Melbourne is often referred to as the cultural capital of Australia. With great art galleries, museums, fantastic shopping areas, and various restaurant precincts in the CBD and city fringe. The Melbournians are never deterred by the changeable weather. On any given night of the week, you will see the locals out enjoying themselves in pubs and bars watching live music over a drink or two. Food is also served extremely late to cater for the culturally diverse socialites.
Best Time To Go
That depends on what floats your boat. Melbourne is a city which can experience four seasons in one day. Summer can be really hot with temperatures in the high 30s, however it is also not unusual to experience cold weather during the summer in Melbourne. Melbourne comes alive in spring, with its Springtime Racing Carnival and AFL footy finals. Winter is great for rugging up and exploring galleries, coffee shops and laneway bars. The only thing to remember is to come prepared for any kind of weather.
The laneways in Melbourne provide hidden boutiques, restaurants and cafes, and you could spend a day walking through them and finding your favourite spots, or you could take a walking tour with a local expert to ensure you don’t miss the hidden secrets.
For those unaccustomed to travelling on public transport, a trip on the tram might be a nice alternative to walking or taking a taxi. Sometimes, due to heavy traffic congestion, it will be the best alternative, and an extremely easy way to reach your desired destination.
Melbourne’s charm is in its secret spots: no signage, just a door up an alley – that only an insider can tell you about. These hot spots are great for a post-dinner drink that will top your special evening, and complete your Melbourne experience.
A trip to Melbourne is not complete without checking out the shopping precincts. From high end, to one-off boutiques and quality bargains, Melbourne’s shopping is the best Australia has on offer.
Melbourne’s favourite meeting place and home to the National Gallery of Victoria, and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). A great spot for people watching or a great starting point to visit the many iconic galleries and museums around the area.
For those needing to work off a few calories from all the food and wine consumed in Melbourne, the Botanical Gardens has a 4km trail affectionately known as the TAN, which provides locals and visitors a beautiful setting to enjoy spectacular views around the gardens.
Queen Victoria Market
QVM is much more than just Melbourne’s shopping Mecca – it’s a historic landmark, a tourist attraction and a Melburnian institution. Spread over some seven hectares with more than 600 retailers, it’s a true reflection of Melbourne’s cosmopolitan makeup. Shoppers can find everything from fruit and vegetables to local and imported gourmet foods, fashion and general merchandise. The market is open 5 days a week, with Sunday taking on a carnival atmosphere as a variety of entertainers delight the crowds.
Tips & Tricks
Always come prepared when travelling to Melbourne for any kind of weather. It is not unusual for a 10 degree temperature drop at any time of the year. Layers and an umbrella are the answer and an extra large suitcase – this will also come in handy for bringing your prize shopping home.
Take in a game of cricket in the summer or AFL in the winter at one of Australia’s most famous sporting arenas, the MCG. The “G” was home to the first game of AFL played in Australia in 1858, and in 1877 the first test match was played against England. A tour of the grounds will allow you to witness great sporting memorabilia and an insight into the “G”s fascinating history.
Hopetoun Tea Rooms
Take a trip to Block Arcade and check out the beautiful shops. Stop in at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms for morning or afternoon tea or indulge in their high tea, which is served 7 days a week.
Getting around Melbourne is easy on the local tram network. Take your first trip on the free City Circle loop to orientate yourself with the city grid, and will also stop at many of the CBD attractions.
Brunch on Sunday in one of the many patisseries, coffee shops and bakeries in the St Kilda area is a must. Take a long walk along the Boardwalk afterwards to wear off some of the calories.