Off-Track Activites – Australian Grand Prix

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The best off-track activities in Melbourne on Australian Grand Prix weekend. What to see and where to eat, drink, shop and go out. The next race takes place on March 22-25, 2018.

Melbourne is world-renowned for the quality and choice of its dining experience. With such a multicultural local population, fans can sample most major cuisines of the world. Popular options include Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern and a myriad of Asian cuisines, including Indian, Chinese, Thai, Malaysian and Vietnamese. There are also many ‘gastro pubs’ serving tasty ‘modern Australian’ cuisine and craft beers. For more information on the best places to eat in Melbourne, check out Urban Spoon.

From traditional pubs to modern bars and clubs, Melbourne has a great nightlife scene. Popular areas include the city centre (CBD), Southbank and St Kilda, but if you have time and are a little more adventurous, many inner suburban areas such as Carlton, Fitzroy and South Yarra are also worth a look. There is always a range of other events happening on any given weekend in Melbourne, from comedy to theatre or opera –  Time Out is a great source for find out what is happening in the city.


The commercial and shopping hub of the city also boasts plenty of eating and drinking choices and a wide range of accommodation. Bars, pubs and clubs are are all over and the city is renowned for the alleyways which snake between the skyscrapers and other commercial buildings, where you will find some of the city’s best drinking and dining choices. Bourke Street Mall is a pedestrianized street and the heart of Melbourne’s shopping area, where many large shopping arcades, department stores and flagship brand stores are located. Melbourne also has a vibrant Chinatown district in the heart of the city with a range of authentic eateries to suit all tastes and budgets. The Queen Victoria Market, which is open 5 days a week (closed on Mondays and Wednesdays) is a popular local market. There are lots of cheap eats in the vicinity and you can also pick up well-priced Australian souvenirs.


  • The popular Southbank entertainment precinct on the southern banks of the Yarra River in the city centre is dominated by the vast Crown Entertainment Complex, which comprises Crown Casino, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as shops, bars, restaurants, cinemas, nightclubs and a large event space. Games offered at the casino include the staples of roulette, blackjack, craps and poker, as well as popular Asian games Baccarat and Pai Gow. There are also 2500 electronic gaming machines in the casino (known as ‘pokies’ in Australia). Also in the Southbank precinct, the distinctive Eureka residential tower is one of the largest residential buildings in the world, topping out at just under 300 metres. It boasts an observation deck on the 88th floor called Eureka 88.
  • Federation Square (or simply Fed Square) is a civic and arts precinct in the city centre, next to Flinders Street train station. Within the precinct you can find a variety of cultural attractions, including permanent and short-term art and mixed media exhibitions. It’s also home to cafes, restaurants and bars.
  • Docklands is a  massive urban renewal project which has turned a former area of wharves and light industry into a new precinct boasting restaurants, shops and housing, the Docklands precinct is located adjacent to the CBD and is well worth a visit.


If you are peckish leaving the track, Andrew’s Hamburgers is a good bet. This highly rated burger bar can be found at 144 Bridport Street, Albert Park. The best trackside pub is the Middle Park hotel, located very close to Gate 1. Expect a friendly F1 atmosphere during the afternoons and evenings on Grand Prix weekend. Time Out has more intel on the best places to shop, eat and drink in Albert Park.


Close to the circuit, St Kilda is Melbourne’s best known suburban beach. Beach weather on Grand Prix weekend is not likely, but it’s still worth heading to Acland Street for shopping, restaurants, bars and and cafes. The Esplanade Hotel is a historic pub in St Kilda which is well known for hosting live music, including lots of interstate and international bands. Traveling with kids? Head to Luna Park Melbourne, right in the heart of St Kilda.


To the inner North West of the center, Lygon Street in Carlton is a café strip popular with Melbourne’s large Italian community. If you are a Ferrari fan, no trip to Melbourne on Grand Prix weekend would be complete without a trip to Lygon Street. The street comes alive as local cafes and pizzerias fly the flag for Ferrari and welcome travelling tifosi. ‘Cruising’ is also popular on Lygon Street, a practice which sees locals  driving slowly up and down the street to show off their modified or luxury cars. Click here for a list of the best restaurants.


Fitzroy is a trendy inner northern suburb of Melbourne, popular with hipsters and arty types. The main thoroughfare is Brunswick Street, where you can find loads of cool shops, many specializing in alternative fashion, as well as art galleries, cafes and restaurants. The street is also worth visiting for its nightlife, particularly live music taking in many different genres.


Chapel Street is a popular shopping, café and dining street in South Yarra close to the Albert Park circuit. Being located so close to many of Melbourne’s most exclusive suburbs, Chapel Street is known for upmarket shopping and some of the best restaurants in the city. It is a hive of activity late on Friday and Saturday nights as many of the best clubs in the city are located on the street.

Melbourne tourist attractions

  • Visit the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and the home of the Australian Open tennis, both just a short stroll from downtown. The National Sports Museum within the grounds of the MCG is also worth a look.
  • Spend a day touring the famous Yarra Valley wine growing area, just outside the city
  • Visit the Melbourne Aquarium
  • Check out the Melbourne Zoo, located just north of the city center

What are Melbourne’s must-sees and must-dos? Leave a comment below!

February 6, 2018

Trackside – 2018 Australian Grand Prix

Useful information to help you get the most out of your trackside experience at Albert Park for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

January 24, 2018

Experience F1 at the 2018 Australian Grand Prix

Learn more about exclusive tickets packages from F1 Experiences for the 2018 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 22-25.

January 11, 2018

Budget Planner – 2018 Australian Grand Prix

How much will a weekend at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne set you back? Read our budget planner to find out!

January 4, 2018

Off-Track Activites – Australian Grand Prix

The best off-track activities in Melbourne on Australian Grand Prix weekend. What to see and where to eat, drink, shop and go out.

January 2, 2018

Travel Basics – Australian Grand Prix

Useful travel information to help you start planning your trip to the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

January 2, 2018

Race Facts – Australian Grand Prix

Background information and history of the Australian Grand Prix at the Albert Park street circuit in Melbourne

December 13, 2017

Getting There & Around – Australian Grand Prix

Advice on getting to Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix & getting around in the city during race weekend, including the best ways to get to the Albert Park street circuit.

November 15, 2017

Tickets – 2018 Australian Grand Prix

Your guide to buying tickets for the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park. Advice on General Admission, Grandstands and VIP tickets.

November 2, 2017

Accommodation – 2018 Australian Grand Prix

From budget to luxury, we’ve chosen the best F1-friendly accommodation in Melbourne with easy access to Albert Park for the Australian Grand Prix

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