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Melbourne Travel Guides

Reference WW53099
Melbourne Travel Guides

Australia's second-largest city, Melbourne, capital of Victoria, is the most European in style, with trams rattling through streets past historic buildings, parks and outdoor cafes. The city centre is laid out in a simple grid pattern, with wide north-south streets gently sloping down to the Yarra River, crossed by a mix of narrow lanes, and the main shopping streets such as Bourke and Collins Streets. The Central Business District is easily navigable by foot, and if a rest is needed after a session of sightseeing or shopping there are numerous pretty parks to rest in, such as the Royal Botanical Gardens, Fitzroy Gardens and Carlton Gardens. The burgundy-coloured City Circle tram is free, and taking a ride is a good way to get your bearings upon arrival as well as explore the inner city.

Melbourne's population of over three million is made up of a variety of cultures, including Chinese, Italian, Vietnamese, Lebanese and Greek communities, which have all added their flavour to this thriving city. A fierce rivalry exists between the cities of Melbourne and Sydney, but local residents bask in the satisfying knowledge that Melbourne beats Sydney hands-down on the cultural front, noted for its wide variety of high standard performing arts, as well as its sport. The city plays host to world-renowned sporting events like the Melbourne Cup, Australian Open Tennis and Qantas Australia Grand Prix.

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Sightseeing in Melbourne

The second largest city in Australia, Melbourne is brimming with a wide variety of attractions to enthral just about every kind of traveller. Whatever your taste or interest, there is bound to be something in Melbourne for you.

Art lovers will enjoy the National Gallery of Victoria; history buffs will relish touring the Old Melbourne Gaol, and culture vultures will love exploring the Chinese and Melbourne Museums. Those with a fear of heights should steer clear of the Eureka Tower, but thrill-seekers will be in heaven on the 88th floor of Melbourne's tallest building, which offers breath-taking panoramic views of the city. Children of all ages will love the Melbourne Zoo which boasts more than 350 different species of animals, and a day in the Royal Botanical Gardens is not to be missed.

Shopping in Melbourne

Shopping in Melbourne is fun and varied as the city offers both enormous malls and department stores and small quirky side-street boutiques and speciality shops. From various shopping precincts, malls and markets, there are purchases available to suit all tastes, budgets and needs. Most stores are open all week from 10 am; many stay open till 9 pm on Fridays.

The main shopping strip is on Bourke Street with Bourke Street Mall at its heart, while the east end of the street has mainly fashion boutiques and bookshops. There are bargains galore to be found at Queen Victoria Market, while Melbourne Central is the place to find leading Australian and international labels. There are laneways and arcades throughout the city offering everything from magic spells and antique books to eclectic fashions and household goods. Chinatown, encompassing Little Bourke Street and the neighbouring lanes, offers Asian grocery stores, Chinese medicine, music and jewellery. The Sunday's Market at the Art Centre is good for unique jewellery, ceramics and glassware.