City Guide: Melbourne

Melbourne is without any doubt one of the most interesting cities in Australia. While in the shadows of Sydney, Melbourne is totally worth a trip. Especially for sightseeing and cultural purposes, there’s rarely a better destination than the capital of Victoria!

Melbourne is best explored from a hotel in a central location as the city center is home to most highlights of the city. Plus, public transportation in the city center is free as there is a so-called free tram zone. Yet, the city center is just one of many more highlights in Melbourne!

Starting the city tour at Flinder’s Street Station

Melbourne has more than four million inhabitants and thus is the second biggest city in Australia. Thus, you should be aware that not everything might be in walking distance.

Melbourne Skyline

Melbourne is a very walkable city

However, I’d still recommend to explore Melbourne by foot and jump on a tram from time to time. It’s recommendable to start your city tour at Flinder’s Street Station as not only the building is beautiful, but there are also several other highlights in the area.

Upon leaving the station, you can immediately spot the beautiful St. Paul’s Cathedral. On the opposite side of the station, there is Federation Square, which is not only a historic monument, but also home to an alternative food scence. Definitely worth checking out!

Exploring the city center of Melbourne

From Federation Square, you might walk a little bit along Yarra River and see the Birrarung Marr statue, which reminds visitors of the aborigines and their culture. Furthermore, you’ll be able to spot the impressive Cricket Stadium.

Next you should discover the Fitzroy Gardens with highlights like Cook’s Cottage (which I didn’t find too impressive) and the beautiful Conservatory.

From there, it’s just a stone through to The Parliament House and other impressive buildings like the Princess Theatre or The Old Treasury Building in Melbourne.

You might also pay St. Patrick’s Cathedral a visit or walk further North, where the Melbourne Museum alongside the Victoria Museum and the Royal Exhibition Building, one of the highlights of Melbourne in terms of architecure, are awaiting you.

What else to see in the city center of Melbourne

If you don’t have enough after seing these highlights of Melbourne, I’d recommend checking out the State Library of Victoria and the interesting art district between the library and the Queen Victoria Market.

Be sure to either see the market in the morning or at night, when a night market happens every other week. Other interesting buildings in the city center include Chinatown and the Regent Theatre.

Additionally, I’d recommend to check out the Docklands, which are to the West of the city center and are relatively modern and redeveloped area nowadays. Definitely a great place to just stroll around a little bit and maybe have a coffee or a drink.

The Royal Botanical Gardens and more in Melbourne

For another day, I’d definitely recommend that you check out The Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne. There’s rarely any place as nice as this area in the whole city. Personally, I’ve never seen such an extensive and beautiful botanical garden as in Melbourne.

Not only can you enjoy the nature, but you can also get a great view of the skyline from time to time. If you are in the area, you should also check out the Conservatory and especially the Shrine of Remembrance, which is also home to an interesting exhibition about Australia in wars.

Neither the Botanical Garden nor the Shrine come with an entrance fee and thus are also recommendable for the budget traveller. If you are more into museums, you might also check out the National Art Gallery of Victoria or the Arts Centre Melbourne, both not far away from the Botanical Garden of Melbourne.

While others might say that South Yarra is worth checking out, I’d much rather recommend that you have a walk at Yarra River.

There you can enjoy the nature and beautiful views of the skyline if you still have some time after having explored all of Melbourne!

Melbourne is a must-see for any trip to Australia

In the last years, I’ve explored more than 100 cities on this planet including one of the most spectacular ones. Personally, I’d rank Melbourne very highly as the city has a great vibe, is amazing to just stroll through and comes with tons of highlights.

Whether you are interested in culture or architecture, I’m sure you’ll enjoy Melbourne to the utmost. If you are having a couple of days in the city, you might also think about visiting one of the many natural highlights around the city. Yet, the Yarra River and the Botanical Garden as such are a great taste of nature as well!


8 Comments on “City Guide: Melbourne”

  1. Coming from Europe it is understandable that Cooks Cottage doesn’t impress you considering that Europe is full of old buildings with beautiful architecture, however to dismantle Captain Cooks cottage and rebuild it in Melbourne is no mean feat, and it is a very important piece of Australian history.

    • Hey Liam, thank you very much for your comment. I’ll try to be as objective as possible and definitely don’t want to underestimate the value of history (e.g. the Shrine of Remembrance is a truly amazing place), but Cook’s Cottage (maybe also the story telling which comes with it) just didn’t “get to me”. I can’t really tell why, but the city might need to promote the historic importance of the place a little more to make it really attractive for visitors 🙂

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