Four seasons in one day has never rung more true than for Melbourne weather. Despite the risk of rain, hail and shine in one day, the people of Melbourne aren't afraid to get out and about and enjoy what's on offer in their city. And there's a lot to choose from. On any given day you'll find a festival, play, store opening, live music gig, sporting game, protest, gallery launch and bar opening happening all at once. As such, the city continues to attract a creative crowd, often asserting itself as the fashion, art and culinary capitals of Australia. They'll also tell you their coffee is the best too. You be the judge.
With so many capital titles to its name, there's no shortage of things to do in Melbourne. At the top of your list should be exploring the city itself. With winding laneways, old arcades, hidden bars and more, Melbourne's best spots can be found in the most unexpected of places. This is a city where you shouldn't be afraid to get lost. Museums and galleries are also a highlight. Put the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Museum and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) located on Federation Square at the top of your list, while families will love the exhibits on offer at the Melbourne Zoo and Melbourne Aquarium. Outside of the city, St Kilda is a seaside suburb worth exploring, while the Yarra Valley and Daylesford showcase Victoria's beautifully green scenery at its very best.
Its not so much a question of where to eat and drink in Melbourne, as it is where not to eat and drink? Melbourne restaurants and cafes are everywhere – on roof tops, down laneways, out in the suburbs and along the river. Ask any local and they will passionately tell you their favourite spot. Like The Soup Place in Degraves, Mexican restaurant Mamasita on Collins Street or Papa Gino on the iconic Lygon Street in Carlton. Melbourne is also a city that's mad about dumplings. Try some of the city's best at Hu Tong on Market Lane or Shanghai Village on Little Bourke Street. For drinks, everyone loves the cocktails and view from the rooftop bar above Curtain House, or the endless stream of boutique bars along Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.
Where to Stay
Most Melbourne accommodation is located within the city centre, with famous chain hotels lining the river on either side. For luxury accommodation, 5-star stays like the Park Hyatt and Marriott will ensure your holiday is comfortable. In true Melbourne style, the city also has a number of artistically styled boutique hotels such as the popular Art Series hotels located on Chapel Street, St Kilda Road and in Prahran. For budget friendly and backpacker accommodation, look for cheap Melbourne hotel packages or opt for the hostels near Melbourne Central. Outside of the city, consider staying at a bed and breakfast or resort in the beautiful Yarra Valley, Dandenong Ranges or Daylesford.
Much like it's dining scene, Melbourne shopping boasts endless possibilities. Even within the Bourke Street Mall alone you are spoilt for choice with super chain stores like Zara and Sportsgirl sitting alongside Australian department stores Myer and David Jones as well as Australian designers huddled in the GPO. A few laneways back Swanston Street is a popular hub for purchasing up and coming designers, while the historic Royal Arcade is home to some fascinating boutiques. Chapel Street and Bridge Road are also popular shopping precincts, with both streets lined with fashion, homewares and gift stores. For some cheap and cheerful seconds, browse the eclectic boutiques on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.
Melbourne like a Local
Unless you're planning to head out to the Great Ocean Road or the Yarra Valley, you needn't worry about hiring a car in Melbourne. Jump on and off the city's vast network of trams, trains and buses as you please by purchasing a myki card, eliminating the chaos of carry a wad of paper tickets in the process. You can also see the city and get your daily dose of cardio at the same time thanks to the Melbourne Bike Share scheme – grab your daily or weekly pass at one of the 50 cycle hire terminals scattered throughout the CBD. Trips under 30 minutes are free, so get on your bike!