48-hour itinerary: Cool hunting
Discover Melbourne's underground in two days
Check in at Art Series hotel The Cullen, showcasing the work of edgy Australian contemporary painter Adam Cullen. Follow the stairs down to the industrial-inspired Izakaya Den and share plates of Japanese cuisine and sake. Afterwards head to the Horse Bazaar, a side-street bar featuring a 20m-long screen that wraps around the banquette seating to show digital art. Grab a drink then kick back or kick up your heels to great music until the wee hours.
The morning light in the city is beautiful, which is why the Photography Made Easy walking tour is a great way to start the day. Learn from a professional photographer how to get the best out of your digital camera, SLR or point-and-press, and take home some amazing Melbourne memories.
Recharge your batteries at tiny Roule Galette by tucking into galettes (savoury pancakes) or try their delicious sweet crêpes. Take the steps down to the Degraves Street subway (Campbell Arcade), where the artist-run initiative, Platform, shows installations in glass cabinets. Browse through the titles at Sticky Institute, the zine store, and find that perfect fit at Subject to Change, the retail home of local label Poochie-mama, which turns vintage fabrics into creative womenswear. Wander along eclectic Flinders Lane, home to Alphaville, the flagship store of innovative local label Alpha60. Stairs seem to be a common theme with popular new stores: check out The Thousands Shop, Captains of Industry and Comeback Kid.
Head out for an early dinner of authentic Mexican cuisine at ever-popular Mamasita. See the city skyline at night with a stroll over the Yarra and catch one of the many progressive works premiered at the Malthouse Theatre. After the show, explore both sides of the formerly divided German city at Berlin Bar, tucked behind an unassuming door down a city laneway.
Head to the edge of the city down by the the Queen Victoria Markets to specialist coffee roastery and cafe, Seven Seeds. For connoisseurs there's a single-origin option prepared in the Clover press to sample as well as a great range of breakfast fare. After that, wander on to Federation Square and visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). Learn about the history of cinema and the part that Australians played in its evolution at the Screenworlds exhibit.
Take a stroll through the Fitzroy precinct and explore streets lined with boutiques, cafes, restaurants and bars. Savour the special set-menu Sunday lunch at Cutler & Co and take in the indie fashion stores, vintage outlets and retro home-wares shops along Gertrude and Brunswick Streets. In need of a little refreshment? Drop by Southpaw for a jug of New Holland-ade (Pimms, sloe gin, strawberries, lime and grapefruit juice).
Chances are you may only need a light meal after lunch, so drop by tapas restaurant MoVida Next Door and grab a seat at the bar. Finish the evening with a nightcap at Palmz at the Carlton and enjoy the city lights by the full-grown palms and thatched-hut bar.