Melbourne, that wonderful place down under where coffee drinking rituals border on the religious, culture is the drug of choice and strangers will literally smile at you on the street. If ever there was a city to fall head over heels for, it’s this one.
It’s no secret that Melbourne is the most liveable city in the world. It’s also no secret that a city with such superior livability is a city worth visiting. If you’re thinking of travelling to Melbourne for your next staycation, you probably don’t need to think about it – just do it. Here are a few reasons why.
Melbourne Equals Culture
You’d think a city’s shady, back alleyways were places to avoid. Well, Melbourne just doesn’t think that way. Many of its laneways and arcades have been transformed into outdoor art galleries, showcasing some of the world’s best street art. Take a stroll down Union Lane or Degraves Street in the CBD and you’ll be blown away.
For a more traditional, yet no less stimulating experience, check out acclaimed museums and galleries like ACMI (Australian Centre for Moving Image), the National Gallery of Victoria and ACCA (Australian Centre for Contemporary Art). Theatre-goers should head to the iconic Princess Theatre for a show, while book lovers can settle in at the State Library of Victoria and discover why Melbourne was named a UNESCO City of Literature in 2008.
Melbourne also hosts the popular Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival, and Royal Melbourne Show. What’s more, with the city’s amazing public tram system, everywhere is within easy reach.
Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Drink. Repeat.
Wake up with an espresso (or two) at Industry Beans (3/62 Rose Street, Fitzroy). Head to Cutler & Co on Gertrude Street (55-57 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy) for an extended lunch. Next, enjoy a well-earned rest. Later, wine and dine at world-class Movida (1 Hosier Lane, CBD), before continuing the odyssey at the elegant 1806 Cocktail Bar (169 Exhibition Street, CBD). The following day? Easy, pick a different combo and do it all again.
You know you’ve hit the travel jackpot when eating and drinking are legitimate tourist activities. The sheer quality and diversity of Melbourne’s cafe, restaurant and bar scene will sustain you for weeks on end. From Fitzroy to Southbank, you’re never too far from a lip-smacking feed. Find out where the locals go on Broadsheet Melbourne.
Out of Town Attractions
Geographically speaking, Melbourne boasts an enviable position in Australia’s southern state. A road trip in any direction will lead to some spectacular scenery, historic towns and tantalising wine regions.
Renting a car is the easiest way of seeing what lies beyond. For wine lovers, head 60 kilometres south to the Yarra Valley. Here you can sample some of the best drops Australia has to offer, as well as visit local art galleries, community markets and relaxing day spas.
Wind the windows down and cruise the coastline, passing through Geelong (75 kilometres southwest of Melbourne) and onto Victoria’s most iconic drive, the Great Ocean Road. This 200km scenic stretch takes you through coastal towns like Torquay and Lorne, as well as by the staggering rock formations known as the Twelve Apostles.
For a dose of history, Ballarat is the place to go. 115km west of Melbourne, this former mining town is a blast from the past. Be sure to visit Sovereign Hill, where you can mingle with local street performers and literally pan for gold.
For the Love of Sport
Melburnians are absolute sports fanatics. They’re crazy for it. You can’t leave the city without at least seeing a game of Australian Rules Football, or as the locals call it, Aussie Rules. The premiership season usually runs from late March to early October. If you’re lucky enough to see a match between the Sydney Swans and any Victorian team, you’ll witness one of the world’s most heated rivalries. It certainly takes the old Sydney versus Melbourne debate to a whole new level.
The city also plays host to the Australian Tennis Open, held over the last fortnight of January each year. Here, you can relax in Melbourne Park’s world-class facilities while watching the tennis elite battle it out on court. Other big sporting events on the calendar include the Boxing Day Cricket Test and the historic Melbourne Cup.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Melbourne is between March – May, and September – November, when temperatures hover around the 20°C mark.
This is also when most cultural events happen, such as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Melbourne Festival.
Where to Stay
If you’re looking for something in between, consider checking out the Art Deco-inspired Hotel Lindrum.
Tours and Activities
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