Nightlife in Melbourne: By Melburnians!

Melbourne comes alive at night and here at HomeAway, so do some of our staff members! If you like to get out and about at night, either for a drink, a dance, or just to take a look around, then these suggestions from three Melburnians will have you rocking on all night long!

  1. Ryan from Marketing

    Ryan recommends watching a gig at the Palais Theatre; Photo courtesy of David Jackmanson

    Why do you love living in Melbourne?

    There is always a lot to do in Melbourne, so it keeps you entertained. A sporting event is always bound to be on in Melbourne, so if you’re a lover of sport it’s a great place to be. I love my music and there are always lots of bands performing in Melbourne’s bars, which is great. It’s also easy to get around with heaps of public transport.


    How would you describe Melbourne to someone who has never visited?

    I would describe Melbourne as flat. It’s a great city to cycle around because there aren’t too many hills to climb! It’s a fun city with a lot of different things to do and you can find some amazing food in the city as well.


    What is your ideal day out in Melbourne?

    My ideal day would be to go to a sporting or music event, whichever is on that day. There’s usually something on every day of the week, so it doesn’t matter which day you’re going out on. Afterwards, I’d head to one of the great bars in Melbourne to enjoy a beer or two in the sun – Pawn and Co in South Yarra is a nice place.


    If you wanted to catch some live music in Melbourne, where would you go?

    It’s closed at the end of May unfortunately, but I loved the Palace Theatre. It’s such a shame that it’s closed, because it’s awesome. Other than that, The Forum and The Palais Theatre are both really good to watch live music. The Forum is an awesome theatre and they usually get really good bands playing there, while the Palais is more of a sit down type of theatre – but it’s incredible.


    You’ve been to a lot of festivals around Melbourne, which are best and why?


    My two favourites are Golden Plains in Meredith, and Rainbow Serpent in Lexton. Both are a couple of hours drive out of Melbourne, but well worth the effort to get there. Golden Plains has a great set up and has everything within easy reach – they have great music there too. Rainbow Serpent is a huge music festival that attracts over 10,000 people every year. It’s just a really great weekend.

  2. Simon from I.T.

    Simon likes to grab a beer at Ponyfish Island, on the Yarra River

    Why do you love living in Melbourne?

    I think it’s a very attractive city. It has excellent public transport with very nice facilities – Melbourne seems to have a lot of public toilets, which I think is an important thing to know if you’re a visitor out and about all the time. Melbourne has exceptional food in my opinion, and also a pretty good climate. It’s just an all-round good place!


    How would you describe Melbourne to someone who has never visited?

    I think Melbourne has got a very European vibe to it, mixed with Australian and Asian characteristics. Generally, if you want to find something to do in Melbourne, you’re going to find it – whatever that activity may be. It’s a good city to hang about in I think, in that you don’t necessarily need to go and see the city’s famous sights. With all the cafes, restaurants, bars and nice parks to visit, you’ve always got something to do.


    What is your ideal day out in Melbourne?

    I would head out and have a coffee with some breakfast at one of the many cafes scattered about in Collingwood and Abbotsford – ‘Three Bags Full’ is a good one to visit, widely renowned as one of the best cafes in Melbourne. I would recommend getting there before 11:00am to miss the crowds. After that, I’d cycle up to Smith Street in Fitzroy and hunt around the various record stores looking for hidden treasures to post on my website. Once I’ve found some records, I would head to one of the nice local bars – The Vic or The Aviary are two I would recommend, for a nice relaxing afternoon beer. I’d then finish off the day with some nice Asian food on Victoria Street.


    Where is your favourite place to have a drink in Melbourne?

    I quite like Ponyfish Island, which is in Southbank on the Yarra River. It’s literally on a little island of its own and you can sit in the sun with a beer. I also like the Roof Bar on Swanston Street and Section 8, near the city centre. The Standard in Fitzroy is also very good – I would say it has the best beer garden that I’ve seen in Melbourne.


    Where would you recommend for cheap dinner options in Melbourne?

    I would definitely head to Victoria Street in Richmond, where you can get a Vietnamese meal for less than $10. 

  3. Melanie from Customer Service

    Melanie recommends heading to Crown Casino for some good nightclubs; Photo courtesy of SteveGotCamera

    Why do you love living in Melbourne?

    I love living in Melbourne because I grew up here, so I don’t know any better! I think the good thing about Melbourne is that anything and everything is accessible. Whether its shops, cafes, restaurants, beaches – it’s all within easy reach. Plus, Melbourne isn’t an overly expensive city.


    How would you describe Melbourne to someone who has never visited?

    It's a lively city. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s a city that never sleeps, but there’s always nightlife happening in Melbourne no matter the day of the week. If someone wants to travel to Melbourne to study, we have a lot of the leading universities in Australia here, so Melbourne would be a good choice in that regard. Melbourne has lots of history and we have a lot of fantastic sights to see, museums to explore, beaches to relax on. Nothing is too far from Melbourne – Ballarat's goldfields are just an hour’s drive away.


    What is your ideal day out in Melbourne?

    Sitting somewhere in a café with a coffee, chatting away and taking it all in – and hoping that its sunny! I think Melbourne’s social café environment is something pretty amazing and isn’t found in that many places. I’ve been to Sydney, Queensland and a few other places around the world and I don’t think you get that same experience that you can find in Melbourne.


    You’re a bit of a nightclub expert – where in Melbourne would you suggest heading out?

    In Melbourne, there’s really only one ‘superclub’ left – which is Trak in Toorak. It’s really good because you have your electronic music, your R’n’B, and they have a good range of specialist nights as well. Somewhere a little more accessible is the Crown complex. It’s got nice bars and a couple of different nightclubs, which is good if you’re new to the city. The casino is also there if you feel like a bit of a gamble – it’s renowned as the best casino in Australia. CQ on Queen Street is also quite good on a Saturday night.


    Where do you love to shop in Melbourne, and why?

    I never really stick to the one place to go shopping – it depends what I’m looking for. If I’m bargain hunting, I would check out the factory outlets near the city. Bridge Road in Richmond, Smith Street in Fitzroy are both good shopping options. Female clothes shopping is also good in Abbotsford, where there are quite a few outlets. If you venture out west of Melbourne, Highpoint is a large shopping centre that has plenty of great shops. 

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