Fine food and wine, arts, shopping and sport

Melbourne is packed with sports arenas and arts precincts, incredible dining, a thriving bar scene, and endless high-design haunts selling the city's lifeblood: coffee.

The CBD is a compact but ever-evolving grid. Victorian architecture sits alongside street art and gleaming high-rise apartment towers. Narrow alleys and laneways are rich in hidden galleries, theatres, stores and cafes.

On the edge of the city, there's the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Rod Laver Arena. Art lovers head to the National Gallery of Victoria and the Arts Centre. Film buffs love Federation Square and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. The riverside restaurants of Southbank are a traditional book-end to a night out.

Beyond the grid, explore inner-city suburbs Collingwood, Fitzroy, Northcote and Brunswick. Check out the fun bars along Chapel Street in Windsor and the breezy, beachside suburb of St Kilda.

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Things to do

  • People walking through Centre Place, a narrow laneway lined with cafes.

    Street art laneways

    Melbourne’s laneways are a treasure box of hidden gems. Here, you'll find award-winning restaurants, theatres, galleries and standing-room only cocktail bars. Hosier Lane is one of the biggest tourist draws for its ever-changing street art. Degraves Street is full of cute cafes. Hardware Lane has a range of outdoor restaurants. We recommend letting your two feet and your sense of adventure lead the way.

  • A young man serving customers at a deli in the Queen Victoria Market.

    Melbourne’s markets

    Melbourne has markets galore. You can shop for fresh produce, vintage fashion or local souvenirs. Melbourne's markets are a fun place to spend a few hours browsing. Don't miss historic Queen Victoria Market, South Melbourne Market and Prahran Market. Here you'll find generous delis, spectacular produce, amazing seafood and charismatic eateries. You'll also find stores selling cookware, clothing and all manner of market goods.

  • Looking down into the historic Royal Arcade, with elegant shops on either side.

    Shopping in the city

    Melbourne fast becoming Australia’s shopping capital. Explore historic arcades and shiny malls like Emporium, Melbourne Central and GPO. You'll find international brands as well as Australian designers and artisans. Gourmet food courts add a bit of style to your sustenance. Head to areas like Carlton, Northcote, Brunswick, Collingwood and Fitzroy for local goods.

  • Close up of a guitar being played and a girl singing into a microphone in the background.

    Live music scene

    Melbourne’s live music scene is world famous. From small pubs to bigger venues, you’ll be able to find bands to see every night of the week. For full listings, pick up a copy of legendary street mag Beat (or check their website). Visit the Tote Hotel in Collingwood for classic Melbourne pub rock. The Corner Hotel in Richmond hosts local and international acts. And there are many, many other venues to discover.

  • The cast of a musical theatre production on stage.

    Theatre in Melbourne

    If you love theatre, Melbourne will dazzle you. Grand theatres like the Princess, Her Majesty’s and the Regent stage major musicals. There are sleek performance spaces in the Arts Centre for other shows. If you prefer something smaller, Melbourne has plenty of more intimate performance spaces. Try La Mama, The Butterfly Club and 45Downstairs. Local entertainment guides like Time Out have listings of what’s on.

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Airport information

Melbourne Airport (MEL)

Distance to city centre 23km, approximately 40 mins travel time

Taxi You’ll find taxi ranks located across from the terminals. Approximate fare to the city centre is AUD $75.

Rideshare pickup is available from lane 1 of the main forecourt of terminals 1, 2 & 3, or for Jetstar customers from level 2 inside the T4 Ground Transport Hub.

Airport bus Skybus opens in new window runs 7 days per week. One-way fares: adult AUD $19.50, child (4-16 years) AUD $5. Return fares: adult AUD $37.50, child AUD $10.

Avalon Airport (AVV)

Distance to Geelong 20km, approximately 20 mins travel time.

Distance to Melbourne city centre 55km, approximately 50 mins travel time

Taxi Approximately AUD $40-50 (Geelong) or AUD $120-$130 (Melbourne city centre)

Rideshare pickup is available to the left, as you leave the terminal.

Airport bus (to Melbourne) Skybus opens in new window meets all flights. Journey takes 50 mins. One-way fares: adult AUD $24, child (4-16 years) $5. Return fares: adult AUD $46, child AUD $10.

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When to go

Melbourne has a temperate climate, known for its unpredictability – 'four seasons in one day', the saying goes. Winter can be on the chilly side, with average minimum temperatures of 6–7°C from June–October, while summer sees temperatures rise to over 30°C (usually with a couple of days over 40°C thrown in for good measure).

Come in March–April for Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. In May–June, see Rising arts festival and in August, Melbourne International Film Festival and Melbourne Writers Festival.

Sports fans can enjoy the Australian Open tennis Grand Slam in January, the Formula 1 Grand Prix in March, the AFL finals in September, the Melbourne Cup in November and the Boxing Day Test cricket at the MCG in December.

Ready to go? Find cheap flights to Melbourne

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Getting around

A free City Circle historic tourist tram (number 35) runs around the perimetre of the city centre.

Visit Public Transport Victoria for tram, bus and train timetables, journey planners and ticket information. To travel on public transport you'll need a myki card (available from train stations, major tram stops and all 7-Eleven convenience stores). Please note that myki is not accepted on the privately run Skybus to and from the airport.

Visitors can buy a Myki Explorer, which includes a myki card, maps and discounts at local attractions, from SkyBus terminals at Melbourne Airport and Southern Cross Station, and from the PTV Hubs at Southern Cross Station, Geelong and Bendigo.

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