10 unique Melbourne city escape ideas

You might have been to Melbourne before, but you haven’t seen it all. Far from it! From beaches to museums, mini-golf to wine bars, the Victorian capital is a maze of fun and activities. Been a few times already? If you’re planning a city escape to Melbourne this year, you’ll want to track down the newest, most unique or unheard of things to do and see. In this article we share ten unique ideas for your Melbourne city escape and help you plan a weekend away you didn’t even know was possible. 

melbourne city escape

Your unique Melbourne city escape

Melbourne is an exciting city, that’s sure sure. Its vibrancy shines through and whilst it might sound cliche, there really is something for everyone to enjoy. From the iconic laneways to the bustling cafes and restaurants, there is never a dull moment in the Victorian capital. That’s why, we think that even if you’ve been ten times before, you’ll find enough new things to do for a whole weekend.

Join a walking tour, watch a movie outdoors, or visit a pink lake (that’s right). Melbourne has plenty of activities to keep you entertained, you just don’t know about all of them yet.

Unique Melbourne city escape ideas

Forget St Kilda beach days and brunches in Fitzroy, in this article we share ten unique Melbourne city escape ideas that will entertain even the most frequent visitors to Melbourne.

street art in Melbourne Hozier lane

Join a hidden street art tour

Melbourne is known for its street art. Meandering through its laneways and alleys is a great way to catch a glimpse of some world class work. Start at Hosier Lane and AC/DC Lane, or explore the backstreets of Fitzroy, Collingwood, Brunswick, and Richmond and you’ll discover so much. But if you’re really enjoying the art and curious about its existence, opt for a local tour. Various tour companies offer group and private tours which help you spot new pieces and learn about their histories or stories. With new pieces popping up all the time, it’s impossible to see them all. Get lost in the street art of Melbourne and uncover a new side to the city you didn’t even know existed.

Visit a secret bar

Melbourne sure has some amazing secret bars. From Leo’s Spaghetti Bar in St Kilda to Eau De Vie in the CBD, the city is the proud host to some great speakeasies. Often marked by discreet entrances and intimate, tech-free lounges, we think these bars just fit the whole Melbourne scene down to a tee. To gain access to these secret locations, patrons must often know the code word or provide a secret handshake. Inside, enjoy delicious cocktails and sometimes share plates surrounded by local crowds. With so many hidden gems to discover, you’re sure to find a perfect (and secret) spot to enjoy a night out in Melbourne.

Enjoy a movie outdoors

During your Melbourne city escape, watch the latest blockbusters or classic movies under the stars in the city’s parks, rooftops and other outdoor venues. Moonlight Cinema in Melbourne offers a totally unique outdoor movie experience and is a great option. Located in the Royal Botanic Gardens, this great spot features comfortable lounges, delicious food, and even special screenings for dogs! Whether you’re looking for a romantic date night or just want to catch a movie with friends, Moonlight Cinema is sure to provide an unforgettable experience. It’s open all year!

penguins at st kilda in Melbourne

Spot penguins near the CBD

St Kilda Pier is a popular tourist attraction in Melbourne, not just for its scenic views of Port Phillip Bay but also for its unique wildlife. Located inside the city, you won’t have to go far to see some amazing animals! At dusk, little penguins, the smallest species of penguins in the world, can be seen returning to their nests on the pier after a day of hunting for fish. Head here during late evening hours and watch these adorable penguins waddle up the pier. From a safe distance, you should be able to spot them without scaring them off. Penguin spotting is a memorable experience and a great way to appreciate the natural beauty of the big city during your Melbourne city escape.

Find a beautiful pink lake

Westgate Park, located just a 20-minute drive from Melbourne’s city center, is home to a remarkable natural wonder: a pink lake. Whilst there are a number of pink lakes across Australia, usually they aren’t located so close to the centre of a city. So make the most of it! This incredible sight can be observed during the summer and autumn months, when high temperatures and low rainfall create the ideal conditions for algae to build up in high concentrations. As a result of the right conditions, the lake is given a distinctive pink hue. Also found at the park here, you’ll find walking and cycling tracks which trace the Yarra River as well as abundant wildlife, and some impressive views of Melbourne’s skyline. Fancy a break from the hustle and bustle for a few hours? This is the place to go.

Have a picnic in the Fitzroy Gardens

Another great place to take a break from the crowds is Fitzroy Gardens; a beautiful public park located in the heart of the city. The park features numerous historic landmarks and attractions, including Captain Cook’s Cottage. Grab a picnic, or just a coffee, and head here for an hour or two to absorb the calmness of the city before exploring for the day!

Stroll down Birrarung Marr

A Melbourne city escape isn’t complete without a visit to Birrarung Marr. A modern park located on the banks of the Yarra River, Birrarung Marr features beautiful walking paths, picnic areas, and a large amphitheatre that hosts various events and concerts throughout the year. Plus, you’ll also find several public art installations and sculptures here, so besides just being totally tranquil, art lovers will appreciate the area for its creativity. The location is also culturally significant to local Aboriginal people. With its stunning views of the river and city skyline, Birrarung Marr is a must-visit for anyone exploring Melbourne and looking for something a little more unique.

Melbourne movie theatre

Watch an old-school film at The Astor Theatre

There’s nothing like watching a movie in a historic, red-bricked venue. It just feels completely different! Those who appreciate a good movie theatre will love the Astor Theatre; a historic cinema located in Melbourne. Built in 1936, the Art Deco style theatre has been beautifully preserved and is a must-visit for not only film lovers but tourists too. The theatre regularly screens classic and cult films, as well as hosting special events and Q&A sessions with filmmakers and actors. Offering a unique atmosphere and a real die-hard fan vibe, this is certainly a hidden gem in Melbourne.

Visit to the ArtVo ‘museum’

You’ve seen some great parks, admired the wildlife, seen some movies – now it’s time to get a little techy and enjoy some of Melbourne’s more innovative attractions. ArtVo is an immersive and interactive museum located in Melbourne. The museum features over 100 hand-painted murals that use special techniques to create 3D optical illusions. As you wander through the museum, you’ll be able to interact with the murals by posing and taking photos. The museum is suitable for the whole family.

Enjoy a round at Holey Moley Mini Golf

Holey Moley is a mini-golf experience with a big fun twist. Featuring an 18-hole mini-golf course designed with fun and creativity in mind, holes here are inspired by pop culture, movies, and TV shows. Trust us, you’ve never seen anything like it. In addition to mini-golf, Holey Moley also offers a full bar and restaurant on site, so once you’re done, you can enjoy a bite and some local beers. Regardless of your age, you’ll enjoy Holey Moley for its jokey, fun atmosphere and out of this world creativity!

quality apartments Melbourne hotel in the cad

Pic credit: Quality Apartments Melbourne Central

Your Melbourne city escape accommodation

Receive 10% off your stay in Melbourne’s CBD with the promo code SAWE10.

During a Melbourne city escape, opt for affordable style and comfort in the CBD, at Quality Apartments Melbourne Central.

This boutique hotel offers modern, spacious and fully-furnished apartments perfect for weekend escapes. Enjoy the convenience of a fully-equipped kitchen, free WiFi, private balcony and free parking. With a prime location in the CBD, you’ll be close to the city’s best attractions, restaurants and shopping.

To book your room or to learn more about the hotel, click here.