If Sydney is Australia’s beachy city, Melbourne is Australia’s most creative city. From eclectic coffee house culture, and and every type of design, excellent culinary cuisine, and wildly cool and chill vibes, Melbourne has it all. Known for their “laneways”. Which are lanes in the middle of the city that have unmarked entrances and only one exit, you can find secret hotspots, parties, and social gatherings during all times of year. City, just like in Sydney, refers to the CBD (Central Business District). If you want to go to the city, you’re not talking about Melbourne, you are talking about the CBD, which is broken down into a grid-like structure with major areas like Flinders Lane, Arcades, and Crosslet Street.

To the north, you have Carlton, Collingwood, and Fitzroy. These areas are the epitome of hipster cool and alternative with everything from the best bars, vintage shopping, and vegan restaurants. Major streets for walking around are Brunswick Street, Gertrude Street, and Smith Street. To the south are Southbank with the prestigious Crown Complex, a casino that always hosts a mecca of events, South Melbourne that is similar to a nice little chic village that has some of the best coffee shops (check out St. Ali) in all of Melbourne (Coventry Street). You also have South Yarra and Prahran (Chapel Street, Hawksburn Village, High Street, Armadale), which are great for grabbing some brekkie and doing some shopping (also they have some of the best training facilities), grungy and funky Windsor and beachy, seaside St. Kilda. To the east you have Richmond, an area that once used to be quite industrial and now is garnishing a reputation for design and some of the best furniture and home goods shops in the city.

You’re flying into Tullamarine International Airport, which is about 35 minutes by Uber to the CBD. Weather is totally nuts in Melbourne, meaning it changes all the time, every day, so bring lots of clothes and be prepared for anything. Tipping is also similar to Sydney, so leave an additional 10% on the bill. You really need a car to get around Melbourne, as everywhere requires driving to get to. It’s much more spread out than you’d think if you’re outside of the CBD. If I lived in Melbourne, I would kick off my day every day with brekkie at Andrew McConnell’s Cumulus Inc (the absolutely best brekki/ lunch spot ever; seriously, nothing compares).

*PS, a HUGE thanks to my dear friends: Nic and Jade for showing me your Melbourne