Your guide to the perfect day in Melbourne’s CBD

From high tea to shopping and theatre, the top things to do in Melbourne are all an easy walk around the CBD's Collins Street.

People walking around Collins Street in Melbourne
  • Lisa Emmanuel
  • January 2020

The classy boulevard and its chic surrounds at the heart of the Victorian capital’s CBD beat time to drums old and new, from the quaint and classic to the hip and out-there. Here are the best places to eat, shop and take in some culture on Collins Street.

Hopetoun Tea Rooms

Soak up a bit of old-world charm while sipping on Earl Grey at this institution that offers traditional high tea complete with sandwiches, petits fours and fresh fruit. Bookings are essential for high tea but general dining is a first-come, first-served affair so make sure to set your alarm to beat the crowds (no, seriously; the Hopetoun queue is renowned for extending out onto the street) and feast on European classics such as croque monsieur and seafood pasta.

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Grand Hyatt Melbourne

Smack bang in the heart of Collins Street and within walking distance of many restaurants and boutiques, this landmark hotel is the perfect base for exploring the eclectic neighbourhood. There are 550 chic guest rooms and suites on offer – opt for one with Yarra River views – plus a gym, spa and cool cocktails at the hotel’s bar, Ru-Co.

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A man walking through a hotel lobby
This luxury hotel is ideally located for exploring Collins Street.

Leica Store and Gallery

Decked out with plush leather seats and housing a full range of Leica gear, this sleek store-meets-gallery is a photography enthusiast’s mecca. Whether you are looking for a new camera or are after some tips and tricks, the highly knowledgeable and barista-trained staff – coffee is on the house – are at the ready to answer all of your photography-related questions, while the gallery space and collection of photographic books for sale are perfect for those in need of some creative inspiration.

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Uncle

Moreish Vietnamese cuisine is on the menu six days a week at this laid-back restaurant at the ‘Paris end’ of Collins Street. Relax on a cane chair and indulge in lime-cured hapuku on betel leaf, beef pho and the Mekong Splice cocktail (it’s beyond good).

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Plates of food and glasses of wine served on a table
Find delicious Vietnamese food at the laid-back yet stylish Uncle.

Harvey Galleries

Not a fan of green eggs and ham? You will love this gallery dedicated to ‘The Art of Dr Seuss’ – a colourful, quirky space with Cat In The Hat light fixtures and bow tie-wearing staff. With limited edition artworks and sculptures available for purchase, it’s the perfect place to peruse all things Seussian.

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Princess Theatre

If you’re a Potter nerd, run, don’t walk, to this historic venue to catch Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is showing until July 2020. This magic-infused production – complete with the venue’s Hogwarts-like stained glass windows and Gryffindor-red upholstery – will have you laughing, crying and maybe even jumping in fright. Tickets are selling out fast so make sure to secure yours ASAP.

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The outside of Princess Theatre in Melbourne
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is on until July 2020 at the historic Princess Theatre.

Paint ‘n Powder

Tucked away in the Royal Arcade, you’re sure to find the perfect gift or keepsake at this French perfumery and boutique, home to an exclusive range of his and hers fragrances, scarves and candles. Once you’re done shopping, indulge in a little “me time” with a facial or manicure at the upstairs salon.

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The Block Arcade

This ornate shopping centre has been a Melbourne hotspot since 1892. Stroll through its grandiose interior, admiring the mosaic-tile floor and glass canopy ceiling and check out the luxe brands that call the arcade home – think Georg Jensen, Haigh’s Chocolates and L’Occitane.

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