The Best of Melbourne

Melbourne, the coastal capital of Victoria, Australia, is a multicultural, sophisticated, and vibrant city, pulsating with a wealth of places to see and things to do. It has majestic 19th century buildings, a performing arts complex, and art galleries showcasing indigenous art to indulge your love for history and culture. It has romantic laneways, pleasingly old-fashioned boulevards lined with beautiful trees and long stretches of gorgeous parklands and gardens surrounding the city. Amidst all these refreshingly classic wonders, you also have a wide selection of stylish bars, clubs, and restaurants where you can have your fill of live music, jazz, cinema, cabaret, and comedy.

Melbourne has a flourishing arts scene. It is home to large, well-established art galleries, as well as to small and exciting artist cooperatives showcasing the ground-breaking works of promising local artists. You can head down to Flinders Lane for galleries which showcase indigenous art. You can go to the Ian Potter Centre in the Federation Square in the corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets and explore Australian art; you can also look at exhibits of cutting-edge video art and other innovative media. You can also take a look at the National Gallery of Victoria in St. Kilda Road and look at their amazing collection of international art work.

If you have a strong passion for nature, make sure to visit Herring Island, the Heide Museum of Modern Art, or the Linden Arts Centre for outdoor artistry and sculpture gardens. Make sure to visit the Royal Botanic Gardens in Birdwood Avenue in the south of the Yarra River. Considered one of the finest botanical gardens in the world, it covers all of 40 hectares and has more than 50,000 plants, including several rare varieties. Its Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden was put up to inspire young gardeners. Its Aboriginal Heritage Walk will give you a peek at the rich and deep heritage of native Australians. If you visit during the summer, you can enjoy live theatre, as well as cinema right under the bright moon and stars.

Melbourne is not known as the sports capital of Australia for nothing. The Melbourne Cricket Ground is referred to as one of the greatest stadiums in the world. The G, as it is affectionately called, has been home to the greatest moments in the sporting history of the country – the Australian Rules Football, the Test Cricket, the Commonwealth Games of 2006, and the Olympic Games of 1956. Visit the MCG, the Olympic Museum, and the Australian Gallery of Sport. Include as well the Melbourne Park right across the G – which holds the Australian Open tennis tournament each January. The park also doubles as a function and concert venue.

What to do in Melbourne

Whether you are into flora and fauna or not, you would be hard­pressed not to leave happier after paying a visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens. These grounds are open from 7:30 a.m. through sunset but it is important to note that it is closed from mid­July through mid­September.

There is a reason why the Royal Botanical Gardens are one of the most popular tourist spots in Melbourne — it is indeed a sight to see and it is considered one of the foremost botanic gardens on a global scale. It is located alongside the Yarra River and the mini­ecosystems present here are truly impressive. The Royal Botanical Gardens are a suitable tourist spot for those who are not looking to rush but rather to take their time. You can read here, enjoy a picnic, or play a game of frisbee.

If you come here during the summer, there are theatre performances that you can watch and enjoy. There is also an observatory, a children’s garden, and other worthwhile activities to engage in.

Another option in Melbourne is the Port Philip Eco Centre. The centre runs monthly tours that allow visitors to witness the environment of the seafront in the area.

If you are the type who enjoys partaking in organized tours, there are more than a few that you can choose from that will take you across different parts of Melbourne, including the outer fringes where there are a lot of new house and land packages available for young families. Whether you wish to hop aboard a colonial tramcar with your family members, a significant other, or all by yourself, that option is wide open. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can opt to go kayaking.

You can also opt to do the Melbourne street art tours which are in demand amongst many a tourist. These are priced at $69 a head and are available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. onwards. The cool thing about these tours is that the guides are street artists themselves.

For the bookworms, consider checking out the State Library of Victoria. There are more than two million books to be read here and it is absolutely breathtaking ­ particularly the La Trobe Reading Room. Free guided tours are available here and free wi­fi is also accessible to visitors. You can picnic on the lawn of the library or dine in its bistro. The library is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays to Sundays.

Melbourne Tourist Spots

Whether you are currently in Melbourne, Australia or you are planning to visit it very soon, you have come to the right place. One of the most popular sights to see in the architectural niche is the Royal Exhibition. For adults, the tour rate is at $10 while it is at $7 for children. The Royal Exhibition was awarded Unesco World Heritage Status in 2004. Built in 1880, today, it serves as a strong symbol of the Industrial Revolution. This was a period when the economic affairs of Melbourne reigned supreme The Royal Exhibition building is notable as it was the first to carry the flag of Australia. The very first parliament occurred here as well in 1901. At present, its affairs are no longer strictly political or formal as trade fairs, car shows, and more are hosted here.

 

Another option for tourists to explore in Melbourne is Chinatown. While there is a Chinatown in almost every city in the world, there are nuances and distinctions that exist for each. Melbourne is certainly no exception. The Chinese Museum here has five floors to peruse and when you get hungry, the Chinese and Asian restaurants in the area are definitely worth trying. Interestingly enough, Chinatown is also a good spot to hit for cocktails and drinks. This is a good place to celebrate Chinese New Year as well as the festivities are truly enjoyable. Roc Candy make fresh candy daily and is a great place to visit if you have a sweet tooth.

If you are on the prowl for some nightlife action, look no further than the Esplanade Hotel. This is a favorite amongst music lovers. Its noticeable glorious shabbiness is actually one of the factors that lures people in as it gives the establishment character. Both local and international acts can be found here each night that range in appearance and genre and style. Sunset is a recommended time to come and the pub food is worth a try too.

Visit Collins St. if you want something reminiscent of Paris’ Champs Elysees. Trees, tall buildings, and luxe buildings are all around here and people (locals and tourists alike) often come to “do the block” or simply walk around the gorgeous area that is surely a sight for sore eyes.

For tourists who are with children or who are into animals, the Royal Melbourne Zoo is worth looking at. It is the oldest zoo in Australia and one of the oldest zoos in the world as well. It is open from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. and the rate for adults is $30 while children can enter for $13.20. The latter get to enter for free on weekends and holidays.