Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, is Victoria’s urban hub and the nation’s artistic centre. The city is a global melting pot with a strong sense of community spirit, where culture junkies and culinary perfectionists feast on art, music, theatre, cinema and cuisine for every budget. Australia’s best baristas compete for your morning trade here, but, like the trams that lumber back and forth through the city, the Melburnian pace is set to an affable amble.Locals are also devoted to their sport, and for many, the year revolves around big-ticket events like the Australian Football League (AFL, or ‘footy’) finals, Spring Racing Carnival and the Australian Open tennis championships. Melbourne hugs the shores of Port Phillip Bay, with the city centre on the north bank of the Yarra River, about 5km inland. The heart of the city is the Bourke St Mall, a pedestrianised shopping strip, and Chinatown along Little Bourke St. Most places of interest to travellers are centrally located and easily accessed by tram, train or bus.
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Our top picks for Melbourne
Royal Botanic Gardens: The loveliest botanic gardens in Australia, and among the finest in the world, this is one of Melbourne's most glorious attractions
Queen Victoria Market: ‘Vic Market’ is the southern hemisphere's largest open-air market, offering everything the most fickle palate could desire
National Gallery of Victoria International: Discover Australia's best international collection beyond the much- loved water wall
MoVida: This tiny tapas restaurant nestled in a cobbled laneway emblazoned with edgy graffiti is pure 'Melbourne'!
Brunetti: Try not to drool over the eye-popping displays of sweets at this Italian institution
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