the sunday guide to // melbourne
If you’re serious about coffee and culture, chances are that Melbourne features high up on your wanderlust list. With so much to see and do, it can be quite overwhelming to arrive in the city and wonder where to visit first. We’ve pulled together a relaxing guide for spending a calming day discovering the city.
Frequently topping lists of the world’s most liveable cities, Melbourne is famed for its arts scene, coffee culture and high quality of life for its residents. Downtime in the Australian capital of culture is predominantly spent walking along the city’s laneways, admiring public art displays and meeting with friends in one of the many cafes, restaurants, bars, bookshops or galleries. Read on to discover our top tips for spending a relaxing day in Melbourne.
Fly over the CBD
One of only two Australian cities to allow hot air balloons to soar over the central business districts, taking to the skies is a great way to see the entire city at a relaxing pace. Wake early in the morning to embark on a sunrise ride which will allow you to see the city in a whole new light.
A balloon trip will allow you to see everything from the beaches of St Kilda, to the Yarrow valley in the distance, all from a unique perspective. The skies are always filled with balloons during Sunday mornings, as this is the perfect time to sit back and relax whilst enjoying the view.
Have a Mammoth Sunday brunch
Have a laze in bed, and head out for a relaxing Sunday brunch. There are plenty of spots in the city, but one of our favourites is in Armadale. The eclectic and inventive menu of Mammoth is a must-try. The bright and airy café punctuated with splashes of vibrant colour, located within an awkwardly shaped buildings allows for plenty of private nooks and crannies in which to sit. The menu is unusual, yet delicious, featuring their unique spin on a variety of breakfast foods such as puffed pancakes.
photo: design addicts
Visit an art gallery
Melbourne boasts many art galleries, included a large number of state ran galleries alongside communal art spaces and privately run venues. If you’re only in the city for a short period of time, ensure that you make time to visit one of the three largest galleries. Heide Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery Victoria and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) are all housed within striking contemporary buildings which are worth visiting to admire the architecture alone.
Heide is one of the most important galleries in the entire country, the modernist structure and Sculpture Park playing host to a variety of exhibitions by predominantly living and up-and-coming artists with a focus on modernism and minimalism.
ACCA is the only gallery in Australia with a focus on commissioning work, presenting exciting and refreshing exhibits that combine the work of local and international artists.
The National Gallery is the oldest gallery in Australia, and houses over 70,000 art works that span over thousands of years, displaying work from disciplines as varied as fashion, architecture and contemporary art.
Take a coffee break
Coffee is a way of life in Melbourne, with an infamous café culture that should be experienced several times during your visit. You’ll be spoilt for choice with options of where to enjoy a brew. With so many options, it can be overwhelming decided where to stop and sip. Our favourite coffee shops include St Ali, Auction Rooms and Stagger Lee’s, all of which offer the finest freshly brewed coffee, delicious food menus, and stylish surroundings perfectly combining a cosy ambience with an industrial aesthetic.
Discover public art displays
Melbourne is renowned for being a great city to wander around and explore, either on foot or by bike. Entire days can be spent walking around the city, taking in the sights and seeking out the abundance of public art on display. Constantly changing street art can be viewed all across the city, but ensure that you head to Hosier Lane, Union Lane and Yarra Place to see the most infamous decorated laneways in the city.
It’s not all about street art, however, as the laneways commissions also include soundscapes, light installations and sculptures suspended from the roofs above. There are also a vast amount of sculptures to stumble across all across the city, particularly around the Docklands and the Yarra River.
Relax at the beach
Although its climate isn’t as tropical as more northern regions of Australia, no visit to Melbourne is complete without a trip to the beach. There are an abundance of beaches to choose from, but our favourite has to be Brighton beach, as it tends to be one of the more relaxing and quieter spots. In the summer, the beach is ideal for simply sunbathing or enjoying the water, yet the iconic colourful beach huts and beautiful scenery can be viewed in any weather.
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