Melbourne City

Cool Things To Do With Your Friends In Melbourne

Melbourne‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌hip,‌ ‌dynamic‌ ‌metropolis,‌ ‌with‌ ‌an‌ ‌exciting‌ ‌city‌ ‌center,‌ ‌inner-city‌ ‌neighborhoods‌ ‌that‌ ‌are‌ ‌full‌ ‌of‌ ‌unique‌ ‌character,‌ ‌and‌ ‌lush‌ ‌green‌ ‌parks‌ ‌and‌ ‌mountain‌ ‌ranges‌ ‌where‌ ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌enjoy‌ ‌Australian‌ ‌nature‌ ‌at‌ ‌its‌ ‌finest.‌ ‌ ‌

The‌ ‌city‌ ‌is‌ ‌known‌ ‌for‌ ‌its‌ ‌many‌ ‌laneways,‌ ‌its‌ ‌cultural‌ ‌diversity,‌ ‌excellent‌ ‌dining‌ ‌options‌ ‌for‌ ‌all‌ ‌budgets,‌ ‌and‌ ‌amazing‌ ‌street‌ ‌art.‌ ‌It’s‌ ‌also‌ ‌known‌ ‌for‌ ‌being‌ ‌the‌ ‌coffee‌ ‌capital‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌world,‌ ‌and‌ ‌for‌ ‌being‌ ‌regularly‌ ‌voted‌ ‌as‌ ‌the‌ ‌world’s‌ ‌most‌ ‌livable‌ ‌city!‌ ‌
Let’s‌ ‌explore‌ ‌the‌ ‌best‌ ‌things‌ ‌to‌ ‌do‌ ‌in‌ ‌Melbourne:‌

union electric bar & rooftop gin garden google s

Have a gravity-defying drink up at Rooftop Bar

What is it?
Rooftop Bar is a bar… on a rooftop.
Why go?
For a city with such temperamental weather, we sure do love a rooftop bar. Our city is basically covered by them, but the most popular is Rooftop Bar.

Once you ascend the seemingly endless flight of stairs up Curtin House (passing Cookie and the Toff in Town along the way), catch your breath and quench your thirst while taking in the heart and soul of Melbourne from above. Kick back on the fake grass or huddle under the heating and lose yourself in the spectacular view.
Don’t miss:
Getting friendly with the vertical lane that is Curtin House while you’re there. This six-story building houses some of Melbourne’s most interesting tenants, from bookshops to hairdressers, restaurants, and high fashion mavens.

Get your beers and burgers with an unbeatable view

Many a Melburnian has weighed up the merits of waiting for the slow-moving Curtin House elevator or trudging the seven flights of stairs up to Rooftop Bar. Usually, the latter wins out, taking you past Cookie, the Toff in Town, and whichever curious design store has popped up since your last visit.

Once you’ve made the hike, reward yourself with a pint of beer, a carafe of ruby-hued sangria or a mug of mulled wine, depending on the weather.

Thanks to acres of AstroTurf, garden furniture and sturdy plastic glassware, there’s a chilled backyard-barbecue vibe to Rooftop, even in winter when you’re huddled around heaters. In summer, fair warning though, you might be kicked out once the movie starts at sunset.

But once you have a few beers and a burger under your belt, the walk back down the stairs isn’t nearly so bad.

Chinese New Year

See the lion dance in Chinatown during Chinese New Year

What is it?
Every February Melbourne kicks off its Chinese New Year celebrations, which often include traditional live music, food, firecrackers, street performers, martial artists and the traditional lion dance down Little Bourke Street aka Chinatown.
Why go?
Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year is for many a time to get together with friends and family to wish for good luck and a prosperous year ahead. As Melbourne’s Asian communities celebrate, everyone is invited to join in the festivities all around the city.
Don’t miss:
Tying it in with a visit to Melbourne’s best yum cha eateries. You won’t regret it.

Secret Kitchen Chinatown

Secret Kitchen is recognizable by its curved fish tank on the corner of Little Bourke and Exhibition Street, signifying that they specialize in seafood. 

Don’t worry – the place doesn’t slouch in the yum cha department. Secret Kitchen falls under the China Bar umbrella, and this two-story Cantonese restaurant is the place to go when you’re in the mood for a big feed. You definitely have to book in for yum cha on the weekends or you will be turned away, as this is the go-to for any Chinese-Melburnian. 

Gold Leaf Yum Cha

As part of the Gold Leaf group, Docklands’ branch is a safe haven for dim sum chasers who want their dishes served hot and their service efficient. You’ll find all your typical dishes here like har gow, sui mai, chicken feet and tendon, but pay special attention when the barrel of fresh, silken tofu rolls past for some of the best tofu fa (fresh, warm tofu topped with a ginger soup) in Melbourne. 

Golden Dragon Palace

You’re going to have to get on a bus to Templestowe to get to Golden Dragon Palace, but at least the bus stop is right out the front. Carved dragons, a piano and man-sized urns surround pristine linen-covered tables, which makes GDP one of the more ornate Cantonese restaurants around. 

