P.S. I’m On My Way’s Melbourne City Guide
Crystal Thompson, USA[/us_message]
Thank you so much for the kind words! It must’ve been way back that you saw I was in Melb as I haven’t visited in years but I am happy you are still running to this blog whenever you need info. I don’t have plabns in traveling USA yet but I’ll definitely get in touch!
Here’s everything I know about Melbourne and I hope you’ll have a great time! I consider this as one of. the most livable cities in the world. Good luck!
P.S. I know the title suggest that this guide is only for long-term travelers but it is also applicable to people who are going for a short visit.
What’s in this post?
(Click anything that interests you to jump to content)
Arriving in Melbourne
Melbourne Airport, colloquially known as Tullamarine Airport, is the primary airport of Melbourne, and the second busiest airport in Australia. It has two runways. At Melbourne Airport, passengers using immigration of Terminal 2 are able to use the unmanned e-gate for e-passport (IC Passport) holders. People just scan own passport and take a photo. You have to stand in the queue at the manned immigration lane in case of any problems with the photo. Immigration for departure is able to use the same system. You do not need a long time for immigration queues.
Surprised at how quick I got through Melbourne Airport arriving on Qatar Airways at 5.30pm. It seemed this flight got so lucky as walking towards immigration it was clear no other flights had arrived although a SIA plane was parked next to our gate with a lot of activity going on. On entering the immigration concourse it was completely empty so immigration was a breeze 2 mins and done. Baggage reclaim was empty and bags were on the conveyor within 10 mins so was quick to get my bag. Customs in less than a minute after heading form to a rather stern looking customs official and I was out. Got lucky on this occasion but not so with heavy traffic at this time of night. It is a busy airport with four terminals and 24-hour operations, a high number of flights arriving and departing every day. Keep up-to-date with the latest flight times, delays and cancellations with Skyscanner’s flight status board. International passengers must proceed to the entry control point. This point is signed from the moment you depart the
Keep up-to-date with the latest flight times, delays and cancellations with Skyscanner’s flight status board. International passengers must proceed to the entry control point. This point is signed from the moment you depart the aircraft and is located after duty-free, on route to the baggage reclaim hall.
SmartGate can be used only by travellers who are aged 18 years or over and have completed their incoming passenger card.
Getting around Melbourne
Most visitors stay at the city centre, the commercial hub of Melbourne where most of the museums, theatres, restaurants, bars and shop are located. Melbourne’s grid layout makes it an easy city to navigate, with most attractions within walking distance. The Night Network also operates on weekends with after-hours transport to many locations.
To get around Melbourne using public transport (trams, buses and trains) it is necessary for all visitors to purchase a Myki smartcard. There are no longer “tickets” available for purchase. The City Circle Tram is free service but please note that Myki is not valid on the Skybus to and from Melbourne Airport.
- Myki Cards. Myki is Melbourne’s ticket to travel on the city’s trains, trams and buses. It’s a plastic smartcard with stored value which can be topped up and re-used again. You may purchase your myki online at the PTV website, premium train stations, retail outlets displaying the myki sign (including 7-Elevens), or by calling 1800 800 007 (free from a land line) in Australia.
- Myki explorer. For flexible travel, buy a myki explorer pack from Melbourne Visitor Centre, Federation Square, the PTV Hub at Southern Cross Station (corner Swanston and Little Collins streets), SkyBus terminals and some hotels. Packs include a pre-loaded myki card with enough value for one day of travel in Zone 1 and 2, instructions on how to use myki, a Melbourne tram map and discount entry to Melbourne attractions.
|Monthly ticket public transport||AU$ 140 ($108.9 USD)|
|Taxi trip on a business day, basic tariff, 8 km. (5 miles)||AU$ 20 ($15.6 USD)|
Let’s get to know the Melbourne neighbourhoods
Where to stay in Melbourne
There are a lot of hotels in Melbourne that are suitable for any type of travelers. However, I only do hotel stays if I wanted to be alone and get away from interacting with people.
Personally, I did a lot of Couchsurfing, homestay with local families, and house-sitting but these types of accommodations entail a certain type of responsibility. For example, when I was Couchsurfing with a friend, I was kind of obliged to talk to them all the time (hence didn’t have time to work) and also participate in their activities. Homestays are pretty much the same as you are also required to be with them all the time to get the full experience. If I wanted privacy (but still get free accommodation), I looked for house-sitting gigs. Melbourne is one of the best house-sitting cities in the world as there is a myriad of families going abroad who are looking for people to care for their pets in exchange for a free stay.
