Melbourne has been voted the most liveable city in the world for the last seven years in a row and there is plenty to shout about for the ever expanding number of people that call this city home. It is often unfairly overlooked as the Australian city that is most worth visiting behind Sydney. We think that should change and here are some of our reasons why solo female travellers should get to Melbourne as soon as possible!
Now, we may be biased but we believe that Melbourne has the best cafes in the world and plenty of them too. Just ask anyone...in Melbourne! Every day of the week you see people line the streets sitting out drinking their coffees and taking in the world. One question you just need to ask yourself is; what do I want to eat? From humble bakeries, to industrial hipster cafes and upmarket champagne brunches, the city has it all. While the food is indulgent and offering a high class of presentation, there is very little snobbery here and most cafes cater to all budgets and are welcoming of everyone. And with baristas pushing the limits of creativity and quality sourcing in the race to be dubbed Melbourne’s best cup of coffee, you are sure to find a good brew on every corner.
Recommended: Stovetop (Carlton), Breakfast Thieves (Fitzroy), The Premises (Kensington), Auction Rooms (North Melbourne), Oli & Levi Cafe (CBD)
Going out in Melbourne means something different to everyone. For some it means drinking with friends in dive bars, for others it means visiting more traditional pubs where the good old fashioned pint is the order of the day. Or you could take a different turn and head into the city and visit one of the many upmarket cocktail bars. And then of course there are those that when they say they’re going out, they mean hitting a club and not getting back until the next morning. Whichever type of person you are, there will be something in Melbourne to suit you with plenty of each of these places within the CBD itself. If you come to the city and choose to stay in one of the many great hostels, they will point you in the direction of somewhere great to get your drink on.
Recommended: Madame Brussels (Cocktails), Section 8 (Rooftop Bar), The Black Rabbit (Nightclub), Naked for Satan (Tapas Bar), Captain Melville (Pub)
Many people will laugh when they hear this, but those people are people who have very clearly never lived in Melbourne. Now, we must warn you, these might not be the type of beaches where you can expect white sand and pure seclusion but instead, good beaches with a good swim that you can enjoy with your mates for hours. Many people head to the lively St. Kilda for the surrounding cafes, bars and tourist attractions and this is a great hang-out for travellers. If you head just a bit further down the coast to places like Brighton & Parkdale you can find a slightly quieter spot with beautiful coastal views.
Recommended: Head down the coastline to Sandringham Beach for a quieter beach spot with rugged coastal views.
Melbourne is a vast city that is always growing and always urbanising. New buildings are shooting up all the time and the city is always expanding outwards. However, all this doesn’t mean that Melbourne is a built up concrete jungle - in fact, refreshingly, it's the opposite. The main CBD area is framed by some beautiful parks and gardens that give the city a really fresh feel. On the banks of the river Birrarung Marr is a sloping garden area that is popular for relaxing on a summer's day. On the northern edge of the city, Flagstaff Gardens are a popular spot for relaxing with friends, while the perfectly manicured Carlton & Fitzroy garden parks are lovely tree lined spots for a Sunday stroll. All of this is without mentioning the fantastic 38 hectare Royal Botanic Gardens which stretch from the city out towards the outer suburbs.
Recommended: Grab a picnic, head to the Botanic Gardens and spend the afternoon in the sun chilling out and watching the world go by.
Sydney may lay its claim to be the Australian capital of culture, but I would have to set out the case for Melbourne to take that title. Melbourne is home to the astounding National Gallery of Victoria, Australia’s most visited gallery. The fantastic Melbourne Museum, which will take you through the natural and human history of Australia. Factor in the Chinese Museum, Hellenic Museum, Immigration Museum and countless others, then Melbourne just head towards the top of the list. Add in incredible galleries, world class theatre, film festivals and so much more!
Recommended: Head to the National Gallery of Victoria & the Melbourne Arts Centre before taking a stroll back across the river to Federation Square for ACMI and the Ian Potter Centre.
Melbourne is the sporting capital of Australia, and possibly the world. In the city there are sports teams that compete at the highest level in at least eight different sports, There are also over 20 professional sports teams operating within the city. Whether you want you to take in the national game of Australian Rules Football, some soccer or even ice hockey, the city has you covered. The city hosts the AFL Grand Final every september and it brings the city to a standstill with 100,000 people inside the Melbourne Cricket Ground to enjoy the spectacle. The city also plays host to the Australian Open tennis grand slam, the Formula One grand prix, has hosted both the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games and has multiple top level practice facilities for amateurs and professionals alike.
STAY in Melbourne now.