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Overview

Footy itinerary

For sports fans all over there are few greater thrills than experiencing the buzzing atmosphere of Melbourne in the grips of footy fever.

Footy is part of life in Melbourne and the revered MCG is so close to the CBD that you can easily combine a big game with Melbourne's famed laneway life, savour a coffee or two and see some of the city's most sensational sights.

Friday night games, Saturday afternoon spectaculars or twilight tousles all offer an unforgettable experience and leave plenty of time to make the most of Melbourne.

Afternoon kick-off

Afternoon games at the MCG generally kick off at 1:10, 2:10 or 3:20, allowing time for breakfast and lunch before the game, or even better, a lazy brunch and wander around the top end of town. Try Cumulus Inc for brunch or brekky that's all class, bunker down at Bowery to Williamsburg, or take advantage of Federation Square's expansive eateries.

City shop & stroll
Get your bearings with a brief wander around town, giving into the temptation to duck into the boutiques you pass as you stroll, building a distinctive football outfit as you shop.

Unmissable masterpieces
If you've opted for an earlier breakfast over brunch you can take advantage of the extra hours to duck into ACMI or NGV to take in the Winter Masterpieces exhibitions. This winter NGV International reveals more than 200 works by French impressionist Degas, while ACMI at Federation Square is exploring the inspiration and works of master screen stylist Scorsese.

Alternatively, make it all about the MCG by heading over to the National Sports Museum to relieve some great moments of sporting history before the footy.

Pre-game atmosphere
Absorb a bit of pre-game atmosphere by heading over Punt Road to one of the local Richmond pubs. Try the London Tavern, the Richmond Club Hotel or the Mountain View Hotel and get involved in an animated chat about your team's fortunes, or warm up for the game in The Corner Hotel's rooftop beer garden.

Head over to the MCG with plenty of time to orbit the exterior and pay your respects to the statues of players past before taking your seat and barracking yourself hoarse from the moment your team breaks through the banner.

Match review places
The final siren sounds just in time for your dinner reservation, or in time to beat the queues at the hip eateries with no reservations policies. Make a beeline for Flinders Lane for a bite to eat at Chin Chin, Meatball and Wine Bar, Pei Modern, Hihou or Supernormal, or stroll down Exhibition Street to Gazi (also a pre-match favourite).  

Finally, nestle into a cosy corner in a buzzing bar to dissect the game's best plays.

Footy under lights

The spectacle of the MCG under lights is awe-inspiring and a night game at the MCG gives you the chance to take your time to explore Melbourne. Make that brunch a little more leisurely, lose track of time shopping up a storm at Emporium Melbourne or at H&M at the GPO, take in the winter masterpieces exhibition at NGV or get a sense of sporting history at the National Sports Museum. All this as well as absorbing the atmosphere of Richmond's pubs pre-game. 

Post-match refreshments
Dinner might be a meal in the pub or a Four'N Twenty Meat Pie during half time and a big win will have you walking on air back up to Flinders Lane and its host of bars for some post-game analysis. Burrow beneath Chin Chin to Go-Go Bar, savour a glass of wine in cosy Cumulus Up, or ring the bell for Japanese decadence at Hihou. 

Footy-free day
With no game to get to, you can afford to venture further afield to Fitzroy. Jump on a tram and make brunch a priority, leafing through the reports of yesterday's game at Smith & Daughters on Brunswick Street. Take a postprandial stroll up Brunswick Street, down Gertrude Street and along Smith Street to see the street art, characters and boutiques that give this neighbourhood its bohemian credentials. 

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Breakfast

Footy itinerary

Restaurants

Cumulus Inc.

This loft-inspired restaurant, hatted by The Age Good Food Guide boasts a drinking bar, an eating bar and regular tables for serious eating.

Architecture & design

Federation Square

In the tradition of the world's busiest public spaces, "Fed Square" buzzes with a daily program of events, restaurants and cafes and bold galleries.

Cafes

Bowery to Williamsburg

Get your all-American hit on Oliver Lane, with bumper sandwiches, sides, pickles and pretzels backed up by some true-blue Melbourne-made Padre coffee.

