Travel: Insider’s Guide To Melbourne

Contemplating a trip Down Under this year? Our friends at Incu, who have locations in Sydney and Melbourne, have kindly given us an insider’s guide to Melbourne…

You should stay at… The Brooklyn Arts Hotel on George Street in Fitzroy. It’s a really charming little bed & breakfast run by a lady called Maggie. Staying in Fitzroy, you’re surrounded by some of the best cafes, galleries and shopping in Melbourne and it’s only a 5 minute bike ride into the city.

The best shopping is… in the laneways that weave around the CBD. They are filled with great vintage stores, boutiques and other hidden gems. Check out Crossley Street, Degraves, Center Place and our Melbourne Women’s store on Albert Coates Lane (pictured).

Start your day with breakfast at… De Clieu in Fitzroy or for something a little different, try the Japanese breakfast at Cibi (pictured).

For lunch… we love Andrew McConnell’s Cumulus restaurant. It’s a no-brainer for a delicious mid-day meal. The tuna tartare is divine.

The best spot for a fancy dinner is… Gills Diner (pictured) which has incredible food without the pretension and stuffiness of some of the CBD’s other restaurants. We love the steak for two with truffle potatoes and seasonal veg.

For a more low key evening… you can not go to Melbourne without visiting Vegie Bar (pictured). It’s an institution. It’s really well priced, has a great atmosphere and healthy food that tastes amazing.

Kick start your night out…anywhere in Curtain House on Swanston Street. Start the evening at the Rooftop Bar for an early drink, eat at Cookie a few levels down and then dance the night away in Toff’s band room. The Sofitel Atrium Bar (pictured) is also worth a visit with that someone special – it’s designed by the same team that did the Pyramid at the Louvre.

If you want to swim…you’ll need to head down the coast to Philip Island, Torquay or Bells (pictured) to find a nice swimming spot as unfortunately Melbourne is left wanting in the beach department. You could also spend a weekend in Sydney at Bronte, Tamarama or Gordons Bay.

For an adventure outside of the city…try glamping (glam camping) at Wilsons Prom or ride one of the many bike trails that begin just outside the CBD. Or, if you want a real adventure catch a plane or boat to Tasmania to bush walk, eat seafood and visit Mona!

Before you leave Melbourne, you have to… see a film at the outdoor cinema at the Botanic Gardens, have lunch and hire a boat at Studley Park (pictured) and, of course, visit us at Incu!

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