Planning a trip to the 2020 Australian Grand Prix on 12-15 March? We’ve got you covered with where to stay, what to do and the best places to eat and drink in Melbourne, plus ideas for extended trips.
- Visas: all foreign visitors to Australia, apart from New Zealanders, have to obtain a visa in advance of their trip. Most visas can be obtained electronically without payment and are issued straight away. For more information, click here.
- Currency: Australian dollar, $AUD. Tipping is not expected, but is also not discouraged when you’ve had good service.
- Language: English
- Time Zone: UTC/GMT +10 hours
- In an Emergency: dial 000
- Power Sockets: Australia uses Type I power sockets with a standard voltage of 230V 50 Hz. European travellers will need a power adaptor, while those traveling from North America will also need a voltage converter.
- Weather: the race falls during the start of autumn in Melbourne. Temperatures average a high of 24°C (75°F) and a low of 14°C (57°F). Expect around 8 hours of sunshine each day, and a medium chance of rainfall.
Arrival & Getting Around
The best airport to fly into is Melbourne Airport (MEL), which offers daily connections to all corners of the globe. On the ground, Melbourne has an excellent public transport network, coupled with efficient taxis and Uber. The easiest way to get to the Albert Park circuit is to take a free tram. Learn more here: 2020 Australian Grand Prix – Getting Around Guide.
Where to Stay
The Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit at Albert Park is located just south of the city centre and close to the beachside suburb of St Kilda. The best places to stay for the race are in the Central Business District (CBD), Southbank, South Yarra or St Kilda. Not only are these areas near the track, but they are also buzzing with cafes, restaurants, bars and shopping. F1 Experiences offers a 4-night stay at two of the city’s best hotels, the Crowne Plaza and Crown Metropol. Add accommodation to your Official Ticket Package today!
Where to Eat & Drink
Encompassing everything from food trucks to fine dining, and dive bars to exclusive nightclubs, Melbourne’s dining and nightlife scenes are among the world’s best. Throw in an unrivalled café culture, and a dizzying array of multicultural cuisines, and you’ve got the recipe for a busy weekend of eating and drinking away from the track! Here’s a quick rundown on the best areas in Melbourne:
- The Central Business District (CBD) is home to countless pubs, restaurants and bars. Check out Chinatown (Heroes is a cool rooftop bar with hawker cuisine) or get lost in the laneways (have a drink in Bar Americano, if there’s space).
- Go high end in Southbank next to the Yarra River (the Rockpool Bar & Grill by Neil Perry is one of Melbourne’s finest restaurants) or hit Co Nightclub in the Crown Entertainment Complex till the late hours.
- Just down the road from the circuit, St Kilda is Melbourne’s oldest beachside suburb. Stokehouse has seafood and ocean views, Uncle St Kilda serves up modern Vietnamese at affordable prices and The Esplanade Hotel is one of the best places to catch live music in the city.
- Join the hipsters on Brunswick Street and surrounds in Fitzroy; the Builders Arms Hotel is a classic Aussie pub with a modern twist, while the Black Pearl serves up some of the best cocktails (and late-night fun) in the city.
- By day, Chapel Street in South Yarra is one of the city’s top café and shopping strips. By night, it’s home to some of the city’s best bars, clubs and pubs, including The Social Bar and One Six One.
What to do
- Go shopping at the Queen Victoria Market: the largest market in the Southern Hemisphere celebrates Melbourne’s multicultural population with everything from Australian-themed gifts to fresh produce, cafés and food stalls. Closed Mondays and Wednesdays. Learn more here.
- Try your luck at Crown Casino: with roulette, blackjack, craps and poker, not to mention over 3500 electronic gaming machines, Crown Casino is one of the largest casinos in the world! If gambling is not your thing, you’ll also find nightclubs, theatres, concert venues restaurants and shopping. Find out more here.
- Check out Federation Square: Melbourne’s premier arts, culture and events precinct, which is located opposite the Flinders Street train station in the city centre, houses a variety of permanent and temporary exhibitions celebrating everything from aboriginal culture and history to digital culture, design and architecture. More info here.
- Get a bird’s eye view at Eureka 88: check out the Melbourne skyline from the observation deck on the 88th floor of the Eureka residential tower in Southbank. Open every day from 10am to 10pm. Adult tickets from $21 AUD. More info here.
- Visit the Melbourne Cricket Ground: take a behind-the-scenes tour of Australia’s largest and most iconic sports stadium (open daily from 10am-3pm, adult tickets $35 AUD). You can also visit the National Sports Museum at the MCG, which celebrates Australia’s achievements in everything from the Olympics to football, cricket and horse racing (open daily from 10am-5pm, adult tickets $35 AUD; half price if also doing the MCG tour).
What else is happening?
There’s always something happening in Melbourne, one of Australia’s leading cultural and sporting cities. Here’s a selection of events that coincide with the 2020 Australian Grand Prix:
- Moomba Festival: Australia’s largest free community festival takes place on Labor Day weekend, just before the 2020 Australian Grand Prix. The Moomba Festival (6-9 March) encompasses everything from a river parade to fireworks, live music and street parties centred around the Yarra River.
- Patrick’s Day: The sizeable Irish population in Melbourne will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, two days after the Australian Grand Prix. Join the festivities and down a pint or two of Guinness at one of Melbourne’s many Irish pubs.
- Cirque du Soleil; Canada’s most well-known circus export returns to Melbourne next March with a new show, “Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities.” Held under the Big Top at Flemington Racecourse from 12 March through to 13 April. More information and tickets (priced from $80 AUD) are here.
- Melbourne Food & Wine Festival: the 27th edition of this popular festival takes place from 6-22 March at venues all across the city. Pairing the best local produce and wine at some of the city’s most interesting restaurants, this is an event not to be missed! Learn more here.
- American indie-rock legends Pixies will be playing at the Palais Theatre in Melbourne on Monday and Tuesday of Grand Prix week (9-10 March). Buy tickets here.
We recommend adding a few extra days to your itinerary to discover the incredible food, wine and natural beauty near Melbourne. Together with our local partners, F1 Experiences is proud to offer a selection of day trips to round out your Australian Grand Prix weekend, all of which include pick up and return to select city centre hotels. Check out the dramatic coastline of the Great Ocean Road, including Bells Beach and the Twelve Apostles or get closer to Australia’s unique fauna on the Phillip Island Wildlife Tour, including the famous penguin parade! Better still, combine a day trip to two of Victoria’s most picturesque regions by sampling the best of the local produce; choose from a Wine & Cheese Tour of the Yarra Valley or a Beer & Cider Tour of the Mornington Peninsula.
Australian Grand Prix Ticket Packages include select grandstands, VIP hospitality and unique benefits only available with F1 Experiences. Get yours today!