Located in the south east of Australia, the vibrant city of Melbourne, capital of Victoria, provides a unique mix of everything that culture, fashion and shopping buffs might be after.
Melbourne is well-known for its status as a cultural capital. From art to theatre, live music gigs to comedy festivals, there’s no doubt that Melbourne’s cultural scene is buzzing with excitement. To get a feel for Melbourne, take in the architecture and explore the city’s extensive laneway network decorated with amazing graffiti. If it’s shopping you’re after, Melbourne has everything from big department stores to countless international brands to local boutiques. Whether you are looking for high-end fashion or a unique vintage piece, this city will not disappoint.
When you have worked up an appetite, you will find a great variety of fantastic restaurants, bistros and cafes to choose from. Head to Chinatown if you fancy an Asian dish or make your way over to the Docklands area, where you can find lots of new bars and restaurants. Splash out and reward yourself with a superb eight course dinner at the multi-award-winning Point Albert Park Restaurant. Afterwards go for a stroll through Melbourne laneways until you find a small bar to end the day Melbourne-style.
With a year-round calendar of big events, visitors simply cannot run out of entertainment while visiting the second most populated city in the country. All eyes are on Melbourne when it comes to some of the biggest events in the sporting calendar; this city is home to the Australian Open in January, the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in March and the AFL Grand Final in October. The popular Melbourne Cup runs over four days in November and attracts people from everywhere, as it is not just a horse race, but a racing carnival, creating an unforgettable atmosphere with countless parties taking place all over the city. If you want to fit in with locals, make sure to wear a hat for Melbourne Cup – the more eccentric, the better! Every Labour Day long weekend in March, the entire family can celebrate the city’s colourful, energetic life at the Moomba Festival, Melbourne’s largest, most treasured community festival, featuring music performances, entertainment, cultural workshops and more.
Catering to a large number of visitors every year, it is recommended to book Melbourne hotels in advance. Especially when one of the famous events outlined above take place, last-minute travellers might get into trouble finding hotels in Melbourne.
Depending on how much time you have in Melbourne, you should definitely check out several of Melbourne neighbourhoods, as every single one has a unique atmosphere and its own highlights to offer. Most sights, museums and shopping opportunities you will probably find in Melbourne City and St. Kilda, a trendy urban Melbourne hot spot. Just a short walk from Melbourne city centre, bohemian Fitzroy displays various artworks in stores, galleries and workshops. Located on the southern bank of the Yarra River, Southbank offers scenic views of the city skyline and is home to the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.
West of Melbourne's central business district is the suburb of Docklands. Join a Penguin Waters Cruise and get personal with Melbourne's fairy penguin colony. If you are into post-modern architecture and want to explore Victoria’s culture, history and natural environment, make your way to the Melbourne Museum in Carlton. To catch some fresh air and enjoy some of Melbourne’s most beautiful parks, spend an afternoon in East Melbourne – which is also home to Victoria’s State Government – or Albert Park. You feel like still haven’t shopped enough? Head to South Yarra and Prahran suburbs for fashion, entertainment and great shopping. While North Melbourne is a popular residential suburb, South Melbourne has become one of the area's best places to club-hop. The Corner Hotel in Richmond is one of Melbourne's most famous live-music venues, hosting well-known international and local bands alongside aspiring newcomers.
In The Area
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, take a day trip to one of the beautiful areas that surround Melbourne. Enjoy a stroll along the coastline of Mornington Peninsula and visit its famous National Park to see dolphins, seals and even whales. Just one hour east of Melbourne, the scenic Yarra Valley is perfect for romantic getaways and outdoor adventures. You can’ leave this area without having had a glass or two of the exceptional, locally-produced wines! Another great adventure that is not to be missed is the national heritage-listed, 243 km-long Great Ocean Road. Winding along the edge of the southern Australian coastline, this road will take you to the world famous 12 Apostles. Follow the track of former goldminers in Daylesford or watch the “Penguin Parade” on picturesque Philipp Island. Outdoor buffs will also enjoy a fishing trip in the Victorian seaside resort of Queenscliff or a picnic in Dandenong Ranges while you are waiting for Puffing Billy, the famous steam train.
Melbourne has a fantastic public transport system that puts every destination in the area within easy reach.
With more than 1700 tram stops and more than 450 trams, Melbourne’s tram network is the largest in the world and is considered a tourist attraction in its own right.
The local rail network consists of about 200 suburban stations on 16 lines which radiate from the City Loop. The city also provides rail connections with regional Victorian cities and direct interstate rail services to Sydney and Adelaide, departing from Southern Cross Station in Spencer Street.
In case you have missed the last bus or train at night, you can also catch a taxi on almost every street corner. Safe City Taxi Ranks can be found near Flinders Street Station on Swanston Street as well as on Bourke Street, King Street and Queen Street.
The Melbourne Airport SkyBus runs every 15 minutes 24/7, departing from Melbourne Airport Domestic & International Terminals and travelling directly to Southern Cross Coach Terminal on Spencer Street. The bus ride takes about 20 minutes.
Melbourne Hotels and Accommodation
Accommodation in Melbourne is as multifaceted as the city itself. Travellers on a budget will find a variety of clean and cheap hotels to choose from, while business travellers or those who want to treat themself during their stay can check into one of the international four- and five-star chain hotels in Melbourne, many of which are located on Collins Street or Flinders Street in the city centre. Mid-range accommodation can also be found in this area. If you prefer a neighbourhood a little more quiet, look for a room in a cosy bed and breakfast or a three star-hotel in East Melbourne and the surrounding suburbs farther away from the city centre.
There has been a large increase in the number of serviced apartments in Melbourne, which have become a popular choice to hotels and cheap accommodation alternatives. Why are they popular ?
They provide independence , self catering and multiple rooms for groups of friends or family style accommodation in a fully equipped, home away from home. Melbourne serviced apartments are a great way to enjoy both long and short stays in Melbourne for an affordable price. And if you still don't like cooking , many of the city's cheap multi cuisine eateries are only a take away.