Heralded as Australia's European city, cosmopolitan, trendy, and full of creativity, Melbourne is a delight for those looking for an urban escape. With its café culture, art scene and vibrant atmosphere, it's an enjoyable holiday for couples of all ages and tastes. In a city with so much to do, it's hard to know where to start, but a weekend in Melbourne is definitely doable and makes for an exhilarating romantic getaway.
Make Friday night date night and head out for dinner on the town for your first evening in Melbourne. Take a walk through the main drags Bourke and Collins Streets and discover restaurants such as the 100-year-old Italian Restuarant Grossi Florentino owned by Guy Grossi or, for arguably the best ramen in town Hakata Gensuke. After dinner, explore the vibrant laneways Melbourne is famous for and have a drink at Misty in Hosier Lane or Hell's Kitchen in Centre Place before retiring to your accommodation.
Saturday is all about adventure so head out to the Queen Victoria Market, an absolute must for couples visiting Melbourne who love all things fashion, fresh produce and want to pick up the odd souvenir for a reasonable price. For more high-end and boutique goods, check out the Bourke Street Mall or, if you've got cash to burn, you'll find your high fashion brands on Collins Street. Take a stroll through Federation Square and see what events are happening or do some people watching and wander over the bridge to The National Gallery of Victoria which always has stellar exhibitions to see. For lunch with a conscience, Lentil As Anything has several locations in Melbourne. They're a non-for-profit organisation where patrons pay what they think their meal was worth and what they can afford.
If you visit Melbourne and don't stop in at the iconic Crown Casino you might regret it. Make a night of it or top off the experience with a late night stop trip to Passionflower for a very generously sized dessert of strawberry crepes, or San Telmo for their caramel flan. Alternatively for couples who aren't afraid of heights, The Edge in the Eureka Tower is a thrilling experience. You'll be suspended nearly 300 metres over Melbourne in a glass cube – will you be game?
A lazy Sunday in Melbourne is utterly spectacular at the Royal Botanical Gardens. Tranquil and peaceful, the gardens are the perfect place for a picnic or romantic stroll through the 36 hectares of amazingly diverse flora from across the world. For a different kind of adventure, discover good eats in Chinatown or explore the Chinese Museum where you'll be walked through the 150 year history of Melbourne's Chinatown.
2015 upcoming events
- David Bowie Is... Until 1 November at ACMI
- Indigenous Art: Moving Backwards Into the Future Until 4 October at National Gallery of Victoria
- Melbourne Fringe Festival 16 September – 4 October