When I first arrived in Melbourne, I stayed in a 4-bed female dorm for the first three nights that I already pre-booked from home. That’s how I met Sabrina from Italy that I still hang out with now and it was good to have a smaller room at the beginning of my stay.
It is pretty comfortable to stay in a smaller room if you want some privacy as well as staying in a female dorm as you can change clothes in the room instead of in your bed / in the bathroom.
But bigger rooms are obviously cheaper and I feel like after 8-10 people it doesn’t matter anyway. You just need some good earplugs and maybe a sleeping mask.
Today we decided to walk through the north of the CBD where some cool streets that are definitely worth checking out are located. One is Lygon Street, known as Little Italy where you find a lot of restaurants, especially Italian and from other European countries. Then we went to Brunswick Street in Fitzroy for the first time, which is now my favourite area to stroll around. It has a lot of awesome vintage shops, small boutiques, second-hand shops, cafés, bars & restaurants. Almost all the hip vegan places are located there and I am very excited to discover them more in the next days.
Everyone I talked to in the hostel recommended the Queen Victoria Market for fruit & veggie shopping. It is super nice to walk around there and look at the yummy food they offer (at least when you like food shopping like I do haha). They don’t just have fruits and veggies but also cheese, spreads, meat, bread & a food court, as well as clothes, leather wear, souvenirs and more.
As we went there pretty late we got some great deals on the produce and they also sometimes have bags of “not so pretty” or “not so fresh” produce for a lower price, so I recommend to look for those to buy cheap. I got a bag of tomatoes, spinach and 2 capsicums each for 2 dollars and 5 bananas for only 1$! I also bought the best hummus ever for 3$ which is not a bad price and it’s super delicious and homemade as well.
In Melbourne and Sydney walks101 offers free walking tours where you only pay whatever you want at the end of the tour. I went there alone but got to meet a lot of other travellers along the tour. I highly recommend going there as it’s always great to learn some facts about the place you stay in, it’s cheap and a great way to meet others. There is another free tour in St. Kilda, a district of Melbourne at the beach, that I plan to do in the next days as well.
After those 3 nights in the 4-bed dorm, I moved into a 10 bed dorm because it’s cheaper and you also get to meet more people. Of course, you never get along with all of them but at least the chance of finding someone you connect with is higher. You also meet guys (people of the other gender) more easily.
For the first week I stayed at the Nomads All Nations Hostel in Melbourne in the CBD area which was good to do most of the touristy stuff and very easy to go to all places as there is a free Tram zone in the Centre of Melbourne. The hostel itself isn’t super awesome, not very clean and some weird people but still alright to stay at, especially for that price (I paid 24$ for a night which is 15€).
The funny thing was, that I met a boy from New Zealand on the free walking tour and it turned out that he was in my new dorm as well.
I also had to go food shopping and went to Aldi for the first time here in Oz. It’s so fun that they have this German supermarket chain here and they have a lot of good stuff for a good price as well. Bought a ’nuts, seeds and fruit mix‘ to get some healthy fats by almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds as well as a sweet topping for my breakfast with raisins as well as ‚banana bread slices‘.
After doing the free walking tour there were some places that I wanted to go back to alone, so that’s what I did the next day. I went to Federation Square, got a free Kombucha and walked through the small museum of Aboriginal Art (I’m not sure if I just didn’t found the right museum or if it is really that small haha).
I walked through the laneways (that’s how they call the small streets with no cars here) in East CBD, as well as the Block Arcade and Centreway Arcade where they had a few lovely vintage shops and a natural soap shop.
On Wednesday I went to Brighton Beach with Sabrina and a guy from Argentina who is from our hostel as well. We got there by train and walked along the beach and the neighbourhood, which is beautiful and so calm in comparison to the Centre of the City.
We were very lucky with the weather as well and even though the wind is quite cold, the sun was nice and warm.
The famous Bath Houses are located at Brighton Beach as well so we obviously could not resist stopping at the pretty ones to take some touristy pictures.
Later we bought some lunch (olive ciabatta and olive hummus for me) and sat down at the beach to enjoy the sun and read a bit.
In the afternoon Sabrina and I went to the Queen Victoria Market again as there was an Asian Night Market. There were a lot of food stands with Asian food, but very meat based and it was loud and crowded so we just walked through it and bought food in the supermarket instead.
In Sabrina’s hostel (that is my hostel now as well) they had a movie night, so I joined her – even though the movie was boring haha.
The next day I spend a beautiful day alone in the south of Melbourne. I went to the Art Center of Melbourne and thought about buying a ticket to see the Australian Ballet perform Spartacus, but sadly the tickets were too expensive because I was too late, but I really want to go to a Ballet in Sydney in the Opera House for sure!
Afterwards, I visited the free zones of the Art Museum where they had many beautiful and super cute books with a message as well as some art souvenirs.
I spend the afternoon in the Botanical Gardens, read on my Kindl* and enjoyed the sunshine!
At night time me and the Kiwi guy from my hostel joined Sabrina for a Pup crawl in Fitzroy and it was a lot of fun. We also met two Aussie guys that we hang out a lot with now.
I could not imagine at first that it would be so easy to meet people but especially in my second hostel in Melbourne, it was no problem at all and so much fun to play board games and talk to people from all around the world! → more in my next Diary post!