Weekend tables require a booking, and seatings are a very fast 50 minutes. Siu mai comes with an XO sauce, sweet suckling pig is all crisp skin and melting meat. GDP is the place to try something different, as the 100-plus dishes available at yum cha offer more interesting dishes than just har gow and cheung fun. 

Crystal Jade

This bustling first-floor Cantonese restaurant is packed for both lunch and dinner services for its seafood-forward dishes.

Yum cha occurs daily and alongside more traditional dishes, wu gok (fried taro dumplings) may be stuffed with a creamy chicken filling rather than the usual pork gravy, and golden lava buns (steamed buns filled with a sweet-savoury runny salted egg yolk custard) arrive steamed in orange-tinged buns.

Book on weekends or be herded like cattle amongst all the parked prams at the top of the stairs for your window of opportunity.

David’s

David Zhou’s formal Chinese restaurant offers Shanghainese yum cha where you can expect platefuls of dumplings, spring rolls, veggie fried rice, pork and prawn siu mai and pork buns. Sweet treats come in the form of banana Fritters or white chocolate dumplings, and it can all be washed down with their extensive wine menu or a cold Tsingtao.

Yum cha is available every day the venue is open, but make sure to arrive early to nab the most popular dishes. 

Shark Fin Inn

The ‘original’ Shark Fin restaurant has been offering up traditional Cantonese food to Melbourne’s city-goers since the ’80s. It does daily yum cha service that doesn’t require a booking, but weekends will bring lines snaking out onto Little Bourke Street, ready to be ushered to their reserved tables.

The har gow are beautifully sweet and bitey, but the real winner is the ngau yuk cheung fun (steamed beef rice noodles) that are so silky you can’t resist slurping the sweet soy-soaked sheets.

Tim Ho Wan

There are few things in life worth waiting for, but Tim Ho Wan’s barbecue pork buns are worth the wait. These sweet-savoury, lard- and sugar-crusted buns are baked rather than steamed, and the featherweight pastry filled with a jammy barbecue pork interior makes good sense with the dusting of sweetness. 

More traditional dumplings come in the form of the arrestingly translucent casings containing a wealth of garlicky spinach and some shyly hiding shrimp meat. Thankfully there are no lines at THW anymore, but the one-sheet ordering system still stays. Sorry, there is no trolley service to satisfy your impulse eating at this dim sum house.

Find out more at https://www.timeout.com/

Buxton Contemporary

Buxton Contemporary

Buxton Contemporary opened in 2018 at the University of Melbourne’s art school, the Victorian College of the Arts. Designed by renowned architects Fender Katsalidis, the museum is located in the heart of the Melbourne arts precinct where it provides a creative forum through which the University engages local, national and international audiences with the best of contemporary Australian and international art.

Buxton Contemporary is the result of a landmark gift to the University by the art collector Michael Buxton. In 1995 Michael founded the Michael Buxton Collection with the aim of developing a museum-quality collection of contemporary Australian art.

In 2014, in one of the most significant acts of cultural philanthropy in Australian history, Michael and Janet Buxton donated the Collection to the University of Melbourne and funds to build and partially endow a new museum in which to house it. Buxton Contemporary uses the Michael Buxton Collection as a foundation and inspiration for exhibitions, performance, research, teaching and publishing.

Admission to Buxton Contemporary is free.

Accessibility:

  • Actively welcomes people with access needs
  • Suitable for guests who have challenges with learning, communication, understanding and behavior
  • Suitable for guests with a vision impairment. Attained by providing for guests with partial vision impairment or total loss of useable vision
  • Suitable for guests with sufficient mobility to climb two or three steps, but would benefit from fixtures and fittings to aid balance
  • Suitable for guests who depend on the use of a wheelchair in a seated position at all times
  • Actively welcomes people with access needs
  • Suitable for guests who have challenges with learning, communication, understanding and behavior
  • Suitable for guests with vision impairment. Attained by providing for guests with partial vision impairment or total loss of useable vision
  • Suitable for guests with sufficient mobility to climb two or three steps, but would benefit from fixtures and fittings to aid balance
  • Suitable for guests who depend on the use of a wheelchair in a seated position at all times

Find out more at https://www.visitvictoria.com/

high tea at the Windsor

Have a fancy high tea at the Windsor

What is it?
Afternoon tea at the Windsor is a strictly traditional afternoon tea complete with ribbon sandwiches, warm scones and an ever-changing array of pastries.
Why go?
It’s one of the best high teas in Melbourne (and partly because of the dark and light chocolate fountains that roll out on weekends).
Don’t miss:
Trying the Grey De Luxe tea, enjoyed by members of high society since the 1880s after it was made famous by Earl Grey himself.

For timeless elegance and tasteful luxury, you won’t do better than the Hotel Windsor

Dripping in old-world charm and the glamour of a bygone era, this grand dame is really something special. The hotel opened its doors in 1883 and has welcomed guests such as Lauren Bacall, Katharine Hepburn, Vivien Leigh, Gregory Peck, Anthony Hopkins, Malcolm Fraser, Gough Whitlam, Robert Menzies and Metallica. 

