Melbourne is the capital of Victoria, and the second largest city in Australia. Although Melbourne isn’t as big of a tourist attraction as Sydney, there is lots to do. Melbourne is very diverse, and you can get an artsy, business, or sporty vibe at any place in the city. The city is also a little funky (e.g., tentacles coming out of the window of a building), and sports crazy. The Melbourne Cricket Grounds and the Australian Open tennis tournament are two of the biggest attractions in the city.
Melbourne Central Business District
The central business district is very clean and modern, and it has a really interesting skyline. Viewing the skyline at night from certain vantage points makes the city seem really huge. The Yarra River runs through the center of the city, and you can find crew boats and other vessels making their way up or downstream.
Laneways and Arcades
Melbourne is known for its Laneways and Arcades which are made up of boutique shops, cafes, and various artistic murals. Laneways are normal city alleys that have been transformed into food and shopping centers. They aren’t the easiest places to find, so more often than not you will be met with a trash can or dumpster rather than a charming coffee shop, but part of the fun is exploring the city to locate the best Laneways.
Melbourne City Sights
Melbourne has lots of attractions and interesting buildings throughout the city. You can see many of the main attractions in one or two days, and a lot of them are free. I was really impressed with the tour I took of the Melbourne Cricket Grounds even though I know nothing about cricket and didn’t understand half the words coming out of the tour guide’s mouth.
St. Kilda is a suburb in south Melbourne that borders the ocean and beaches. The semi-grungy buildings and beach-town feel give it an atmosphere that is reminiscent of Santa Monica. The air and water were very cold when I was there, so I was surprised to see all of the people out in bathing suits.