The city hasn't changed much since my days of running amuck there as a 22 year old living at Flinders Station Hostel. It was wild to meander through the same alleyways I used to, remembering how I once skipped dinner for 3 weeks to save up money to buy a coat I kept eyeing on my morning walk to Spring Street Cafe, where I was making sandwiches and not putting my bachelors degree to good use.
7 years later, I still wear that coat but I found that Spring Street Cafe no longer exists. The laneways however remain brightly spray painted and all the tiny, artsy coffee shops still lured me in and left me hyper-caffeinated.
The shopping is still worth skipping a few meals to save up for too.
If you ever find yourself in Melbourne, may I recommend checking out:
A25: I literally ate an entire pizza here. Go do the same.
CUE: Shop here if you need to buy an outfit that says "I am a creative business owner" when all of your other clothes say "I have been living out of a backpack for the last year and a half". An incredibly chic sales woman really won me over her by being wildly helpful and lovely, but I later cursed her name (Jan) when I saw my credit card bill.
Ponyfish Island: Outdoor bar in the middle of the Yarra River. Great sangria. Beautiful view.
Urban Yoga: For yoga AND a vegetarian dinner for $14. I don't know what those Hare Krishna's are chanting about but they sure know how to cook.
Lord of the Fries: The name alone is reason enough to visit but they do have outstanding "hot chips" (french fries) as well.
Australian Center for the Moving Image: Incredible exhibitions. I saw a really interesting one called "All Current Art is Fake" featuring Cate Blanchett... and how awesome does the current Scorsese one look?