The Alternative Guide to Melbourne

In a mainstream world, travel can be a nightmare for hipsters. You often feel like you’re missing out on the “real” culture of a place – jumping from one tourist hotspot to another doesn’t always give you a true feel for your destination. Luckily for you, Melbourne is often coined the most diverse of Australian cities making it a hotbed for the traveller who wants to get off the beaten track. So take a flight to Melbourne and get stuck in.

Melbourne is lucky enough to have had the Greeks and Italians settle here post-war meaning the city is blessed with this influence of artisanal coffee and food. These guys take their coffee very seriously so make sure you know your cold-press from your frappé. The architecture is also very impressive, from mighty skyscrapers in the city centre to older European-style houses in the backstreets. As with most of Australia, you also have the obvious benefit of beautiful weather most of the year, and with the Yarra River and the ocean so close, you’ll always feel at peace. If all that isn’t enough to make you want to go, maybe this will – Melbourne has been voted the most liveable city for the past two years!

So here is our alternative guide to Melbourne…


  • Monsieur Truffe: Excellent hot drinks as well as the best croissants in town.
  • Tiamo: The godfather of all Italians! Set in Lygon Street, alongside the majority of Italian diners – this is definitely the jewel in the crown.
  • Hellenic Republic: This Greek tavern is run by a high profile celebrity chef and his family.
  • The Stokehouse: Set in St Kilda, this is the perfect spot to sample delicious seafood while watching the sunset.


  • Prahran Market: The food lovers market of choice – here you will find the freshest fish and juiciest fruits.
  • Vicious Venus: If you’re a 50’s aficionado this will be your shop of choice for everything pin-up, rockabilly and old-Hollywood.
  • Queen Vic Night Market: This is where all the cool people come at night to meet up. Shop a variety of goodies including street food from across the world.
  • Downtown Revolution: This is where the hipsters shop for their second-hand Doc Martins, creepers and leather goth boots.

Go Outdoors:

  • Alberta Park Lake: So many things to do in one place. Hike, cycle, swim, power boat, sail, fish make a day of it and take a barbeque or picnic with you.
  • Stargaze: Either go to the Melbourne Observatory or head to the Dandenong Lookout spot. Here you will be blessed with a truly unique experience.
  • Graffiti Voyeurism: Go and explore the back lanes of central Melbourne’s street-art.
  • Vintage Tram Ride: Take the 78 tram to St Kilda on a working vintage tram and see all the delights of the city.

Top Instagram Spots:

  • The Docklands: Situated at the edge of the city, particularly great at sunset.
  • Hosier Lane: A famed photo-spot. The constantly changing street-art on the walls provides excellent backdrops.
  • Port Melbourne Beach: Another location for those perfect, nonchalant hanging-at-the-beach shots!
  • Carlton Gardens: Set in front of the Melbourne museum with beautiful trees and gardens to explore.