While Sydney is a beautiful city with loads of sights, shopping and shows, a trip to Melbourne is a MUST. Book a flight with Tiger Airways (super cheap round trip tickets) and stay at a YHA (super nice and affordable hostel that is walking distance away from downtown Melbourne). While Sydney is very professional and family oriented, Melbourne is a younger, more artsy city. The things to do are ENDLESS! I stayed for four days and found a different part of the city everyday. You can hop on the free tram or free bus and they will take you to all the major places around the city; Queen Victoria Market, Flinders Station, Federation Center, Degraves Street, as well as the Docklands, Bourke Street Mall and the DFO for shopping. If you want to visit the beach while down there, purchase an all day ticket and hop on the tram to St. Kilda, but make sure you do it during they day because the beach closes at night.
There are literally millions on places to eat, from the famous Pancake Parlor, to Bimbos for $5 pizzas, to Pie Face (which does not sell the types of pies that we are use to). Those it is expensive (as most things in Australia are, the minimum wage here is around $16/hr), it is worth trying all the different types of food the city has to offer.
The absolute must to see and do include:
1) Exploring Fitzroy – vintage shops, artsy feel, and bars that have live Latin, funk and jazz bands. The Night Cat is the place to be on a Sunday is you like Latin music.
2) On Degraves Street there is a Belgium Waffle stand that has THE BEST waffles you will ever eat in your whole life!
3) For authentic Italian food head to Lygon Street. Everyone treats you like family it is the “Italian way” as my waiter said. A friend and I ate there and we got a drinks and appetizers for free.