Usually when people think of Australia, Sydney is at the top of everyone’s head. However, Melbourne is truly worth a visit. And it’s no surprise once you get here that the city is often included in lists of the world’s most livable cities, beating out Sydney. Melbourne is known as the cultural hub of Australia, featuring a large array of galleries, performances and events, world-class restaurants, and most importantly, some of the best coffee.
See Some Street Art
|Photo source: Flickr|
You can’t go to Melbourne without a visit to Melbourne’s infamous Hosier Lane. Along both sides of the cobblestone lane you’ll be hard-pressed to find even a square inch of wall that hasn’t been spray painted. You would assume a lane filled with graffiti would be a bit dodgy and you’d feel unsafe, but you couldn’t be more wrong. These lanes brighten and contribute to Melbourne’s vibrant urban culture, being more street art and murals than vandalism and graffiti. These creative places allow visitors to take in the creative ambience and freedom that Melbourne has to offer.
The Victorian government even has a map that shows you more places you’ll be able to find street art in the city.
Go to a Sporting Event
|Photo source: Flickr|
Australians love their sports, but even more so in Melbourne. To really take in the Melbourne vibe you should definitely get yourself to an AFL game if you’re in town during the AFL season. For the full experience, head on down to the MCG stadium (the 10th largest stadium in the world!), wrap yourself in a Richmond Tigers, or Western Bulldogs, or whatever team you root for, grab a drink and a pie with tomato sauce, and cheer your heart out!
If you’re visiting in November, you’ll need tickets to one of Australia’s biggest events, the prestigious Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington Racecourse. Held on the first Tuesday of November every year, the event is such a spectacle it is a public holiday for Melbourne residents. Be sure to come dressed to impress for Myer’s Fashion on the Field with multiple prizes for best dressed for men and women. Be amongst the thousands of people that make the annual pilgrimage to Flemington to catch a glimpse of “the Race that Stops the Nation!”
During 28-29 October, the Fast5 Netball World Series will be hosted at Hisense Arena in Melbourne. Fast5 is a faster take on Australia’s netball, with 2 less players on each side, and shorter quarters than the original game. This makes the game faster moving, more exhilarating, more adrenaline pumping, more power plays, and yes, more super shots!
More sports events to check out include: Formula One Australian Grand Prix, AFL Grand Final, Rugby League World Cup, and more.
|Photo source: Flickr|
St. Kilda is a beachside suburb located just a few kilometers from Melbourne’s Central Business District. This suburb draws in the crowds due to its beautiful location, streets lined with cafes and eateries, and nightlife. One of the most popular streets in St. Kilda is Acland Street. You’ll see that there is always something to eat or drink on this street, known for its wide variety of eats, and also for their stunning coffees.
At St. Kilda you’ll also be able to visit Australia’s original Luna Park - Melbourne. With 18 rides, there’s a ride for everybody so unleash your inner child with this theme park. The best thing is entry into the park is free if you’re just looking to take a scenic walk. Single ride tickets go around AUD10 depending on age, and unlimited ride tickets go from AUD17.50 to AUD49.95, again depending on age.
If you’ve timed your visit right, after spending the day by St. Kilda make sure you walk to the end of the pier around sunset. Not only will you get stunning views of Melbourne and the beach but you’ll get a glimpse of St. Kilda’s local penguin colony. Oddly, the colony decided to set up home at the man-made marina. Every night of the year just after sunset, the penguins come to the St. Kilda breakwater. Please be mindful that this area is the penguin’s natural habitat, so take your rubbish with you, don’t use flash photography, and do not destroy their habitat by stepping beyond the fence to get the “perfect Instagram.”
Dine at Attica
If you fancy yourself a food enthusiast you have no doubt heard of the infamous Attica located in Melbourne. Not only is this three hat restaurant one of the best, if not, the best restaurant in Australia, it is one of the best in the world, ranking 37th in Good Food’s 2017 World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Headed by Chef Ben Shewry, Attica offers more than just dinner. It’s about the whole dining experience. Each dish is thoughtfully prepared to champion local Australian ingredients to reflect Contemporary Australian dining.
For some, this will be a once in a lifetime experience, and is priced as such - the Extended Tasting Menu goes for AUD275 per person. Other options are also available.
|Photo source: Flickr|
National Gallery of Victoria
If you’re looking for more of a cultural experience, look no further than the National Gallery of Victoria. The gallery, Australia’s oldest, and most visited, is situated in two buildings - NGV Australia and NGV International, they’re just a short walk from each other. The NGV Australia features artworks from Australia’s history to present, both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and colonial Australian histories and arts are presented. The NGV International features a range of international and local artists, exhibitions, and collections.
Entry to the gallery is free, and with that you’ll be able to check out the gallery’s permanent collection and some of their exhibitions. Some current free exhibitions include: Buddha’s Smile, and the Language of Ornament. However, special exhibitions such as the current The House of Dior exhibition will incur a cost for entry, so it’s best to check what’s on beforehand.
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You’ve probably read all this and thought “Damn, I should have booked my flights straight to Melbourne instead of Sydney.” Don’t panic, finding cheap domestic flights is a breeze and it’s only an hour and a half flight and come in at around AUD100 if you book early! And yes, you can admit it now, Melbourne is the better city!
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Have you been to Melbourne before? What else would you add to the list above?
Hi, I’m Alex! I’m originally from Melbourne but moved to sunny Sydney, but I still have a soft spot for Melbourne which is why I’ve shown some bias in this article! I guess home really is where the heart is. I love travelling and writing, and try to live my life to making each day better than the one before. Check out my blog at Inspire a Better Life.
Going to Melbourne, Australia?
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