My First Solo Trip - Melbourne, Need Suggestions and Tips

Edit: Apologies all for not being specific, Thankyou for all the comments, love the community here. Adding a few more details:

I am a bit of an introvert in nature, trying to push myself to do something different that is why selected Melbourne as have never been there before, been to Sydney a lot so something different this time ;)

About me: I am 22 years old, interested in Sports, Shopping and would also like to explore different monuments/places like Museums/MCG, etc and also interested in clubbing, casinos or any other social events happening next week.
From a coastal-regional area, so not too keen for beaches/national parks/zoos but if anything is a must see then yes please.
Also developing new interest in lego, comics, anime so anything related to that happening a convention or something that i should book tickets for?

Thanks all
Hello All,

Hope you are well!

I have got some time off so planning to visit melbourne next week, I am planning to stay there for around 7 days and want to get the best experience. This will be my first solo trip, so planning itinerary is getting a bit confusing, so seeking the knowledge of all the fellow ozbargainers to help me with your suggestions and tips please!
Any must visit places? Any event happening next week that i should go to? Any melbourne only thing i should must see/try?
I won’t have car so will be relying mainly on public transport planning to stay near CBD. Will that be best option or should i divide and plan a few days there and few days somewhere else? Also have read in a lot of posts that for solo travel might be good to stay in hostels as you can meet fellow hostelers, should i do that or instead should book a hotel, can do either way, any recommendations for hostels/hotels that are best in your opinion.

I am from NSW and i know this might not feel like a big deal to a lot but being my first solo trip, i really want to try and enjoy so that next time i can plan something big and better and also might get better to research as well. Any tips would be helpful!

Thankyou all for your time!


  • +2

    The MCG and Olympic Museum is a must if you have an interest in sports, and definitely go to an AFL game at the G, totally different to NRL crowds.

    • +1

      Thankyou mate!

    • +2

      If you cant get tickets to a game then just remember they open the gates at 3/4 time to let the crowds out so you can always just wander in and watch the final quarter free. (I used live 300metres from the MCG and did this every week - would watch the live telecast with the lounge room windows open to hear the crowd noise)

  • Tinder.

    • Hahaha, might give it a go and will use: “Here for a good time, not long time” in my bio 😉

  • +9

    Yarra cruise
    QV Market
    Free city circle tram
    Botanical Gardens
    Chapel Street shopping strip
    Lygon Street for Dinner (go midweek and just walk until a restaurant takes your fancy)
    Crown - if you're into depressed addicts and drunks
    CBD walk - heaps of hidden gems to explore but avoid King, Elizabeth and Flinders.

    Day coach tour down great ocean road
    Day/night trip to Philip Island
    Day trip to Chadstone (Chaddy) if you're into shopping

      • +2

        Have an awesome time. Great effort. Stay warm.

        • Thankyou boss!

    • +1


      I recommend using the FREE bus to and from Chadstone Shopping Centre that departs (and arrives back at) Federation Square from Coach Bay #1 from the Russell Street Extension

      Also: (updated daily) for Tickets Halftix Melbourne is Australia’s longest running discount ticket service available from 208 Little Collins St, Melbourne, Vic 3000

      • +1

        Thankyou boss!

    • I dunno, is Chapel St still happening? I heard there's a lot of closed shops around and it's lost its vibe.

      • Possibly. I haven't been there in a long time. Not really my scene.

  • +2

    7 days is a lot especially if you're not leaving the city. Try and break it down into manageable day trips to save back tracking.

    Worth a gander:

    St Kilda

    More specifically:

    Ian Potter Museum
    State Library
    ACMI depends on whats on
    Treasury and Parliament
    Gardens (Fitzroy and Carlton)
    Exhibition Building
    War Memorial

    If you're into more specific things, let us know

    • Thankyou boss!

  • What are you interests? Natural wonders or things constructed by humans? Are you a foodie? A shopper? Do you like performing arts, art galleries, museums, laneways, casinos, zoos, penguins? Melbourne offers pretty much everything except warmth from the sun. I think if you narrow your preferences you'll get better tips. While the majority of OzB members are Victorians, residents don't always see their cities in the same light as tourists.

    • Apologies mate, get your point, updated the post ! Thanks

  • +1

    Also have read in a lot of posts that for solo travel might be good to stay in hostels as you can meet fellow hostelers, should i do that or instead should book a hotel

    Are you outgoing and willing to sacrifice personal comfort for companionship? If so hostel for sure. If you want comfort/personal space then hostels aren't for you.

    Why are you going to Melbourne? What interests you? Are you planning on clubbing and drinking? Seeing sights? Shopping? How old are you? You really need to give more information about what you want to get good answers from other people…

    If I told you I'm coming to your town by myself and asked similar questions what would you reply?

