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18 Things Tourists Should Actually Know Before Visiting Melbourne

Don't be scared of the food trucks and make sure you're always wearing layers.

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1. If Airbnb isn't your thing, try a boutique hotel rather than a chain one.

Instagram: @artserieshotelgroup

Melbourne has some ace boutique accommodation. The Art Series hotels are chic and located in great spots.

2. Alternatively, you can camp overnight on a CBD rooftop.

Located smack bang in the middle of town on the rooftop of Melbourne Central Shopping Centre, St Jerome's – The Hotel takes glamping to the next level. Think luxe tents, the comfiest beds in town, complimentary breakfast, in-tent entertainment, and a bar.

If you're not into tents, you can also enjoy those Melbourne rooftop views with a stay in an Airstream trailer at Notel.

3. You can also eat burgers on a rooftop, inside a train carriage.

If you're not tired of rooftops by now, Easey's is Collingwood's - and Melbourne's - very first rooftop-train-carriage-burger-bar. Honestly, it's so Melbourne it hurts.

4. But some of the best food comes from trucks.

Melbourne has a love affair with food trucks. From burgers to tacos to ~haute dogs~ and froyo, they're a great option for a fast feed. You can download an app to track their locations, or head to Hank Marvin Markets in St Kilda East any Saturday, or Welcome to Thornbury any day of the week.

5. Head to Fitzroy to check out some amazing street art.

Instagram: @streetartmelbournecity

Melbourne’s CBD laneways are famous for their array of street art, but the inner-city suburbs of Fitzroy and Collingwood are just as good. Plus, you’ll avoid the crowds of happy snappers on Hosier lane. Fitzroy street is a good starting point, so grab a coffee and make an afternoon of it.

6. The best day for shopping is grand final day.

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Victorians are crazy about footy and love to come together and watch their ~granny~. So, if you couldn’t give two hoots about some guys in shorts tossing a ball around, AFL Grand Final Saturday is the perfect day for shopping. Quiet, crowd-free retail therapy doesn’t come better than this.

7. You don’t have to go to Phillip Island to see the penguins.

Instagram: @selwood

You can get up close and personal with the colony of fairy penguins at the St Kilda breakwater, all year round! The best time to catch all the cuteness is just on sunset.

8. Brunch in Melbourne is always worth the wait for a table.

Instagram: @highergroundmelbourne

Depending where you’re staying, you can’t go wrong with Barry, Industry Beans, Tall Timber, Auction Rooms, or Higher Ground.

9. And you don’t need to be minted to eat good food.

Instagram: @sasssjb

Melbourne chefs are egalitarian in their approach to feeding hungry mouths. You can get a great feed for $5, $50, or $500 if that's what you really want. For cheap and delicious Vietnamese close to the city, head to Victoria street in Richmond.

10. Choose your side of the river wisely.

Instagram: @littlealicemonster

Melburnians are very strictly "side of the river" people and rarely stray across the Yarra. If your time is limited, make sure you do your research when choosing which side to stay on based on the restaurants you want to try.

11. It’s actually pretty easy to get around on foot.

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Unlike Sydney, the city has an intuitive grid layout and plenty of green space, which makes it a breeze to check out on foot. It’s also pretty much always flat, so nice and easy on the quads. Save your cab money and stroll or cycle around. There are also lots of great walking tracks including the Tan in the Botanical Gardens and Albert Park Lake.

12. Trams are also excellent, as long as you make sure you pay for your trip.

Instagram: @brosistangerang

Melbourne has one of the largest tram systems in the world. However, to use them you’ll need to buy a Myki card from a train station or 7-Eleven. You’re not always able to buy a card at your tram stop, so be prepared and purchase in advance.

13. The Kokoda Memorial Walk - also known as 1000 Steps - is great for an al fresco workout.

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For some fresher than fresh air, hire a car and head to the Dandenongs to climb the 1000 Steps. Go early to beat the crowds and take a bottle of water as it gets sweaty. Once you’ve earned your appetite, head to the cute nearby town of Olinda for lunch.

14. Always pack an umbrella, sunscreen, and a jumper.

Instagram: @phanphy

Melbourne is known for its capability to have four seasons in one day. Prepare for any weather and layer your clothes, just like the locals do.

15. There’s literally a very pretty pink lake.

Instagram: @_thetravellist

And it’s fabulous. Port Melbourne’s Westgate Park is home to a trio of salt water lakes that have been turning a shade of bright pink for the past few summers. Check it out, if only for the Instagram likes.

16. And a blue algae latte.

Instagram: @matcha_mylkbar

You’ll find this internet-famous health tonic at Matcha Mylkbar in St Kilda. Don’t leave Melbourne without trying the "smurf latte", which is made with blue algae.

17. Make time to check out the Mornington Peninsula.

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No trip to Melbourne is complete without a quick visit to the Mornington Peninsula to enjoy a winery or two. You’ll reach Red Hill in around hour.

18. And take the time to find the hidden bars, as they're usually the best.

Instagram: @goldilocksbar

The best things in life are very often hard to find, which might be why the city's hid a bunch of its best bars on rooftops, in dodgy-looking laneways, behind hidden doors, and through bookshelves. Some worth searching for include The Everleigh, Fall from Grace, and Goldilocks.

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