A fun filled weekend in Melbourne, Australia & what to expect at Christmas time
Melbourne, Australia… known to many as the city that has a lot of culture, art, food and scenery. It has all of that and more!
If you’re heading to Melbourne for a weekend in the city, this has you covered. But, there is so much more to Melbourne than the city itself. There is the Australian Open Tennis, Formula One, the world famous Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island.
If you’re heading to Melbourne around Christmas time, expect plenty of festivities going on around you!
Getting to Melbourne
There are two airports… Tullamarine Airport, which is the main airport used by the full service airlines and there is also Avalon airport which the low cost airlines utilise.
If you’re basing yourself in the city then Tullamarine is more suitable. However, if you’re flying in and heading to the Great Ocean Road then Avalon would be more convenient.
Getting from Tullamarine Airport to the city
The most cost effective way to get to and from the airport is by SkyBus. You can purchase your ticket online which makes it easy as you can do it before you arrive.
What to see in Melbourne CBD
There are plenty of things to see and do in Melbourne city. These are a few highlights of thing we did.
Firstly, you should go along to a free walking tour of Melbourne operated by I’m Free. They run twice a day every day, no matter the weather and last for around 2.5 – 3 hours.
Federation Square: To the locals, it’s called Fed Square. It is a cultural precinct in the centre of Melbourne. It is always busy an there is always something going on. For us, at Christmas time it was filled with Christmas lego exhibits!
Street Art: Melbourne is famous for the street art. Opposite Federation Square you will see the laneways filled with street art and most likely see some locals down their adding their bit (legally!).
City Circle Tram: The inner city trams are FREE! Yep, free.. so why not jump on one! Particularly the city circle tram – it’s a great way to explore the city.
St Kilda: A trip to Melbourne isn’t complete without jumping on a tram down to St Kilda for a few hours. There is a beach, a long foreshore and plenty to keep you busy.
Botanical Gardens: A perfect way to spend a couple of hours relaxing or just enjoying the greenery!
Bourke Street: If you’re looking to do a spot of shopping, head to Bourke Street and you you will be set!
Melbourne Town Hall: A beautiful piece of architecture which happened to be decorated for Christmas!
Luna Park: Located at St Kilda, it is free to enter, you just pay for what rides you want! We chose the oldest rollercoaster going around. It was fun and actually gave you great views over St Kilda!
Yarra River: Enjoy taking a walk up and down the Yarra River. The whole Southbank area has been redeveloped and is filled with lovely restaurants and places to sit along the river.
Crown Casino: The Crown Casino is a lovey casino and worth a visit (although I can’t say I’ve left with more money than going in with!).
Watch this space for information on the Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island Penguin Tour and the Australian Open.
Where to stay in Melbourne
We stayed at two separate hotels during our time in Melbourne.
We spend the first couple of nights at the Grand Hotel Melbourne MGallery by Sofitel. The hotel felt like an old palace, so grand and spacious. It was very close to the tram line down to St Kilda and into other parts of the city as well as the bus stop to get to and from the airport.
I then went on to stay at the Novotel Melbourne on Collins. It was being renovated while I was there and the look and feel of the hotel was much more modern than the Grand Hotel MGallery so it depends on what you’re looking for. The bathroom was spacious with a large separate bath and the room also spacious. The Novotel was more central in terms of things to see and do in the CBD.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch