Shame on me, I’ve only been four days in Melbourne. But in those days the city got to me. Melbourne is vibrant, lovely, cultural and has heaps – but really – heaps of bars. In those couple of days I tried to do as much bars as I could. Thanks to my great couch surfing host Phill, I discovered some really cool hidden bars. I feel obligated to share this precious information, so below you’ll find a list of to do-bars in Melbourne!
While I was in Melbourne I stayed four days on Phill’s couch, right in the CBD. After sleeping two weeks in a campervan, this was luxury. Especially because I could fold the couch into a bed – the things that make a backpacker happy. But I am facing another problem. My backpack is too heavy. I don’t know what came over me when I packed my stuff in Belgium, but I took too much – it is as easy as that. So I took a first big step in Melbourne, I threw away a shirt and a pullover and gave it to charity. Isn’t there a saying that goes one step at a time, or Rome wasn’t built in a day? Anyways, I’m proud, but my backpack still weighs as much as before. So at the moment I’m trying to read my books as fast as possible.
I know you’ve only kept reading to see this list, so here you go:
1. Black Cat – 252 Brunswick St., Fitzroy
I went to this bar for a coffee, but at night it is definitely a place to drink lots of wine and beer. There is free wifi, which is convenient for a backpacker. The atmosphere is really nice, the decoration is sweet and there are just really good vibes. The bar is filled with big large couches, you almost disappear in them, but it is really cosy. And not unimportant: the food is good – and well priced! Black Cat is situated in Fitzroy, a very popular suburb of Melbourne, known for its creative atmosphere, nice little bars, vintage shops and art galleries.
2. 1000 Pound Bend – 361 Lt Lonsdale St.
You can easily walk past 1000 Pound Bend. It is located in an old warehouse. The decoration gave me some kind of American impression, with old school chairs and tables, embedded in an industrial atmosphere. They are a café by day and a bar at night, and there is also free wifi. If you walk through the bar you enter another room, an open warehouse space. They use it for art exhibitions and other events. I had a great lunch there and would definitely recommend going there!
pic cred: Time Out Melbourne
3. Sister Bella – 22 Drewery Pl.
This is one of my favorite bars in Melbourne. If you don’t know it’s there, you won’t find it. Sister Bella is hidden away behind some dumpsters in a lane way. Phill and I went there quite late to have a last drink. We were enjoying our beer but after a while people left and the staff started cleaning all the stuff. They came to us and in stead of throwing us out, they took a chair and sat and drank with us. They even gave us some free beers. So thumbs up for the bartenders! If you’re there on a date and there is an awkward silence, have a look at the interior and you’ll know what to talk about. You’ll find nice an weird artwork, barbies with a penis, skateboards at the ceiling and so on.
4. General Store & Co – 213 Franklin Street
I went to this bar ’cause Phill and I were crashing a christmas party of some of his friends. It was like 3pm, so there were not a lot of people, but either way the bar made a really good impression. The way the owner outed his creativity in the decoration is just amazing. Every square meter there is more than one thing that catches your eye. For example the tables that are actually old coffee machines, or the high tables that are old lockers (which you can still use), or the sofa that’s a swing, or the liberty statue made of beer containers. Lovely!
5. Red Hummingbird – 1st Floor/246 Russell St
The Red Hummingbird is a nice discreet bar, right in the CBD. There is an inside and outside area, at the roof. It is not the most famous rooftopbar, it’s calmer and also gives a nice view on the city. I did find the price for the beer a little bit expensive.
6. The Espy – 11 The Esplanade, St Kilda
I only spent here two hours or so, but that was enough time to notice it is a great bar. The Espy is next to the beach in an old hotel: Hotel Esplanade. When you sit at the terrace, you feel the sun on your skin and have a nice view on the ocean. Great for having a drink after a long day at the beach! And at night there are always live gigs! With its six bars, restaurant and three stages it is know as the premiere live music venue in Melbourne.
7. Ferdydurke – 2/239 Lonsdale St.
And always save the best for last. Although I have to admit it is a shared place with Sister Bella. Ferdydurke is situated in a small street in the CBD. To enter the bar you walk up some stairs, while painted faces stare at you. Then you find yourself in an eclectic bar, with smooth soft lights and live music. There is some kind of terrace, actually it is a side part of the building with large windows that are open. What every guy will like, and I have to admit I also liked, you can play video games there. They project the screen outside on the wall across the street. So everyone in the bar and at the street can see how good or bad you’re playing. Ah yes, there is also wifi.
And if you’re sick of this bar – which would astonish me – you can always go to the neighbor outdoor bar Section 8, which is actually from the same owners as Ferdydurke.