Melbourne Australia's second most visited city is a hotspot for culture and sports addicts alike, with a diverse range of cultural events held every day and a host of world-class sports teams that call Melbourne home. This green, clean city is one of the best places in the world to live, and is welcoming more visitors each year who want to experience the sophisticated Melbourne lifestyle. You can't walk the street without stumbling on art, music, theatre and literature events.
Millions visit Melbourne every year to experience its huge range of cultural festivals. These include the International Arts Festival, the International Comedy Festival and the Melbourne Fringe. Bookworms can find brilliant events at the Melbourne Writers Festival, many hosted in the beautiful Victoria Library. Smaller and more unusual Melbourne festivals include the Puppetry Festival and WebFest, the first festival that revolves around online web series.
This is a must for anyone who is fascinated by Australia's history. The Melbourne museum covers a vast sweep of history, from dinosaur fossils found in the area to the history of the indigenous Australian people across the development of Melbourne in the 1800s through to the present day. It's a beautifully presented whirlwind, with an IMAX cinema and a special interactive gallery for children.
Things to Do
Catch Some Sport
Melbourne has been named the “World's Ultimate Sports City”, and there are huge events held throughout the year for various sports. Melbourne is home to the Australian Open, the Australian Grand Prix and the notoriously fun Melbourne Cup horse race. Those wanting an authentic Australian experience should catch a game of Australian Rules football (invented in Melbourne) at Docklands Stadium or a cricket match at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground, where the first official test match was ever played. Whichever season you visit, you will find world class sport all around you!
Melbourne is the home of Australia's burgeoning coffee culture, and coffee is taken very seriously. The coffee from the local, cool cafes was so popular and catered to the unique Australian taste, that Starbucks has never made a profit in Australia, closing 60 stores in one year. Hit the trendy Fitzroy area and try a smooth flat white in the sunshine to truly appreciate what makes Australian coffee so special. Many of the hip cafes in Melbourne also sell some of the best food in the city, adding a delicious note to a lazy afternoon.
Where to Stay
Melbourne's culture-savvy visitors means there has been a huge increase in trendy boutique hotels, including the Tolarno Hotel which features original artwork in every room. The Alto Hotel in the harbour has one of the best locations and views in the city, and a huge amount of green and eco credentials.
There are plenty of hostels around the city for budgeting backpackers. The Claremont Guesthouse provides cheap rooms in a beautifully preserved 1886 house, with plenty of bars and cafes nearby to socialise. The Nunnery in Fitzroy is another building in a Victorian home, with the added quirk of free ice cream for all guests!