Melbourne the city of gardens, the upside down river and fabulous coffee, offers you plenty of options for when you have some downtime while you’re here for the conference. To make sure you are getting the best possible coffee experience avoid the chains.

Melbourne’s Gardens along with a few other CBD attractions are great places to wander around and explore while sipping a coffee without spending a dime. They include:

  • Alexandra Gardens
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Carlton Gardens
  • Fitzroy Gardens
  • Flagstaff Gardens
  • Treasury Gardens
  • Southbank (Other side of the Yarra River to the CBD)
  • The State Library (cnr Swanston St and La Trobe St)
  • Federation Square (cnr Flinders St and Swanston St)

Other CBD destinations, that do have a bit of a cost include:

  • Melbourne Museum and IMAX (both in Carlton Gardens)
  • Queen Victoria Market (opposite the hostel)
  • Melbourne Aquarium (cnr King St and Flinders St)
  • Minotaur Entertainment (121 Elizabeth St, Melbourne)
  • Readings Book Store (309 Lygon St, Carlton)
  • Crown Casino
  • Melbourne Central
  • Collins St, “Paris End”

Further afield there is:

  • Luna Park (18 Lower Esplanade, St Kilda)
  • The Espy (11 The Esplanade, St Kilda)
  • Brunswick St (Fitzroy)
  • Smith St

NB: Northcote, Brunswick and Fitzroy are where you can see hipsters in their natural habitat!

Some great and cheap eating options include:

  • Tiamo/Tiamo 2 (303/305 Lygon St, Carlton)
  • Lentil as Anything, vegetarian/vegan (1-3 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford)
  • Smith and Daughters, vegan (175 Brunswick Street Fitzroy)
  • Acland St Cake Shops (St Kilda)
  • Don Don, not vegetarian/not vegan (198 Little Lonsdale St)

Queer Venues:

  • Hares and Hyenas Bookstore/Cafe (63 Johnston St, Fitzroy)
  • Alia (83 Smith St, Fitzroy) – free but not accessible (not queer, but queer-friendly)
  • Thursgay at Mr Wow’s Emporium (97B Smith St, Melbourne) – free but not accessible
  • DTs Hotel (164 Church St, Richmond)
  • GH (1 Brighton Rd, St Kilda)
  • D&M (119 Commercial Road, South Yarra)
  • Poof Doof (Saturday night, Chasers Nightclub – 386 Chapel St, South Yarra)