    • Apologies mate, get your point, updating the post now! Thanks

  • +2

    Well done on getting yourself out there. Melbourne might not be a big solo trip but if you want to do bigger ones it is a nice trial run.

    I would stay at a hostel… Well it does depend on your age and your interests.I can adapt the vague itinerary I am under 30 and usually do in new cities when travelling alone.
    1) Because it is usually significantly cheaper
    2) Because in general I won’t be in the room all the time, I’ll be out exploring so I don’t need a big room.
    3) If I am alone I don’t need privacy and if it turns out I do well we can deal with that with the savings from the other days

    For hotels, you’ll want to be central. Do not stay near King St. It is miles from everywhere there are no bars or cafes around (well there are bars but are more a late night affair). I usually recommend exhibition street. I forget the name of the hotel. Means you are central enough to the station, have trams and busses on your doorstep as well.

    For hostels I’ve never stayed in one but I would download HostelWorld and if you pick one with a score of 8.9 or above you are pretty safe. There are group chats that will appear in the app where you can meet fellow travellers and make plans together.
    In terms of itinerary (assume day 1 is monday)
    Day 1: Get orientated with Melbourne, go get a coffee and breakfast at Lune, walk to the exhibition buildings then back towards flinders st. Maybe check out the NGV or ACMI exhibitions, then head to a bar on the Yarra for a sunset beer.
    Day 2: Book into a great ocean road tour
    Day 3 Maybe a graffiti art tour ? Other museums? Sky deck at Eureka for sunset dumplings for lunch/dinner in China town?
    Day 4 Maybe book a Yarra cruise?

    Make sure you do a game at the MCG and visit the museum. It would help greatly with the above if you could indicate your age bracket and general interests. If you want bars and clubs I can give you a list but that might not be your interest.

    • This is perfect, thankyou boss! For List of bars, yes please if possible

      • +1

        Right keep in mind I haven’t properly lived in Melbourne for a while so I might be out of date
        Goldilocks - good cocktails
        Rooftop bar (curtin house) excellent view, normally an all round good vibe and a lovely city view.
        Toff in town (have a look whats on but normally there are jazz gigs)
        Bartronica - has retro game machines, nice cocktails. A bit on the pricey side but a good time.
        Abory Afloat - Nice float thing on the yarra
        Father’s office - go for happy hour I wouldn’t bother hanging around personally but you’ll find quite a few local uni students hang out there.
        Beer Deluxe fed square - I really like the outdoor area, there is usually live music on the weekend. If it is a nice night then it is quite pleasant

        Fitzroy beer garden
        Naked in the sky

        Public house
        Richmond club hotel
        I don’t necessary recommend for all but the swan can be quite fun
        Precinct - again can get a bit messy but have a live band on friday and saturday and is fun with a good group of people.

        That is just off the top of my head, I am sure I am missing places.

        A thing I always do when I am in a new city is do a pub crawl eg (Have used the same company in Edinburgh, London and Brighton, UK). Dig around online for a 10 -20% code. You’ll meet people who are all travelling or just out for a good time. I’ll do it one night and then head out with my newly acquired friends the next day to see the sights or just another night out lol.

    • I used to live in Melbourne and many times friends would stay at the Victoria Hotel in Little Collins St. Prerry cheap for a central city hotel. Tram ride to Carlton for restaurants, or walk around that end of the city to China Town. Just had a quick google and rooms are around $140.

      Mind you, I've never stayed there myself.

  • Careful of bedbugs if you choose hostel.

    • +2

      Read this just in case.

    • Thankyou for the warning boss, thinking of going for hotel then!

      • +1

        Pretty sure hotels aren't immune from bed bugs. It depends on the individual booking the room; if they bring bed bugs with them then the hotel will get bed bugs.

    • +2

      In 10 years of travelling I have never had an issue. Stay at decent hostels and you’ll be fine. This issue can happen anywhere. Look at Paris last year.

      The OP is 22, a hostel will be way better and way cheaper. Hostel will be around $50 a night. I doubt you’d have change from $200 a night for a hotel. Way better off putting that money to the next trip and/or a good meal out. If you really wanted to you could treat yourself for the last couple of nights.

      Edit to add: They also mentioned they wanted to meet others. It is extremely difficult in hotels. Yes you can try your best at bars etc but it is hard.

      The benefit with hostels is that there will be other solo travellers from different parts of Australia and the world.

      If you use the hostel world app to look at reviews and choose something decent then you will be fine. I am also a bit reserved/introverted and the HostelWorld chat feature has been a lifesaver for me. This is sounding like a commercial but no I don’t work for them, I have just had such fun times meeting people that way who I will be friends with for life!

