While Melbourne is a bustling city and the capital of Victoria, this destination boasts a laidback vibe that allows visitors to feel at home right away. Residents of Melbourne are young, full of energy and put a high value on quality of life. As such, entertainment and cultural opportunities abound throughout the city and the surrounding area, making for an unforgettable holiday. Whether you choose to stay in a waterfront apartment, in a high-end townhouse or in a rental home on the outskirts, the Melbourne experience is not one that is easily forgotten.
Dubbed the cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne offers a vibrant arts scene. Enjoy an evening at the Australian Ballet, or head over to the Princess Theatre to watch a live musical performance. If artwork is your passion, make a trip to the National Galley of Victoria; this destination is said to have the best collection of artwork in the southern hemisphere. While there are many modern culture options in Melbourne, a stroll through the Aboriginal Heritage Walk at the Royal Botanical Gardens allows you to connect with the area’s first inhabitants.
Call a babysitter, tuck the kids into bed and head out for a night on the town. Melbourne is teeming with after-dark activities and features something for every taste. There is a thriving music scene in Melbourne, with bars, clubs, basements and warehouses hosting live music events nightly. If dancing is more your style, amble through the city’s lantern-lit laneways, where you’ll find a number of venues frequented by locals. Whether you are looking to go for a night cap or a dusk-til-dawn outing, Brunswick Street offers a variety of bars and pubs that are sure to quench your thirst.
High quality meals can be found on nearly every corner in Melbourne. Though this city is known for the cafe culture of yesteryear, the restaurants in Melbourne will introduce you to so much more. Italian, Spanish, Vietnamese, French and modern Australian - no problem; there truly is a restaurant for every taste in the city centre. Take a walk through Federation Square or along Southbank and discover a multitude of bistros, pubs, restaurants and cafes. Should you feel like preparing your own meal, the freshest fruits, vegetables and seafood are available at the Queen Victoria Market on Saturday mornings.
Melburnians are fans of the great outdoors and there is plenty for travellers to do right in the city. Water sports are popular and include boating, sailing, kite boarding, windsurfing and swimming. St Kilda Beach is a good spot to cast a line and fish your day away, and visitors can hire professional fishing charters for deep sea adventures. Walk along some of the many paths throughout the city, or rent a bike. Melbourne is extremely cyclist-friendly and includes many scenic trails for exploration. For example, a bayside biking trail provides visitors with stunning views of the city centre and coastline. Looking for something more exciting? Try a sunrise hot air balloon ride over Melbourne and the surrounding hills and suburbs.
Sports are big in Melbourne, so use your visit as an opportunity to become a fan, as well. Australian-rules football is extremely popular in the winter, while cricket is played in the summer. Spectators enjoy both of these sports at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which is easy to find, only a short tram or train ride from the city centre. In November, head over to Flemington Racecourse to watch the Melbourne Cup, the event that is known as the 'Race that Stops a Nation'. The F1 Grand Prix, tennis and other live sporting events also occur throughout the year in Melbourne, and this means that there is always something for visitors to see and cheer on.
There is never a bad time to visit Melbourne, as there are always plenty of activities to participate in, even in the colder winter months. Melbourne Airport makes it easy for travellers to fly directly into this holiday destination and the Skybus Super Shuttle takes you right into the heart of the city, negating the need for a rental car. Whether you are looking for a high-adventure holiday or a cultural retreat, Melbourne has it.