Australia isn’t typically the first place you think of when wanting to travel somewhere. It definitely wasn’t my first choice when I was trying to choose a country to study abroad in almost two years ago. But man, I’m so glad I did.

Australia is a big country! I had plenty of really cool cities to choose from but I decided to go really down under and ended up getting to call the hipster, street art filled and very rainy city of Melbourne my home for four very short months.

Although most of my weeks were spent studying and doing assignments, I made sure I had plenty of time to explore my new city on the weekends! I asked all the locals where the coolest bars, the sickest dance clubs and the hippest brunch spots were and found some pretty cool spots during my stay.

So, I felt that it was only fitting to visit some of my favorite places in the city while I was there visiting my best gal friends over this past Thanksgiving break. Here are my top recommendations of all my favorite things to do for anyone keen to give Melbourne a visit!

  A stunning view and a Naked Pash. 

A stunning view and a Naked Pash. 

Drink! – I’ll never forget the first thing my cab driver said to me when I first landed in Australia. He looked me dead in the eyes and said in the most serious tone of voice, “Do NOT try to keep up with the locals,” and I like a fool, I tried. These Aussies can drink, that is for sure! I definitely learned that the hard way…

Even though there are pubs and bars around every corner in the city, my number one spot to head to on a Friday night is definitely Naked For Satan. Perfectly tucked away in the suburb of Fitzroy, this rooftop bar is only a fifteen-minute tram ride from the CBD that offers all of the classics as well as a multitude of specialty drinks that they make with their extensive variety of house-made infused vodkas! The best part about this bar isn’t the drinks though. If you want to see one of the most underappreciated views of the city, do yourself a favor and step out on to their balcony to take in Melbourne’s incredible skyline. Grab a couple of mates, a Naked Pash (or two) and you’re all set for a great night out!

Eat! – Australia is ALL about their café culture, Melbourne especially. The dining possibilities are literally endless with an abundance of restaurants and cafes teeming each and every alleyway. Trying to choose where to have Sunday brunch was always the worst of our hung-over problems. And for those that have vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free friends, you know the fricken struggle of trying to find a restaurant that caters to everyone’s needs. After much searching, we finally felt we found our go-to place!

  The meal that will cure the hangover of all hangovers. 

The meal that will cure the hangover of all hangovers. 

Grace Café, also located in Fitzroy, is the perfect spot to get a reasonably healthy, rejuvenating meal and much needed cup of coffee to help cure the nausea and fatigue from a painful and regretful hangover. One of my favorite dishes that I highly recommend you try would be the Baked Eggs (for the veg heads), which has two eggs on top of garlic and cumin seasoned chickpeas, eggplant and tomato served with slices of detectible buttered toast. However, my personal favorite is the B.R.A.T (you are what you eat hey?), which resembles a B.L.T., only 100 times better. Bacon, rocket (a.k.a. arugula in the states), avocado and tomato (and an egg if you feelin’ it) is sandwiched between two lightly toasted pieces of fresh sourdough and finished off with a delightfully tasty house-made chilli jam that perfectly ties the whole thing together. Order one of those dishes and a chai latte and I promise you’ll be feeling good as new!


Dance! – One thing that really sets Melbourne apart from Sydney is its nightlife. The state of New South Wales imposed a curfew that does not permit patrons to enter a pub or venue after 1:30 AM and strictly enforces a “last call” on drinks before 3:00 AM, making it really hard for people in Sydney to turn TF up. That’s a shame for them because some of my best nights spent out on the town were when my mates and I drunkenly stumbled out the club doors just as the sun started to come up!

Although Revolver Upstairs has the reputation of being one of the more popular and wild clubs to go to, Levels is actually the place to be. Conveniently located in the CBD, the nightclub is actually only one story, but has two cave-esque looking rooms that are bumpin’ EDM and R&B in either room to keep everyone happy. Yeah, it’s small and hot… but it’s intimate and friendly and always, ALWAYS a good time!

  Under the dome that is Melbourne Central.

Under the dome that is Melbourne Central.

Shop! – The most important thing I learned from traveling is to always pack light because I know I will always buy something wherever I go. Melbourne just so happens to be the fashion capital of Australia, and yes. The shopping was amazing.

The best shopping is of course, in the city, at Melbourne Central. With over five levels of shops and food, this isn’t your average mall. There’s also a huge movie theater and a train station on the ground floor. The broad spectrum of stores enticed people of all tastes and it was terribly hard to not find something you really liked. And I must say, Australia’s shoe game is SO MUCH better than it is here. I was dangerously close to spending $120 AUD on some dope platform hi-top converse that I have never seen before in America and it was heart-wrenchingly difficult to part ways with them when I realized that I still needed that money to feed myself for the rest of my trip…

I’ll Leave You With This  - Put this city, no, put this COUNTRY on your bucket list. Melbourne is just a small taste of what Australia has to offer and I urge anyone wanting to travel there to just keep exploring all the incredible culture and natural beauty that is found around the entire continent. The friendly and hilariously funny locals will no doubt make you feel warm and welcomed and the crystal clear and insanely blue beaches will surpass any and all prior expectations you had before and will leave you in complete and utter awe. Visit this place! You won’t regret it.