Visiting Melbourne – A City Guide
Cosmopolitan Melbourne has been voted the world’s most liveable city, home to world-class museums and restaurants, a thriving café culture, and iconic sporting events. The city is made for exploring, whether you shop vintage boutiques in the arty Fitzroy neighborhood, or search for the perfect cocktail in the city’s hidden laneways
– narrow alleys tagged with street art, packed with cafés, bars, and shops. Families make the pilgrimage to the classically kitschy Luna Park
amusement center, and beyond the city a string of beaches punctuates a stunning coastal drive.
Melbourne’s city layout
Melbourne sits on the Yarra River, off Port Phillip Bay on Victoria’s southern coast. The Central Business District (CBD) hugs the river’s north side. Here, you’ll find the greatest concentration of Melbourne CBD hotels, and restaurants and bars buzzing day and night. The architecture evokes old-world Europe, with landmarks that include the copper-domed Flinders Street Railway Station
and InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, housed in a 19th-century Venetian gothic building.
Rewards Club members benefit from exclusive rates to all of our hotels; stay at one of three centrally located Melbourne hotels and you’ll be steps from the free City Circle Tram that loops through the CBD. Hop on and off to visit such popular attractions as SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
, Old Melbourne Gaol
and Melbourne Museum
Locals and visitors alike love the Queen Victoria Market
. This huge, two-block bazaar, just north of the city center, is Australia’s largest open-air market, selling fresh produce, gourmet foods, handcrafts and more.
If you crave natural peace and quiet, head to the south bank of the Yarra. At the Royal Botanic Gardens
you can admire their world-renowned camellia collection, punt on Ornamental Lake, or hike along the serene Fern Gully under a towering canopy of tree ferns.
Melbourne spectator sports
Melbourne is one of the world’s premier sports destinations, with major events running year round. Etihad Stadium
, near the Docklands, hosts A-league soccer and the wildly popular Australian Rules Football (AFL). Every January, Melbourne Park
stages tennis’ Australian Open. But the most hallowed venue is Melbourne Cricket Ground
(or MCG). This Yarra Park facility is home to Test Match cricket, soccer, AFL and rugby matches, as well as the National Sports Museum.
Dining in Melbourne
Melbourne’s multicultural population enjoys a restaurant scene with cuisines from around the globe. Chinatown
has an affordable mix of Thai, Chinese, Malaysian and Indonesian spots. Carlton has its own Little Italy along Lygon Street
, and Fitzroy is the place for Mediterranean and Turkish eats. Seafood lovers head for suburban St. Kilda
, a beach town on the bay.
Excursions near Melbourne
Melbourne has more than enough to keep you busy, but it’s worth a day trip out of town to drive the scenic Great Ocean Road
. This 150-mile strip hugs the craggy coastline, with opportunities to stop and explore along the way. Highlights include watching the surfers at Torquay’s Bells Beach; Lorne’s bustling Qdos Arts Center
; the rainforests and waterfalls at Great Otway National Park; and the dramatic 12 Apostles
, towering limestone rock stacks rising out of the Southern Ocean.