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Melbourne is often seen as the more cosmopolitan cousin to Sydney, home to artists and bohemians alike. Its world-famous street-art can be found throughout the laneways, rarely erased its celebrated as part of the culture. This spacious city has the wide Yarra River running through it, creating many great places to hang-out by the waterside. Step outside the city centre and there are plenty of quirky neighbourhoods to get lost in and enjoy some of the best coffee you’ll ever taste (fact!).
Melbourne hostels tend to attract a sociable crowd of solo travellers, backpackers and groups with the Aussie spirit bringing common rooms to life. Staying in a nunnery complete with stained-glass windows and majestic stairways is an option, as is staying in a hostel with a gym and rooftop pool. There’s plenty of choice, so if you’re after budget-friendly breakfasts, on-site bars or daily activities, you’ll be able to find your ideal match. There’s a hostel above an ale house that hosts regular open mic nights and a mix of modern buildings with stylish décor and the more traditional period buildings. Dorms come in all shapes and sizes and are the best choice for those wanting to stretch the pennies further. Private rooms are available too though, so there’s plenty of opportunity to treat yourself. Don't forget to check out our best backpackers hostels in Melbourne!
Those looking to get off the beaten track might be more at home in St Kilda. Mixing Edwardian houses, Art Deco flats and modern high-rises, St Kilda has a more laid-back atmosphere thanks to its former life as a mecca for musicians, poets, artists and bohemians. For those who want maximum convenience, the best areas to stay are the city centre itself, Carlton and Fitzroy or East Melbourne. This will put you on the doorstep of popular attractions like the Royal Botanic Gardens, National Gallery of Victoria and Queen Victoria Market. Regardless of where you stay in Melbourne, the city is a hotbed of ethnic diversity, delicious food, artsy markets, quaint side streets and cool rooftop bars.
Take a stroll down to the beach, rent a bike and explore the city at your own pace or spend your day at the iconic Luna Park. Spend the morning sifting through all that’s on offer at Queen Victoria Market, step back into the city’s underworld at Old Melbourne Gaol and then head to the vast and varied art collection at the National Gallery of Victoria. Or if staying outside is your main goal then head to the stunning Royal Botanic Gardens and follow the Yarra River back into town stopping off at Federation Square. When it comes to finding the best local spots, it’s always a good idea to ask the people working at your hostel. They’re a treasure chest of local knowledge and will usually know a few places that you would never find in a guidebook.
In terms of transport, Melbourne has a generous choice of public transport available with trains, trams and buses running throughout the city and outer suburbs. For your travels in Melbourne it's best to buy a Myki card, which you can top up online, handy right? You can also download maps and timetables from Public Transport Victoria to help plan your travels. If you’re spending the day exploring Melbourne’s city the trams are your best form of transport, while, if your adventures are taking you a little bit further out the trains are your best bet.