Stylish, arty Melbourne is a city that’s both dynamic and cosmopolitan, and proud of its place as Australia’s cultural capital. Its stately Gold Rush–era architecture and a multicultural make-up reflect the city’s recent history, while edgy street art, top museums and sticky-carpeted band venues point to its present-day personality.
Melbourne is best experienced as a local would, with its character largely reliant upon its collection of inner-city neighbourhoods. Despite a long-standing north–south divide (flashy St Kilda versus hipster Fitzroy), there’s a coolness about its bars, cafes, restaurants, festivals and people that transcends the borders. The city centre has meanwhile reinvented itself with chic laneway eateries and rooftop bars opening in former industrial buildings.
Sport is also crucial to the fabric of the town, taking on something of a religious nature here. Melburnians are passionate about AFL football ('footy'), cricket and horse racing, and also love their grand-slam tennis and Formula One car racing.