Travel Diary: 24 Hours in Melbourne
Hot-air ballooning over Melbourne
The Economist Intelligence Unit says Melbourne is the most livable city in the world, but luxurious restaurants, coffee culture, urban adventure and streets with musical names clearly makes Melbourne an attractive tourist destination.
And if it's a short trip that you are making to this place, here's how you can squeeze in the best of everything.
Ballooning Over Melbourne
Waking up at 5am may be a bit too early, but what lies ahead will make up for the loss. Ballooning over Melbourne is probably the best way to kick start your voyage. This urban adventure lets you see Melbourne waking gently to sunrise and quickly transforming into a bustling city. Back on land, celebrate your morning over a champagne breakfast at Hilton on the Park.
Rise & Shine
Continue your morning's pleasure and make you way to Federation Square, popularly known as Melbourne's meeting place. A unique cultural and events precinct featuring art galleries, 16 restaurants and bars, specialty shops, film screenings, sporting events and the Melbourne Visitor Centre. If you are craving for some good coffee, walk up to the Gallery Kitchen of The National Art Gallery of Victoria. Experience the hotbed of Melbourne's art and culture as you browse through the impressive collection of international drawings, sketches by the likes of Goya or works by Warhol.
MCG or Just the G
With a wonderful history of great sporting triumphs, drama and controversy, a tour of the MCG or just 'The G' is a must do for a cricket fan, or even someone who doesn't follow the sport! Considering the seating capacity is over 100,000, MCG has been a popular venue for music concerts. Madonna, U2, Michael Jackson, the Rolling Stones and The Police have all performed here. You can also make a trip to the onsite National Sports Museum.
Where to Shop & What to See
The author in Melbourne
Indulge your senses in artwork and jewellery as you wander up to the top of Collins Street, where Australian jewellery designer Jan Logan has her store. So do many of the world's top luxe labels, including Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Gucci. You cannot visit Melbourne and not go to Lygone Street. It's a street full of Italian restaurants and cafes ensuring that they will serve you the most authentic food. Walk off all that food with a stroll through the manicured Carlton Gardens, admire the elegant Royal Exhibition Building or step into the Melbourne Museum for a glimpse of life as it once was.
Treat yourself to a classic fare at Self Preservation, a creative and inviting space at the top of Bourke Street. A perfect coffee, fresh seasonal food and a diverse range of wines are in store of you. But if fine dining is your calling, Italian restaurant Grossi Florentino is one of the best. Indulge in classic Italian dishes and give yourself plenty of time with the wine list. You can also choose to relax in elegant, souk-style surroundings and enjoy Middle Eastern Flavours at the celebrated Restaurant MoMo.
If your tired body is asking for attention, make your way to the 27th floor of Crown Metropol and surrender yourself to a soothing massage. Situated on the banks of the Yarra, pamper yourself at a spa room with a stunning view of the city. Head downstairs where the good life continues.
The Crown of Melbourne
Don your best threads and try your luck at the largest casino in Australia. Towering ceilings, impressive staircases and a 90-minute light show in the five-storey atrium that takes place at night makes Crown Complex worth a look! And to see chimney stacks lined along the boardwalk shooting bursts of flames into the air can be the best climax to your trip!
If you still haven't had enough, take a nightcap under the stars at the elegant rooftop bar, Siglo, to give it a perfect ending!