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  • Writer's pictureCelina

MELBOURNE - the beginning of a marvelous adventure

Updated: Oct 24, 2019

The city of Melbourne has a special meaning for me because my gap year started here in July 2019. After I flew from Frankfurt (Germany) via Dubai and Singapore on July 14th and a flight time of 24h, I finally landed at the other end of the world, 16000km away from my home country. So let's start this new adventure in Australia for a year: a voluntary service in at a girls' school in Queensland near Brisbane.

To settle in, our organization arranged three orientation days in Melbourne. So we had the chance to set up a bank account, activate SIM cards, get to know the city of Melbourne, talk to other volunteer, and get rid of jet lag. We stayed at the Space Hostel, which is centrally located and it´s easy to walk into town. There was even a free breakfast buffet with toast, fruits, muesli, tea and juice and you can use the rooftop whirlpool from where you have an impressive view over the skyline of Melbourne. It provides also a fitness room, a common room, a kitchen, a cinema room, showers and toilets in the corridors and dormitories. I can definitely recommend it as a luxury hostel.

Space hostel rooftop

All volunteers doing an International Youth Volunteer Service in Australia this year spent 3 days together in Melbourne. We were an international group with people from Germany, America, Great Britain, Japan, Ecuador, New Zealand, Denmark and Australia. Together we explored the city and got a first impression of Australia.

One evening our organization organized a dinner for everyone in a restaurant: my group went to `Foresters Pub & Dining`. This restaurant is located in an old hall with New York styled decor. They offer a wide range of drinks and food like pizza, pasta, burger and seafood. I had a vegetarian pumpkin pizza with balsamic onions, spinach, ricotta and pinenuts for 14$, which is a regular price. If you like pizza with a slightly sweet taste, I recommend it to you.

The next day we visited the Queen Victoria market, which you should visit when you are in Melbourne. It is a mixture of a flea market and food market. There is something for everyone - chocolates, glace fruits, breads, nuts, teas, coffees, an amazing array of spices as well as fresh meats, pastries, seafood and fruit and veggies. You can find souvenirs, Australian products, local artists, local designers, clothes and shoes too.

After we've used the variety of food on offer to fill our stomachs, we went by the free city tram to the `Melbourne Star Observation wheel`. If you book online in advance, you can get tickets for 27$ (as an adult). It provides brilliant views.The cabins are really spacious and provide commentary about the sights at times. You can get a different perspective and see landmarks, which you may not have seen before.

Another thing I can recommend is to stroll through the streets and go into the small alleys: mostly you can see street art by graffiti artists there. The most popular Melbourne graffiti hot spots are Hosier Lane or DeGraves Street, so don't complete your visit without taking a cheeky Instagram selfie! Within the laneways you can also find secret coffee shops, rooftop bars, soup kitchen or, boutique shops.

All in all Melbourne is one of the funkiest cities in Australia: hip, dynamic and unique, it's all about individuality and creativity. The city should definitely be on your list when you travel to Australia.

Now I'd like to summarize again what you can experience in Melbourne without spending a lot of money:


free things to do:

  1. try the food on the Queen Victoria market

  2. take a look at the street art

  3. visit chinatown

  4. get on the city circle tram and enjoy a tour through the city seeing most of the sights

  5. visit Flinders Street Station: a picturesque cultural symbol, which was opened in 1910

  6. relax in the Royal Botanic Gardens

  7. visit the National Gallery of Victoria and see works by artists like Drysdale, Rodin and Constable

  8. read at the State Library


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Oct 24, 2019

I am sure the most fun part about Melbourne were your roommates ;)

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