  • +1

    Here's a starting point in case you haven't seen it already: Best 35 Things to do in Melbourne Alone

    • Thankyou

  • +3

    If you are driving down consider taking your bike, otherwise maybe explore hiring one.

    Every time our clan goes to Melbourne we bring our bikes. Super easy to ride. Half the time the car stays put where we're staying and we just ride. It's a good pace, you see much more than with a car but it's a lot quicker than walking. If required you can also augment with the train for longer rides or if the weather turns.

    • Flying there, but good point can hire one, any good places/companies that have bikes to hire and isn’t to expensive?
      Also how does public transport work there, do i need to get a travel card or will my debit card work? Also is google maps good enough for the details of the buses/trains to take or should i download another app?
      And is it true city trams are free? Don’t want to hop on without tapping in and then get fined : ))

      • +2

        You need a myki. Unless you have an Android, then you can use mobile myki and not get stung with the $7 fee for getting a myki. Google Maps is fine.…

      • Also is google maps good enough for the details of the buses/trains to take or should i download another app?

        Google Maps is pretty good when it comes to public transport. If you've used Google Maps for PT in your city I don't see how it would be any different in Melbourne (in my experience using it in Sydney and Melbourne there's no difference anyway). It'll show you which platform you need to go to for trains, walking time when transferring services etc.

        And is it true city trams are free?

        In the free tram zone yes. The zone is basically the CBD, here's a map. It's super convenient to cover distance in the CBD.

      • I would just use lime bike or the scooters.
        CBD trams are free but only in the free tram zone. It will announce when you are in the free tram zone or going out of it.

    • +1

      I'll second that. When I have visitors if they have time I take them for a ride and they tend to like it

      The capital trail is fantastic, around the whole city all on bike paths…

      From the city there is also a bike path to Port Melbourne, and then you can ride along the shore to St Kilda and onwards

  • +1

    You mentioned Lego, Art of the Brick exhibition is on

    • Thankyou, i was looking for something like this. Will book ticket for one of the days!!

  • +1

    I'm not into sports much so I'll let others advise you there. I'm more of a foodie… probably opposite of what you are in terms of clothing size - lol

    For shopping, consider:

    In the past, I've stayed at the City Edge and Tribecca serviced apartments at East Melbourne. Close walk to Victoria Parade where the tram goes along… going west takes you into the CBD. Going east takes you to the Vietnamese district if you like Vietnamese food.

    South of the Vietnamese district is Bridge Rd so the two make for a nice day trip.

    If the other side of the CBD is more your thing, I've stayed at the Best Western in their shoebox room… which is pretty affordable. Walking distance to Southern Cross station which is where the buses from the airport drop you off, DFO, Yarra River, Crown Casino. Around the corner is CBD Kebabs… popular place to grab a HSP.

    You could consider a one day tour to also meet some other people. I'd have recommended Phillip Island to see the penguins come up the beach but Tasmania is a better place to see them (either low head or the neck at bruny island). I think someone recommended the Great Ocean Road above… I'd probably do that.

    I'm not a big theater person but take a look at what is performing atm… could be something different and nice. I've only seen Phantom of the Opera down at Melbourne which was good.

    • Thankyou boss! Helps a lot

  • +1

    Every year there's a gamer/geek expo that I can't remember the name of at Southbank.

    Full of adults that collect dolls, not that there's anything wrong with that.

  • +1

    Do board games float your boat? Check out or or you could try this article:

    From my limited knowledge, it seems there's a bit of a crossover between liking anime and comics and also liking role playing and board games. Not sure exactly what's involved, or whether you can come along alone and join in, but worth a look anyway. Might be a great way to make some like minded friends to hang out with while you're here, if that's what you want.

  • +2

    when i go to melbourne i stay at the atlantis hotel
    it's a short walk from southern cross station (where skybus comes in from the airport) near marvel stadium and the casino is just down the road

  • +1

    A visit to jv's house is on my bucket list if I ever get to Bleak City again.

  • +1

    I recommend this place, a bit no frills but great location and rooftop terrace. Other than that Melbourne in winter brrr enjoy!

  • +2

    Also developing new interest in lego, comics, anime so anything related to that happening a convention or something that i should book tickets for?

    If you like this kind of stuff you should check out Minotaur in the CBD. They normally have comics and anime stuff (figurines, manga etc). You can spend hours just looking around in there. I think you're a bit late for conventions, Oz Comic-Con looks like it was a couple of weeks ago.

  • +1

    Have you considered visiting the St Kilda penguins? Give it a google if my link doesn't work.

    They are very close to Luna Park.

    • +1

      forgot to add, tram 12,16 & 96 will get you there from the city.

    • +1

      the pier is still closed and wont be open until spring, pls check before heading there, still a good spot for sunset

  • +1
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