Melbourne is a cosmopolitan capital with something for everyone, from shopping and sport to food and festivals, and a laid-back lifestyle that embraces visitors and makes them feel at home as they sample the big-city delights. The Victorian metropolis does have a reputation for being a little dreary during the cooler months, but that makes it the perfect place to sit by an open fire or wear those heavy winter woollies, and in summer there’s a dry heat that’s ideal for alfresco dining or a day at the beach.
The city centre is divided into agreeable precincts – there’s the laneways, Southbank, Docklands, South Wharf, Chinatown, the ‘Paris end’ and the ‘New York end’ of Collins Street, Bourke Street Mall – and it’s free to travel these busy blocks by tram. Melbourne’s trendy urban neighbourhoods also provide a great place to play with St Kilda, Prahran, Carlton, Richmond, South Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Malvern and Williamstown some of the suburbs to aim for during an escape to this southern city.
So head to this delicious destination and pack your itinerary with activities – shop till you drop at Melbourne Central, reserve a table at Rockpool Bar & Grill, take in a game at the MCG – or simply settle at a table in a laneway cafe and linger over a coffee while indulging in a spot of people watching.
- Country: Australia
- Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD)
- Offical Language: English
- Visas: International visitors need a visa to enter Australia and different types apply depending on country of origin, your travel agent can advise
- Tipping: Voluntary, tips of around 10 per cent are optional for good service
- Electricity: Australian outlets run on an average 230 volts and use Type I plugs
Temperature (max C)
J 26, F 26, M 24, A 20, M 17, J 14, J 17, A 15, S 17, O 18, N 22, D 24
Rainfall (max mm)
J 47, F 48, M 50, A 58, M 56, J 50, J 48, A 50, S 58, O 66, N 61, D 60
Melbourne is a vibrant and diverse city, never short of a festival, sporting event, or restaurant opening.
Food and wine is as important to Melbournians as their football team’s form, with the Victorian capital offering everything from gourmet street food to fine-dining establishments staffed by celebrity chefs.
Abundant public-transport options mean visitors can make a base anywhere in Melbourne’s neat grid of CBD streets and breeze around the inner-city's busy blocks on foot or riding the trams that dart along the roads. When it comes to accommodation styles there’s ample tradition – the Hotel Windsor opened in 1883 and the InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto is set inside two 19th-century structures – and luxurious new builds with the Park Hyatt Melbourne, Sheraton Melbourne Hotel and Hilton Melbourne South Wharf leading the charge.
Melbourne is Australia’s shopping capital with everything from high-street brands and quirky outlets to luxury labels and bespoke boutiques. There are arcades, pedestrian malls packed with shops and department stores, and multi-storey centres in the city while the suburbs are home to mammoth malls with Chadstone in the east and Highpoint to the north two of the biggest.
Melbourne like a Local
If you’re catching up with a mate during your visit arrange to meet under the clocks at the entrance to the Flinders Street Station – Melbournians have been doing it for generations – and head across to one of the bars or restaurants in Federation Square.
1. See Australian art for free at NGV: Melbourne is home to the Heidelberg School – the late 1800s saw the first generation of Australian artists paint Australian scenes with an Australian sensibility – and NGV Australia’s permanent exhibition features pieces from the movement’s pioneering painters, and it’s always free to see these iconic works.
2. South Melbourne Market Dim Sims: Catch the number 112 tram from Collins Street to Clarendon Street, walk along Coventry Street before crossing Cecil Street, and buy a bag of 'dimmys' from stall 91 to sample the city’s very best dim sims.
Did you know...? Melbourne’s trams are as famous as the MCG’s Boxing Day Test, but did you know the network winds 244 kilometre's around the city and suburbs with the city’s fleet travelling 24.6 million kilometres every year?