I spent a few days in Melbourne for my birthday last month, and it's definitely one of my favourite cities. My first trip there was in my mid-teens and I loved the place and thought it was so cool in comparison to Brisbane, but I'll admit that Brisbane has definitely upped it's game since then. Or maybe I just grew up and explored a bit. I think it's probably a combination of the two.
One of my favourite things about Melbourne is the architecture. While Brisbane has it's own fair share of historical buildings, there's not nearly as many as in Melbourne and most of them aren't utilised to the same extent.
I wandered around the Flinders Lane section of the city with a few instagram post recommendations saved, but mostly just seeing what I could find. I tried a new coffee place on Degraves Street (after finding out that the one I used to love has closed down) and found a vintage store to explore. I also found a florist in the side of a cathedral and 100% reignited my teenage dream of being a florist.
After wandering back to the main part of the city, I went searching for a bookstore I'd heard about called Hill of Content. Let me tell you, this bookstore was pretty damn amazing. I probably could have stayed in there for weeks. I almost bought the new Markus Zusak novel there, and found an insanely tempting Vincent Van Gogh coffee table book, but I didn't think attempting to take home a couple kilos of books in my suitcase was a good idea.
Mum, if you're reading this that's a hint to get me Bridge of Clay for Christmas. Or tell someone else to (the hardcover one too, please, the cover is way prettier). Love you.
Now, let's be real, the majority of my time in Melbourne was spent eating. And did I eat well. Mum and I developed an obsession with the polish plum donuts from Queen Victoria Markets (we went back about three times to get them), and we've both agreed that it's probably ruined us for all other donuts. Queen Victoria Markets treated us well, and the one night we ate at home we made ourselves a platter of things from the market.
For my birthday we ate at Lygon Street, which is still just one of the best places on earth to me.
We also explored Fitzroy a bit, but the main place I wanted to eat at was closed and I wasn't feeling well so honestly it was a bit of a bust. But I will say their vintage shopping offerings are pretty damn good.
Then we went to the Finders Keepers Markets. The markets have been on my to-do list for ages, and I'd never made it there until this past weekend (let me tell you, the venue is not nearly as pretty in Brisbane as it is in Melbourne). We only bought one thing because we were worried about things breaking on the trip home (and because I ended up stumbling upon a book sale and directly went against my comment from earlier) but it was so much fun to see all the emerging artists, try some good food and then wander the gardens.
And that's what I got up to in Melbourne. I feel like this trip I had a bit more of an authentic experience in comparison to other times I've been. It's definitely one of my favourite places to travel in Australia.