10 Ways To Discover Melbourne

Hi! I’m Lei Lei Clavey from Lei Lady Lei.com. Melbourne has always felt like home, however having lived away for five years means that the city has changed in so many ways. Like a newcomer, I have the joy of rediscovering Melbourne all over again.

In collaboration with UNiDAYS and their blog ‘The Edit’, here are 10 Ways to Discover Melbourne.

1. Getting (Re)Acquainted with the City

The best way to find your bearings in a new city is to take a tour. Luckily, there’s a free City Circle tram that loops the city down to the waterfront at Docklands. This vintage tram features informative commentary on several important Melbourne sites.

2. Melbourne’s Love Affair with Rooftops

The city is known for its rooftops, and why not? The skyline and view of the city lights are stunning.

Although I’ve been frequenting them all my Melbourne life, there are some new ones that are top of their game. Enjoy burgers and beer five storeys up at Easey’s in Collingwood, Naked In The Sky on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy offers Spanish food and infused vodkas while Rooftop Bar in Curtin House, CDB is a local favourite that needs a mention, the views from this expansive bar are breathtaking. Similarly Siglo on Spring Street in the CBD is my all time favourite, it has a refined and European feel.

3. City Cycling

After living in New York City, where so much of the population cycle, I was excited to come back to Melbourne and find more dedicated bike lanes around the city. If you don’t own a bike, simply hire one at Melbourne Bike Share’s blue bike stations dotted throughout the city. The first 30 minutes are free, so it’s perfect for short trips exploring the city.

4. Tour the Alleyways

Melbourne has some of the world’s best street art around. All you have to do is weave through the CBD laneways to find it. With the art always changing, the passages never get old. Begin at Hosier Lane, opposite Federation Square, and cut across the city. Degraves Lane through to Bourke Street Mall also has great art, not to mention plethora of cafes, boutiques, bars and restaurants.

5. The Happiest Hour

One of the things I love about Melbourne is the variety of eateries. Happy hours are the best way to explore all of them on a budget. The Smith on High Street, Prahran has become one of my new favourites due to their One Buck Shuck on Friday nights. Yes that's right, delicious oysters for $1 between 4pm - 7pm.

Other great new happy hours include, Bar Vue with half price beer and house wine Monday to Friday, 5pm - 6:30pm and duNORD offering $12 market cocktails and $6.50 mystery beers from Monday to Saturday, 4pm - 10pm.

6.  A Film or Two

Summer is a great time for movie buffs with rooftop cinema’s popping up all over the city. Some include Rooftop Cinema, Moonlight Cinema and Shadow Electric to name a few. LIDO is a new rooftop cinema, which has opened in Hawthorn.

Al fresco not your thing? Step back in time at St Kilda's Astor Theatre an art-deco cinema opened in 1936. They have double features as well as blockbusters and on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, all films are $12-$13.

7. Open Spaces

When you need a break from the city's hustle and bustle, escape to one of Melbourne's open spaces. Bring a picnic to the Royal Botanic Garden on the edge of the city and enjoy the tranquillity. Take the tram to St Kilda and wander along the promenade down to the pier. Visit the historic Como House and gardens built in 1847 or hire a boat at the Fairfield Boathouse and row the Yarra River.

8. Live Music

Melburnian's love their live music. You'll find a host of free gigs any night of the week. Cherry Bar on AC/DC Lane, Ding Dong Lounge and Toff in Town are great venues in Melbourne's CBD. North of the city, is Northcote Social Club, Nightcat and the iconic The Tote, all of which play a range of genres.

9. Festivals Melbourne

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and Virgin Melbourne Fashion Festival, both taking place in March, are great ways to get involved in the city. Volunteer at the festivals for a behind-the-scenes look or block out your calendar for one of their many free and ticketed events.

10. Sample Sales

Melbourne is the home to some of Australian best fashion houses. Sample sales pop-up throughout the year so keep an eye on your favourite brand's social pages for dates.

For great student offers year-round, make use of UNiDAYS with discounts to all of your favourites including Forever New, ASOS, Topshop, The Iconic and General Pants.

To find out more about UNiDAYS offers, news and competition visit the O Week Splash Page.

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