Australia’s second largest city is lively, elegant and multi-cultural. It frequently ranks among the top ten most liveable cities worldwide. Its tangle of hidden lanes, tree-lined streets, grand Victorian buildings and 1850s Gold Rush-funded 1850s Gold Rush-funded Victorian buildings give the city a European feel. Foodies will find much to love. Here, you will find a variety of dishes from Greek, Indian and Vietnamese cuisines.
Sports is perhaps Melbourne’s greatest claim of fame. Melbourne Cup horse racing, which is held on the first Tuesday of November, brings everyone to a halt. Australian Rules football, however, is almost a religious devotion. Take in a Melbourne Cricket Ground match, browse the city’s galleries, cafes, shops, and stroll through the beautiful botanic gardens. Cruise along the Yarra River, or board a heritage tram for a glimpse of Melbourne’s wonders. On top of all these exciting things to do, rewarding day trip adventures lie a short drive from the city buzz.
1 Federation Square
Federation Square opened in 2002 as a commemoration of 100 years’ of federation. This created divisions among Melburnians. There were both those who loved it, and those who loathed it. It is now an integral part of the city, and a wonderful place to start your sightseeing. The modern, open-plan design of the building contrasts with its Victorian surroundings. It is located right next to Flinders Street Station. The central outdoor performance space hosts more than 2000 events per year. Intimate indoor venues host smaller entertainment.
2 Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens is located within the heart green parkland that extends south of the Yarra. It is approximately two kilometers from downtown. Two locations were chosen for the gardens, Cranbourne and Melbourne. The Melbourne Gardens covers 38 hectares and has more than 8,500 plant species, some of which are rare. The Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden aims to encourage future gardeners. A popular tour, the Aboriginal Heritage Walk, explores the rich history of Australian indigenous people. One of the most popular free activities in Melbourne is to visit the gardens. The gardens host live theatre in summer. A moonlight cinema is also available. This spot is also popular for a picnic on the lakeside or a traditional high-tea at The Terrace cafe.
3 Melbourne Cricket Ground and the National Sports Museum
Melbourne is the sporting capitalAustraliaIt’s not surprising that sports stadiums are among the top tourist attractions in the city. The MCG has a capacity of 100,000. Its history dates back to 1853. The MCG is the venue that hosted the 1956 Olympic Games and 2006 Commonwealth Games. It also serves as the birthplace and home of Test Cricket.Football in AustraliaThe fabric of Melbourne is “the ‘G”. The 75-minute daily tours offer a chance to take a journey down the memory lane of some of the most important moments in sporting history. They include the National Sports Museum which includes the Australian Gallery of Sport as well as the Olympic Museum. A game of football or cricket can be arranged during the winter.
The MCG is directly opposite Melbourne Park. This park hosts the Australian Open tennis tournament every January. A tennis court can be rented, and there are many concerts held throughout the year.
4 Southbank and Arts Centre Melbourne
This area, which is just a short walk from Flinders Street Station and the banks of the Yarra river, is filled with cultural attractions. Southbank promenade has many indoor/outdoor cafés, restaurants, live entertainment, and is home to numerous live performances. Every Sunday there is an excellent arts and craft market. There are also many festivals held in the area throughout the year. The Arts Centre is easily identifiable by its spire. It houses a variety of theaters and spaces including the State Theatre and Playhouse, Fairfax Theatre and Hamer Hall. Hamer Hall is the main performance space for the revered Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
5 National Gallery of Victoria
The National Gallery of Victoria, Australia’s oldest public gallery of public art, houses over 70,000 works of artwork in two locations. The St. Kilda Road Building, which was opened in 1968 and renovated extensively in 2003, houses the international collection. The building is famous for The Great Hall,where visitors can lay on the floor and look at the colorful stained-glass ceiling. The Ian Potter Gallery, in Federation Square, houses an extensive Australian collection. This gallery features the history and current mixed media of Australian art, from Aboriginal works to the Heidelberg School.