Planning Your Perfect Weekend for Light Up Melbourne Festival

If you’re planning to be in or around Melbourne between 19 and 22 March 2020, then you’ve chosen the ideal time to be in the city. Light Up Melbourne Festival will be brightening up the north bank of the Yarra River with light installations, music and entertainment – and all for free!

The festival takes place at Birrarung Marr, Melbourne’s latest event park that’s situated right near the Yarra and Federation Square. This stunning location will be home to nine epic lantern light installations with a Chinese folk-culture theme, including an astonishingly ‘Eternal Dragon’ that’s 27 metres long and 6 metres high. Look out for Majestic Flying Cranes, Panda Village and The Bamboo Walk lighting up the area each evening. It’s the perfect opportunity to wander along the river’s edge at sunset, snacking on delicious cuisine from Asian food and trader stalls including a specialist ‘Little Sichuan’ area. You can test out your skills with the amusement games and kids’ activities, or simply kick back on the grass and watch the entertainment on the main stage. With lion dancing and cultural performances throughout the four days, it’s an incredible way to experience Melbourne’s diverse culture.

Where to stay

If you’re thinking of staying in a hotel for the weekend, here’s a hot tip – serviced apartments in Melbourne CBD will provide a far roomier experience with better value. There are several ideal Punthill Melbourne locations within moments of the festival. Punthill Apartment Hotel Manhattan is a six-minute walk from the park at Birrarung Marr and offers New York-style accommodation in Melbourne’s CBD, while Punthill Apartment Hotel Flinders Lane is a seven-minute walk and places you amongst the city’s world-famous graffiti lanes and coffee spots.

Where to eat

The Light Up Melbourne Festival promises a jam-packed program, but it would be a shame to miss some of the incredible eateries and highlights of Flinders Lane while you’re staying in the city. We can recommend dropping into Roule Galette for a delicious French crêpe to start your day off right, popping into Hosier Lane and AC/DC Lane for snapshots of incredible street art, and wandering amongst the heritage buildings of Flinders Lane to drop into local clothing boutiques you can’t find anywhere else. Be sure to drop into the lobby of 333 Collins Street to gaze up at its mighty heritage dome, and finish your day with some late-night Italian desserts at Brunetti Flinders Lane. We’re always happy to help with local suggestions – just ask at the front desk when you arrive at your Punthill apartments in Melbourne CBD, suburbs or outer suburbs.