Melbourne has once again been named the most livable city in the world. That’s not at all hard to agree with. So, we went down to the city where there is a bit of something for everyone. Here are the top 17 things to love about Melbourne.
1.TOURISM – Let’s start from the beginning, as a tourist. After arriving at Melbourne Airport (don’t fly TigerAir, their terminal is literally an open-air shed. Seriously), catch a cheap specially decked-out bus for all your luggage, complete with a video about all the attractions in the city. There are so many other great tourism aspects of Melbourne. There are Melbourne City Ambassadors, fantastic visitor centres scattered around the city, and comprehensive and free maps.
The relatively cheap Sky Bus is decked out to hold your luggage. PICTURE: Flickr / hellofish
3. AWESOME (AND WHACKY) ARCHITECTURE – There is some amazing buildings in Melbourne – new and old. There are plenty of old churches, libraries, and other buildings to explore and admire. There are, however, plenty of modern buildings, with vivid colours and interesting architecture.
4. PEOPLE – Yes, it may be obvious, but in case you didn’t yet realise, there are people in Melbourne. In fact, there are over four million people! It makes it constantly bustling, but the people are so much friendlier than other places (**cough** Sydney **cough**)! They are warm, welcoming and always willing to help. The people of Melbourne (the CBD, there are a few funny people around the susburbs! 🙂 ) have a generally slower pace to life than in other Australian cities. It is surprising the difference people make. It really is…
6. CAFÉS, BARS AND RESTAURANTS – It would be almost impossible to count all the amazing tiny cafes, bars and restaurants in the CBD alone. They all hold their own little charm, and each offer something so very different.
7. STREET ART – To be honest, you have to look around for these little lanes, where there is some amazing (and legal) street art, commonly called graffiti. It is amazing to watch the creativity of these artists ooze out, onto the abandoned brick walls, which in other cities, (**cough** again Sydney **cough**) are old access ways.
8. WEATHER – Although it can get pretty cold in the city during the winter months, Melbourne is generally lovely, especially when you sit down in a coat under a heater, and sip on a hot chocolate in a cafe with a friend or two.
9. OLD MELBOURNE GAOL – The Old Melbourne Gaol (yes, GAOL is spelt like this, and not JAIL [if you are in Australia]. If you thought it was: *cue facepalm*) is a wonderful place full of rich history, fun and interactive exhibitions, and an amazingly realistic ‘City Watch House’ experience, which sees you arrested, locked up, and prepared for a few hours, or days, depending on how long you have to wait for the courts to meet with you! MUST-DO. There is also an ‘Old Magistrates’ Court’ experience of a brief Ned Kelly trial. This, however is let down by poor children who can’t read, being pushed up by their pushy parents to ‘take a part in the play, darling!’ You can’t really understand what they are saying. Poor munchkins.
10. ALBERT PARK LAKE – Albert Park Lake is a lovely 5K run/bike ride. If you are into that sort of weird, exercisey, get-off-your-butt kind of hard work, then this is for you. I guess. That’s what I’ve been told. I couldn’t get-off-my-butt and do the hard work. I wouldn’t know. Just joking. I did do it, and absolutely loved it. Regardless of fitness level, this track is for you.
11. BIKE HIRE – So, you want to ride around Albert Park Lake? How do you get the bikes? Well, there is a terrific City Of Melbourne Bike Hire system. Pay $2.70 to rent a bike from one of the many stations around Melbourne’s CBD and Inner Suburbs. Ride around wherever you want. Dock into any other station when you are done. NOTE: $2.70 covers bike hire for half an hour. Ride for as long as you want, it is still EXTREMELY cheap.
12. FEDERATION SQUARE – Federation Square, fondly known amongst locals as ‘Fed Square’ is just a thing you have to go and see. There is a huge visitor centre there, great if you’re a tourist (obviously). There are regular art exhibitions there, sometimes, very funny ones! There is also a nice gigantic TV there. Cool…
13. SPORT – Who could forget it?! A huge part of Melbourne is their great sporting culture. If you ever get the chance to, go and visit the MCG or, if you are in Melbourne during summer, go and watch a game of tennis during the Australian Open. Awesome atmoshphere.
14. QUEEN VICTORIA MARKETS – Once you’ve made your way to the huge markets, which are open every day but Monday and Wednesday, walk around and look at the amazing samples of fresh produce and cheap random stuff (!), from clothes and shoes, to a huge range of technology and accessories. The range and variety are amazing! MUST-DO.
15. Eureka Skydeck – An AMAZING view of the whole city of Melbourne, from the Southern Hemisphere’s highest viewing platform open to the public. It boasts incredible views of the city, and offers a (pricey) oppurtunity to stand in a glass box and be put three metres from the side and look below. Utterly… boring. Don’t bother doing that! Just go to the FREE OUTDOOR viewing platform, which puts you against the elements! Amazing, and very windy! MUST-DO.
16. LANE-WAYS – There is so much to do and explore in Melbourne. Narrow lane-ways hold something new and different everyday. There are millions of them (Okay, maybe not millions, but there certainly are a lot! We stayed for a week, and could not get through them all)! PLEASE: Don’t just speed down Swanston St looking straight ahead like it is a route-march. If you do that, you will hate Melbourne (well, not like it as much as you could!). MUST-DO.
17. STATE LIBRARY – The State Library of Victoria has the great ‘La Trobe Reading Room’. In fact, it was recently featured on Channel 7’s flop-show, The Mole. If those pesky characters can stay in there and look around, so can you..! It is magnificent. Oh, there is also some of the original armour of this Australian bushranger called Ned Kelly. Have you heard of him? He seems (seemed) popular.
Missed anything? Agree or disagree with what’s been put up? Continue to conversation via Twitter: @anthonysegaert7, or comment below.