Australia is massive, that’s a fact. So going on holiday to Australia isn’t just going to holiday to Australia; where? Which part? What are you going to do there? What are you going for? With so many places to choose from if there were a blog written about the whole country, then you would be here all day reading it. It’s far better to focus on each part, in depth so that you get all the information you need and then make your judgement on it. So, this blog will focus on Melbourne, a place which is regularly listed as one of the world’s greatest cities to live in and it came second in the 2018 Economist Intelligence Unit’s report, behind only Vienna. But why? What is so great about it and why would you want to visit?
The city is known for its cultural diversity, fantastic dining options to suit all budgets, and its astounding street art, but did you know that it is also known for being the coffee capital of the world?
While it might not be the first thing on your list when looking for holiday destinations, if you are a coffee lover and you haven’t been to Melbourne then maybe you need to take care of that. Beating coffee cities such as Rome and Vienna, you’ll struggle to find a bad cup of coffee in Melbourne. You will find good coffee all over the city; you don’t need to go anywhere, in particular, however, if you are a coffee snob and proud of it then check out a coffee tour such as Hidden Secret Tours or Melbourne Coffee Tours.
The Street Art
As mentioned before, Melbourne is well known for its street art; it is considered one of the street art capitals of the world. Again, like the coffee, it’s not usually something at the top of your list when looking at holiday criteria. Nevertheless, it does make for something different for days out. The art is of exceptional quality and can keep you entertained for hours looking at it and wandering the city. There are also street art tours, run by street artists who can tell you a bit more about what you’re looking at.
The Botanic Gardens
Having a holiday in the city can get a bit much at times, so if you’re looking to escape, then the Botanic Gardens is the perfect place to go. Only walking distance from the city centre, you would think that this oasis of calm is further away as it’s such a calm, peaceful and an idyllic setting full of greenery. Take a nice walk through, take in the landscapes, bring a sketchbook and draw or use it to meditate or exercise. You’ve come on holiday to relax after all.
The Day Trips
Make sure you allocate a day to go and visit St Kilda, a busy suburb of Melbourne. It is full of attractions from the cakes of Acland Street to the community gardens and nightlife. As well as this though, there is a gorgeous beach, with famous Victorian beach houses, and a pier and there’s also a colony of the St little penguins! They arrive just after sunset every night of the year and are usually easy to spot during the summer, and there are Penguin guides on duty to answer any questions about the penguins that you may have.
This is a must if you’re visiting Australia, however, if you’re in Melbourne you’ll have a bit of a way to go to get to the Werribee Open Range Open Zoo, but it’s worth it. It is an African-themed safari-style zoo which allows you to get close to loads of exotic animals.
If art is your thing, then Melbourne is well known for its amazing galleries. With a collection of over 73,000 works of art, The National Gallery of Victoria is one you don’t want to miss and especially the world’s most substantial stained-glass ceiling. There are over 100 galleries in the city so you won’t be stuck for one to visit as there are plenty of smaller studios too.
Eating in Melbourne is another thing you’ll hear people talk about. It’s not just like any other holiday; you certainly won’t want to have all your meals in your hotel. There are many speciality dishes you’ll want to try from World class Fish Mackerel Dumplings at Shandong MaMa to the blueberry and ricotta hotcake at Richmond’s Top Paddock. There are so many restaurants to choose from, make sure you do your homework before you want to go, pick out some places and make sure you go there. Otherwise, you could end up overwhelmed, spoilt for choice, and you might miss something and only find out about it when you get back home.
Finally, again you don’t usually go on holiday to shop. However, the Queen Victoria market is the biggest open-air market in the southern hemisphere, and you’ll need more than one day to get around it. It is known for its street fashion and clothes which are an incredible value for money. However, it is the food, fruits, groceries which are the main focus of this market. It’s well worth a look.
Where to Stay?
Of course, you’re going to need somewhere to stay, and in a city like Melbourne, it’s far easier to stay somewhere central like the Ibis Melbourne Central. If you’re further out then, you’ll have to be getting into the city every day, which will be busy and time-consuming. Being in amongst the hustle and bustle of the city will give you the best feel for the place, the greatest experience and the flexibility to pop out for food late at night or walk around the corner to go and grab some fantastic coffee. You can easily get transport to any day trips when you want a break from the city life but to truly enjoy Melbourne, get yourself at the heart of all the action.