Melbourne, Australia: What to See and Do
Australia’s sporting and cultural capital is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city that will delight and surprise in equal measure. Explore the bustling city centre and surrounding neighbourhoods to uncover world-class museums and art galleries, acclaimed restaurants and diverse shopping districts – or soak up the atmosphere and excitement of Melbourne’s many sporting events.
Head straight to Federation Square in the heart of the city, where you’ll find a plethora of museums, galleries, bars and restaurants in what has become the city’s natural cultural centre. ‘Fed Square’ hosts more than 2,000 events throughout the year – including a diverse range of festivals, markets, exhibitions, film screenings and much more.
From here, take a walk on foot and explore the maze of laneways and arcades in the inner city. Here you’ll find hidden gems at every turn – from quirky boutiques and galleries, to acclaimed restaurants, cool bars, cosy cafes and eye-catching street art.
When you’ve finished wandering, hop onto the free City Circle Tram and take a trip past many of the city’s most famous attractions while listening to the guided audio commentary.
Get off the tram near Southbank and walk along the waterfront until you reach Eureka Tower, where you can take a trip up to the Eureka Skydeck on the 88th floor (the highest in the Southern Hemisphere) and take in the spectacular panoramic views over central Melbourne, Albert Park Lake, Port Philip Bay and the Dandenong Ranges.
Museums and Galleries
Learn all about Australia’s immigration history at the Immigration Museum on Flinders Street, or head to the Melbourne Museum and discover a vast array of exciting exhibitions showcasing Australian social history, culture, science, the environment and much more. In addition, be sure to visit the National Sports Museum, where you can take a trip through the ages of Australia’s rich sporting history and see a wide range of fascinating memorabilia.
If you’re an art lover, you’ll find an amazing range of galleries dotted around the city, including the National Gallery of Victoria, the Gertrude Contemporary (located in a vast converted warehouse) and the Heide Museum of Modern Art. In addition, be sure to pay a visit to the State Library of Victoria, which showcases a wide range of Australian paintings, sculptures, ceramics and photography.
Watch an exciting cricket or football match at Melbourne Cricket Ground, or plan your visit to coincide with the Melbourne Cup horse race (November), or the Australian Open tennis tournament (January), where you can watch the world’s best players battle it out for Grand Slam glory.
Shop for world famous brands in the Melbourne Central Mall, or explore the many gems located in and around the historic laneways and arcades. For the best in boutique shopping, Gertrude Street is an absolute must-visit – or check out the flagship department stores on Bourke Street. You’ll also find many bustling markets that are just bursting with hand-made goods and irresistible bargains.
Restaurants and Nightlife
When evening falls, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to places to eat, with the city offering an amazing choice of everything from exquisite fine dining to world cuisines and cheap eats. Head straight to the Central Business District for a great choice of eateries, or make for one of the chic surrounding neighbourhoods like Fitzroy, Carlton and Richmond. If you’re looking for the best nightlife in Melbourne, King Street is the place to be.
Whatever you’re into, Melbourne is a city that will draw you back again and again!
Article by Dan Flower.
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