The capital of the Australian state of Victoria is a great cultural, sporting and commercial centre. It enchants its visitors with its urban dynamism and also with the beauty of the surrounding natural areas, such as the Grampian Mountains National Park.
Melbourne’s lifestyle is as elegant as it is eclectic, welcoming and hospitable. The city and region showcase its vast historical, cultural, artistic and traditional landscape in its exciting museums and art galleries.
Exploring Melbourne’s various districts is like opening a box of surprises. You’ll discover special terraces, wonderful displays of urban art, coastal landscapes, monuments and countless other attractions that will appeal to even the most discerning traveller.
- Top 5 reasons to visit Melbourne
- Things to do in Melbourne
- When to visit Melbourne
- Getting to Melbourne
- Where to stay in Melbourne
- Getting around Melbourne
- Melbourne’s Cost of Living
- Where to eat in Melbourne
Top 5 reasons to visit Melbourne
Iconic Museums and Art-Filled Venues
The city is home to a wide range of galleries, museums and other spaces dedicated to art and culture. The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), the art of the famous Heide Museum of Modern Art and the world of film, television and digital culture of the Australian Centre for The Moving Image (ACMI) are all surprisingly well represented.
It’s a pleasure to mingle with the hustle and bustle of Queen Victoria Market, located in the heart of the city, for fashion and fresh produce. Other highlights include the South Melbourne Market and Camberwell Sunday Market, which offers unique jewellery and vintage items.
Melbourne’s sporting universe
The iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground is home to the Australian Football League and international cricket matches. There are also horse races such as the Spring Racing Carnival and Melbourne Cup, and the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix. The huge Hisense Arena also hosts tennis, basketball, netball, boxing, wrestling and cycling events of the highest standard, plus concerts and other shows.
Ocean, sun and surf
Melbourne’s coastline includes beaches such as St Kilda Foreshore, which is just a short tram ride from the city centre. They’re always full of life, with beach sports, fishing outings and sunshine most of the year.
Terraces with height
In Melbourne many bars, cinemas and restaurants occupy the rooftops. You can sip cocktails while enjoying the city’s attractive skyline from above, listen to live music or watch a movie under the stars. Decorated with real art, the rooftops are perfect for summer evenings and nights, though some are covered, so they can be enjoyed all year round.
Things to do in Melbourne
Exploring the urban environment
Wandering around the city you will discover exclusive boutiques, eclectic streets, Victorian architecture such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Art Deco of the Manchester Unity Building and colourful displays of urban art. In addition to a host of museums and other attractions, you can visit the Royal Exhibition Palace, which has been declared a World Heritage Site.
Merging with Brunswick Street’s bohemian feel
Brunswick Street is full of people shopping, eating, drinking, talking and dancing. It is located in the Fitzroy neighbourhood, a place where the most bohemian characters mix with elegant business people, and where second-hand shops coexist with the boutiques of the most prestigious brands.
Enjoy the city’s parks and gardens
Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens and Kings Domain Park, by the Yarra River, and head to the Royal Park, where the city zoo is located. Enjoy a picnic in Fitzroy Gardens, home to the famous Captain Cook’s House.
Melbourne is a maze of Gothic laneways, filled with food, fashion and art venues, all small and quirky. Shops alternate with jazz bars, trattorias, cafes, street art and the more curious corners. Start your discovery on Degraves Street and Centre Place.
Take fascinating excursions
In the Yarra Valley there is a world of wine, cheese and handmade chocolate waiting for you. You can also visit Healesville Sanctuary to embrace a koala, explore the Dandenong Ranges and head to the Mornington Peninsula for more wineries and idyllic beaches sought after by surfers.
When to visit Melbourne
Summer lasts from November to the beginning of April in Australia, although winter is still very pleasant, with average temperatures of around 20°C.
