Sophisticated and slick, edgy and rough, Melbourne’s physical and cultural landscape is shaped by a dynamic population, ever-ravenous for a bite of global culture. The result is Australia’s most accessible multiculturalism. Ornate Victorian-era architecture and leafy, established boulevards reflect the city’s history, and cutting-edge developments such as Federation Sq exemplify its enigmatic contemporary style. But, Melburnians still keep their urban frenzy to a deliciously sedate pace. Trams lumber back and forth on routes radiating out like spokes from central Melbourne, and cycling is a common way to get from A to Z.
Character-filled neighbourhoods, such as Fitzroy, St Kilda and Carlton, hum with life and the city produces some of the best art, music, cuisine, fashion, performance, design and ideas in the world. Melburnians are also devoted to their sport and they go ballistic around the Australian Football League (AFL; ‘footy’ to the locals) finals and during Spring Racing Carnival. They love to shop, eat and attend the myriad festivals that the city offers. You’ll even find them defending the city’s temperamental weather, and if you’ve ever experienced Melbourne’s inclination to plummet from searing heat to drizzling rain in the space of an hour, you’ll understand that this must be the true definition of unconditional love.
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Best places to stay in Melbourne
Melbourne & Victoria travel guide
Melbourne is food-obsessed, marvellously multicultural and a showpiece for Australian culture. Beyond the city limits, Victoria offers soulful history, stirring wilderness and culinary excellence.
Ask Lonely Planet: where can I see amazing street art?
At Lonely Planet, our experts are bursting with nifty recommendations and off-the-wall travel ideas, so they were full of suggestions for Lonely Planet Magazine reader Dave Simmons, who wanted to see outstanding street art. 1...
A dinner date with Melbourne
Melbourne's arty beat
Melbourne Encounter guide
Melbourne is a city you need to get to know. It won’t take your breath away with overtly seductive geography on fi rst sight. Its many charms aren’t always immediately apparent on fi rst meeting. But there’s no doubt this city will get under...
Melbourne holds the unofficial title of Australia’s most cultured and sophisticated city, so it is no surprise that there are a plethora of different cinematic experiences on offer...
Melbourne & Victoria - Plan your trip (Chapter)
Your journey to Melbourne & Victoria starts here. You’ll find the tools to plan your adventure: where to go and when, how much to budget, plus in-depth info on Melbourne’s culinary, sporting and cultural events.
Yarra Valley Wine and Winery Tour from Melbourne
Join a full-day Yarra Valley wine tour and visit four of the region's best known wineries: Yering Station, Balgownie Estate, Yering Farm and Domaine Chandon. Over lunch and a series of wine tastings, see why the Yarra Valley is one of Australia's most picturesque wine regions on your Yarra Valley wine tour, the perfect day trip from Melbourne.
Melbourne Balloon Flight at Sunrise
Come on a magical hot air balloon flight over Melbourne - one of the few cities in the world that you can soar above in a hot air balloon! Admire Melbourne's city skyline at early dawn as your balloon flies for approximately one hour and then toast your good fortune with an optional champagne breakfast.
A walking tour of Melbourne
Welcome to Melbourne – consistently voted one of the world's most liveable cities. Your tour begins at the corner of Swanston and La Trobe Streets. This unofficially marks the northern boundary of the city. All you'll need from here are good walking shoes, and regular coffee stops...
Melbourne & Victoria - Melbourne (Chapter)
Stylish, arty Melbourne is a city that’s both dynamic and cosmopolitan, and proud of its place as Australia’s cultural capital.