6 Things You Need To Do Once In Your Life In Melbourne
- All Ages
They're iconic, and with good reason - you can't live in Melbourne and never have these six incredibly Melburnian experiences.
We're known for our coffee, our culture, our food, and our footy, and you'll be doing yourself an enormous disservice if you miss out on these super-Melbourne moments. Mark up your calendars and check your diaries to make room for some unforgettable visits.
1. Open House Melbourne
Every year Melbourne throws open the doors to buildings and rooms the city often never sees. With such rich history across decades, Melbourne has secrets deep in its eaves, rafters, basements and unused spaces across the entire metropolis.
Try to sneak a peek into the mythical derelict ballroom above Flinders Street Station (who knew?!), rooms in the beautiful town hall usually closed to the public, take an extra-special tour of Parliament House, see the Treasury Building, churches, train stations, theatres, libraries, architectural buildings of note, and inside nooks and crannies you never thought to see. It's something not to be missed.
Don't forget to sign up to get info about when they run the children's version of the popular tour.
Where: In buildings across Melbourne, usually in July. Find out more here.
2. Eat at Lentil as Anything
Melbourne's famous pay-as-you-feel eatery, staffed mostly by volunteers, and tirelessly serving up some of the most generous, delicious, healthy, and fun food in the city.
The underemployed, the homeless, refugees and the disenfranchised are all given an equal opportunity to gain skills at Lentil as Anything, and provide healthful, delicious meals to the community, promote multiculturalism, foster an environment of inclusion, and focus on social justice.
Head in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and treat yourself to entrees, mains and desserts. Feast like a Queen on the Big Breakfast: stack of grilled corn cakes, raw pickled mushroom, baked beans served with a tomato relish, topped with raw sauerkraut, or indulge in the day's dessert special.
Where: St Kilda (the original), Abbotsford, Footscray, Newtown, Thornbury.
3. Go in a hot air balloon
You won't live in Melbourne for long without seeing these colourful additions to the early morning sky over the city.
Float with breakfast over an incredible view as the sun comes up, crack open a bottle of champagne, but most of all - take a very thick jacket!
4. See a game of footy at the MCG
AFL needs no introduction, and nor does the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Even if you don't think you're that into footy, the experience is fabulous anyway. The game is entertaining, the atmosphere is electric, and the hot jam donuts some of the best in the world.
Where: Yarra Park, Jolimont, March to September.
5. Eat the best pizza in the world at 400 Gradi
And when we say the world's best, we mean the world's best! 400 Gradi was awarded the world's best margarita pizza award in 2014, beating out 600 entrants from 35 countries.
The 400 Gradi interiors are full of classic Italian textures, with walls of espresso ribbons of Stucco Veneziana and sweeping golden calligraphy. Black and antique gold pendant lights and a charcoal Terrazzo style polished floor all add to the ambience. Drinks are served from a bar honed from a dark veined slab of 160 year old red gum, and it really is a little slice of Italy right here in Melbourne.
It's worth every single cent.
Where: Crown Towers, Brunswick, Essendon.
6. Visit Luna Park
Get your picture taken under the iconic grinning mouth, then head inside Luna Park to re-live your childhood dreams - rides, mazes, theatre, and funfair food all with the backdrop of the St Kilda Foreshore. It's such a great family day out.
Where: 18 Lower Esplanade, St Kilda