Book Flights to Melbourne (MEL)

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Book Flights to Melbourne (MEL)

Interesting facts about Melbourne

Melbourne is Australia’s second-largest city, so it’s no surprise that it offers a cornucopia of cultural events and attractions. This state capital plays host to a variety of annual festivals, including the Melbourne International Arts Festival and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. It also boasts numerous theatres, as well as over 100 art galleries. Indeed, Melbourne is often said to be the cultural capital of Australia. Discover the best of Victoria’s capital with this Finnair travel guide to Melbourne.

Sights in Melbourne

If you’re looking for sights that are sure to occupy a good portion of your day, there are two places you really should explore: the Royal Botanic Gardens and Melbourne Aquarium. With over 50,000 plants on display, the gardens are a must-see attraction, especially for gardening buffs. The aquarium is home to a wide variety of exotic wildlife, and offers plenty to see and do for all the family. Melbourne Zoo and St Kilda’s historic attraction park, Luna Park, are also top places for family fun. Old and young alike flock to Brighton Beach, complete with colourful changing boxes, for sun, sea and sand. Other popular beaches around the city include St Kilda, Williamstown, Hampton and Elwood. No trip to Melbourne is complete without a visit to the iconic Flinders Street Railway Station with its many clocks hanging over the entrance. Go to the top of Eureka Tower or ride the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel for excellent city views. Take a tour of the Parliament House of Victoria, enjoy a boat ride along The Yarra, fish off St Kilda Pier and hunt for the city’s diverse and attractive street art. Be sure to also pay a visit to the National Gallery of Victoria, which is the oldest and largest in the country.

Melbourne’s diverse museums include the Police Museum, the Immigration Museum, the enormous Melbourne Museum and the Jewish Museum of Australia. An eye-opening attraction is the fascinating Old Melbourne Gaol. Dating back to the early 1900s, it was once home to many legendary fugitives. The Koorie Heritage Trust is a great place to learn more about aboriginal heritage and culture. Nice places for a stroll include the Docklands, Southgate, Woodlands Historic Park and St Kilda Esplanade. Melbourne is often said to be the sports capital of the nation and the city is home to two of the country’s biggest arenas. Sporting fans should watch a game of Australian rules football, a sport that was invented in Melbourne. Cricket, tennis, horse racing, rugby and football are also popular, and the city hosts the opening race of the Formula One Grand Prix every March. Evenings in Melbourne offer so much too, with theatres, comedy clubs, live music bars and nightclubs.

Things to See and Do Near Melbourne

  • Phillip Island – This large island is connected to the mainland by bridge and it is a popular day trip and weekend destination from Melbourne. Attractions include the Koala Conservation Centre, quaint fishing villages and the Vietnam Veterans Museum. A must-see is the evening parade of penguins, when many small penguins waddle across the sands to return to their nests after a day out fishing in the ocean.
  • Mornington Peninsula – This chic coastal town looks like it could have been lifted from somewhere in Europe with its charming architecture and cafes. It boasts a top-class art gallery, pretty beaches and the oldest courthouse in the state.
  • Yarra Valley – Just an hour’s drive from central Melbourne, this scenic wine-growing area is perfect for enjoying nature, touring wineries and, of course, sampling lots of delicious wines.
  • Mount Buller – A popular winter destination, this ski resort is generally open from June to October.

Shopping in Melbourne

Melbourne has a world-class shopping scene, and it is commonly referred to as the fashion capital of Australia. From small boutiques to large shopping centres and everything in between, Melbourne promises to provide visitors with a great retail experience.

  • Little Collins Street – Located in the central business district, this road is a top place to find up-market fashions from globally-known designers.
  • Chapel Street – Situated in Prahran, this is a great place for unusual and eclectic goods. There are also vintage and retro stores.
  • Melbourne Central – A large city centre mall with many high-street names as well as a few exclusive designers.
  • Greville Street – Stay ahead of the pack and pick up garments from up-and-coming local designers here.
  • Docklands – This new precinct has a variety of shops catering to different budgets and tastes.
  • Southgate – There’s a lively arts and crafts market held here every Sunday.
  • Queen Victoria Market – The biggest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere, you’ll find almost anything you could imagine here. From fresh produce to dry goods and from souvenirs and trinkets to clothes, it’s a great place to visit even if you don’t come away with anything.
  • DFO Outlets Centre – If you want to save money on your shopping, you’ll find a good selection of discounted brands here.
  • Prahran Market – This large market specialises in fresh foodstuffs.
  • Gertrude Street – At the heart of the local aboriginal community, this street is a terrific place to find interesting art, handicrafts and clothing.

Food and Drink

  • Meat pies – Hearty, filling and popular across the country, there are many bakeries around the city that sell these warm and delicious pies.
  • Wine – The state of Victoria has more than 800 wineries; needless to say, locally-produced wines are abundant in Melbourne!
  • Coffee – With an array of cafes and a reputation for having one of the best café cultures of anywhere in the world, finding a good cup of coffee isn’t difficult in Melbourne.
  • Cheese – Victoria has many speciality and artisan cheese makers.

Transport in Melbourne

While the wider Melbourne area is large and sprawling, many of the major sites are concentrated in a fairly small area, making sightseeing easier. The public transport system in Melbourne incorporates buses, trams and trains, and there are also many taxis.

  • By foot – The city’s layout, in a well-ordered grid system, makes navigating the streets on foot easy. A good way to soak up the city’s charms and move between attractions, at peak times walking can also be the quickest way of travelling around the city centre.
  • By bicycle – As well as being a relatively flat city, Melbourne has a good network of cycle paths and trails. There are several places around the city where you can rent bicycles - do remember that you must always wear a helmet by law.
  • Buses – Buses are often used as a last resort, in areas where there are no rail or tram connections. They also connect the city centre with the outer suburbs. There is a combined ticketing system in place for public transportation options, with tickets available for two hours or by the day. Conveniently, the ticketing machines work out the cheapest fare for your journey. Tickets can be obtained from newsagents, vending machines at stations, major tram stops, convenience stores, Melbourne Visitor Centre and other outlets.
  • Shuttle - The Melbourne Visitor Shuttle (separate tickets are needed) can be useful for tourists, connecting the central business district, Docklands and Carlton at 15-minute intervals throughout the day.
  • Trains – Trains in Melbourne are frequent, clean and reliable, connecting the city centre with the suburbs. Tickets can be obtained easily in a variety of places (see details above for buses).
  • Trams – By far the most popular and convenient way of getting around Melbourne, the city’s famous tram network is the biggest in the world. It covers many places in the inner and middle suburbs as well as the heart of the city. There are free trams in the city centre too, with many major attractions located within the Free Tram Zone.
  • Taxis – Taxis are widely available in the city centre and charge standard fares as calculated with a meter. Nighttime journeys attract higher rates. Do note that at night you are required to pay an estimated sum at the start of the journey, with an adjustment made for the final fare on arriving at your destination. You can catch a taxi from a designated taxi rank, order a ride by telephone or hail a cab on the streets.

Weather in Melbourne

23°C 29.03.2020
19°C 30.03.2020
18°C 31.03.2020
21°C 01.04.2020
16°C 02.04.2020
23°C 03.04.2020
18°C 04.04.2020
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