48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

48 hours is hardly enough time to explore an entire city, especially one as big and diverse as Melbourne. But, sometimes 48 hours is all you have, so you gotta make it work! That being said, here is my 48 hour Melbourne itinerary. I wasn’t able to see all I wanted, mainly because I spent a whole day exploring The Great Ocean Road (which is totally worth it). But I’ve included some of the things I wish I had gotten to see at the end!

DAY 1

7:30 AM: Arrive in Melbourne

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

I took the 6 am flight from Sydney and arrived in Melbourne bright and early at 7:30 am. Though it was a painfully early flight, the sunrise views were awesome and I wanted all the time I could get in Melbourne!

7:45 AM: Skybus to CBD

I took the Skybus from the airport to Melbourne City. It was $35 round-trip. There are probably cheaper options, but I’m lazy and this was the easiest option for me. Plus there is free wifi onboard!

8:45 AM: Space Hotel

I dropped my bags off at my accommodation for the next two nights, The Space Hotel. Though I would love to be a luxury traveler, I usually have the budget of a backpacker, meaning hostels are usually the most cost-friendly accommodation. The only problem is, I can’t stand them. I love the social aspect of it, but not the sharing a room and bathroom with a bunch of other people part. So I’m loving the new trend of “flashpacker” hostels. They’re a step up from your run of the mill hostel. And I hit the jackpot with mine in Melbourne!

I stayed at Space Hotel. And it rightfully should be called a hotel, not a hostel, because it was one of the nicest I’ve seen! It has a bar, kitchen area, gym, home movie theater area, and an amazing rooftop with a hot tub and view of all of downtown Melbourne.

DECK_TANNING
photo from spacehotel.com.au
DECK_SPA_WIDE
photo from spacehotel.com.au

I stayed in their private Queen room with a balcony and ensuite bathroom (#diva) and I honestly felt like I was in a 4-star hotel. I didn’t see the dorm rooms, but I’d only assume they are nice as well. Private rooms start at $72 a night, and beds in a dorm room start at $32 a night.

 

space hotel queen balcony
photo from spacehotel.com.au

 

space hotel queen
photo from spacehotel.com.au

9:15 AM: Coffee

Melbourne is known for their amazing coffee, so first things first, get your caffeine fix. I had an iced coffee that was the best I’d had in Australia! I also grabbed some breakfast and enjoyed it on the steps of the State Library of Victoria.

10:00 AM: State Library of Victoria

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

After breakfast and coffee, I went into the State Library to see the beautiful architecture inside. When you visit, go all the way up to the top floor to see the entire dome gallery.

10:30 AM: Free Walking Tour

I chose to do the free walking tour. I figured it would be a great way to see the highlights of the city in the short amount of time I had. I met the guides (in bright green shirts) outside the State Library in front of the statue of Sir Redmond Barry. We were split into two groups to make it more manageable. I don’t know about the other group’s guide, but our’s, Desmond, was great! He was very knowledgeable, engaging, and funny!

The first stop on the tour was the Old Melbourne Gaol (jail). It was interesting to learn about the history of the jail and some of its more famous inmates in the past. I would’ve liked to have gone in and seen the inside, but that’s an additional cost and so not included in the free walking tour.

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

Next, it was off to the Carlton Gardens & Royal Exhibition Building. Despite it being nearly winter, the gardens were still very colorful and full of life! Desmond was kind enough to warn us of the drop bears that live in the park 😉 The Royal Exhibition building is stunning, though unfortunately it’s not used for much nowadays.

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

After the gardens, we headed to the Parliament House of Victoria. From the outside, it was a very impressive building. I thought it was funny to learn that Melbourne’s old red light district used to be right next to it and it was rumored that there were underground tunnels from the Parliament House that led to old brothels!

Then it was on to Chinatown! We went under the large red arches that marked the start of it.

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

We also maneuvered our way through the tightest alleyway in Melbourne. It was pretty narrow, though it was nothing compared to the crevasses at Franz Josef glacier.

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

At the halfway point, we took a little break to get a snack or drink and rest our feet. I would recommend you get a snack or meal you can eat while walking. Then it was onward to the second half of the tour!

Next up was Stevenson Lane, one of Melbourne’s famous street art laneways with lots of really cool, trendy bars. We also visited Bourke Street Mall, one of the main shopping streets in the city.

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

Onward we went to The Block and Block Arcade. This is another famous cafe laneway and shopping center. Inside the arcade is beautifully posh with a stunning dome.

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

Then we went to Centre Place, yet another cafe laneway. There is no shortage of cafes and coffee shops in Melbourne, that’s for sure!

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

We then came upon the famous Hozier Lane, probably the most know street art laneway. This psychedelic looking dog was probably my favorite! It really is amazing to see the skills and different styles of the artists.

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

The second to last stop on the tour was Federation Square where we also got to see the Flinders Street station.

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

We finished our walking tour across the Yarra River at the Arts Centre which provided fantastic views of the whole city skyline!

