9 secret spots around Melbourne
In a city as big and bold as Melbourne, it’s difficult to know where to start. Consider this a compass pointing you in the direction of sights, sounds and - more importantly - specials.
Melbourne has a rep on the streets for being a city with secrets. As sexy as mystique may be, it’s a lot more interesting as a visitor to the city if someone lets you in on a bunch of them.
And that, friends, is what we are here for.
With help from our friends at YHA Australia, we bring you a guide to some of Melbourne’s hidden treats for the senses. All you need to do is BYO camera, comfy footwear and blithe enthusiasm.
Treats at the Spring Street Grocer
It’ll take a bit of finger snapping in front of the face to walk away from the ice-cream at Gelateria Primavera which hypnotises you from the street. But listen carefully: the real treats are hidden away in the basement. Just follow the spiral staircase down to the cheese cellar, where the seasonal fromage is aged on site. Get’a load’a those funky flavours.
The reading room at the State Library
One hundred years old, six storeys high, and home to 32,000 books. This space will make you feel like you’ve entered the library from Beauty & the Beast. In fact, good luck achieving any work in here in the State Library's La Trobe reading room without being distracted by the architectural marvel you’re sitting in.
The Kimmy K mural in Sniders Lane
The self-described “world’s first meme artist” called ‘Lushsux’ (real name Mark Walls) treats the city of Melbourne as his canvas. Go take a selfie with the mural of Kim Kardashian and Em Ratajkowski in Sniders Lane.
A cocktail at Bar Americano
Bar Americano is so Melbourne you can barely believe it’s real. Serving espressos by day and martinis by night down the buzzy Presgrave Place, this shoebox-sized venue is standing room only (seriously, there are no chairs).
Gog and Magog at the Royal Arcade
Have no idea who we’re talking about? Don’t worry, you’ll know who we mean when you see them. Gog and Magog are a seven-foot pair of mythical behemoths guarding the clock in the elegant Italianate Royal Arcade in Bourke St Mall. And your Instagram needs a photo of these boys.
The dome of 333 Collins St
333 Collins is unsuspecting. You won’t know from the outside that a lush domed Victorian-era banking chamber awaits. Then, BAM! Suddenly you’re faced with more marble than a Greek temple.
A beer on Ponyfish Island
Where is the best view of the Yarra River? From the middle, of course. Just descend the single staircase snaking down from the footbridge that links Southbank and Flinders St Station, and you’ll find a floating island of beer, bubbles and bar food.
The stained glass ceiling at the NGV
There are around 65,000 items in the National Gallery of Victoria’s collection, but you’ll find the actual roof of the building itself will rock your socks off. It is the largest stained glass ceiling in the world and took Australian artist Leonard French five years to finish, back in the ‘60s.
Shane Warne at the MCG
In Australia, cricket player Shane Warne is a massive celebrity - to such an extent that he is immortalised in 300 kilos of bronze outside Melbourne’s cathedral of sport alongside 16 other champions of Australian cricket, football, and athletics. Liz Hurley dated him, so you defs want a shot of a giant version of him on your Insta feed.