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Melbourne is the second-largest city in Australia and is known to be Australia’s most cultured city—although some Sydney-siders would contest this. The city’s main attractions are museums, galleries and theatres, large green areas and the Yarra River flowing across the urban centre. Melbourne has seen wave after wave of immigrants with Italians, Greeks, Chinese and Vietnamese all adding ingredients to the cultural and culinary mix. And there are the sports-mad, of course. Each year, Melbourne plays host to some of the world’s major international sports events such as the Australian Open in tennis, and Formula 1 racing.
The city developed during the height of the Victorian gold rush in the late 1800s, which shows through the Victorian-era architecture in some neighbourhoods. However, developments over the years have also left their mark, recently with the new and modern Federation Square complex, and the Docklands re-development. But probably the most famous characteristic of Melbourne is the television series "Neighbours" recorded here and broadcast across the world for more than 20 years.
If you fancy a trip out of the city, Melbourne is also a great base for 1-2 day tours to, for example, the Grampians National Park, the Great Ocean Road with the Twelve Apostles, local wineries, or to observe the masses of penguins on Phillip Island coming home from a day at sea. Enjoy your stay in what many claim is the hippest city in the southern hemisphere.
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Melbourne’s ethnic diversity is reflected in its culinary world, and as gastronomic outings are a bit of a local obsession, there are a vast variety of restaurants to choose from. It’s no surprise that Melbourne is dubbed the eating capital of Australia. Many of Melbourne’s areas have a culinary character all of their own—from the Greek atmosphere of Lonsdale Street or Carlton’s "Little Italy," to the wide choice of Chinatown around Little Bourke Street. Near the Yarra River, at the Southgate complex you can enjoy striking views of the city and spectacular waterfront while you dine. You’ll find something for every palate and price range—from fine dining to fast noodles, from focaccia to fish of the day. It is said that to truly discover Melbourne is to embark on an adventure for the taste buds.
Melbourne has heaps of cafes, so whether you fancy a long and relaxing brunch, a quick coffee or an afternoon drink—it is all here, to be found at street corners or in the small alleyways. Do not leave Melbourne without stopping by a few of these excellent hidden gems.
Melbourne is awash with bars of all themes and clientele imaginable. Although widely spread, they are mainly concentrated in central Melbourne, save for a handful in the Fitzroy and St Kilda areas. Rooftops are widely popular - seek one out and enjoy the breezy setting with a drink in hand.
Melbourne is a centre for art, music and theatre as much as it is for designer shopping. Its neighbourhoods have evolved distinctive identities, from fashion-conscious South Yarra to retro Fitzroy, funky St. Kilda by the bay and the bargain-shopping inner hub of Richmond.
Little Bourke Street is famous for its hub of outdoor gear shops while Elizabeth Street is a great choice for cameras, computers and Hi-Fi equipment. Watch out for the numerous laneways branching off Little Collins Street for some of the best-hidden treats. Retro fashion, exclusive one-off boutiques and heaps of cafés can be found on Flinders Lane.
Last but not least, no Melbourne shopping trip would be complete without a visit to the infamous Chapel Street where young and independent designers have their outlets. The exclusive shops along Toorak Road offer the latest designer labels where, between star-spottings, you can pick up the latest fashions.
Melbourne Tullamarine airport is located 25km north of the city.
A shuttle bus – Skybus – offers service from the airport to Melbourne city and operates 24/7, running every 10 minutes daily. Tickets are 1/3rd price of a taxi. Skybus also provides free transfer further to some hotels from Southern Cross Station in Melbourne, the service operates from 6am to 10.30pm Mon-Fri and 7am to 7pm Sat-Sun.
Skybus runs to St Kilda daily from 6am to 7pm.
+61 3 9335 2811
Airport taxis are available from the ground floor level outside all terminals.
Address: Departure Dr, Melbourne
Phone: +61 3 9297 1600
Unless you are a New Zealand citizen granted visa exemption on arrival (in most cases), you will need to obtain a visa prior to visiting Australia. Citizens of all European Union countries, as well as Andorra, Norway, Iceland, San Marino, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and Vatican City are eligible for an eVisitor visa, which can be applied for online. For citizens of the United States, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Brunei, South Korea and Malaysia, the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) entry permit is available, which can be applied for online and grants holders the right to enter Australia an ulimited amount of times for stays of no longer than 3 months per visit.
Citizens of all other world countries (with the exception of Somalia) are also able to apply for a visitor visa online. For more information, visit the official website of the Australian government's department of home affairs: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/lega/lega/form/immi-faqs/what-visa-do-i-need-to-visit-australia
Best Time To Visit
The best seasons to visit Melbourne are autumn (March - May) and spring (September to November). Since the weather and temperatures are the most pleasant, you will be able to explore the city on foot or by bike and enjoy the large array of outdoor activities.
Tram travel is free throughout all of Melbourne's city centre, with "free zone" limits clearly marked at tram stops and indicated on board the trams themselves. Fare payment is required outside the free tram zone, which is done by a chargeable "myki" travel card (works on trains, trams and buses), or - possibly a better alternative for short-term visitors - a "myki Explorer", a card that grants visitors unlimited travel on all forms of public transport in Melbourne for 1 full day. The "myki Explorer" also includes discounts on entry tickets to several local attractions, and may be purchased at Melbourne Visitor Centre in Federation Square, SkyBus terminals at Melbourne Airport and Southern Cross Station, PTV Hubs, and multiple hotels.
Metro trains cover the city centre and suburban areas with Flinders Street Station as the main hub and run from around 5am to midnight. There are 5 central stations: Flinders St, Southern Cross, Flagstaff, Melbourne Central and Parliament.
Buses cover the whole city and suburbia, and run from 5.30am to 11.30pm, with several routes operating throughout the night.
There is a special Visitor Shuttle service stopping at key tourist attractions and destinations in and around the city which runs daily (13 stops including National Gallery of Victoria, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne Aquarium and Docklands). Tourist information is provided on board.
Bike Share service is also available for those willing to explore the city by bicycle, first 30 minutes of use are free of charge but a small deposit is required. www.melbournebikeshare.com.au
You can also use the Yarra River as a means of transportation, where boat cruises, water taxis and even gondolas will take you on board. www.yarrariver.melbourne
It’s usually easy to find a cab in Melbourne. Taxis are metered. Here are two popular taxi companies:
Silver Top Taxi Services
+61 13 10 08
+61 13 22 27
Uber is commonly used www.uber.com.
Many of the pharmacies in city centre are open from 8.00am - 8.00pm or later. Two major pharmaceutical chains in Melbourne are Soul Pattinson and Amcal.
Amcal - Southern Cross Pharmacy
Southern Cross Station, Shop C8, 99 Spencer Street
+61 3 9600 0294
Mon to Fri: 7.00am-8.00pm
Demarte's Amcal Chemist
380 Lygon Street
+61 3 9347 6310
Shop 5, Lygon Court Shopping Centre
Carlton, VIC 3053
Mon to Fri: 9.00am-8.00pm
Soul Pattinson - Yarraville
+61 3 9314 4868
4/1 High St, Yarraville VIC 3013
Mon to Fri: 9:00am - 7:00pm
Sat: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Sun: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Red colored post boxes for regular post, express post boxes yellow in color.
Australia Post (Head Office)
111 Bourke St, Melbourne
+61 13 13 18
Mon-Fri 8am-5.30pm, Sat 10am-1.30pm
220 to 240 Volt, two flat pins, some with three flat pins
Country code: +61
Area code: 03