Melbourne is the place to go to see live and musical theatre. Venues abound across the city – from the historic, such as the Regent Theatre to the modern Arts Centre – so check out local entertainment guides such as Time Out for major productions, Theatre Alive for local and progressive arts, or go to visitmelbourne.com to see what’s on across all genres.
Whether you need fresh local produce to stock your hotel fridge, vintage fashion finds to fill your wardrobe or just a fun place to spend a few hours browsing, Melbourne has markets galore. For a fantastic foodie experience, do not miss historic Queen Victoria Market. You can find artisan cheese, vegetables straight from the farm and amazing deli goods. You’ll also be able to experience Melbourne’s famed food-truck dining here (closed Sundays).
What's in store
Melbourne is becoming Australia’s shopping mecca. Once known for its unique designer boutiques (which are still alive and thriving in suburbs such as Fitzroy and Collingwood), the city centre is now home to big international brands in gleaming malls with gourmet food courts. Perhaps the best of this is the newly opened Emporium Melbourne, a designer precinct where you’ll find Australia’s first Uniqlo store and cool Japanese homeware brand Muji, as well as Australian designer stores and artisan shoemakers. While here, try the dumplings at New Shanghai on level 3!
Let the music play
Melbourne’s music scene has long been a part of the culture here. From small pubs to bigger venues, you’ll be able to find multiple bands to see every night of the week. For full listings, pick up a copy of street mag Beat. Be sure to check out famed venue The Esplanade in St Kilda – this pub has been Melbourne’s premier music venue for over 100 years and is where televised music trivia show Rockwiz is filmed for channel SBS (a great example of the Melbourne scene).
Meals on wheels
For a step back in time as you dine, book a seat on the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant, which has multi-course luncheons, early and late dinners daily. The refurbished cosy tramcars tour the CBD and suburbs of Melbourne as guests dine on Australian produce such as kangaroo fillet, and enjoy local wines. From AU$80 per person.