Melbourne Roadtrip (part 1) - Melbourne City

8:51 PM

To start off the Melbourne travelogue series, I'll put the disclaimer out there that I was kinda conflicted between choosing Melbourne or Sydney for our one week vacation.
The whole Melbourne vs Sydney rivalry thing going on totally did not help me in my decision making, because from the articles I've read both countries have their own merits and nothing about either countries particularly turned me off.

But we eventually decided on Melbourne because of these three reasons:
1. We had our sights set on the super scenic Great Ocean Road Trip
2. The cafe scene is incredible (I prepared a whole list of places to dine at but we only managed to cover half)
3. It's more down-to-earth as compared to fancy Sydney, and we preferred something more chill

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Melbourne is also perfect for shopping in the CBD areas, although things tend to be kinda expensive. Well, everything in Australia is pricey so lol.
For our 7D6N itinerary, we spent three days in the city, two days on the Great Ocean Road and one day on a daytrip to Yarra.

But for now, here's what we covered while we're in Melbourne city!!!


Rose Street Artist Market

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The Rose Street Artist Market is an indoor and outdoor market, featuring handmade goods by Melbourne's artistic talents. It's the best place for you to find unique, artisan wares  - ranging from accessories, apparels, art pieces, ornaments, pottery and sweet treats.

When I first chanced upon this Artist Market online, I was so stoked to see it in person because of how arty and hippy the whole market looked. I love Aussie markets, and although Rose Street was different from Aussie's typical farmer markets, it sure didn't disappoint!! My inner wannabe hipster was screaming when I was looking at all of the crafts that they had.

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If you're an arts person, or just someone who appreciates all these handicraft knickknacks, you probably don't want to miss this. The market is kind of small though, so you probably won't spend more than an hour or two there.

However, the Rose Street Artist Market is only open during the weekends. So you'll probably have to plan your schedule around it like we did for most of our market trips.

They also have this grafitti filled carpark along rose street! Super photogenic place hehehe.

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The Rose Street Artist Market
60 Rose St, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia
Saturdays & Sundays, 11AM - 5PM


Old Melbourne Gaol 

This wasn't in our itinerary at first, but since we had extra time in the city, Han saw the museum and was keen in the paying the old prison a visit. The Old Melbourne Gaol is a 19th century jail that used to house some of Australia's most infamous criminals.
They had this watch house experience that was really interesting - you get to experience being arrested and put into the old cells. That was that main point that got us sold actually.

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Aside from the watch house experience, they have lots of informative stories on how Melbourne's justice was like from personal stories in small cells, accompanied with structured heads of previous criminals. Definitely not a museum experience I'm used to, pretty creepy, but cool.

Surprisingly, we spent about two hours at the museum soaking up nuggets of information that proved to be engrossing.

Old Melbourne Gaol
377 Russell St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Mondays to Sundays, 9:30AM - 5PM


Red Cape Lane

We happened to chance upon Red Cape Lane by chance, or rather, it was when I was bugging Han to go ice-cream hunting with me LOL.

Red Cape Lane is one of Melbourne's newest city laneway shopping zone. It's located super near the Old Melbourne Gaol. We happened to walk around this city area a lot because there's just so many foodstuff!! And even though it's not officially named so, I thought that it was basically Melbourne's Asian district. It's not just the crowd, but the stalls there as well.

They have all sorts of Asian cuisine here (Japanese, Thai, Korean, Chinese, Indian etc.) and as someone who loves her rice, do you know how happy I was when I found sushi!!!  And as a fan of Gongcha, I was so happy when I saw that they have a huge outlet there as well?!?! LOL I guess I can never forget my Asian roots. Rice and milktea forever.

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So anyway, I was saying I went ice-cream hunting. More specifically, I was looking for the highly raved Aqua S, also known as Sydney's best soft serve which recently just opened an outlet in Melbourne!

They had three flavours that day - Matcha, Sea Salt Caramel and Rose. We eventually tried all three flavours, together with popcorn, popping candy and their noteworthy charcoal cone. Beats all the soft serves I have tried thus far.

Aqua S
16 Red Cape Ln, Melbourne VIC 3004, Australia
Mondays to Sundays, 12NOON - 10PM


Queen Victoria Market

Queen Victoria Market has to be on your list if you're visiting Melbourne. Raved for its market size and fresh produce, it's located right in the heart of Melbourne, so it's easily accessible. Aside from foodstuff, they also sell clothing, toys and other trinkets. You'll easily spend about two hours there, because they have multiple goods and peculiar stalls that are sure to catch your attention.
It reminded of Perth's Fremantle, if you've been there.

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For Han, it was like his haven because he got to shop Melbourne's own garden-fresh produce. Many of their vegetables and fruits were super fresh, so he bagged quite a number of stuff so he could whip out his chef skills for our dinner that night HAHA.
Travelling with Han = He settles our dinners if we're staying in so we don't have to worry about spending extra money. So lucky me cause I got fresh goods + a chef's cooking :')

If you love cooking or wanna get some of Aussie's freshest fruits, don't miss this place!!

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Queen Victoria Market
513 Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6AM - 2PM
Fridays, 6AM -5PM
Saturdays, 6AM - 3PM
Sundays, 9AM - 4PM


Other noteworthy places were Flinders Street (those hipster graffiti walls), St Kilda Esplande Market, Brighton Beach (colourful rows of beach houses) and Ashcombe Maze & Lavender Gardens. But due to time constraints, we didn't get to visit them all.
A pity I didn't get a picture at Brighton Beach and the Lavender Gardens but next time maybe? :')

That's most of the attractions we covered while we were at Melbourne's city. We had three days in the city, but we spent about half of our time eating and cafe hunting... No regrets at all though. 
Towards the end of my Melbourne travellogue, I will blog about the cafes I've visited during the 7D6N roadtrip. All the food was just so damn good!! And I don't remember having any cup of bad latte. The coffee and cafe scene in Melbourne left a foodie like me wanting more.

But before that, it's the Great Ocean Road Trip for the next post! Can't wait to cover the scenic drive on this space heh.

Check out my other posts on Melbourne:
▶ 7 Things you need to know if you're planning a Melbourne Roadtrip
▶ Melbourne Roadtrip (part 1) - Melbourne City
▶ Melbourne Roadtrip (part 2) - Great Ocean Road
▶ Melbourne Roadtrip (part 3) - Yaara & Healesville Sanctuary
▶ 5 Cafes in Melbourne to feed your camera and tastebuds
▶ Melbourne Roadtrip - Great Ocean Road (Video)

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