St Kilda beach, people swimming in water and lounging on sand
St Kilda has a laid-back vibe, with plenty of beach to be enjoyed in addition to incredible cafes and shops.
Photo Credit: Anna Ashton

From Lively to Laid-Back: Top 10 Attractions in Melbourne

Soaking up Melbourne

With a population of 4.8 million, Melbourne is absolutely buzzing with energy. I’ve managed to fit in quite a lot of sights while I’ve been here and I haven’t even scratched the surface. Melbourne is huge; no matter which direction you head in, there is always something to do.

The best way to get around to all the sites and attractions? Trams. Without question, they’re the most cost effective and convenient way of getting around Melbourne. I’d never been on a tram before, so the geek in me was rather excited to even just see one.

The payment method for travel in Victoria — the state Melbourne is located in — is Myki cards. These are much like Oyster cards (London) and MetroCard (New York).

I purchased my Myki Card at a local post office with a weekly pass, which I just topped up each week I was there. You can buy Myki cards from over 800 retail outlets including 7-Eleven, post offices and anywhere that has the Myki sign.

Before you start your journey, I highly recommend downloading the Public Transport Victoria app from the App Store. This app is incredibly helpful and easy to understand. Features include:

  • Journey planner
  • Real-time tram tracker
  • Real-time map
  • All night public transport for weekends
  • Next five departures
  • Transport network maps

Like I said above, Melbourne is huge and I’d suggest more than one visit or at least a lengthy stay to truly be able to take in half of what this great city has to offer. That being said, below you will find some of my favorite things to do in Melbourne that absolutely should be experienced while here.

St Kilda

St Kilda is buzzing with a very cool, laid-back energy and has tons of places to eat and drink. If you are looking for somewhere to have a nice cold drink or fill your belly, you may want to hit up Acland Street — it’s got it all going on.

From busy bars to laid-back cafes to deliciously sinful cake shops, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

One of my favorites here has been Republica, which sits right on the beachfront and provides some spectacular sunset views while enjoying some seaside dining. The vibe at Republica is relaxed and they have some great live music on the weekends.

Street with cars and mountain in background.Warburton might not be on your radar, but it certainly should be.Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Warburton

Warburton is a country town about 72 kilometers east of Melbourne’s central business district (CBD) with a population of around 3,000 — including surroundings. Warburton wasn’t actually anywhere on my radar, but a couple of friends were kind enough to invite us along and now it’s probably one of my favorite places.

The town itself is lined with a few cafes, ice creams bars, thrift stores and even a little confectionery store selling imports from around the world. While in Warburton we had lunch at Three Sugar’s Cafe, which I highly recommend as I experienced the best eggs Benedict I have ever had in my entire life; in fact all four of us were big fans of the food here.

If you’re in the mood for a stroll after having a meal here, just behind the cafe is a part of the Yarra River. If you cross over the bridge here, you will find a nice little trail to walk while enjoying the river views.

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Forest of redwood treesWalking among California Redwoods is a sight to behold.Photo Credit: Anna Ashton

Redwood Forest

Just a 15 minute drive from Warburton, you will find the Redwood Forest, which is home to a beautiful tree plantation of Californian Redwoods. What makes this particular plantation special for me is the layout. You can stand in the middle of this forest and every direction you turn creates a grand walkway.

This area actually reminded me a lot of the Haunted Forest in Game of Thrones… minus the white walkers, obviously. If, like me, you are into your photography, the Redwood Forest is really a must-do activity.

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