Food & wine

Breakfast in the CBD

Whether it's for weekday wheeling and dealing or a weekend crossword marathon, Melbourne's CBD has a breakfast venue to meet your morning needs.

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Shopping

Footy itinerary

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Destinations

City laneways

There's always something new to discover in Melbourne's hive of bustling, creative laneways with their boutiques, restaurants, cafes and bars.

Things to do

Shopping

Whether you're after high fashion, local designers, jewellery, furniture or fine art, find out where to start your spree in Melbourne.

Destinations

Arcades

Do a modern version of "the block", a century-old form of cruising Melbourne's arcades that takes in cutting-edge artwork, fashion, music and design.

Melbourne shopping precincts

Melbourne's GPO

Step off busy Bourke Street into a calmer space at Melbourne's GPO. Sunny steps, colonnades and cafes wrap around Australia's very first H&M store.

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Galleries & museums

Footy itinerary

Museums

National Sports Museum

Become part of Australia's sporting history through thousands of sporting artifacts and multimedia displays at the home of Australian sport, the MCG.

Art & culture

Art galleries

Make your way around Melbourne's 100-plus galleries, ranging from large public institutions to smaller commercial spaces and artist cooperatives.

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Pubs

Footy itinerary

Bars

The London Tavern

See for yourself that footy crowds can indeed go hand-in-hand with top pub food and an increasingly rare local vibe at Richmond's London Tavern.

Destinations

Richmond

You won't go hungry in Richmond, whether packing in footy pies, brunching in a cosy café, Greek feasts, Vietnamese treats or pizza slices after a gig.

Live music

The Corner Hotel

Join the locals queuing up to see international bands or local stalwarts most nights of the year at this classic Melbourne pub and live music venue.

Bars

Public House

Forget the rock days of old and flex your expense account at this top-notch drinking establishment and restaurant. Alex P. Keaton would approove.

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City restaurants

Footy itinerary

Restaurants

Chin Chin

Think carefully about the friends you'll take to Chin Chin, as you'll be settling in and sharing plates of fresh, spicy Thai food plus plentiful wine.

Restaurants

The Meatball and Wine Bar

Roll up for Melbourne's latest food and wine craze – meatballs and prosecco. Or chianti. Or anything, really, in the swish Flinders Lane bar.

Restaurants

Supernormal

There are few places more aptly named than Andrew McConnell's Asian eating sensation and its mouthwatering Chinese, Japanese and Korean morsels.

Restaurants

Gazi

Namesake of a hip Athens precinct, Gazi dishes up shareable street-style bites and sensational souvlakia with a Mythos, ouzo or amazing cocktail.

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City bars

Footy itinerary

Bars

Cumulus Up

Kick back and sample the best of local and European wines in the designer interiors of this loft-style bar from the award-winning Cumulus Inc. team.

Bars

Go Go Bar

Go-go below to the cocktail bar beneath Chin Chin, with its DIY Champagne cocktails, delicious bar-snack menu and melancholic neon sign.

Bars

Hihou

Take your drinking to a new level of sophistication at this decadent Japanese-influenced bar and lounge offering libation with unmatched elegance.

Bars

Misty Place

One of the city's original laneway bars, Misty continues to churn out cocktails and good vibes to anyone who's wily enough to remember where it is.

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Non-footy day

Footy itinerary

Destinations

Fitzroy

Perch in a Brunswick Street bar and celebrate the way that sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same in this bohemian enclave.

Restaurants

Smith & Daughters

It's only at the end of a meal at Brunswick Street's Latino eatery Smith & Daughters that you remember that not a scrap of meat has passed your lips.

Destinations

Gertrude Street

Take the amount of time you've allotted to hang out on Gertrude Street, and double it to get to grips with this microcosm of Fitzroy's best bits.

Cafes

Birdman Eating

Kick your day off with a breakfast Bloody Mary and regroup sufficiently to enjoy Gertrude Street people watching and grown-up dishes like duck confit.

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Food & wine

Laneway dining

Dine like a local and find some of the city's favourite eateries tucked away upstairs, downstairs and behind bustling queues in Melbourne's laneways.