Short breaks in Melbourne – cultural events, designer shopping and award-winning restaurants

Hotel search

Watch a show or sporting event on a short break in Melbourne, and dine at some of Australia’s best restaurants. Book a Melbourne hotel and see the best of the city with this two-day itinerary.

Melbourne short break day one, morning

Ease into a Melbourne short break with a stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens in South Yarra, landscaped with ornamental ponds, lakes and leafy avenues lined with old-world oaks and Australian eucalypts. Winding walkways lead down to the Yarra River promenade and views of central Melbourne’s high-rise towers on the river’s northern bank. Cross the river to Flinders Street in the city centre and take a walk down Degraves Street, thronged with kerbside cafés serving Melbourne’s renowned coffee.

Start: Royal Botanic Gardens
Nearest tram stop Domain Road


Back on Flinders Street you can’t miss the geometric jigsaw stonework of postmodern Federation Square, Melbournians’ favourite meeting place. Fed Square’s Ian Potter Centre showcases Australian art from the colonial painters to modern artworks by Aboriginal artists. Stroll down nearby Flinders Lane to see what’s showing in its string of contemporary art galleries, or disappear down the city centre’s lanes and 19th-century arcades lined with fashion boutiques and tempting chocolate shops.

Start: Federation Square
Nearest train station Flinders Street Station


Take your pick of Chinese, Japanese and South-east Asian cuisine on restaurant-lined Little Bourke Street in central Melbourne’s Chinatown. For a night of entertainment, choose from a Broadway-style show in an opulent Victorian theatre, stand-up comedy in a convivial local pub, and a music recital or drama at Melbourne’s Arts Centre. To complete your night out, have a nightcap on a leather lounge at the late-night Supper Club before heading back to your Melbourne hotel.

Start: Chinatown
Nearest train station Parliament

Melbourne short break day two, morning

Begin the day with bird’s-eye views of Melbourne from the 88th-floor Eureka Skydeck near the Southbank riverside promenade, and walk out on to the projecting glass cube if you dare. Then see the city from the water on a river cruise from Southbank – cruise to the harbourside restaurants at Docklands or sail upriver to catch a glimpse of residential Melbourne’s well-kept gardens and the city’s cache of sporting arenas, including the legendary Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Start: Eureka Skydeck 88
Nearest train station Flinders Street Station



In the afternoon, take the free Melbourne City Circle tram to La Trobe Street and step inside the austere bluestone Old Melbourne Gaol to hear haunting tales about Australia’s most famous bushranger, Ned Kelly. From here it’s a short tram ride to Brunswick Street in neighbouring Fitzroy, its two-story terraces filled with boutiques run by up-and-coming designers, artisan bakeries and the artfully designed bohemian cafés and bars that Melbourne does so well. 

Start: Old Melbourne Gaol 
Nearest tram stop La Trobe Street 


Complete your Melbourne short break with dinner at one of the city’s celebrity-chef restaurants. If you’re a fan of fine French cuisine with a twist, choose chef of the moment Shannon Bennett. His Bistro Vue re-creates the relaxed backstreet ambience of a Parisian bistro, while Vue de Monde perfects special-occasion dining that could never be re-created at home. 

Start: Vue de Monde 
Nearest tram stop: Collins Street