Combining style, art and cosmopolitan living, Melbourne is Australia’s cultural capital. Home to some of the best food, live music and art that the country has to offer, as well as both natural and manmade attractions, Melbourne has innumerable experiences for every visitor. Whether you’re here on a on a cruise excursion, a day trip, or you’re visiting for longer, we’ve come up with five things that simply have to be done when in Melbourne.
Begin your trip with an overview of the city – literally. As the highest viewpoint in the southern hemisphere, from the Eureka Skydeck you can take in a 360 degree panorama of Melbourne and its landmarks, as well as the Blue Mountains in the distance. For those of you who are feeling brave, you can step out on to “The Edge” – a glass box that has views directly down into the city.
Head up to the 88th floor of the Eureka tower just before sunset to experience the change between day and night.
The Queen Victoria Market
A vibrant mix of cultures and cuisines, the Queen Victoria Market has plenty to offer whether you’re looking for a holiday souvenir or breakfast. An immersive experience, head there early to beat the crowds. Residents and visitors alike love this market, whether they’re picking up fresh fruit, groceries or gifts.
The market can be found on the corner of Elizabeth and Victoria Streets on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Times may vary, but it opens at 6am every day apart from Sunday when it starts at 9am.
Shrine of Remembrance
In the Kings Domain Parkland, this building is a tribute to Australia’s veterans from wars through the ages. An impressive piece of architecture, with elements reminiscent of ancient Greece, it is the state of Victoria’s largest war memorial and one of Melbourne’s most recognisable landmarks. It holds 120 ceremonies and services throughout the year, making it one of the most active venues for paying tribute.
Head there for the daily 5 o’clock ceremonial taking down of the flag, which can be a very moving experience.
Royal Botanic Gardens
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Melbourne, you’ll find 36 hectares worth of displays with over 50,000 plants. One of the world’s finest gardens, it is beautifully maintained all year round. With plenty of shaded areas, you can simply use the gardens to relax in, to have a leisurely walk around, or you can take a unique tour. In the summer, they hold outdoor movie screenings too.
National Gallery of Victoria
Australia’s oldest dedicated art gallery, the National Gallery of Victoria is filled with fantastic exhibitions all year round. Despite the fact that it opened in 1861, it feel remarkably modern. Light, airy galleries makes sure each piece is illuminated perfectly. Most of the exhibitions in the gallery are free – although some temporary exhibitions may not be – making it ideal for those who want to be inside out of the sun for the day.