Hot air balloons, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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48 hours in Melbourne

Two days in Melbourne gives you the chance to scratch the surface and get to know a city that will undoubtedly become a very good friend.

Day one

Catch Melbourne as it awakens as you float high in a hot air balloon. The following gourmet breakfast ensures you're raring to race into sports mad Melbourne. Enjoy a morning with Melbourne Sports Tours, visiting revered sites like Flemington Racecourse and the hallowed turf of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

If food and wine are more to your taste, come down to land and throw yourself into Melbourne's laneways, chasing the aroma of freshly-extracted coffee and gastronomic goodness to hidden cafés and restaurants. Feast on Thai treats at Chin Chin or live it up with the ladies who lunch at Pei Modern. Admire colourful street art and duck into small but perfectly galleries and workshops to while away the afternoon.

Watch night fall with a cocktail high above buzzing Federation Square at Transit Lounge. Continue onto dinner downstairs at the acclaimed Taxi Dining Room. Return to Transit for jazz band boogies, or dip a toe into Melbourne's hyped bar scene.

Day two

Hire a set of wheels to see Melbourne right. Join a bicycle tour or freestyle to the inner-city neighbourhoods of Fitzroy, Collingwood and Carlton to cruise Melbourne's hippest streets and multicultural neighbourhoods, as well as the celebrated Queen Victoria Market.

Jump on a tram and chase the sun to cosmopolitan St Kilda, the beachside playground that has attracted artists and musicians since its days as a genteel seaside resort to the storied hedonism of the 1970s.

Join locals exercising along the palm-lined foreshore or set sail on Port Phillip Bay. Roam the cafes, restaurants and bars on Fitzroy Street, and drool in the windows of Acland Street's cake shops, a legacy of the area's Eastern European Jewish community.

Relax with an afternoon drink by the seaside at Captain Baxter. Be tempted by the sunset to shuffle along the foreshore for fine dining with finer views at Donovans. Otherwise, browse the great value dining options around the Esplanade.

Take your night into the early hours of the morning as the bands play at the Esplanade Hotel (the 'Espy'), which has hosted everyone from Mark Twain to Public Enemy. Nearby Prince Bandroom is the preferred club venue for a laundry list of big-name acts.

Highlights

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