Take things easy and factor in an extra hour when you visit the Melbourne Museum to view the historic Carlton Gardens, which is where the museum building is located. Locals say many of the park’s World Heritage wonders—including the Royal Exhibition Building’s beautiful Victorian architecture—are lost on tourists who hurry on with their itinerary. Enjoy a picnic lunch. If you have more time, stop by the nearby St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which was built in 1897 and is one of Melbourne’s oldest, and grandest, churches.
Address: 1-111 Carlton Street, Carlton
Continuing on from St. Patrick’s to Fitzroy takes you from historical to achingly hip. Melbourne’s hipster central hosts all things niche including vintage goods, secondhand books and kooky cafes along its main stretch on Brunswick Street and around Smith and Gertrude Streets. During daylight hours, rifle though merchandise and view the area’s graffiti-clad buildings. Studios and art galleries also populate this part of town. By night, relax on the rooftop with tasty tapas at Naked for Satan and then keep the party going at luxe speakeasy The Everleigh, or over on Smith Street.
Address: Brunswick Street, Fitzroy North
From boutiques and cozy bars to galleries and gift shops—and even a small bathhouse—this intriguing network of narrow lanes and arcades banishes city stress in a heartbeat. As romantic as any European address, there’s faded glory to be found among the mishmash of stores and art spaces. Check out the bright collages of overlapping street art around Rutledge Lane, or if you’ve worked up a thirst, bounce past the buskers and order a tipple at a bar on Bourke Street. They sit cheek by jowl here and include the Laneways’ oldest: Meyers Place.
Address: Meyers Place, 20 Meyers Place
All these spots are within 10 minutes of the Sheraton Melbourne Hotel. Share your own favorite Melbourne spots with @momentumtravels and #momentumtravel.