Melbourne is Australia´s second largest city and the capital of Victoria. The city is frequently voted one of the best cities in the world to live in thanks to its laid back, friendly atmosphere, the many cultural and sporting events that take place all year round and a milder climate than other Australian big city counterparts. The city is divided into a number of districts, with the CBD (Central Business District) as the throbbing centre of Melbourne. The city as known as the cultural capital of Australia due to the wide range of art galleries, music and theatre productions, film festivals, and a vibrant live music scene. It also has a well established culture of wine, food and coffee.The best time to visit is in Autumn and Spring when the temperatures average between 26 - 30 C, pleasant indeed! However, whatever time of year you decide to go, there´ll be plenty of accommodation options open to you, as well as a wealth of things to do, indoors and out!
- The city was nearly called "Batmania", after one of its founders, John Batman.
- The city is the greenest in the world, with 480 hectares of parks and gardens.
- Melbourne has the highest Italian city and Greek city populations outside of Italy and Greece respectively.
- Between 1901 and 1927, Melbourne became the temporary capital of Australia before this honour went to Canberra.
- Before 1966, pubs in Melbourne weren´t part of the nightlife...they closed at 6pm!
- There is a public holiday celebrated in honour of a race horse in this sportscrazy metropolis.
Things to DoThere is plenty to do in this city filled with museums, parks, beaches, and shops as well as fine restaurants and great nightlife! Melbourne is justifiably the fashion capital of Australia, with numerous boutiques and shopping malls catering to even the most discerning tastes. Little Collins Street in the CBD boasts a number of the world´s top designers and fashion houses, whereas you can find some cheaper high street fashion in the Melbourne Central shopping mall. For something more eclectic, head to the southern end of Chapel Street in Prahran/Windsor for a browse around the vintage and alternative gear shops situated there. For a day of culture, why not take a trip to one of the many museums? Melbourne Museum in the Carlton district is the largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere with 7 main galleries, a children´s gallery and a temporary exhibit gallery and features a broad range of topics such as the natural environment, culture and history. For art-lovers, the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia´s oldest gallery, is home to over 65,000 artistic objects ranging from paintings to ceramics and silverware. It hosts many shows, most recently an excellent exhibition of works by Monet.
Sports fans will find no shortage of entertainment in the sporting capital of Australia. Australian Football, which was invented in Melbourne, is the most popular sport in town, closely followed by horse racing and cricket. The National Sports Museum is located at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and has a great collection of sporting heritage.
For a day at the beach we´d recommend you visit St. Kilda. It not only has great beachside restaurants, but also the historic Luna Park (a theme park built in 1912), a botanical garden and a vibrant nightlife. There are also many nice walking trails and a Sunday market on the Esplanade, as well as the Jewish Museum of Australia depicting the history of the Jewish community. Nature lovers will most definitely enjoy a day out in the massive Royal Botanical Gardens, which are situated in the heart of the CBD. 38 hectares of well tended and beautiful gardens offer the perfect setting for long, relaxing walks. On your travels you´ll come across tea rooms offering tasty cream teas and cakes. In summer the gardens show outdoor movies and Shakespearean plays, while the Children´s Garden is a fun area for kids to play around in.