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I would definitely recommend doing a free walking tour if you’re trying to see the most of the city in a short time like I was. The only issue I had was there wasn’t really enough time at each stop for getting photos, but there was so much to see, we didn’t really have time to spare!

2:00 PM: Check-in to Hotel

I headed back to my hotel to check-in and drop some stuff off in my room. After a short break to rest, it was off to Brighton Beach to see the iconic beach boxes!

3:00 PM: Brighton Beach Boxes

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

You can get to Brighton Beach via public transport, but I didn’t feel like dealing with that so just took an Uber. It was about $25 from the CBD. Honestly, I wasn’t all that impressed with Brighton Beach. Yes, it was cool to get a picture with the colorful houses, but not really worth it.

3:15 PM: St. Kilda

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

Next, I called another Uber to St. Kilda. I’d suggest just asking your Uber to wait while you get a picture with the Brighton Beach boxes and then head to St. Kilda after. It was beautiful down near the water, I loved just walking along the beach for awhile.

4:00 PM: Dinner in St. Kilda

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

I hadn’t really eaten lunch, so I had an early dinner at one of the restaurants in St. Kilda. It was a great spot to watch the sun start to set. There are few things better than pizza, wine, and a beautiful sunset!

5:15 PM: St. Kilda Pier

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

After dinner, I walked along the beach some more to St. Kilda pier to watch the sunset. I managed to make it there in time to see the penguins that live in the rocks too!

6:00 PM: Wine at Little Blue on St. Kilda Pier

I decided to get a glass of wine and dessert at Little Blue, the cafe on the pier It was a great place to take in the city skyline at night. I got some great long exposure shots!

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

7:00 PM: Back to CBD

I got another Uber back to the city. I probably should’ve gone out to explore more, but I was totally exhausted at this point (I had been up since 3 am to be fair). I did hit up the bar in the Space Hotel and enjoyed a couple drinks there before returning to my room for bed!

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

DAY 2

If you’ve never seen the Great Ocean Road and don’t go when you’re in Melbourne, you’re a crazy person! I spent all of my second day doing a tour with Go West Tours. To see more of my great experience with them, check out my blog post on The Great Ocean Road. I’ll still add the highlights here 🙂

6:30 AM: Sunrise

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

Wake up for the sunrise! My hotel room had a stunning view of the sunrise reflecting off the buildings, so I enjoyed a cup of coffee while enjoying the morning light. Then got ready to go on Great Ocean Road my day tour!

7:30 AM: Great Ocean Road Day Tour

Go West picked me up directly in front of my hotel, and then we were off! Below are some of the highlights from the trip:

IMG_2071

The Great Ocean Road 1 Day Tour

Torquay

The Great Ocean Road: 1 Day Tour Road Trip

Memorial Archway

The Great Ocean Road: 1 Day Tour Road Trip

Wild Koalas & Parrots

The Great Ocean Road: 1 Day Tour Road Trip

The Great Ocean Road: 1 Day Tour Road Trip

The Great Ocean Road: 1 Day Tour Road Trip

Apollo Bay

The Great Ocean Road: 1 Day Tour Road Trip

Great Otway National Park

The Great Ocean Road: 1 Day Tour Road Trip

12 Apostles

The Great Ocean Road 1 Day Tour

The Great Ocean Road: 1 Day Tour Road Trip

Loch Ard Gorge

IMG_2204

The Great Ocean Road: 1 Day Tour Road Trip

Gibbon Steps

The Great Ocean Road: 1 Day Tour Road Trip

Sunset on The Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road: 1 Day Tour Road TripIMG_2235 (1)The Great Ocean Road: 1 Day Tour Road Trip

9:30 PM: Arrive back in Melbourne

The tour drops you off back at your hotel. If you’re still going after this, good on you,  I was exhausted! There are plenty of great spots for nightlife in Melbourne, but I was too tired to make it (grandma status).

10:00 PM: Drink and Bed

I did have another drink in the bar downstairs before heading to bed!

DAY 3

6:30 AM: Sunrise

48 Hours in Melbourne: My Itinerary | What to do in Melbourne in 48 hours

I woke up for the sunrise again.  Though it’s early, it’s never something you’ll regret. And you’ll thank yourself later for the awesome Instagram pic 😉 I enjoyed it from the roof of the Space Hotel, just look at those views!!

7:30 AM: Coffee and Airport

I grabbed my last delicious Melbourne coffee, and headed back to the airport on the Skybus to catch my flight back to Sydney!

48 hours really isn’t enough time, but hey, at least I got to see some of it! These are some of the places I wish I had seen:

Inside the Old Gaol

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Photo credit: sdownes1972 via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Fitzroy

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Photo credit: wiredforlego via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC

Yarra River Cruise

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Photo credit: neilalderney123 via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC

See a footy game in the MCG

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Photo credit: ~Prescott via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC

Eureka Skydeck

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Photo credit: steve-uk via Visualhunt / CC BY

Hope this helps you plan your trip to Melbourne! Been there already? Let me know if there’s anything you would change!

xx Chels

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