Ask anyone to name their favourite city in Australia, and it’s likely that they’ll choose from the two largest: Sydney and Melbourne. There’s a friendly rivalry between the two, and while Sydney might be the biggest, Victoria’s state capital has plenty to offer travellers too.
For one thing, it’s got one of the most exciting arts and culture scenes in Australia. In many ways, it’s also the country’s cultural capital, boasting institutions such as the National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and sporting events like the Australian Open tennis tournament. And that’s without mentioning the Australian Football League (AFL) team, Melbourne FC. The fans are some of the most passionate you’ll ever cheer with, so be sure to try and catch a game.
Melbourne is home to a bustling street art scene, a vibrant community of filmmakers (and film lovers), plus a strong economy that keeps the money flowing and the restaurants and nightlife venues full of happy patrons. The city’s chefs are constantly experimenting; Melbourne's location between East and West, Old World and New World allows them the flexibility to imagine dishes you won't find elsewhere. Dining in Melbourne can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be, and that's all part of the fun. Whether you're willing to try anything on your plate or happy to stick to the basics, there’s a restaurant or five for you.
There’s a thriving cafe culture too – in fact, the city is home to some of the best cafes in the city. Ask the locals – they’ll definitely have strong opinions about where to go for your morning cup. In the afternoon, head for the coast; Melbourne has some brilliant beaches, from rugged Bushrangers Bay to family-friendly Mothers Beach.
The hotel options in Melbourne are as endless as the views in the Aussie outback. The inner city has recently experienced a revitalisation as hotels invade the central business district that's also experiencing a population boom. If you're after something completely different, check out Neds Gully Campground for a true Outback experience.
All things considered, the city has enough luxury hotels, exciting attractions and hidden gems to keep the most enthusiastic visitors entertained. And it’s not just tourists who love Melbourne – in fact, you might find that a short stay turns into something much longer. It routinely ranks among the most liveable cities in the world; no wonder over four million people currently call it home.