A haven for arts aficionados and sports fans
Straddling the Yarra River, Melbourne is a relatively flat city packed with sports arenas and arts precincts, incredible dining, a thriving bar scene, and endless high-design haunts selling the city's lifeblood: coffee.
You’ll find two football stadiums, the Rod Laver arena for tennis and big-name music gigs, and one of the most thriving arts precincts in Australia along St Kilda Road, with the National Gallery of Victoria and the Arts Centre leading to architectural gem/travesty (depending on who you talk to) Federation Square and its Australian Centre for the Moving Image.
It’s worth trekking out to the suburbs – many would say they're the real heart of Melbourne. As well as tastefully gentrified inner-city haunts like boutique and bar-filled Collingwood and Fitzroy, trek to the shopping mecca of Chapel Street in South Yarra and the quirky beachfront fun of St Kilda. Try Brunswick, Northcote and Coburg for more multicultural food, traditional pub and local fashion scenes.
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Where to go in Melbourne to get your culture fix
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Things to do
Let the music play
Melbourne’s pumping music scene has long been a part of the culture and nightlife here, and despite waves of gentrification, it's still going strong. 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 opens in new window (or check their website). Get a taste of classic Melbourne pub rock at the Tote Hotel opens in new window in Collingwood or the Corner Hotel opens in new window in Richmond – there are many, many others.
Whether you need fresh produce for a self-catered picnic, vintage fashion finds to rock your look, locally made knick-knacks for souvenirs or just a fun place to spend a few hours browsing, Melbourne has markets galore. For a fantastic foodie experience, don't miss historic Queen Victoria Market opens in new window. You'll find artisanal cheese, vegetables straight from the farm and an incredible range of deli goods. Not to mention the mind-boggling fresh seafood. You’ll also be able to experience Melbourne’s famed food-truck dining here.
Meals on wheels
For a step back in time as you dine, book a seat on the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant opens in new window, which serves up multi-course lunches, early and late dinners every day. The cosy refurbished trams tour the central city and suburbs of Melbourne as guests dine on Australian produce such as kangaroo fillet and spring lamb, and enjoy locally produced wines.
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 as well as loads of smaller and fringe venues. Check out local entertainment guides such as Time Out opens in new window to see what’s on across all genres.
What's in store
Melbourne's gaining a name as Australia’s shopping hotspot. While unique designer boutiques thrive in suburbs like Fitzroy and Collingwood, the city centre is home to big international brands in gleaming malls with gourmet food courts. Like Emporium Melbourne opens in new window, a designer precinct where you’ll find Australia’s first Uniqlo and cool Japanese homewares at Muji, as well as luxe Australian designers and artisan shoemakers.
Melbourne Tullamarine 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 run every 10 mins. One-way: adult $19.50, child (4-16 yrs) $9; return: adult $37, child $18. Journey takes 40 mins. Prices in AUD.
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 Geelong) Skybus opens in new window meets all flights. Journey takes 40 mins. One-way: adult $18; return $34. Prices in AUD.
Airport bus (to Melbourne) Skybus opens in new window meets all flights. Journey takes 50 mins. Prices one-way: adult $22, child (4-16 yrs) $10; return $42, child $20. Prices in AUD.Back to top
When to go
Melbourne has a temperate climate, known for its unpredictability – 'four seasons in one day', according to the cliché. 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).
It’s an events-led city. Come in March for the city’s Moomba Festival, April for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, May for Good Beer Week, June for the Good Food and Wine Festival. In August, see Melbourne International Film Festival and Melbourne Writers' Festival.
Sports fans can enjoy the Australian Open Tennis in January, the Grand Prix in March, the AFL final in September, the Melbourne Cup (Australia’s most prestigious horse race) in November and the Boxing Day Test cricket in December.
Ready to find some cheap flights to Melbourne?Back to top
A free City Circle opens in new window historic tourist tram (number 35) runs around the perimetre of the city centre.
Visit Public Transport Victoria opens in new window for tram, bus and train timetables, journey planners and ticket information. To travel on public transport you'll need a myki card opens in new window (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.
You can buy a Myki Visitor Pack from the Melbourne Visitor Centre at Federation Square, SkyBus terminals at Melbourne Airport and Southern Cross Station and from the PTV Hub opens in new window.
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