so much to do.
    I am thetimetraveler ( http://goo.gl/wdXDzu ) and I have decided … Melbourne here I come ( http://goo.gl/RvUCQf )

  • Great post! After reading your post & watching all the videos, I would definitely want to visit all those amazing places when I get to visit Melbourne 🙂 But of all, my top pick would be a visit to Yarra valley for a beautiful sunrise balloon flight. After seeing the video, I can’t stop myself from dreaming a romantic magical flight above the scenic vineyards and watching the sunrise from up above! Throw in my favorite wine, I will doubly enjoy the ride sipping my glass and taking sensational selfies all the way 🙂 Now I can’t think of a better way of spending a vacation!!

    Next of course, cruising through the great ocean road in a open-top car to enjoy the coastal scenery and the iconic 12 apostles for the nature’s amazing work at play. Then a ride around the city in the vintage trams to enjoy its urban splendor and the legendary puffing billy to enjoy its natural splendor. Finally a day at the hot springs to unwind and totally rejuvenate myself 🙂

  • Hi!
    We know beauty never need words but without words it cannot be explained and when you get wordless after seeing it… your mouth still get open wide and WOW comes out. Dear! Your explanation about Melbourne is wonderful and picturesque description. I am a person who always attracted to nature first of any place so I would love to see the Melbourne Nature & Wildlife. The 12 Apostles rock formations is world famous rocks which changes its color in sunrise and sun set. And then I will see the Phillip Island Nature Park where I want to see the animals which I hardly see in India. I never saw Penguins, Koala and other animals.
    Driving on a smooth road with natural beauty around you, it always gives you a feeling of heaven on Earth. I would love to drive on Great Ocean Road which is also famous in world to give you a scenic experience and the pleasure of that driving is amazing.


  • Hey ,Superb post ,so all set to pack bags to have a thrill at Melbourne,Now being high on my wish list .U’ve very well covered the best of Melbourne and for the entry in contest ,there cannot ever be a single place for me.It has to be a bouquet of places to calm down my zest to explore it.So naming ,first comes the Great Ocean road not just to linger or have a decent walk but to amaze myself with Jetskiing ,Scuba diving and to try swim with Dolphins,seal Yay,these beautiful creatures would be lucky to share a swim with me.ha ha.Then it would be Eureka Sky deck, to have an awe inspiring experience to be closest to sky and get the sky deck view of this liveable city, MCG to watch and cheer the players on one of the worlds best cricket ground!

    Wishing u Best of Luck & a great year ahead.

    Visit my blog


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