What to see and do in multicultural Melbourne

Travel highlights of an awesome year - Melbourne city

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Jam-packed with fun things to see and do, you’ll love Melbourne city!

Melbourne is a vibrant multicultural city so be sure to take every opportunity to explore.

When Melbourne was voted the world’s most liveable city AGAIN, it piqued our interest so we set out to uncover the secrets that make Melbourne great!

Discover the secret laneways and rooftop bars, world-class dining, art galleries and museums and be sure to try out your shopping skills in the boutiques, specialty stores, malls and shopping arcades.

Melbourne has a multi-cultural buzz to it but there is something for everyone!  Melbournians know to head to Victoria Street in Richmond for Vietnamese food, Lygon Street in Carlton of Italian, Balaclava for Jewish bakeries, Brunswick for middle Eastern, Footscray for African and Chinatown for everything Asian.

There is something for everyone!

Top things to do in Melbourne

St Kilda Beach:   One of Melbourne’s most popular beaches where you can walk down The Pier, watch the local fishermen and run barefoot on the sand.  Luna Park is on the beach front where you can enjoy the amusement rides of yesteryear, such as the carousel and the scenic rail rollercoaster.  The St Kilda Adventure Playground is a treat for older kids.

Luna Park

The Royal Botanic Gardens:  Dating back to 1857, the botanic gardens in Melbourne are the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon picnic.  The beautiful selections of plants attract the local wildlife so be sure to check out the free guided tours.  Check the Royal Botanic Gardens website for more details.

Laneway Artscapes:  Melbourne’s laneways have become magnificent canvases for talented street artists.  Colourful murals by often well-known artists as well as contributions from visiting artists.  Be sure to visit Hosier Lane and follow the maze of painted laneways around the city.

Hosier Lane

Melbourne’s Markets:  Everyone loves a good market and Melbourne has plenty to see!  Markets selling handmade crafts, secondhand treasures, fresh local produce, exotic cheeses and other gourmet delicacies.  Queen Victoria Market in the city is one of the oldest markets in Melbourne.

Sport:  Melburnians are passionate about Australian Football League (AFL), cricket, horse racing and Formula One car racing.  Melbourne Cup is known as the horse race that stops a nation … and it does!   The Spring Racing carnivals herald the iconic Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse each year and cricket and tennis are popular events at the World Class Sporting Arenas.  Sport is the one thing that draws locals together, in a competitive kinda way!

Food, Shopping and Fun

Fabulous restaurants:  Kri Kri in Little Bourke Street, ‘Dish’ on St Kilda Road and the Waterfront Cafe on Southbank are my current favourites.  Restaurant precincts of Southbank, Birthday cakeLittle Bourke and Lygon Streets are famous for Asian and Italian food and delicious examples of the benefits of Australia’s multi-cultural mix of nationalities.

Shopping:  Chic trendy boutiques, large department stores of Myers and David Jones right on the mall are popular shopping haunts.  A tip for out-of-towners, make sure you spend at least one day in the city to shop and enjoy the bustle of city life!

The Cafe Culture:  Melbourne is known for it’s fabulous coffee and has an abundance of cafes for those of us who enjoy a great coffee.   The Block Arcade is one of Melbourne’s oldest shopping arcades built in the late 1800’s linking Collins and Elizabeth Streets and where you will find Haigh’s Chocolatiers and the famous Hopetown Tea Rooms as well as a number of other great cafes serving great coffee and fine food.  The architecture in this building was modeled on Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and tours of the Block Arcade run regularly.

Wine & Cheese Bar:  It’s not a trip to Melbourne unless you visit our favourite wine & cheese bar Punch Lane Wine Bar in Little Bourke Street.  On a cool ‘almost winter’ day, we settled in for a nice warming ‘red’ accompanied by a selection of fine cheeses.  A wonderful way to finish our day in the city!

Rooftop bars:  Rooftop Bars are the newest ‘go to’ venues offering spectacular views overlooking the water and city skyline.  Tucked away in often unsuspecting doorways, these quaint little Going upbars and restaurants have amazing atmosphere.  Always a great place to have pre-theatre drinks, enjoy tapas or taste their specialty menus, or alternatively get comfy and settle in for the night.

Theatres:  Melbourne boasts some wonderful old theatres, rich in history, fame and infamy. There is always a show to go to and in recent times an increasing number of productions are choosing Melbourne for their premiere launch.

History and Culture

Live Music:  Melburnians love their live music.  There are a host of live music gigs all over the city most days of the week.  In the city Cherry Bar is infamous as a rock venue and has a mix of free as well as cost-entry gigs.  Folk, blues, jazz, pop or even Australian hip-hop you’ll find these events listed in local street press ‘Beat’ which you can pick up at most bars, pubs and cafes.

Culture:  The Koorie Heritage Trust Cultural Centre in Federation Square is a permanent social history exhibition by new and established Aboriginal artists.  It provides an introduction to the land by the traditional custodians, the Wurundjeri people and you will learn about contemporary Koorie history and culture.  Put this on your ‘to-do’ list.

Shrine of Remembrance:  Off St Kilda Road, the Shrine of Remembrance was built in 1934 as a dedication to the men and women who lost their lives in World War I.  It’s the site of some of Melbourne’s most important military and remembrance ceremonies such as ANZAC day.

The Wheeler Centre:  The Lonely Planet founders funded the Wheeler Centre in 2010, the same year Melbourne was listed as a UNESCO City of Literature.  Regular events, workshops and talks from artists, writers, architects and publishers are usually free to attend.

Melbourne’s Town Hall:  History and architecture buffs will enjoy touring the Melbourne Town Hall.  It’s still a well-used venue with concerts,comedy and public talks held in the main auditorium and smaller chambers year round.  A touch of trivia – you can go behind the scenes and stand on the portico where The Beatles and Abba once waved to their adoring fans!

City chic at it’s best

Melbourne city

Stylish and arty Melbourne is both dynamic and alive, and proud of it’s place as Australia’s sporting and cultural capital.  It’s a fun and diverse city but it’s the culture and atmosphere are the things I love most!

What do you love most about Melbourne?  Have you got a few ‘go-to’ favourites to share with us?