If you’re looking for a vibrant, cosmopolitan city, to visit… then look no further than Melbourne. Australia’s second largest city and the capital of the south-eastern state of Victoria, Melbourne is a youthful city filled with architecture, extensive shopping, museums, galleries, theatres, and large parks and gardens. One of my best friends, Karolina, moved there a couple years ago and is always raving about how great life is down under. So this past November I hopped on a plane and went to visit her. Often referred to as the cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne is always busy with gallery exhibitions, festivals, concerts and has its own unique food, wine and coffee culture.
Stop by the city centre to visit some of Melbourne’s most prominent tourist attractions that include the main shopping district, cafes, galleries and interesting Victorian architecture. Some of the most notable buildings in the downtown core include Flinders Street Railway Station, Docklands, Eureka Tower, the Parliament House of Victoria, Federation Square and more. For the travelling art lover, the National Gallery of Victoria with a large Australian, International and photography collection.
Stroll down the main river, the Yarra, which is often referred to as “the river that flows upside down” because of it’s brown hue, or take a boat trip to explore the beauty along the riverside.
Head over to the beachside community of St. Kilda’s. This quaint area is perfect for a bite to eat or a casual drink on the patio. Be sure to stop by the historic amusement park Luna Park, which was built in 1912. After, walk north to the neighbourhood of Prahan to shop in the many stores in the bustling Chapel Street and Prahran Market.
For those looking for a more alternative area of the city, wander north of the downtown core to the eclectic suburbs of Fitzroy/ Collingwood. Wander along Bruswick Street, Smith Street and Gertrude Street to see a variety of charming cafes, one of a kind shops and unique bars.
Food & Drink
With a long, and rich history of coffee and a culture unique to Melbourne, stop by the local cafes that will impress even the most serious of espresso connoisseurs. Experience some of the best coffee and treats at Giddiup Café (269 Coventry Street).
Head over to Fitzoy in the evening for a drink or two at one of the many pulsating bars. Offering great drinks, infused vodkas, affordable tapas and one of the best views of the city, Naked for Satan (285 Brunswick Street) is a local hot spot hidden from tourists in this bohemian neighbourhood. Searching for a spot to dance the night away? Look no further than Bimbo Deluxe (376 Brunkswick Street) for an upbeat evening mingling with local Aussies.
One of the many draws to Australia, is it’s stunning natural wonders. With a day to spare, take the journey along Great Ocean Road to visit the iconic Twelve Apostles or relax on the long stretches of beaches just outside the city. Looking to see some authentic Australian wildlife? Head on over to Phillips Island to explore the penguin reserve.