Melbourne Travel Guide
Introduction to Melbourne
While Sydney may be the commercial heart of Australia, Melbourne is undoubtedly home to its soul. The second largest city in the country is home to scores of artistically-minded residents, making this metropolis a must visit for culture vultures on a trip Down Under.
With alleys decked out in street art, some of Australia’s best cafes, and amazing Victorian-era architecture, you’ll have a full schedule every day you spend in Melbourne.
Cultural Attractions in Melbourne
Soon after arriving, learn more about its history (and much more) by visiting the Melbourne Museum. In addition to the exhibits that tell the story of this metropolis, there are galleries dedicated to dinosaurs, insects, marine life, the human body, the arrival of Polynesians in Oceania, and the forests of Victoria State.
If it is raining during your stay, it is a great place to kill a few hours, and if you have kids, they will love many of the exhibits listed above.
Those seeking out the best visual arts displays in Melbourne will want to include the National Gallery of Victoria in their travel plans. Opened in 1861, it is the biggest, largest, and the most visited institution of its kind in Australia.
The building itself is a work of art, as its stained glass ceiling has drawn countless compliments from visitors over the years. The permanent collection contains works and antiquities from ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, and the Pre-Columbian civilizations in the Americas, while the gallery also hosts travelling exhibitions featuring works from the likes of Vincent Van Gogh, Al Weiwei, and Andy Warhol. With free entry, this cultural attraction is definitely worth a visit of a few hours.
If there is anything for which Melbourne is rightly famous, it is the street art and cafes which can be found in many of its alleyways. Whether you choose to follow one of the free tour guides roaming the city centre or choose to wander around on your own, it will only be a matter of time before you stumble across countless colourful and thoughtful murals.
After you have had your fill of these alternative works of art, stop for coffee and pastries at spots like the League of Honest Coffee or Manchester Press. Hidden away from the bustle of Melbourne’s CBD, you’ll be able to collect your thoughts as you process the amazing creative works you spent a couple hours viewing.
Other Attractions in Melbourne
Honour the wartime contributions of Australia’s soldiers to the great wars of the 20th century by visiting the Shrine of Remembrance. Drawing architectural inspiration from ancient Greece, this neoclassical war memorial has a beauty befitting of the ultimate sacrifice Australia’s war dead made to ensure its citizens lived in freedom.
If you find yourself in Melbourne on ANZAC Day, make your way down to the Shrine, as it is here where one of the grandest ceremonies in the country is held on this solemn holiday.
Even if you’re aren’t the stereotypical bookworm, it may still be worth your while to check out the State Library of Victoria. Built in the 19th century, its grand domed ceiling is nothing short of breathtaking.
However, if you are a voracious reader of books, you’ll have plenty to choose from – there are over 2 million volumes on its shelves. Be sure to also take advantage of its free internet, as this 21st-century necessity is a hot commodity throughout Australia.
Fancy getting a bit of shopping done during your time in Melbourne? There are many amazing downtown shops and malls throughout the city, but don’t leave without having a chance to check out the Block Arcade.
Constructed in 1892, this luxurious address was patterned after the Galleria Vittoria Emanuele in Milan. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything in its trendy boutiques, its gorgeous tiles, carved stone, and glass canopy make it an amazing place to go for a walk downtown.
In a buying mood? Haigh’s Chocolates is a must for those appreciate fine sweets while stopping by Dafel Dolls & Bears will give you a chance to pick something up nice for your kids.