Tour Guide – Melbourne with Benny


Benny was my roommate in Cork, Ireland. I was barely able to speak with him at the time (I was in Ireland to learn English for the first time). Benny is patient and very kind and still ranks as the best roommate I’ve ever had! It’s been already 8 years that he left Ireland to live in Melbourne, time flies!

How would you describe Melbourne to someone who has never been?
One of the best cities I’ve ever visited.

What is your favorite boutique in Melbourne?
I do not have one. I’m not a huge shopper but you are spoilt for choice if you are. There is various shopping centres in the city centre and Chadstone, the biggest shopping centre in the southern hemisphere is a half hours drive outside the city. Also they’re various Op Shops and quirky places all around the place. Try Chapel St. and Brunswick for best results.

Where do you like to have a brunch with your friends ?
Melbourne is full of cafes and restaurants and the best places for brunch are outside the CBD. Check out Brunswick, South Melbourne, Balaclava and Chapel St. for a huge selection of places to eat. The Pantry on Church St. in Brighton has the best desserts!

Your favorite museum?
National Gallery of Victoria, it has some great exhibitions!

What is the one Melbourne clothing essential that you can’t find anywhere else?
A jacket in the winter as it can get cold. The weather is a little unpredictable.

The best place for an easy day trip from Melbourne?
The Great Ocean road is a days drive from Melbourne round trip and is probably Victoria’s most popular tourist destination. Otherwise I recommend taking a drive up the Dandenong Mountains to get out of the city and exercise.

The best restaurant ? The best bar ?
Melbourne is famous for its restaurants. I would suggest Miss Chu’s for dumplings and Long Grain for it’s snapper. Bar-wise, if you like unpretentious surroundings and great music I would go for Fad Gallery in China Town.

And the best place to have a coffee with your friends?
Coffee is huge in Melbourne but unfortunately I’m not a coffee drinker. Take a walk down Hardware Lane or Degraves St and you will find the most popular places.

Where do you like to exercise in Melbourne?
I go to my local park; there are lots in Melbourne but otherwise along the beach or a lap of the tan as its very close to the city centre.

Somewhere super touristy you still like to visit?
The National Gallery and St. Kilda beach during the summer.

What’s the best way to get around the city? Bike, bus, car…
The centre is not that big so walking is fine. Otherwise there is a tram system and public bikes. Traffic can be bad at times so I would avoid driving.

What is your city’s philosophy?
Melbourne has been consistently voted as one of the top places to live in the world in the last five years that I have lived here, coming first many times. It is very multi-cultural, has a great mix of food and events and is very sports focused. I really do recommend giving it a try.

Describe an ideal day in Melbourne…
Brunch with friends, walk the dogs in the park and go out for drinks in the evening.

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Cécile lives in Chicago though is originally from southern France. She’s an avid traveler and is always excited by new adventures. After living in Ireland, Australia and Canada, Cécile is an advocot of having a routine but not staying comfortable for too long.


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