23 Sep 2019 | Cherry Cai
The perfect day in Melbourne is like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel, but you can bet there’ll be coffee, trams, laneways, lots of looking and maybe even getting lost.
We’d start our day with a coffee and croissant at Dukes Coffee Roasters on Flinders Lane (the queue tells you it’s worth the wait). Then head for Hamer Lawn; find the stairs behind the sculpture Forward Surge and wind your way around Hamer Hall for an uninterrupted view of the city skyline.
Next stop: the Melbourne Arts Precinct. The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is the star attraction, and you’ll be wowed by contemporary art at Buxton Contemporary and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. Don’t forget to make a mix-tape souvenir at the Australian Music Vault at Arts Centre Melbourne.
Now for the laneways. Enter the labyrinth at Degraves Street opposite Flinders Street Station. We love to lunch at casual Italian Journal Canteen on Flinders Lane – always at the window to catch the moment that busy Centre Place blazes with midday sunshine. Then weave your way past musicians and magicians, through Centreway and across Collins Street and admire the cakes in the window of Hopetoun Tea Rooms in the ornate Block Arcade. Need an umbrella, scarf or gardening tools? Go see Mr Wares. Eau de toilette? Head to Paint ’n Powder in the Royal Arcade.
Spend your afternoon wandering the State Library of Victoria’s free exhibitions and magnificent domed reading room, and visit Curtin House – for books at Metropolis, fashion at P.A.M., or a sunset spritz at Rooftop Bar.
For dinner, it’s a pita and a bag of beans at Miznon on Hardware Lane or Chinatown for Tsingtao beer, dumplings and century eggs. Then explore the newest laneway bars or our old favourite Meyers Place Bar, relocated to Crossley Street. Cap it off with unexpected gelato flavours: avocado, lime and coriander at Spring St Grocer.
As an alternative, take the 86 tram north to Northcote for food trucks at Welcome to Thornbury; south to Prahran for a really late night at Revolver Upstairs; east to Richmond for beers at Mountain Goat Brewery or The Corner Hotel; or a train west to Footscray for fragrant flavours at Pho Hung Vuong and the laid-back vibe at Back Alley Sally’s.
Dukes Coffee Roasters
- Hamer Hall Lawn
The National Gallery of Victora
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
- Hopetoun Tea Rooms
The Royal Arcade
- Paint n Powder
State Library of Victoria
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Meyers Place Bar
Spring St Grocer
Welcome To Thornbury
Mountain Goat Brewery
The Corner Hotel
Pho Hung Vuong
Back Alley Sally's