Melbourne in one day

Want to explore the city but only have limited time to do it? We’ve put together some of the most ‘Melbourne’ experiences you can pack into one day. You’re welcome

Quirky shops

Locally-made at Clementine’s

Embodying the Melbourne spirit in one tiny shop, Clementine’s in Degraves Street has a little bit of everything. Local, Victorian-made products are the script, with a range of food products, ceramics, homewares and souvenirs. While in the area, grab a coffee at nearby Degraves Espresso, one of the longest-serving cafes in the laneway. Its outside Parisian-style tables, with heaters for the colder weather, are busy all year round.

The window and entrance of a gift shop

Clementine’s at Degraves Street

 

The iconic bookstore 

Everything about The Paperback Bookshop is nostalgic, from the dilapidated exterior to the shelves overflowing with literature. Word lovers who (rightfully) refuse to convert to electronic books will discover fiction, poetry, classic and travel books.

A person walking past a bookstore

The Paperback Bookshop

The hidden cultural gem 

Kimono House is a unique cultural hub in Melbourne’s city centre. Boasting a hand-selected range of new and vintage Japanese textiles, it also runs cultural experiences such as kimono dressing and Japanese language workshops.

Because…brooches

There’s an entire store dedicated to brooches in Melbourne, because, Melbourne. Along with stunning casual brooches (delicate bluebirds, crystal flowers and gold music notes), Erika Boutique is home a small selection of accessories.

For more ideas, head to A Guide to Melbourne’s Laneways and Arcades, Melbourne’s most instagrammable shops and Where to find Melbourne-made design

Get inspired

Melbourne Street Art tours

Melbourne Street Art Tours offers a fascinating insight into Melbourne’s underground art scene, with local street artists as guides. Gain a deeper understanding of the creative process and artists behind Melbourne’s celebrated street art culture.

A mural on a wall in a laneway full of street art

Run by street artists, Melbourne Street Art Tours offer a fascinating insight into the city’s famous street art scene

Contemporary art with an amazing view of Flinders Street

High above Melbourne on the seventh level of the Nicholas Building, the Blindside Gallery supports the city’s thriving, independent arts community. Over 25 exhibitions are hosted each year, with showcases open to the public five days a week. With stunning city views, the natural light beaming through open windows is a hidden extra.

ARC ONE Gallery

Banish thoughts of stuffy, traditional art. ARC ONE Gallery is a rotating gallery space featuring leading contemporary Australian works. Both solo exhibitions and dynamic group collaborations have filled the space in the past.

 

A world of flavours

Seamstress Restaurant and Bar

Clothes hang from the ceiling at Seamstress’ upstairs cocktail bar, because if anything, they’re committed to the theme. The multi-level venue houses a dining room, cocktail bar, mellow basement bar and compact cafe. Spend the afternoon and evening traversing the Seamstress’ levels.

A cocktail and a bottle of whiskey

Cocktails at Seamstress Bar

The French Brasserie

If it’s classic French you’re after, it’s classic French you will receive at The French Brasserie. A relaxed, luxury restaurant on Malthouse Lane, find the likes of minute steak, bouillabaisse and cassoulet on the menu. A generous wine list accompanies friendly service. If you’re feeling indecisive, the five-course degustation menu is never a miss.

HiHou

An intimate space meets impeccably executed dishes at HiHou. The tapas-style menu is best for sharing, while the extensive drinks selection covers hot shochu, sake, plum wine, cocktails and Japanese beer and whisky.

Seek out more at A foodie’s guide to Flinders Lane and Melbourne’s delicious hidden eateries.

Get cosy in hidden bars

Glamp Cocktail Bar

A two-level venue with a fully-serviced restaurant and indoor ‘glamping’ tent, Glamp Cocktail Bar has it all. Savouring African-inspired cuisine at downstairs Polepole Bar is a clever choice, but if you’re gunning for the cocktail lounge, try the savoury cigars. Rich, herbed fillings are rolled in Tunisian brick pastry and flavoured with edible ash. There’s a small wine and spirits list along with cocktails.

People drinking cocktails in an indoor tent set up in a bar

Glamp

Romeo Lane

A barely-signed bar hiding on Crossley Street (ironically, there’s not a lane in Melbourne named Romeo), Romeo Lane is small and intimate. Cocktails that span the spectrum of the rainbow rotate regularly. Tell the bartender what you like, and they’ll point you in the right direction. Small, tapas-style plates including cheese and terrine are on offer.

Berlin Bar

A split-spaced bar divided into East and West parts of Cold War Germany, Berlin Bar is undoubtedly unique.  To keep you entertained, there’s a wine, beer and creative cocktail list. The ‘Angela Merkel’ is a citrus-packed vodka, triple sec and elderflower cocktail finished with sugared rum. Nibbles including pomme frites (French fries) and cheese plates will keep you going through the night.

Seek out more at Stay warm in Melbourne’s hidden bars and Your guide to Melbourne bars with a difference.

After dark

The Book of Mormon

Running until early November, there’s still plenty of time to see the performance that reeled in nine Tony Awards including Best Musical. Written by the creators of South Park and Avenue Q, the tear-jarringly hysterical Book of Mormon is a must-see this winter.

For more about what’s on in the city, head to What’s On Melbourne.

 

Ten men in white shirt and black pants standing on a stage

The Book of Mormon Cast. Photo credit : Jeff Busby

Speakeasy

Speakeasy HQ packs in the punters with a tantalising mix of cabaret, burlesque, comedy and quirky performances. On Friday and Saturdays, grab a nightcap at Late Night Swing Thing and relax to a smoky soundtrack of blues, jazz and soul.

The late night hang-out

If you’re still kicking around the city into the wee hours, head to Nieuw Amsterdam for a night cap. A well-known stomping ground for late-night workers, shift workers and night-owls alike, the kitchen closes at 3am nightly. For more ideas, head to A guide to late night dining.