Things to do in Melbourne
Central Business District (CBD)
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Test your sensory threshold and advance your driving skills at speeds of up to 60 kilometres per hour. The weather free track is open seven days a weeks which makes it possible to plan your karting experience without limitations. Race statistics are recorded and displayed on the scoreboard and individuals receive printed out lap times to take home. To ensure the safety and hygiene, helmets of the correct size are provided along with hairnets. The track has safety monitors and lighting and speed controls. A video safety briefing is presented before racing. [/us_iconbox]
I enjoyed a picnic lunch with friends and cycled along the Yarra River or the Port Melbourne foreshore. [/us_iconbox][us_separator style=”dashed” type=”default”]
Prahran and Windsor
You will fall in love with the south side of the river at Baby Pizza and Kong on Church Street. The Mexican vibe can be found at Chingon and Fonda. Embrace the hustle and bustle of the fast, fresh and exceptional Vietnamese food on Victoria Street, Melbourne’s Little Saigon. Typically ‘Melbourne’ cafes like Pillar of Salt, Touchwood, Reunion and Co. and Friends of Mine ensure you’re never far from a decent coffee[/us_iconbox]
Meeting people in Melbourne
Melbourne at times can be a difficult place to meet new people and make friends. Initially, I felt the awful irony of being surrounded by thousands of people while still feeling lonely and isolated. In reality, there is no boundary to the infinite methods of meeting potential new friends. I have met people on trains and while snorkelling.
One way to meet new people and interact with them is the Melbourne Social Club. They have run thousands of events in Melbourne, offered hundreds of city discount benefits and helped many charities while enhancing Melbourne social lives over the last 11 years of organised activities.
Their Melbourne events are not just for singles in Melbourne, they’re a social club for everyone in Melbourne interested in fun! Events include day trips, weekends, drinks nights, outdoor adventures, sailing, skiing, ghost nights, trivia, dancing, comedy nights, sports, racing events, dining experiences, wine tours and cruises.
Safety in Melbourne
Melbourne has just been awarded the most liveable city in the world for the third year running. So it can’t be all that dangerous. Emergencies can happen without warning and with devastating effect, so it is important to prepare yourself.
There will be no problems at 6am. I have been walking alone on the streets. There will be quite a few people around. You will see drug addicts, beggars and junkies on the road but they will not create a problem for you.
In Melbourne, I always kept these numbers handy :
- Public transport & timetables 131 638
- Emergency Fire Police Ambulance – Telephone 000
- Emergency Services (SES) – Telephone 132 500
- Non-Emergency Police – Telephone 131 444
Local Blogs and Websites
Every city has a few core communities and social influencers, and at the center of each is usually one or two local influencers – the glue that holds the scene together. Everyone knows them. They’re at every race, on one side of the barriers or the other. They know all the country roads and city shortcuts. Best of all, they’re great people… easy to talk to, flush with smart advice.
- Little Miss Melbourne. Self-proclaimed ‘undomestic goddess,’ Little Miss is on a mission to explore and share all that Melbourne has to offer. The nameless creator is a freelance content consultant by day and has worked with St Jerome’s – The Hotel, Zoos Victoria, Hardie Grant and Transport Hotel. Little Miss Melbourne is a minimalist webpage, free of flashing advertisements, with the focus instead placed on content under the headings Eat|Drink, Stay|Play, Go|Away and Mind Fodder. There is also an Explore section with the latest updates. Little Miss Melbourne’s Instagram page attracts 11.9 thousand fans and features foodie pictures, quotes and Melbourne scenery.
- Melbourne Girl. Branded as the ‘Stylish guide to Melbourne,’ Melbourne Girl provides a local perspective on the city and suburbs. Run by editor Emily Collie and deputy editor Prue Chilcott, the blog is pieced together by six contributors, or ‘Melbourne Girls’, who concentrate on coffee, fashion trends and sales and weekend brunch. The blog is divided into five sub-headings: Play + Stay, Eats + Drinks, Design + Style, Shopping and Adventure with an additional competition page and an online shop.
- Happiness and Things. If you want to get lost in the laneways to marvel at the city’s secrets, you must visit the blog Happiness & Things. This will give you ideas on a range of things from things to do with kids in Melbourne to the sassy and sexy places in Melbourne.
- Caroline in the City. If you are a millennial, and want to travel responsibly, this is the place to be Caroline in the City .
- Lady Iron Chef. If you want honest reviews about food and dining places in Melbourne, check out Lady Iron Chef.
- City Of Melbourne. The official website of Melbourne, where you will find about Melbourne’s lifestyle, weather and climate, visitor services and calendar of events, don’t forget City of Melbourne .
- Guide to Melbourne. If you are looking for the Melbourne Bible with guide to places and things and even planning your trip, visit Guide to Melbourne . It is the official tourism website of Melbourne.
Have you been to Melbourne?
If yes, please share your where to’s: things to do, where to sleep, where to eat, etc and help other travelers make the most out of their Melbourne trip!