What is so good about Melbourne, anyway? Quite a lot, it seems.
Many travellers you’ve met have recommended the city. You’ve read all about it in the travel guides and blogs. Crikey, it has even been dubbed the ‘place to be’.
But what is so good about Melbourne? Quite a lot, it seems.
It has been ranked the world’s most liveable city for countless years. It is renowned for its gourmet food and dining options. And with a lively arts and music scene, the city has also been touted Australia’s cultural capital.
There’s a lot to live up to in Melbourne, but if it sounds like the kind of city you could tolerate – possibly even enjoy – then read on to find out why it has earned a reputation as Australia’s must visit city.
Melbourne. Ugh. You're perfect! Image: @melbourneiloveyou Instagram.
Melbourne has vibrant street art
Tucked behind buildings and hidden in laneways, you’ll discover Melbourne in a unique way if you follow the trail of street art.
Hosier Lane has become a must-see attraction for many travellers, with its sprayed and stencilled alleys serving up a technicolour of brilliance.
While you can easily explore and stumble upon the city’s street art yourself, scratch below the surface on a Melbourne Street Art Tour, where you’ll uncover hard-to-find works of art, all with the guidance and expertise of a local.
Meander through Melbourne’s alleys and laneways and see the city from a more colourful perspective.
Hosier Lane. In a word: ICONIC. Image: @walking_perspective Instagram.
Find a world of arts, music, and culture in Melbourne
We probably don’t need to tell you that Melbourne is the creative capital of Australia, but we couldn’t miss mentioning this city’s lively arts, music, and culture scene.
There are live music venues aplenty – The Forum, Max Watts, and Sidney Myer Music Bowl have hosted some of the country’s most impressive music acts, while smaller venues support the best emerging music talent in town.
There is also an abundance of creative learning available in Melbourne. Head to the State Library Victoria to browse bookshelves or discover cultural talks and events, or sign up for a creative travel study program with Wanderlust City Projects.
When it comes to arts, music, and culture, you’re spoiled for choice in Melbourne.
Melbourne's cultural calendar is never short on cool art shows like this interactive Van Gogh exhibit. Image: @whatsonmelb Instagram.
Eat to your heart’s content in Melbourne
If you came to Melbourne simply to eat, we wouldn’t judge. In fact, we’d probably be standing in line behind you at a food festival or sitting at the adjacent table in one of the city’s newest restaurants.
Melbourne’s food scene uniquely reflects its diverse multicultural population. You’ll find flavours from all corners of the earth – everything from Greek to Italian, African, Lebanese, Mexican, Indian and Chinese – right here in Melbourne.
Thanks to Melbourne’s all-day cafe culture, it’s also easy to enjoy a great coffee with a sophisticated brunch or stop in for an espresso and sweet dessert after a night on the town.
When it comes to finding the finest fare, Melbourne is unmatched. While other cities in Australia will claim they too offer good food, nowhere does it all come together quite as deliciously as it does in Melbourne.
Did you even visit Melbourne if you didn't eat a ridiculous brunch? Image: @kettleblackcafe Instagram.
Melbourne has great shopping, pretty gardens, and striking attractions
As Australia’s fashion capital, it should come as no surprise to discover that Melbourne offers an outstanding shopping experience. Find homegrown labels at local markets, boutique fashion stores at shopping precincts like Gertrude Street in Fitzroy, and your favourite big brands at Bourke Street Mall, in the heart of the CBD.
If spending time outdoors is more your thing, do not miss a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens where you’ll discover sweeping lawns, tranquil lakes, grand old trees, and a huge collection of native and foreign plants, herbs, and flowers. The best part? Entry to the Melbourne gardens is free.
And it wouldn’t be a world-renowned city without some striking attractions to take in. Flinders Street Station is one of the most attractive stations you’ll see, and makes for an especially photographic moment when a Melbourne tram passes by. Across the road from the station is the iconic Federation Square, which boasts some ultra-modern architecture.
There’s also some charming and historic arcades like Royal Arcade and The Block Arcade, the observation wheel Melbourne Star, and the Eureka Skydeck which offers a 360-degree view of the city if you’re brave enough to stand in a glass cube suspended 300 metres above the ground.
The summer night markets at Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market are one of our favourite spots to shop (and eat!) Image: @visitmelbourne Instagram.
Of course, this only scratches the surface of what’s on offer in Melbourne, but we’re sure you’ll agree that there’s quite a bit that makes this city a good one.
Written by Sharon Green for Wanderlust City Projects. Sharon is a journalist, copywriter and editor who has worked in mainstream media in Australia and the United Kingdom. She is also the founding editor of women's lifestyle publication SHE DEFINED.
Her favourite city in the world is London, which will always have a piece of her heart. Sharon’s top travel tip is to travel solo – some of her best adventures have come from exploring the world on her own.