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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.
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 will show you the parts of Melbourne that the city is so famous for.
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 cafés, 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 its excellent Asian eateries serving everything from Japanese ramen noodles to Chinese dumplings to spicy Malaysian stews.
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.
Public Transport

Public Transport

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. 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.

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