Out-of-Towner Tips

Where to eat, drink and stay

Sun 21 May

Plan your visit and make the most of your trip to Melbourne and Victoria.

Melbourne comes into its own in wintertime. Embrace a fleecy jacket and flit across glistening streets and cobbled laneways, for the next hole-in-the-wall bar, pop up eatery, the MCG, a gig or an art opening.

Bar Margaux

Where to eat and drink

Outside of the festival program, Melbourne has lots on offer. Over on Little Bourke Street, Chinatown is the Western world’s oldest continuous Chinatown and home to dozens and dozens of restaurants for those with a dumpling craving. Tucked in an alley arcade off Little Bourke, Shandong Mama serve traditional recipes from the fishing town of Yantai. Butchers Diner is a classic American Diner at the top of Bourke Street, it’s next to a night club and open until 1am. If you’ve missed the boat for late-night burgers, Supper Inn is a Melbourne institution with a Cantonese menu that’s open until 2am. You can grab a slice and play some pool until late at Heartbreaker too. And if you’re looking to start earlier and a bit fancier, the renowned kitchen and bar at Embla on Russell Street are open all day. Snack on modern Australian fare at ARU, or grab a cocktail in the intimate surrounds of the Apollo Inn; for a home-style diner serving traditional Greek cuisine, head to Kafeneion; get competitive at Ballers Clubhouse; or sing your heart out at karaoke at rooftop bar Heroes.

Throughout the city, there are loads of local favourites and new hotspots. In the city, check out Collins and Bourke Street between Swanston and Exhibition Streets, and find fresh favourites like Andrew McConnell’s Gimlet at Cavendish House; Tres a Cinco for Mexican cantina vibes; an underground French bistro in Bar Margaux; and, further north on Bourke, try Pellegrini’s, for homestlye Italian cooking with plently of atmosphere and charm.

For drinks, head to multi-level eatery, bar and music space HER; Curtin House (home to Rooftop Bar and Toff in Town; or an all-night cocktail bar experience at Curious. On Lonsdale Street, Little Lon Distillery’s and Caretaker's Cottage are your intimate stop-ins for cocktails. Kirk's Wine Bar, a beacon of Hardware Lane, is a great spot to settle in with a bottle of wine from the cellar and a plate of comforting bistro food.

And for a few others to explore outside the CBD:

Where to Stay in the city

There are plenty of places to stay that an easy walk to RISING events. But our pick has to be our offical partner hotel, The Howey. It’s right in the Night Trade precinct, our free festival meeting place that’s fuelled by micro-bars, music and art.

Just a short stroll away, discover the grandeur of the Royal Arcade. Boutiques line the elegant alleyway, offering a curated selection of fashion, art, and handcrafted gifts. Have afternoon tea at The Grand or marvel at the arcade's exquisite glass ceiling.

There’s a world of culinary favourites beyond these arcades. From hidden cafes serving locally roasted coffee and tasty pastries to buzzing street-food vendors offering international flavours. And, if you need some help with decisions, The Howey offers curated recommendations and bespoke experiences to ensure you discover Melbourne's hidden gems.

NGV. Photo: Supplied

Things to do

An undercurrent of energy and excitement pulses through Melbourne, ready for you to explore. Go on an interactive trip into a world of fantastic creatures at ACMI's Beings exhibition, or peruse the Australian art at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Afterwards, squeeze in a round of shopping in Block Arcade's tiny boutiques or the ALPHA60 flagship store on Flinders Lane.

Work up a hunger on a street art tour through Melbourne's labyrinth of world-class laneway murals, before dropping by the Queen Victoria Market to explore multicultural street food, and unique products in over 600 stalls.

Or if you feel like taking in the city on a grandscale, there's epic views up at the Skydeck and roaring crowds at the MCG.

In only an hour’s drive out of Melbourne, you can find yourself entirely removed from city life and in the bush, beach, rainforest or farming heartland of Victoria. On either the Bellarine or Mornington Peninsula you can take in spectacular coastal drives (winter’s the perfect time for moody beach view vibes), meet koalas, echidnas or wombats, and taste vino from internationally recognised wineries.

Mornington Peninsula

Golden beaches, art galleries, hedge mazes, geothermal springs, wellness sanctuaries, and boutique wineries, breweries and distilleries nested alongside innovative restaurants and local produce stores. Sounds like a good way to wind down after festival fun to us.  



Mornington Peninsula

Geelong and the Bellarine

For coastal vibes with still a touch of city, Geelong and the Bellarine are home to coastal villages and the lively waterfront city, Geelong. Industrial spaces are transformed breweries, museums, Mill Markets and eateries. The Bellarine is home to some of the world’s most famous surf beaches, like Bells Beach, al fresco dining, just-caught seafood, boutique wineries and wildlife experiences on Port Phillip Bay.



Geelong and the Bellarine

Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges

Prefer rolling hills and expansive plains to the ocean? This idyllic region is home to Australia’s largest concentration of natural mineral springs. With day spas and well-being centres, award-winning restaurants serving local food and wine, and sleepy villages to explore, it’s a good spot for indulgence, relaxation and rejuvenation.



Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges

Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges

Take an early morning balloon flight, meet passionate food and wine producers, and encounter a platypus at Healesville Sanctuary in the Yarra Valley. Wander the walking trails, meander the villages and discover the hidden delights of the Dandenong Ranges among its scenic winding roads, abundant artist studios, craft stores and renowned gardens.



Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges

Explore day trips

Explore Melbourne

More ways to Plan Your Visit

Plan where you play. Discover more restaurants, bars, accommodation, things to do and day trips with Visit Melbourne.


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