Snack on a Turkish pastry as you take a multicultural, sensory journey through the Queen Victoria Market, open Tuesday and Thursday to Sunday. Follow the aroma of gourmet cheeses and ingredients to the Deli Hall and be surrounded by seasonal fruit and veg in the fresh produce sheds. To pick up idiosyncratic gifts, visit the artisan workshops in String Bean Alley or take home pelt rugs, opals or outback fashion from the market's souvenir stalls.
Take a seat in the restored warehouse setting of the Auction Rooms, one of Melbourne's most illustrious temples to coffee, or choose from the small but perfect menu at Twenty & Six cafe. Follow lunch with performance art at the Arts House at North Melbourne Town Hall or browse Errol Street's fashion and homewares stores for one-off ensembles and accessories from local designers, vintage finds and retro collectables.
Walk past elaborate fountains and avenues of oak trees in the Carlton Gardens, where you can tour the World Heritage–listed Royal Exhibition Building or brush up on your city history at the Melbourne Museum. Just around the corner is Carlton's Little Italy, Lygon Street, whose cafes have been pumping out espressos and cappuccinos since the 1950s. Take your pick from the latest fiction at Readings bookstore or be dazzled by the marble bling and scrumptious cakes in Brunetti cafe's new headquarters.
Say cheers over a glass of sparkling prosecco at Jimmy Watson's Wine Bar and share an antipasto platter. Or squeeze into popular DOC for fast and furious pizza, or a more leisurely Lebanese banquet at Abla's. After dinner, see what's on at La Mama Theatre, catch a movie at the Cinema Nova or watch free films screened in Piazza Italia in the warmer months.