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Situated two-kilometres away from the Central Business District of Melbourne, the suburb of South Melbourne is a great weekend escape. If you are looking for a place where you can relax, enjoy the Victorian era streetscapes, or simply get away from the hustle and bustle in the city, then take a short drive to Emerald Hill.
One of Melbourne's oldest suburban areas is famous for its market which consists of nearly 150 stalls. They also have a night market which is perfect for those who want to enjoy a night of dining, drinking, and music. Because of the vast shopping options in South Melbourne, it is advisable to hire a car so you can easily transport all the stuff that you bought back to your place. You can also leave some items in your rental car while bar hopping.
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The perfect time to visit South Melbourne is during the autumn season which begins in March and lasts until May. The weather is mild with temperatures averaging between 20°C to 11°C. If you visit during Autumn, check out The Mussel & Jazz Festival. The suburb is also a great place to go to on summer school holidays. The South Melbourne Night Market attracts hundreds of shoppers annually and it is usually held every Thursdays of January and February.
If it is your first time to visit Australia and you are used to driving on the right side of the road, then you may find it a bit confusing driving in South Melbourne. The steering wheel is at the right side of the car and you'll have to get used to driving on the left side of the road. If you are heading to South Melbourne Market, you can either park your rental car at the Rooftop Carpark (enter via Coventry Street) or at York Street Carpark. There is also free parking (for first two hours) at South Melbourne Central (Spotlight Centre) every day, which can be accessed via Market Street. The busiest area in South Melbourne is Clarendon Street and its side streets because most of the restaurants, cafés, retailers, and art galleries are located here. Click here for more driving tips.
With a rental car in tow, you can now easily explore South Melbourne which can be easily accessed from Melbourne via Moray Street. You can also take Kings Way and Power Street, but the route is a bit longer than the first option. The Town Hall is probably the most popular landmark in the suburb, but there are other attractions within the suburb and its surroundings – and travelling from one place to another will be easier when you hire a car.
South Melbourne Market
This place is a foodie haven! It is not your typical market where you shop for ingredients and go home. You can also eat, drink, shop for other items and meet other people at The Village Market. They also hold annual events like the Night Market where you can enjoy great food and live music. This year, it will run every Thursday until Feb. 23. The Mussel Festival is perfect for those who love seafoods and partying. Apart from those two big happenings, the South Melbourne Market hosts numerous activities all year round including workshops and tours.
Polly Woodside Tall Ship
Experience how's it like being a pirate for one day at Polly Woodside Tall Ship, which is just a 7-minute drive from South Melbourne via Clarendon Street. Come aboard and explore the historic cargo vessel that was used back in the 1800s to transport wheat and coal between England and South America. Dress up like a pirate and join the crew for a day of fun activities. They have ongoing events all year round including Pirate Sundays where you can join the treasure hunt and play pirate games. They also have a gallery, wharf, guided tours and picnic facilities.
Albert Road Serviced Apartments
If you are planning to tour South Melbourne, then this place is the perfect accommodation for you. It is conveniently located opposite the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, Grand Prix Circuit, Olympic Stadium, Albert Park and Golf Driving Range. It also has easy access to other popular attractions including South Melbourne Market and the Clarendon Street shopping precinct. It's being home away from home since all apartments feature cosy lounge and dining room and fully equipped kitchen.
City Park Hotel
Known for its superb location and facilities, the City Park Hotel is a great place to stay whether you are traveling for business or for pleasure. It is situated near the Central Business District and St. Kilda Road. You can choose from a wide range of rooms and suites including Executive Corporate Rooms to Family Suites. All rooms and suites include direct wireless internet access and Foxtel channels. They also have rooms specially designed for those with limited mobility. The hotel also has its own restaurant and small conference rooms.
The Blue Room
Situated right in the heart of South Melbourne, this modern Australian restaurant has been serving the locals and tourists since 1997. They won the “Best of the Best Pizza Challenge” hosted by Good Food & Wine Show in 2010 so make sure to order the Blue Room pizza when you dine there. They offer different sets of menu including a Happy Hour Menu and Lunch Special Menu so you will have more choices. They also offer “All You Can Eat Mussels” every Wednesday.
If you are looking for a place to have a good drink and enjoy great food, then visit O'Connell's. The award-winning gastronomic hotel has been home to some of Melbourne's top chefs including Cath Kalka, Adrian Richardson and Greg Malouf. The pub also boasts of its wide selection of wines and craft beers. There are also various rooms/areas at O'Connell's both outdoor and indoor so you can find the most comfortable spot to enjoy your food and drink.