The world's most liveable cities often include Australia's second biggest city, which is vibrant, sophisticated, and cosmopolitan. The city has a distinctively European air, with its labyrinth of secret laneways, tree-lined promenades, and magnificent Victorian structures financed by the 1850s Gold Rush. Foodies will find much to enjoy as well. Famous Australian chefs demonstrate their skills here, and you may sample everything from Greek, Italian, and Indian food to Spanish and Vietnamese cuisine.
Melbourne's most famous claim to fame, though, is sports. The renowned Melbourne Cup horse event, held on the first Tuesday in November, puts the whole country to a halt, and Australian Rules football is revered almost religiously in this country. Explore the city's varied galleries, trendy cafés, and boutiques, walk through stunning botanic gardens, cruise along the Yarra River, or jump on a historic tram to experience Melbourne's charm. Aside from all of these thrilling activities, rewarding day trip experiences are only a short drive away from the city's bustle.
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1. Federation Square
Federation Square, which opened in 2002 to celebrate Australia's 100th year of federation, caused a schism among Melburnians. Some people adored it, while others despised it. In any case, it has become an important feature of the city and a popular starting point for visitors. The building's ultra-modern design of open and closed rooms contrasts with the surrounding Victorian architecture and is located directly across from Flinders Street Station, a major public transportation hub.
You can always find entertainment in the central outdoor performance area and smaller interior locations, which host over 2,000 events each year. The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, devoted to Australian art, and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image are both located in Federation Square (ACMI). It's also known as "Fed Square" and is one of Australia's biggest free Wi-Fi hotspots.
2. The Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens, located in the midst of lush parkland south of the Yarra River and approximately two kilometres from the CBD, are among the best of their type in the world. The gardens were founded in 1846 and span two locations: Melbourne and Cranbourne. The Melbourne Gardens are a 38-hectare botanical garden with approximately 8,500 plant varieties, including several rare ones. The Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden is intended to inspire the next generation of gardeners, while the Aboriginal Heritage Walk is a popular tour that explores indigenous Australians' rich history.
Visiting the gardens is one of Melbourne's finest free activities. Live theatre is a feature of the gardens throughout the summer, and a moonlight movie is put up under the stars. A picnic by the lake or a classic high tea at The Terrace café are other popular options.
3. The National Sports Museum and the Melbourne Cricket Ground
Melbourne is Australia's sporting capital, so it's no wonder that a sports stadium is one of the city's most popular tourist attractions. The MCG is one of the world's greatest stadiums, with a capacity of 100,000 and a history going back to 1853. "The 'G" is knitted into the fabric of Melbourne as the primary stadium for the 1956 Olympic Games and the 2006 Commonwealth Games, as well as the birthplace of Test Cricket and the home of Australian Rules Football. The National Sports Museum, which includes the Australian Gallery of Sport and the Olympic Museum, offers daily 75-minute tours that take tourists down memory lane of significant events in sports history. In the summer, cricket is played, while in the winter, football is played.
Melbourne Park, just across from the MCG, is the location of the Australian Open tennis event, which takes place in January. A tennis court is available for rent, and numerous concerts are performed here throughout the year.
Brunton Ave, East Melbourne, VIC 3000
http://www.mcg.org.au/ is the official website.
4. Melbourne's Southbank and Arts Centre
This neighbourhood, located on the banks of the Yarra River and only a short walk from Flinders Street Station, is rich in cultural activities. The Southbank promenade is lined with indoor and outdoor cafés, restaurants, and live music. Every Sunday, there is a fantastic arts and crafts market, and the region hosts many events throughout the year. The Arts Centre, which is easily identifiable by its spire, houses a variety of theatres and venues, including the State Theatre, Playhouse, Fairfax Theatre, and Hamer Hall, which is home to the renowned Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
5. Victoria's National Gallery
The National Gallery of Victoria, Australia's oldest public art gallery, has almost 70,000 pieces of art in two sites throughout the country. The St. Kilda Road building, which opened in 1968 and was substantially restored in 2003, houses the worldwide collection. The Great Hall, where visitors are invited to lay on the floor and look at the brilliant stained glass ceiling, is a highlight of the structure. The Ian Potter Gallery in Federation Square has a significant Australian collection that spans the history of Australian art from Aboriginal pieces through the Heidelberg School, as well as modern mixed media. The Pioneer by Frederick McCubbin, a huge triptych size painting, is one of the highlights.
Melbourne's St. Kilda Road and Federation Square
http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/ is the official website.