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Southbank Guide – Spend Less, Do More

Welcome to Southbank

Southbank-Melbourne-CBD-SkylineThe laneways, the trams, the streets starting with 'little' – this is the Melbourne you pictured when you first booked your stay. You could almost be forgiven for not remembering that Melbourne isn't just the north side of the Yarra river. There's also the south side! Surely you couldn't call yourself an expert on Melbourne without a visit to Southbank!

Of course, your first stop was the National Gallery of Victoria. I mean, come on - you're not a culture snob, you just appreciate the finer things in life! You were feeling sky-high after that experience and why wouldn't you – you were just surrounded by Monet, Picasso and Cézanne masterpieces. So there was only thing that would match your elated mood – a visit to the 297 metre high Eureka Skydeck skyscraper. By now, night has fallen so you headed to the iconic Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex to indulge your love of nightlife. As you sat back with your first drink of the night, you couldn't wait for what Southbank would surprise you with tomorrow!

Avoid paying the museum and gallery admission fees...

Because you don't have to go into a gallery to see artworks for free! One of the Southbank's most recognisable and controversial artworks is the sculpture titled 'Vault' by Australian sculptor Ron Robertson-Swann. Better known to locals as 'The Yellow Peril' and situated outside the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, the unusual artwork consists of randomly shaped yellow sheets of prefabricated steel. Love it or hate it – you can't deny this artwork challenges the stereotype of art as just being portraits and landscapes.

Arts and crafts markets are always fun to visit…

But an artsy city like Melbourne kicks it up another notch. And as an added bonus, it's 100 per cent free! Southbank's market operates every Sunday from 10am to 4pm outside the Melbourne Arts Centre.

Unlike other markets, everything here is made by locals – so you won't be lying when you say to your loved one back home that your souvenirs are 100 per cent unique to Melbourne. Ornate stationery, leather goods, wooden handicrafts and various coloured print bags can all be found here, - you can even pick up a toy or two for the kids. Make sure you allocate several hours to exploring the market – you'll be surprised by how much time will pass! Also check out the unique cuisines available! While the market staples of fudge, nuts and cupcakes are available, what separates this market from others are the Turkish and Vietnamese stalls with authentic Anatolian pastry and traditional Vietnamese 'Goi Cuon' or rice paper rolls.

You knew Melbourne was a walking city…

Southbank-Melbourne-at-NightBut with all that exercise, you certainly will work up an appetite. Fortunately, hidden under the Pedestrian Bridge and down a set of stairs, the explorer in you will find one of the Southbank's best watering holes in Ponyfish Island. Named after the mythical creature that supposedly inhabits the Yarra River, this waterfront bar has an unusual décor consisting of specimens and pictures of bizarre animals and plants which only adds to the retro charm of this Southbank venue. With an assortment of microbrewery beers on tap and brunch favourites including muesli jars, smashed avocado and zucchini fritters, Ponyfish Island is the perfect way to spend a lazy, summer afternoon.

You've saved tons of cash on your apartment on the bank of the Yarra

So now it's time to spend some of that pile of cash! And what better to spend it on than a spot of culture. So why not head to a theatre production at Australia's oldest profesttional theatre company, the Melbourne Theatre Company. Head to the website for information about the latest shows and to purchase tickets.

Spend Less, Do More

Your Cheaperthanhotels Team

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