City description

Melbourne is a cosmopolitan, multicultural city, the second largest in Australia, and has a thousand different faces. From the elegant Victorian and Edwardian buildings in the Italian suburb of Carlton and the unique atmosphere of Chinatown to the luxury of Collins Street, with a little touch of Parisian style, and the famous bells of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Among the stalls of the Queen Victoria Market, this “mix & match” culture is echoed by the chefs who shop here. Like Ben Shewry and Shannon Bennett, the capital’s culinary stars who come to this iconic market to snap up delicious ingredients, from seafood and kangaroo meat to pinot noirs from the Yarra Valley. There are plenty of great restaurants to choose from in Melbourne that celebrate the treats that Australia has to offer, inspired by faraway influences and flavours. Check out the CBD (Central Business District), not least for the chance to explore South Melbourne Market or the labyrinth of laneways, the famous narrow streets so characteristic of Melbourne. As well as plenty of coffee bars, these laneways are popular with artists and are filled with colourful street art. The best known are Hosier Lane and Flinders Lane, both of which epitomise Melbourne’s arty, cultural atmosphere. The city is also famed for some exciting events that combine lifestyle, culture and a party spirit, such as White Night for example.

Famed for its culture and gastronomy, from the shimmering glass heights of the Eureka Skydeck 88, Victoria’s capital looks like something from old Europe picked up and dropped into the middle of Oceania. For the Australian myth is never far away! Although Melbourne was built around the Yarra River, its history is inextricably linked to the big blue sea. At the Melbourne Museum, you can learn how boats came from the Old Continent to Port Philip Bay, attracted by the promise of the gold rush.

Marvel at the great outdoors, stretching out across the horizon. Considered by many to be the loveliest city in the world, Melbourne has managed to make the most of its proximity to the omnipresence of nature. Even within the city, Melbournians like to enjoy its benefits. Follow their lead and head to Melbourne Zoo to admire the koalas, go for a run in the Royal Botanic Gardens or Birrarung Marr, or get some swimming in at St. Kilda, where Melbourne is transformed into a seaside resort.
Melbournians are a sport-loving lot, and throughout the year they get the chance to cheer on athletes at Docklands Stadium and the MCG. The Melbourne Cup, the Australian Tennis Open, the Australian Grand Prix, the AFL and the Boxing Day Test are just some of the major events on the sporting calendar.

Come back down to earth in Southbank, a neighbourhood that’s buzzing with concerts, plays and exhibitions. The National Gallery of Victoria attracts particularly large crowds. On the other side of the river, the ACMI offers visitors the chance to explore the world of moving images and has established itself as a major venue in Fitzroy. This former working-class area has been regenerated and is now Melbourne’s answer to Brooklyn. A popular nightspot for Melbournians, with its trendy bars and organic restaurants, it is also full of life during the day. On Brunswick, the busiest street in Fitzroy, designers showcase their avant-garde, local style. For a more international shopping experience, head to the city’s big shopping centres, like the Chadstone Shopping Centre or Melbourne Central, for example. Without a doubt, every single aspect of magnificent Melbourne is well worth exploring.
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