January is a key month for sports lovers, as the Australian Open Tennis Championship begins in Melbourne. In addition, spring and autumn are perfect times to enjoy the wine routes and beaches without crowds of tourists.
Getting to Melbourne
The easiest way to get to Melbourne is to fly into Tullamarine Airport (MEL), which is about 15 miles from the centre. From there you can take a bus to the city, whose ticket costs A$, or a SkyBus, faster. The price of your ticket is A$ 18. A taxi on this route can cost about A$ 55.
If you land at Sydney airport, you can take a train to Melbourne. NSW TrainLink schedules daily services to Southern Cross Station, less than 2km from the city centre. Prices start at A$65.15 for this journey.
From the airport you can reach the city by driving on the M2, although in times of heavy traffic you can take the M80 and then the M1. From Sydney, just get on the M31 and follow its course to Melbourne.
Greyhound and Firefly Express operate bus lines from several Australian cities, including Adelaide, Canberra and Sydney. A coach journey from Adelaide to Melbourne costs A$60 with Firefly Express and takes around twelve hours. Buses arrive at Southern Cross Station.
Airports near Melbourne
(MEL) Melbourne Tullamarine
(MEB) Melbourne Essendon
(AVV) Melbourne Avalon
Where to stay in Melbourne
Melbourne offers a variety of accommodation. Those who prefer a luxury hotel can opt for the centrally located Lindrum Melbourne Hotel, which offers rooms for around A$300 a night.
The Hotel Crown Promenade Melbourne, located near the promenade, has rooms for A $ 174 per night, and among the low budget accommodation is the Melbourne Central YHA, whose rates start at A $ 64 per night.
Popular Neighbourhoods in Melbourne
Melbourne CBD. This is Melbourne’s financial district, and is also the cultural heart of the city. It is home to the Docklands area, the historic Block shopping mall and the Immigration Museum.
St Kilda. Attractive and radiant, this suburb displays typical Australian beach life. The colours of the surfboards, the festivals and the Asian restaurants shine.
Fitzroy. Next to the Collingwood district, it stands out for its bohemian air and its galleries, bars, restaurants and examples of street art. Here you can find the eclectic Brunswick Street, the shops of Gertrude Street and bars like The Everleigh.
Getting around Melbourne
By public transport
An efficient free tram network runs in the centre of Melbourne. There is also an excellent bus and train network that runs throughout the city. You can pay with the rechargeable myki card, which has a daily limit of A$7.
Taxi fares are set according to fixed schedules. The daytime fare is A$ 4.20 and the night fare is A$ 5.20. The price per kilometer travelled is A$ 1.55 during the day and A$ 1.86 at night.
Renting a car is the best alternative for restless travellers, who will want to enjoy the scenery of the Great Ocean Road or explore the Grampian Mountains. Melbourne is home to Budget and Hertz, where you can book a tour for around A$50 a day.
Melbourne’s Cost of Living
Places to shop
Melbourne is a paradise for shopping enthusiasts. For designer shoes you can go to Little Collins Street, and Bourke Street Mall has many shops like David Jones. Chapel Street is lined with boutiques such as Dorothy & Evelyn, Plane Clothes and Olga de Polga, and St Kilda’s is home to the Esplanade open-air market.
Supermarkets and markets
In Melbourne they serve supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths. In addition, markets such as Prahran Market are great places to buy fresh produce. To get an idea of prices consider that a kilo of apples costs about A$ 5 and a litre of milk A$ 1.30.
Where to eat in Melbourne
Melbourne has hundreds of excellent restaurants, specializing in various types of cuisine. The Italian cuisine of Vaporetto Bar & Eatery, the chicken delicacies of Embla and the Greek dishes of Attica are all of gourmet quality. The inexpensive menus are also tasty.
For example, try eating in Indian restaurants like Mukka or in hamburger shops like Dexter. In high quality restaurants, a main course costs between A$ 20 and 30, while in economy restaurants the dishes cost between A$ 10 and 15.