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Melbourne: Of Culture, Coffee and Cricket

When you visit Melbourne, it is easy to see why the Victorian capital was voted the most liveable city in the world, time and time again. You can spend your break attending the latest world-class exhibits, shows and performances or strolling through the city’s various precincts to unearth authentic cuisine from pretty much anywhere on the planet.

For a relaxing day by the beach or night out to remember, head to the bayside suburb of St Kilda. If you’re a football or cricket fan, don’t forget to tour the MCG or buy tickets to a game. If you like horse racing and dressing up to the nines, make sure you book your getaway to coincide with the Melbourne Cup.

Holiday rentals in Melbourne abound, from modern penthouses towering over Southbank to large family homes only a short tram ride from the CBD.

Melbourne’s Cultural Scene

Melbourne is widely considered Australia’s culture capital. Endless opportunities to catch a musical, exhibit or concert abound, pretty much at every street corner.

Look up what’s playing at Her Majesty or Princess Theatre, which regularly host international caliber musicals and other performances. The same goes for the Arts Centre and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, one of the oldest and longest standing orchestras in the country.

Meanwhile, the National Gallery of Victoria is home to the most comprehensive permanent collection in the Southern Hemisphere and features rotating international exhibits, as well.

To learn more about Anzac troops, visit the stately Anzac Memorial and the adjacent museum. To discover the area’s Aboriginal heritage, wander through the Royal Botanic Gardens.

A City for Foodies

No matter the type of cuisine you enjoy, you will be able to find Melbourne restaurants serving authentic dishes. The CBD has almost endless eateries serving Asian dishes, from Hong Kong street food to award-winning Thai cuisine to sushi.

Melbourne, home to a large Greek and Italian community, boasts numerous restaurants serving these cultures’ dishes. Stroll along Lygon Street for your share of Italian options and don’t omit gelato from your order. Greek restaurants are more spread out, but there are quite a few of them in the CBD.

Of course, Melbourne’s renowned coffee scene is not to be neglected. Get your morning - or afternoon - fix at one of the many third wave cafes across the city, tucked away down laneways or nestled at street corners in the suburbs.

Beach Days in Melbourne

Hop aboard a tram and spend the day in St Kilda, Melbourne’s closest beachside suburb. The beach is bordered by calm waters, making it a great choice for families who don’t want to venture too far from the city centre.

Beyond the beach, Acland Street features historic bakeries and a series of restaurants and small boutiques. Grab a frozen yoghurt or some tacos and go eat by the water.

Take the kids to Luna Park, which harbours the oldest roller coaster in Australia. More of a scenic ride than a scary one, you will be able to take in views of the beach and coastline as you circle the park in your cart.

After dark, St Kilda is a hub for nightlife, with an array of clubs and bars open until the wee hours.

Sports in Melbourne

If you are an Aussie-rules football fan or cricket enthusiast, you will be able to indulge in your passion as you visit Melbourne - unless, of course, you’ve come to the Victorian capital specifically for the sports and everything else is just to kill time!

Catch a football or cricket game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, often referred to by locals as the MCG. Tours of the MCG are also offered, so you can delve deeper into Melbourne and Victoria’s sporting legacy.

Melbourne’s Albert Park plays host to the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix. Year-round, you can visit the park and see the setting of the track. If you happen to visit during the Grand Prix, take advantage of various packages or walk around the grounds for a number of activities for the whole family.

Melburnians take horse racing seriously; so much so that the yearly Melbourne Cup Day is a public holiday. Dress up in your finest attire and head to Flemington Racecourse to bet on your favourite horse. Throughout the year, you can purchase tickets to various races.

Getting to Melbourne

Melbourne is a major international destination. Melbourne International Airport sees daily flights arriving from as far away as North America and as closeby as Sydney. There is a smaller, regional airport near Melbourne as well, called Avalon. A coach service connects both airports to the CBD’s Southern Cross Station, from which visitors can grab a taxi, train or tram to their holiday rental.