The article is written by Candice Locklee

If you’ve just settled into your new life in this country and are looking forward to immersing yourself in everything Australiana, we imagine that you’ve got a pretty long list of places you want to visit while you’re here. Sometimes, that means scooting off on a plane to another city for a quick two day trip in your spare time so that you can experience as many awe-inspiring sights as you can squeeze in and truly make the most of your time here.

With so much to see and so little time to see it, we’d love to introduce you to our new travel blog series “48 hours in…” in which we take you round to all of the major sites and cities in Australia and give you a quick guide of the best things to see and do in each place.

First stop – Melbourne.

Often voted the #1 most livable city in the world, Melbourne is a stunning mecca of art and culture, hidden laneways, shopping extravaganzas and a thriving café and coffee culture that will have you coming back in no time.

Here are our top picks on how to make the most out of a quick visit:

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Melbourne is a foodie’s dream. Whether you’re after the best souvlaki you’ve ever had, beer ice-cream or the perfect pho, Melbourne has you covered.

From Michelin star fine dining to grungy bars with live music and hipster cafés hidden down laneways, you can find any cuisine to satisfy your taste buds. TripAdvisor is a great place to discover popular local haunts that offer anything from old-fashioned comfort food to the super weird and experimental.

Also, don’t forget to check out Melbourne’s markets. There are a number of huge food markets around the city where you can find delicious homemade meals and fresh, organic produce for low prices. Queen Victoria Market on Elizabeth St and South Melbourne Market on the corner of Coventry and Cecil St are two of the best.



Queen Victoria Market is located in the city centre and is within the free tram zone. It is bordered by Peel, Franklin, Victoria and Elizabeth Streets. To get here by tram, take the number 19, 57 or 59 to stop 7 on Elizabeth St. You can also take tram 59 to Peel St and enter through an alternative entrance.


From the CBD, take tram 96 on Bourke St and get off at South Melbourne stop 127. Alternatively, you can catch tram 12 from Collins St and get off at the corner of York St (stop 127).

Check http://ptv.vic.gov.au/ for other methods of transport.

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While you can no doubt find any outfit in Melbourne to suit your style, we suggest bypassing the big department stores and seeking out the independent stores that make Melbourne fashion so special.

It’s no secret that Melbournians love their vintage, from fashion and accessories to vinyl and video games. Visit one of the many vintage clothing stores in the city and grab something at a bargain price to stand out in the crowd. RetroStar in the CBD and Shag are a must.

Head to the famous Sydney Rd in Brunswick where you’ll find an endless run of fashion stores selling both retro and new outfits, accessories, handmade items and everything in between. Chapel St is also an iconic shopping strip that stretches through South Yarra, Prahran and Windsor. There isn’t anything you can’t find here – from the wildly eccentric to the impossibly chic, you can find it on Chapel St.



RetroStar is located on the first floor of the Nicholas building on Swanston St and corner of Flinders Lane in the CBD.


Shag is located in the Centreway Arcade, between Flinders Lane and Collins St in the CBD. You can also head to Chapel St to visit their second store.


From the CBD, take tram 19 from Elizabeth St in the CBD to Sydney Rd, Brunswick.


Take tram 8 to Chapel St leaving from Swanston St in the CBD.

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Melbourne loves its art and culture and there’s always plenty happening to keep you busy no matter what day of the week you land here.

If you’re looking for an alternative taste of the Melbourne art scene, street art is a celebrated culture here and you can find it all over the city. Like Alice down the rabbit hole, lose yourself down cobblestone laneways that roar to life with colour and creativity all year round. Hosier Lane is the most popular spot for graffiti artists to show off their talents with its walls covered daily with spectacular art that is constantly being updated.

Some of the best indie bands in the country are coming out of Melbourne’s thriving underground music scene. Catch a live band at one of the many venues around the city – the Corner Hotel, Cherry Bar and Prince Bandroom are a few of the best.



Hosier Lane is in the heart of the CBD. It’s situated between Flinders St and Collins St and you can get there with a short 2-minute walk down from Flinders St Station and Federation Square (head in the direction of ACMI and Hosier Lane will be on the left side).


The Corner Hotel is located on the corner of Swan St and Stewart St, only 1.5km from the CBD. You can take tram 70 from Flinders St to Wattle Park and get off at stop 9. Alternatively, the train from Flinders Station will take you to Richmond Station (the first stop out of the city). From here, it is only a short 50m walk to the Corner hotel.


Cherry bar is located on the famous AC/DC Lane in the centre of the Melbourne CBD. It is off Flinders Lane and between Russell and Exhibition Street.


Prince Bandroom is located on the corner of Acland and Fitzroy St in St Kilda. Trams 16, 96 and 12 to St Kilda can get you there.

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If you’ve still got time to spare, the picturesque parks and gardens in Melbourne are a great place to unwind after a hard day’s work of sight-seeing. The Royal Botanic Gardens are a must for those looking to escape the crowds. Fitzroy Gardens is another favourite – sprawled across 64 acres, the gardens are stunning and there’s plenty of relaxing strolls down tree-lined pathways to be had amongst the native Australian flora and fauna.



The Royal Botanic Gardens is located on Birdwood Ave approximately 2km from the city centre. For $10, you can get a ride on the Melbourne Visitor Shuttle that runs every 30min from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm daily and will take you around to over 15 stops around the city, including stop 13 – Melbourne Gardens/ Shrine of Remembrance. Alternatively, trams 3, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67 or 72 from Flinders Street to stop 13 will also get you there.


Fitzroy Gardens are located in East Melbourne, between Wellington Parade, Lansdowne St, Albert St and Clarendon St. Trams 48 and 75 run between Wellington Parade and Flinders St in the CBD to get you there quickly and easily.

For more info about being an international student living in Australia, be sure to check out the official web page at www.studyanywhere.com.au


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