Melbourne is Australia’s second biggest city behind Sydney. In the state of Victoria, Melbourne sits at Port Phillip on the estuary of the Yarra River.
With a population of around 4 million, Melbourne is often called the ‘cultural capital’ of Australia. In 2011 it was dubbed the most liveable city in the world. It’s also a fantastic place to visit.
Things you must see & do
Melbourne is full of wonderful things to do. Just wandering around the central city offers great shopping and stunning architecture.
The highlight of central city is the hidden and pretty laneways that harbour quaint shops, lovely cafes and tasty restaurants for alfresco dining and people-watching. For a leisurely stroll that’s central but not so urban, take a wander along the Yarra River.
Check out the Victoria Park Markets, not far from the CBD, to buy cheap gifts and momentos and to pick up fresh fruit and vegetables.
There are a couple of streets you have to wander down. Lygon Street is lined on both sides with delicious Italian restaurants. Brunswick Street in Fitzroy has quirky, retro vintage shops for the magpie shopper.
Buy a day pass on the trams so you don’t have to fiddle round with coins every time you get on.
Watch out for cars and trams when you’re walking across roads. Trams are deceptively quiet and can sneak up on you and the road rules for cars around trams are complex and not always pedestrian-friendly.
Some of Melbourne’s best bars are hard to find - the Rooftop Bar on Swanston is open air and features an outdoor movie cinema; the Gin Palace on Russell Place is underground with a huge range of martinis; and the Croft Institute in Chinatown is built in abandoned baths and offers cocktails served in test tubes.
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