From the Italian quarter of Lygon Street to the seaside suburb of St Kilda, Melbourne’s precincts and suburbs are home to many different cultures, each with its own vibe and character. Jumping on a tram is an easy way to explore the city’s myriad attractions and multi-cultural suburbs beyond.
North of the city are the trendy suburbs of Collingwood, Fitzroy, Brunswick and Northcote, with Mediterranean cuisine and vintage fashions. South Yarra, Prahran and Toorak are the upmarket end of town; while bayside St Kilda and Port Melbourne are the place to stretch your towel.
With more than 180 of these miniature streets winding their way through Melbourne, it would be hard to see them all in one visit. The Block Arcade is Melbourne's oldest; Flinders Lane abounds with boutiques by emerging designers; and the Meyers Place bars are hippest.
Views from above
See Melbourne from a totally different angle, floating over the city’s vast parks and gardens and world-renowned sporting venues in a hot air balloon. Then take in 360 degree views of the sprawling city from the edge of the 88th floor of the Eureka Skydeck.
The city is a canvas
Melbourne’s street art is in a class of its own, with the city regularly commissioning artists. Some of the best examples around town can be found in Hosier and Rutledge Lane, opposite Federation Square; Union Lane off Bourke Street Mall; Croft Alley, and Caledonian Lane.
Chapel Street day & night
By day Chapel Street is brimming with outdoor eateries, upmarket fashion designers and history. By night it becomes the place to go for dance clubs, bars, and live pub entertainment. Walk its four-kilometer length and discover the neighbourhoods of South Yarra, Greville Village, and Prahran.
Queen Victoria Market
‘Queen Vic’ has been a Melbourne institution for 130 years. There’s everything here from fresh fruit and vegetables straight from the market gardens, to local and imported gourmet foods, to fashion, spread over several city blocks. Guided tours highlight the market’s heritage, culture and history.
The odd shapes and angles of Federation Square once caused controversy, but have now been embraced as the arty heart and soul of Melbourne. Opposite the famous Flinders St Station, it's also a great place to sit on the steps and people-watch.
Sport rules here, ok?
Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Melbourne’s world-class sporting venues, including Flemington Race Course, home of the Melbourne Cup; the F1 Grand Prix Circuit; the hallowed turf of Melbourne Cricket Ground; and Rod Laver Arena, home to the Australian Open tennis.
Craft beer heaven
Melbourne’s fascination with beer can be traced back to its earliest days. Walk the history of the city’s beer consumption, from the rogue settlers, to modern microbreweries such as The Crafty Squire, Moon Dog and Little Creatures, on a Beer Lovers Guide to Melbourne tour.
The city on two legs
A flat and walkable city, one of the best ways to discover Melbourne’s hidden secrets is on a private walking tour with a local. For those wanting to really understand the city, in-depth tours are also available with scholars and experts in their particular field.