Australia’s cultural capital has plenty to offer visitors and Melbourne hotels sweeten the deal with a range of accommodations for every taste and budget. This is one city where the “top 10” list doesn’t even scratch the surface.
Flinders Street Station
Victorian Melbourne begins at Flinders Street Station, whose dome and row of clocks are city icons. For more Victorian flavor, check out the restored 1891 Block Arcade between Collins and Elizabeth Streets.
Bourke Street Mall
Melbourne’s main shopping venue, located on Bourke Street between Swanston and Elizabeth Streets has plenty of places to sit and rest, street performers to entertain and tempting stores in all directions. This open air mall typifies Melbourne’s blend of elegance and easy-going charm.
National Gallery of Victoria
Located on St. Kilda Street near the city’s center, the NGV is Australia’s oldest art gallery. Since it first opened in 1861, this broad and balanced collection of Australian, Asian, and European works has been a city gem.
Royal Botanical Gardens
Hugging the south bank of the Yarra River, these world-famous gardens get high marks for their beauty, artistry, and serenity. This is a great place to relax beside a lake, stroll along the river, and lose the bustle of the city among trees, secluded paths, and beautiful blooms.
Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex
This all-encompassing complex on the Southbank Promenade of the Yarra River includes the largest adult gaming casino in the southern hemisphere as well as venues for family fun, shopping and dining.
The four worlds on display at Australia’s largest aquarium include Antarctica, River to Reef, and the extremely child-pleasing Weird & Wonderful and Sharks Alive. Another highlight is a 2.2 million liter oceanarium, where visitors find themselves in the center of the fishbowl, surround by thousands of fish.
Royal Melbourne Zoo
One of the world’s oldest zoos, these spacious, well-laid out grounds feature animals in native habitats rather than cages. A gorilla rainforest, butterfly house, lion park, bird aviary, and platypus aquarium are just a few of the attractions. Reachable by train or tram.
Melbourne’s art and café culture flourishes in Fitzroy. During the day, the art galleries of Brunswick Street and trendy boutiques of Gertrude Street hold sway. At night, this is the place to hear live music in the neighborhood’s pubs and clubs.
Melbourne’s location on Port Phillip Bay makes it a coastal as well as a river city. A tram ride from the city center is the beachfront suburb of St. Kilda, with the shops and cafes along Alcand and Fitzroy streets offering plenty of fun, funky browsing.
No visitor to St. Kilda should miss a trip to Luna Park, one of the last great old-style amusement parks and home to the world’s oldest operating roller coast. The 70-horse carousel is a work of art and the view of Port Phillip Bay from the coaster’s top is breathtaking.
Melbourne’s extensive train, tram and bus system makes getting anywhere in the area easy, and no matter where you want to headquarter, there are bound to be a range of Melbourne hotels nearby.