Capital of Victoria State, Melbourne is Australia’s second most populous city after Sydney. A vibrant western metropolis, the city features districts with lovely colonial architecture, huge parks, stunning museums, top restaurants and an excellent market. First European residents arriving in early 19th century, the city has gone a long way until then, today being ranked as one of the world’s top liveable cities.
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Melbourne features an excellent public transport network. Trains, buses and the tram will get you anywhere in the city in no time. Myki card will be your passport for all means of public transport. You just top up the card at any station or 7-Eleven store and then flip it over the special machines before you enter the transportation mean of your choice. Taxis are easy to find all over the city, while cycling is an easy and popular choice for locals and tourists alike.
Meet with Melbourne’s history
Sovereign Hill is a popular tourist attraction, which allows to you dive in the city’s past during Gold Rush Era.
A vivid recreation of a 19th-century gold-mine town, Sovereign Hill presents vintage shops and houses, an old steam-train station, mines and anything else such a town would feature. Visitors are also welcome to try panning for gold by the river.
For more detail on Melbourne’s history, pass by the Old Treasury.
Occupying a lovely 19th-century building, the collections of this museum narrate the city’s history from early 19th century up to date, through a series of artefacts and documents from the Public Record Office.
Take an up-close look at local animal species
Melbourne Zoo houses a great variety of domestic and international animal species. Visit the Australian Outback exhibit to interact with laid-back koalas and joyful kangaroos, or head to Great Flight Aviary to walk through artificial Australian rainforests and wetlands. The rest of the zoo presents all kinds of international animal species, from African lions to Asian red pandas.
Shop until you drop
Queen Victoria Market is one the city’s best markets, as well as a popular landmark. Dating back to 19th century, it has been a shopping hotspot for Melbournians since then. Hundreds of shops and stalls sell everything from exotic fruit to authentic local crafts to hip clothing. For a typical western shopping centre experience, visit Melbourne Central. More than 300 retail shops are surrounded by cosy cafes and charming eateries, while entertainment facilities, such as cinema theatres and lively bars, are also available. Camberwell Sunday Market and Lost and Found Market are the city’s top places for vintage and curious items.
Art scout in Melbourne
National Gallery of Victoria holds the city’s greatest art collection. The National Gallery is housed into two different buildings: the first is located in Southbank and houses exhibitions of international art, while the second focuses on local art and is situated near Federation Square. In the Australian section the visitors can admire aboriginal artefacts, local artworks from colonial times and modern Australian art.
The International section, on the other hand, houses masterpieces from top international artists of all times, such as El Greco, Picasso and Rothko. A fascinating collection of ancient artefacts is also available, including items from the Egyptian, Greek, Asian and Pacific civilizations. Both sections are free to enter, but fees may apply to special temporary exhibitions.
Contemporary art enthusiasts should definitely pay a visit to Australian Centre of Contemporary Art and Centre of Contemporary Photography. None of the two features a permanent collection, but great works of both local and international artists are presented in temporary exhibitions throughout the year.