Melbourne is an artistic powerhouse with a vibrant and multicultural soul. Nicknamed "Paris of the southern hemisphere", Melbourne is not only known to be Australia’s cultural hotspot, but is also famous for its major sporting events and its culinary delights from all across the world. With its high-rise city centre and far-reaching suburbs, it is hard not to be dragged in by the life of the capital of Victoria, but day trips to the wild nature of the state are also extremely attractive.
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Most shops and businesses are open between 9 am and 5:30 pm on weekdays and Saturdays. Sunday trading is also becoming more common with shops being open from 10 am to 4 pm.
5 million (2022)
Melbourne Visitor Hub at Town Hall
Corner Little Collins & Swanston Street, Melbourne
+61 3 9658 9658
Open daily 9am–5pm
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 spaces and the Yarra River flowing across the urban centre. Melbourne has seen wave after wave of new arrivals 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. Probably the most famous snapshot 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.
It is not without reason that Melbourne is often dubbed the world’s most livable city: the vibrant metropolis has plenty of attractions to visit and landmarks to see. Here are some of the main attractions that should be on your bucket list.
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
Melbourne Skydeck — Eureka Tower
Old Melbourne Gaol
Winebus Winery Tours
St Paul's Cathedral
Australian Sports Museum
Great Ocean Road
Queen Victoria Market
Melbourne’s Luna Park
Melbourne’s ethnic diversity is reflected in its culinary world, and as gastronomic outings are a bit of a local obsession, there is a vast variety of restaurants to choose from. It is no surprise that Melbourne is dubbed the eating capital of Australia. Many of Melbourne’s areas have distinct culinary character — from the Greek atmosphere of Lonsdale Street, to 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 will find something for every palate and price range — from fine dining to quick noodles, from focaccia to fish of the day. Discover Melbourne not only through your eyes, but also with your taste buds.
Shark Fin Inn
The Vineyard Restaurant
The French Brasserie
The Cerberus Beach House
China Bar Signature
Imperial South Yarra
Laksa King Kitchen
Hakata Gensuke QV — Chicken Ramen
Studley Park Boathouse
The Left Handed Chef
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 on street corners or in the small alleyways. Do not leave Melbourne without stopping by a few of these excellent hidden gems.
Degraves Espresso Bar
Pellegrini's Espresso Bar
Norman South Yarra
Small Axe Kitchen
Melbourne is awash with bars of all themes and clientele imaginable. Although you are never more than a couple of blocks away from a bar, they are mainly concentrated in central Melbourne, save for a handful in the Fitzroy and St Kilda areas. Rooftops are great for taking advantage of Australia's climate. Seek one out and enjoy the breezy setting with a drink in hand.
The Comic's Lounge
The Toff In Town
Melbourne is a centre for art, music and theatre as much as it is for designer shopping. Its neighbourhoods have developed 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 audio equipment. Keep your eyes open 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 Central Shopping Centre
The Walk Arcade
The Block Arcade
Queen Victoria Market
Melbourne Airport (MEL)
The Melbourne Airport, also known as Tullamarine Airport, is located 25km north of the city.
The Skybus shuttle bus offers service from the airport to Southern Cross Station in Melbourne city from 4am to 1 am every day.
Airport taxis are available from the ground floor level outside all terminals.
Phone: +61 3 9297 1600
Avalon Airport (AVV)
Avalon Airport, an international hub located in Avalon, is part of the Greater Geelong area in Victoria. It holds the title of the second busiest airport serving Melbourne, despite not being located in the city's metropolitan area. Positioned 15 km (9.3 miles) from Geelong's city centre and 50 km (31 miles) from Melbourne's heart, it's easily accessible.
SkyBus manages the Avalon City Express, providing regular airport transfers to Melbourne CBD and Werribee, in line with major flight schedules.
The taxi pick-up and drop-off area is conveniently situated right outside the terminal, making your journey hassle-free. Avalon Airport is served by the Geelong Taxi Network, Black & White Cabs, and 13 CABS.
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 unlimited 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.
Best Time To Visit
Time your visit to Melbourne for autumn (March to May) or spring (September to November) – these are the sweet spots when the city's weather is at its finest. Ideal for sauntering about on foot or pedalling around on a bike, you'll revel in the abundance of outdoor activities Melbourne has to offer.
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) A better alternative for short-term visitors might be a "myki Explorer" 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 5:30 am to 11:30 pm, with several routes operating throughout the night.
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.
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.
Uber, Ola, DiDi, Shebah and GoCatch ridesharing apps are used in 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_ and 13CABS (+61 13 22 27).
Many of the pharmacies in the city centre are open from 8 am to 8pm or later. Two major pharmaceutical chains in Melbourne are Soul Pattinson and Amcal.
Address: Amcal Pharmacy Docklands, Southern Cross Station,
Phone: +61 3 9600 0294
There are numerous Australia Post offices located all over the city, where you can buy stamps and send mail and packages. Red post boxes are for regular post, express post boxes are yellow. Melbourne's Head Post Office is located on Bourke Street.
Address: Australia Post HQ, 111 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Phone: +61 13 13 18
Australia operates on a 230/240V supply voltage and 50Hz frequency. The country uses Type I power plugs, which feature two flat pins forming a 'V' shape, along with a grounding pin. This standard is also commonly used in New Zealand, Argentina, China, and several Pacific island nations. Remember to pack a universal adapter if your devices use a different plug type to ensure hassle-free charging.
Country code: +61
Area code: 03