|Summertime bars||Coffee||Breakfasts||Shopping||Road trips|
|Melbourne arts||After dark||Best kept secrets||RCT experiences||Outdoor spaces|
Keep that grand slam buzz long after the winning serve in an epic match by hitting Melbourne's cafes, boutiques, restaurants and bars.
Melbourne saves its best for the Australian Open, with an array of art, culture and music events adding to the atmosphere when the Grand Slam reaches the pointy end.
The city's lauded laneway life is just a serve and volley from Melbourne Park, allowing you to load up on caffeine and bumper breakfasts at quaint cafes before a five-setter, shop for clothes and accessories to look the part at centre court, or wind down in a hidden bar afterwards. Warm summer nights are perfect for outdoor drinks with friends to dissect the day's play, for catching a local band in a bar, or sampling the city's best fare.
Some of Melbourne and Victoria's most iconic sights are just a short trip out of town, so you can pair your sightings of tennis stars with a look at local legends and be back in the city in time for the next contest.
Make sure you ace your Australian Open experience and check out the following lists of recommendations. And, go to visitvictoria.com for more information about Melbourne and Victoria.
Soak up Melbourne's summery atmosphere while enjoying drinks with friends at the city's best bars, which just happen to be outdoors. Perch over the Yarra River with a beer, teeter on milk crates and pallets with a cocktail, sit up amid the skyscrapers with a G&T, or loom large over city streets with a cold glass of local wine on balmy evenings that feel like they could go on forever. Watch the sun set on a great day of tennis and city sights at these five summertime bars.
Naked in the Sky
Like the merits of a serve-and-volley player versus the attributes of a baseline devotee, Melburnians are passionate about their preferred cafes and bean roasteries. Start your mornings in city laneways filled with the aroma of espresso, or venture into inner-city neighbourhoods to test the mettle of their offerings. Try some of the more scientific extraction methods, like syphon or clover, for a certain caffeine hit, or sit back and relax with a flat white and a finely crafted breakfast to prepare you for a day of tennis. Fill your cup at five of our favourites.
Brother Baba Budan
Market Lane Coffee
League of Honest Coffee
Just as Novak Djokovic and the Williams sisters have a refined routine for the morning of a big match, so you should stock up on a big breakfast to prepare for a day courtside at Melbourne Park. Luckily for you, Melbourne is a city that values the first meal of the day. Melbourne's best breakfast spots place as much emphasis on their coffee as what's on the plate, so you're sure to be equally well fed and caffeinated. Try innovative takes on old favourites or mouth-wateringly bold concoctions that will become new favourites. Try these five for guaranteed great starts to the day.
Silo by Joost
You'll be spoiled for choice in Melbourne's shopping precincts, with options for lovers of sport, fashion, literature, music, art and design. Small, vibrant shopping strips boasting a colourful and diverse range of traders dot inner city neighbourhoods, while the city centre's laneways and arcades are treasure troves just waiting to be discovered. Independent local designers and fashion's best-known names happily co-exist with vintage emporia and jewellery ateliers, ensuring you'll look the part when you take your seat at centre court.These five recommendations will fill your shopping basket in no time.
Art and design
Victoria is a compact state, so when you find yourself with a break between matches or nervously anticipating the final, you can head off on a short drive from Melbourne. Within a matter of hours you'll be devouring fresh local produce on the beaches of Mornington Peninsula, watching the waddling penguins on parade at Phillip Island, or sipping wines among the vines in Yarra Valley's boutique wineries. Take a bit more time and refresh body and mind in Daylesford's day spas or discover Australia's gold history in Ballarat and Bendigo. Here's five ideas to get you raring to go.
Yarra Valley wineries
Phillip Island Nature Park
Modern Love at Bendigo Art Gallery
Mornington Peninsula local produce
It's hard to believe there can be more happening in Melbourne during the Australian Open than the top-tier tennis, but beyond Melbourne Park there are more theatre, exhibitions, concerts and festivals than you can whack a ball at. Take the opportunity to see a blockbuster stage show or a touring exhibition that coincides with your visit. Wander through free public galleries for a whirlwind tour of the local art scene, join a gallery opening, and keep your eye out for installations and exhibitions in the unlikeliest places. See our five picks to get you started.
Bond at Melbourne Museum
Artist run initiatives
Just because your days at Melbourne Park are jam-packed with Grand Slam tennis action doesn't mean your nights need to be sedate affairs. Melbourne puts on a show when the lights go out. Special menus for midnight dining? Yes please! Rare vintages in a plush wine bar? You betcha. Table service to your private indoor railway carriage? Every night! Add a handful of rock n' roll bars for late-night dancing and perhaps some spicy snacks and cocktails to recharge, and you might find yourself rushing to be courtside on time the next morning. Check out some of our picks.
Toff in Town
The Melbourne Supper Club
There's nothing like having a bit of local knowledge up your sleeve when you're visiting a new city, and Melbourne's network of laneways and arcades are hives of untold gems just waiting to be discovered. With our tips for five of Melbourne's best-kept secrets you can have a truly Melbourne experience and gather starting points for your own local discoveries. Enter an inconspicuous doorway for a fine wine experience, find an edible green space atop a carpark, stumble across some quirky jewellery and unlock a very unusual cabinet of curiosities. Discover the city's secrets.
Pop Up Patch
For five days in October the world got to explore Melbourne like never before, controlling real tourists live online and uncovering some of Melbourne's best kept secrets. From quirky boutiques and laneway eateries to rooftop cocktail bars, their adventures revealed hundreds of hidden gems. Check out some of the Remote Control Tourists' most entertaining adventures.
Rod Laver Arena
Captains of Industry
Melbourne is part of the Garden State for a reason – green spaces, floral displays, sandy beaches and the banks of the river are a big part of daily life. The Royal Botanic Gardens are a stone's throw from the tennis action at Melbourne Park, and a calm, verdant space for between-match meandering. Relax on the banks of the Yarra River as swans and rowing teams glide by, or spend a while soaking up the atmosphere from Federation Square. Here's where to go for some wide open spaces
Royal Botanic Gardens