Ranked the world’s most livable city along with Vancouver; Melbourne is a paradise for tourist all over the world, who flock here each year to experience everything this chameleon city has to offer.
As the capital of Australia’s south-east state Victoria, Melbourne is often referred to the country’s sporting and cultural centre. However this river side city has so much more to offer, including the latest fashion, a great variety of multicultural cuisine and a mix of modern and Victorian art.
Melbourne’s trams, with their ornate Victorian designs are a symbol of the rich culture and art that is alive throughout the streets and alleys. The city celebrates a wide variety of annual cultural events, performing arts and architecture. The Art Centre shaped like a ballerina’s tutu and lit up every night with thousands of different coloured lights, is the home of performing arts, hosting everything from the Australian Ballet Company, to various operas and plays. The adjacent National Gallery of Victoria continues this theme, running a mix of temporary and permanent exhibitions, with a large collection of both international and national works that explore every facet of the art world. However if the formal restraints of the high end of art and culture is not your thing, Melbourne is also considered to be Australia’s live music capital, meaning you can go to any of the world class pubs and hear great live music from some of the city’s most talented up and coming artists.
Like all Australians, sport is an institution in Melbourne. The jam packed sporting calender begins in January when the stars of international tennis compete in the grand slam Australia Open, where the atmosphere is magical and the weather is divine. The thrills continue at the Melbourne Cricket Ground or MCG, which hosts the very best in cricket during the summer and Australian rule football during the winter. As the home of the Australian football code, known as AFL, the MCG is mecca for lovers of football and cricket, with organized tours taking you inside the stadium’s memorabilia filled halls and even onto the ground itself. Throughout the year you can also enjoy basketball, swimming, soccer and many other sports in Melbourne’s specially designed sports precinct.
For lovers of couture and the latest fashion, Melbourne offers the best stores ranging from designer brands to vintage bargains. Melbourne Central, the cities largest shopping complex has over 300 stores sure to placate any shop-a-holic regardless of their personal style and budget. Whilst unlike the unique and modern architecture of Melbourne Central, the Queen Victoria Market is world famous for its great buys and earthy atmosphere. Here you get so much more than a shopping district, out in the open air the scene is vibrant and cosmopolitan, complete with performing buskers and a variety of produce and goods, making for a truly multicultural and unique affairs that has drawn tourists to this historic site for more than 125 years.
A truly diverse and multicultural city, dining in Melbourne is a treat with restaurants covering every nationality in the world. For fine dinning, Southgate is the place to be, offering unparalleled views of the splendid Yarra River and so many choices.
Enjoy a delicious meal at one of the award winning restaurants, a quick lunch at the less formal Riverside Food Court or a coffee and sweet at the numerous cafés and bars.
In terms of multicultural restaurants the options are endless, try Italian food at the stylish Lygon Street, Carlton or Greek food in the very Mediterranean Russell street. But if you’re looking for Chinese food, look no further than Melbourne’s enchanting Chinatown. Brightly coloured Chinatown offers traditional laneway eateries that will transport you to lively streets of Beijing. More than just food Chinatown, serves up unique shops and stalls as well as Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian and Japanese restaurants that are sure to tantalize the tastebuds.
With so much to offer it is impossible to squeeze Melbourne into one short article. This sophisticated city may be less than 200 years old and constantly changing but its vibrant energy never fails to excite and enthrall tourists. Impossible not to love, Melbourne’s bustling atmosphere of luscious parks, top restaurants, great shops and rich culture cannot be explained, it has to be experienced.