Wouldn't you like to live in the happiest place in the world—for three days, at least? In just 72 hours, you can discover some of the unforgettable neighbourhoods, bars, beaches and experiences that regularly catapult Melbourne to the top ranks of world cities.
Day 1: Coffee, shopping and a day at the beach
Start your day with a caffeine fix at one of the city's countless sidewalk cafes, but forget espressos and cappuccinos—Melburnians take coffee to a whole new level. Try a syphon (vacuum-brewed java), cold drip (a less acidic beverage steeped overnight) or clover (a customized French press-style brew).
Fuelled for some retail therapy, stroll the city's gorgeous laneways and arcades—the 19th-century Block Arcade and Royal Arcade are known for their colourful floors, skylit ceilings and elegant shops.
Next, take the tram to St. Kilda and meander through the beachfront suburb's quirky boutiques. Try one of the off-the-wall lattes—in flavours like carrot cake or blue algae—at Matcha Mylkbar. In warm weather, drop into Paper Fish on the boardwalk for sustainable seafood and granitas, or sate your vegan hunger with a fiery kelp noodle salad at The Alley.
As the sun sets, return to the Melbourne CBD for small plates and artisanal cocktails at Arlechin, an intimate, 40-seat space with a long list of rave reviews.
Day 2: Food markets and festivals
Take a two-hour morning foodie tour of the huge Queen Victoria Market, where you'll nibble on so many samples of fresh produce, cured meats and hot jam doughnuts (a regional specialty), you won't need lunch!
In the afternoon, head to the National Gallery of Victoria, which boasts more Australian art on permanent display than any other gallery in the world. Next up? Explore Clayton—Australia's most diverse neighbourhood—where Chinese dumpling restaurants, Italian grocers and Indian cafes all vie for your attention.
At night, check out one of Melbourne's many festivals, which celebrate everything from comedy and fashion to animation and wine. And from mid-November through mid-April, head back to the Queen Victoria Market to enjoy live music and street snacks at the wildly popular Night Market.
Day 3: Dive, fly and dine
Your last day in and around Melbourne is all about memorable adventures. Swim with dolphins on the Mornington Peninsula, take a hot air balloon ride over the Yarra Valley, see the Twelve Apostles by helicopter, or learn to surf on the Great Ocean Road.
All that activity will make you hungry, so leave time for a leisurely dinner at one of Melbourne's 3,000 plus restaurants, where you can choose from some 70 world cuisines. For an unforgettable cap to your three days in Melbourne, indulge in the acclaimed tasting menu at Vue de Monde, where dishes like kangaroo with fermented peppers are paired with wines from an award-winning cellar.
Ready to grab your carry-on and go? Starting this June, Air Canada offers year-round service to Melbourne, making Victoria's capital city the perfect gateway for an Australian adventure. Whether you travel in Economy, Premium Economy or International Business Class on the airline's Boeing 787 Dreamliner, you'll enjoy complimentary wines, spirits and meals, as well as free noise-cancelling headphones and personal touchscreen TVs with hours of on-demand entertainment. Premium Economy enhancements include extra legroom, while guests in International Business Class can drift off to sleep in an 80-inch lie-flat bed. Get to Melbourne in ultimate comfort.