Rooftop cocktails. Art adorned laneways. Hole-the-wall cafes. Melbourne is the culture capital abuzz with new dining and shopping destinations as well as blockbuster sporting, cultural and art events. Planning a cool city getaway this winter? Here are some of our suggestions.

Style break

Melbourn laneways

Melbourne loves stepping out in sartorial splendour. But as a visit to any one of its vibrant fashion hubs reveals, you don’t have to paint it black (that is, unless you want to). Here’s how to pack your shopping trip with style highlights.

The historic heart of the city’s rag trade, Flinders Lane in the CBD remains a fashion-forward hotspot where you’ll find the quirky sophistication of local labels such as Alpha60 and Tiffany Treloar. About 25 minutes south-east of the CBD, High Street Armadale has become a style-lover’s paradise where boutiques rub designer shoulders with cool eateries. Bowerbirds looking for vintage treasures can find rewards on Chapel Street’s hip Prahran and Windsor end, where the likes of Chapel Street Bazaar and Shag offer hidden gems.

Eat: All that browsing will stir up an appetite so follow the fashion crowd to Beverly, a 24th-floor all-weather rooftop at Chapel Street’s South Yarra end where Cali-chic style meets a menu of lobster cannoli and mac ’n’ cheese croquettes with truffled gouda. The freshly energised precinct also hosts modern Japanese restaurant Yūgen, serving sashimi platters in a moody basement. In Armadale, head to Wattletree Road and upstairs to Harvie, which has turned an Art Deco landmark into a buzzing venue with a clocktower rooftop deck that’s perfect for a sunset spritz.

Royce Hotel

Plan your perfect Melbourne getaway. Find flights now.

Stay: Handily located midway between South Yarra and the city, the newly refurbished Royce Hotel delivers Roaring Twenties extravagance in the green heart of St Kilda Road. Or make your base in the city at the AC Hotel Melbourne Southbank, on the cusp of the CBD’s shopping delights with elevated views of the city’s southside.

Culture trip

Goddess Power Glamour Rebellion

Hankering for an arty fix? A calendar that’s bulging with blockbusters and exclusive exhibitions means Melbourne delivers. Add this year’s must-sees to your itinerary.

Female and gender-busting trailblazers across 120 years of film are celebrated at ACMI’s Goddess: Power, Glamour, Rebellion, featuring the achievements and impact of these revolutionary figures, along with some of their iconic outfits. After paying your respects to cinematic rebels, cross the Yarra River to the NGV to enjoy more than 100 works by one of the 20th century’s most celebrated French artists in Pierre Bonnard: Designed by India Mahdavi. Like the Goddess exhibition, it’s part of Melbourne Winter Masterpieces 2023

Tune into the tale of courtesan Satine and her ill-fated love triangle with Broadway hit Moulin Rouge! The Musical, returning to Melbourne. Staged at the grand Regent Theatre, it features a powerhouse collection of pop hits and captivating stage design. Or discover a spellbinding mix of fascinating specimens from London’s Natural History Museum along with artefacts of the Harry Potter wizarding world at Melbourne Museum’s Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature. In the mood for edgy? Art, ideas, sound and technology blend in Now or Never, a new festival taking over city venues including the grand Royal Exhibition Building.


Eat: Find theatrics of the culinary kind in the dining room at New Nordic restaurant Freyja, where the Gothic splendour of a heritage Collins Street building is sympatico with artistically presented dishes such as quandong-tinged beef tartare. At Federation Square, Victoria by Farmer’s Daughters brings modern flair to regional produce (try the potato rösti with cured Bass Strait scallop). For a quick pit stop between all those artistic endeavours, arts precinct sandwich shop Olmate’s will fortify you with Italian meatball subs and locally roasted Reverence coffee.

Stay: Check into the jewel in the emerging West Side Place precinct at the CBD’s southern end, Dorsett Melbourne, which debuted its 316 chic Mid-century guest rooms and suites in April this year. Or book laneway haunt voco Melbourne Central, a vertical oasis with fantastic city views, including from the broad outdoor terrace at its Blacksmith Bar & Grill.

Game getaway


It’s always game on in Melbourne. This city likes to make things easy for fans, with its world-renowned sports precinct on the edge of the CBD. Watch all types of action at these drawcard events.

As practically any local will insist, you really can’t visit Melbourne in footy season without catching an AFL game at the MCG – just add a pie. Get set to snag a ticket for the Finals Series but if you miss out, visit the ground on a non-game day for a behind-the-scenes tour. Cheer on the men’s Australian national basketball team when the Boomers play the men’s national teams of Brazil, Venezuela and South Sudan at Rod Laver Arena as preparation for the World Cup. Or catch some ice hockey from the Northern Hemisphere: the arena will also host two NHL preseason games between the Arizona Coyotes and the Los Angeles Kings.

Eat: All this winter sport means you’ll need to warm up. Sample the fiery Laotian fare (including a brilliant duck laap) of acclaimed chef Thi Le at Richmond’s Jeow or pay Federation Square favourite Hero a visit for Karen Martini’s soul-affirming Mediterranean food, including ricotta gnocchi in tomato sugo with stracciatella. It’s always a good time for champagne and oysters – or the full French prix fixe menu – at Hemingway’s Wine Room, particularly when it’s game day at the MCG, which is right across the road.

Stay: When it’s finally time to rest your barracking voice, retire to The Motley, just a few minutes drive from the MCG and Rod Laver Arena. This hip Richmond newcomer sports a great ground-floor restaurant, Ms Parker, where breakfast gets a boost with dukkah-sprinkled nduja baked eggs. Or bunk down in five-star style at CBD fringe-dweller Le Méridien, which sparkles at the top of Bourke Street with its Mid-century design and fabulous rooftop pool.

Whether it's for sport, art or shopping, Melbourne has the ideal break for you. Find flights now.

Find Flights

Start planning now

SEE ALSO: 5 Amazing Adventures You Should Have in Melbourne

You may also like