Melbourne is one of the best places to live, work, and study for people young and old. It also has a high student population, thanks to the many world-class universities that call it home. Unsurprisingly, the coastal capital also happens to be one of the top literary destinations in the world.
If you happen to find yourself in Melbourne for a holiday, college, or an indefinite period, it pays to know the best places to curl up in a book or become an active part of the local literary scene.
From charming bookstores and cozy cafes to peaceful parks and tranquil beaches, here are the top five reading spots in Melbourne.
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
The Royal Botanic Gardens is not only the best place to escape the hubbub of the city, but it also boasts endless reading spots. Plus, it’s a mere two kilometers from the city center. This idyllic escape lets you read in the lap of nature, with birdsong and leaves rustling in the background. You’ll enjoy the fresh breezes, unique flora, and expansive views too. If you’re into gardens, you can also try visiting Flagstaff Gardens, Carlton Gardens, St. Vincent Gardens, and Faulkner Park, all of which are great places to read and unwind.
State Library of Victoria
There are countless public libraries spread throughout Victoria, but the biggest and most popular one is the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne. Did you know that this stand-out library is the oldest in Australia? It’s home to a vast collection of two million books, maps, journals, and photographs.
The first place you should go to is The Dome — this octagonal reading site is an architectural splendor that can hold over a million books and 600 readers. You’ll surely meet some like-minded folks in a second. And if you’re doing your master’s thesis, it’s also the best place to access academic journals and borrow all sorts of books for your research.
If you’re planning a more casual read, you can head down to the Mr. Tulk Guild Cafe, a cozy corner in the library for you to read in peace and get your caffeine fix. If you want something smaller and more intimate, you can try the State Library on Swanston St, the City Library in Flinders, Bunjil Place Library in the eastern suburbs, or the Melbourne Athenaeum Library.
A South Yarra Cafe
South Yarra is home to the city’s most iconic bookstores, cafes, and restaurants. Residents need to step out and walk a few blocks to find a reading spot. There’s also a big chance to meet someone in the literary scene. And if you need to catch up on your academic reading or work on your research paper, you can head down Chapel Street, where you can easily find a good coffee shop with reliable business internet plans.
You can grab a coffee or two at Caffe e Cucina or hit up the Two Birds One Stone cafe on Claremont St. Journeyman is also worth the try if you’re passionate about books, coffee, and vegan food. If you’re craving a hearty brunch and authentic Melbourne coffee, you can head out to Prahran’s many coffee shops like Fourth Chapter.
Melbourne’s Many Beaches
In Australia, the reading culture is often tied with beach culture. Hit any beach in Melbourne, and you’ll find several people curled up in a book while soaking in the sun and breeze. St. Kilda’s is the most popular destination, but any quiet beach throughout Melbourne will do.
Elwood is another popular beach near the CBD, but if you want to step away from the crowds, you can take a short drive to Parkdale Beach. Another awesome place to visit is Brighton Beach, a laid-back, family-friendly beach that’s home to the world-famous colorful bathing boxes.
Naked in the Sky
It’s always nice to observe a city from a bird’s eye view. It offers a unique kind of rush and peacefulness to make you want to pick up a novel. Naked in the Sky is a bibliophile-certified hangout that gives you gorgeous views of the CBD skyline. The rooftop bar is surprisingly relaxing and captures that uniquely laidback Australian vibe. It also boasts an extensive menu from brunch to dinner, so you won’t need to worry about going hungry while devouring that lengthy book. You can even sample their award-winning cocktails to cap off a fulfilling day.
As you can see, Melbourne hosts so many diverse reading spots for bibliophiles, students, and anyone who wants to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. So be sure to visit these spots and devour your reading list while sightseeing throughout Melbourne at the same time.