Things to do and see in one day for a relaxing sightseeing experience of Melbourne

You can’t be bothered rushing through a new city where you just arrived ticking of all the gazillion sights that guidebooks tell you are MUST SEE’S and rather want to get to know the real vibe of a city doing all the fun stuff locals do when they have some time off?

Then WELCOME my friend, you arrived at the right place! 🙂

When we landed in Melbourne after an overnight flight all we wanted to do was get some rest. However it was Martins Birthday and we only had 1 full day to explore the city so what do you do?

Luckily during our travels we have met a great couple who used to live in Melbourne who provided us with some great insider tips of things to do and see when you want to get to know the city without stressing yourself. So how did we spend the perfect relaxing birthday weekend in Melbourne? Well keep on reading my dear and you’ll find out as we happily share these insider tips from our local friends with you 🙂

    Rise and shine – it’s coffee time! 🙂 Melbourne apparently is known for having the best coffee down under so taste for yourself and get yourself a coffee to go from one of the many coffee shops you’ll find in the city.

    Simply walk or take the tram (19, 57, 59 to stop 7 “Elizabeth St” or Tram 55 to Stop 9 “Peel St.”) It won’t cost you a cent as the Queen Vic Market is located within the free tram zone which basically covers the whole city center of Melbourne (you gotta love Melbourne for that!!)

    The Market is open from 9am (even earlier for fresh food) to about 3-4pm in the afternoon on weekends. As soon as you arrive here you’ll understand why many say Queen Vic is the heart and soul of Melbourne.

    queen victoria market melbourne

    Queen Victoria Market

    First of all the market (apparently the largest outdoor market in the southern hemisphere!) has a great vibe! There are tons of stalls selling everything from fresh produce to souvenirs, clothes, jewellery, vintage items as well as handmade arts and crafts. It was so much fun to walk around and check out everything that was on offer.

    The sun was shining making it the ideal day for a picnic so luckily we came to the right spot to get all the goodies for our feast in the park! At Queen Vic Market you’ll find everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to gourmet foods and delicatessen.

    A real foodies paradise! So we didn’t waste another minute and dived right in. We got us some strawberries and grapes, tomatoes, fresh bread together with a selection of cheeses, meats, sun-dried tomatoes and olives – YUMMYLICOUS!!!!!!!!!!

    And the best thing – we didn’t pay more than 30 AUD for this big bag full of high quality, fresh & delicious goodies! Top!

    Again you can either walk or take the free tram to Flinders Street Station from where you can easily get to the Royal Botanical Gardens where we wanted to enjoy our picnic.

    Being a bit lazy we opted for the tram and quickly arrived at the iconic railway building – one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. After taking some pictures we continued to cross the bridge just behind the station leading us right to the park.

    flinders street station and shrine of remembrance war memorial melbourne

    Flinders Street Station and the Shrine of Remembrance

    Before looking for our ideal picnic spot we had a little walk around the gardens and ended up at the Shrine of Remembrance – a War Memorial which was originally built for the men and women who served in World War I but is now a memorial for all Australians who have served in War. Despite it’s impressive architecture (it must be one of the largest war memorials we have ever seen) it also offers some spectacular views.

    After the cultural part we found us a nice little spot in the shade and got all our delicous goodies from the market out and started our feast! After only eating rice, curries and fried noodles in Asia for 2 months we couldn’t have been happier with any kind of bread but here we had this freshly baked olive bread along with all these other treats – it was a party in our mouth and we didn’t talk for at least half an hour, just eating and indulging… 🙂

    picnic royal botanical gardens melbourne

    Picnic for two in the royal botanical garden of Melbourne

    Of course as we ate waaaaay to much (you can’t let it go to waste, can you?? ) it was time for a nap so we just dozed off for half an hour before having the energy again to continue our little sightseeing program.

    After our little rest we hopped on a tram to St. Kilda (attention – not in the free tram zone so make sure you get a myki Card and top up accordingly before boarding the tram).

    St. Kilda is the Brighton of Melbourne (as we declared it), with an amusement park, many shops, cafes and restaurants as well as a long stretch of beach – just what our little hearts needed!!!

    So we got us some ice cream and headed to the beach where we watched the kite borders do all their fancy tricks – it surely looked impressive how they were playing with the waves and the wind. We continued to walk along the promenade for a while and couldn’t believe that despite the quiet harsh breeze (it felt like 15 degrees tops) people where still happily jumping into the water. Crazy Australians…

    drinks and frozen yogurt st kilda melbourne

    Summer feeling in St. Kilda

    Time quickly went by and with Happy Hour approaching we took the next turn into a cute looking pub to have a birthday drinkie (or two 🙂 ) while enjoying the last minutes of the warm sun on our faces. Pure bliss!

    We finished the day by heading back to the city center and finding us a nice spot for dinner. There are a ton of great restaurants so the choice is yours! But for us, after all this time all we wanted was on thing: BURGERS! So we just went with the next best burger place we found! 🙂 Admittedly not the picture-perfect birthday dinner you would expect but at least it was still a restaurant, not McDonalds! (And the birthday boy was happy, that’s all that counts! 🙂 )


What about you? Have you been to Melbourne? What was your favourite place to see or thing to do?