The décor here is understated and refined, with tasteful furnishings, soaring ceilings and pretty leadlight accents rather than the cold and tacky flashiness of some ‘luxury hotels. The staff is warm and attentive, happy to help with everything from nearby bar recommendations to forgotten toothbrushes. 

The rooms themselves are elegant, with marble bathrooms and soft linens and towels. If you want to splash out, the 122-square-meter Victorian Suite is grand and elegant, with a dining room, separate lounge and second bedroom. Huge windows on both sides make the suite feel more like an upper-class 19th-century pied-â-Terre than a hotel room.

Modern amenities like two LCD televisions, excellent water pressure and luxury bath products don’t interfere with the 19th-century vibe, but they will make your stay extremely comfortable. 

Located in a prime position on Spring Street, the Windsor is in a perfect location to visit state parliament, Melbourne Museum, the Old Treasury Building or the Princess, Comedy or Her Majesty’s theatres. 

Find out more about this topic at https://www.timeout.com/

Koorie Heritage Trust

Koorie Heritage Trust

We offer a range of authentic Victorian Aboriginal experiences from the Birrarung Wilam (River Camp) walk; one of the largest collections of Koorie art and artifacts on permanent display; an annual exhibition program showcasing local Aboriginal artists; plus, an opportunity to purchase handcrafted locally made gifts.

Their purpose is to provide you with an authentic experience of Aboriginal art and culture from the First Peoples of southeast Australia by showcasing this dynamic living culture in new ways. Come and visit today.

  • Koorie Heritage Trust is open 10:00am to 5:00pm, seven days a week, except for all Victorian and National Public holidays.
  • Established in 1985, the Koorie Heritage Trust is Aboriginal-owned and managed.
  • Entry to the Koorie Heritage Trust is free.

Accessibility:

  • Actively welcomes people with access needs
  • Suitable for guests who have challenges with learning, communication, understanding and behavior
  • Suitable for guests with a vision impairment. Attained by providing for guests with partial vision impairment or total loss of useable vision
  • Suitable for guests with a hearing impairment, from mild hearing loss to profoundly deaf
  • Suitable for guests with sufficient mobility to climb two or three steps, but would benefit from fixtures and fittings to aid balance
  • Actively welcomes people with access needs
  • Suitable for guests who have challenges with learning, communication, understanding and behaviour
  • Suitable for guests with a vision impairment. Attained by providing for guests with partial vision impairment or total loss of useable vision
  • Suitable for guests with a hearing impairment, from mild hearing loss to profoundly deaf
  • Suitable for guests with sufficient mobility to climb two or three steps, but would benefit from fixtures and fittings to aid balance

arts house melbourne

See a show at Arts House

What is it?
One of Melbourne’s best small theatres, Arts House is where you can go when you don’t have the dollars to catch a mainstage show.
Why go?
Going to a smaller theatre will no doubt reward you with cutting-edge, locally made theatre for at least half the cost. Committed to contemporary performance in all its guises, Arts House presents an innovative year-round program of national and international works, including theatre, dance, live art, digital and visual art.
Don’t miss:
Arts House also presents annual festivals –Festival of Live Art (FOLA) and Dance Massive – and provides the creative community with multiple artistic development programs.

Arts House splits its program across two venues: the North Melbourne Town Hall and the Meat Market (5 Blackwood St, North Melbourne). Committed to contemporary performance in all its guises, Arts House presents an innovative year-round program of national and international works, including theatre, dance, live art, digital and visual art. 

Arts House also presents annual festivals: Festival of Live Art (FOLA), Dance Massive and Going Nowhere; and provides the creative community multiple artistic development programs.

Heide Museum of Modern Art Melbourne

Heide Museum of Modern Art

From 30 June, Heide will be open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm. Please book a timed entry ticket online prior to your visit.

Heide Museum of Modern Art, or Heide as it is affectionately known, began life in 1934 as the Melbourne home of John and Sunday Reed and has since evolved into one of Australia’s most unique destinations for modern and contemporary Australian art.

Located just twenty minutes from the city, Heide boasts fifteen acres of beautiful gardens, three dedicated exhibition spaces, two historic kitchen gardens, a sculpture park and the Heide Store.

Café Heide, located in the sculpture plaza opposite the main entrance of the museum, serves coffee, breakfast and a delicious lunch-time menu that focuses on seasonal produce grown in the kitchen garden.

Visit the website for information on the exhibitions and programs and to discover the museum’s fascinating history.

Accessibility:

  • Actively welcomes people with access needs
  • Suitable for guests with a vision impairment. Attained by providing for guests with partial vision impairment or total loss of useable vision
  • Suitable for guests with a hearing impairment, from mild hearing loss to profoundly deaf
  • Suitable for guests who depend on the use of a wheelchair in a seated position at all times

Find out more at https://www.visitvictoria.com/

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