Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, is also known as cultural capital of Australia. It is the second largest city in Australia and gives plenty of reasons to visit the place. Melbourne has plenty of attractions in arts, museums, galleries, theatres, shopping, parks et al. Settlement started in Melbourne in 1835. Melbourne experienced gold rush in 1850s, when gold was discovered and prices of properties skyrocketed. However, 1890s saw depression and Melbourne was badly affected. The gold rush means people from across the globe travelled and settled in Melbourne. The Chinese have settled there since 1850s and the Chinatown existing ever since has contributed much to Melbourne’s diverse culture. Melbourne dwellers love art, but is mad about their sports. Fanatical following of sporting events is part of the culture.

How to reach Melbourne
Melbourne is well connected to other major cities by rail, road and water. Southern Cross Railway Station is the major railway station of Melbourne, which is well connected to suburbs.
Sydney to Melbourne takes roughly 11 hours by road. Adelaide is 9 hours away. Brisbane is about 20 hours’ drive. There are bus services operating in these routes. Alternatively, ship and cruise services also operate to Melbourne through Port Melbourne.
Airport - Melbourne Airport is the main airport serving the area. The airport has four terminals in all and one serves the international passengers. The airport is modern and has world-class facilities to serve passengers. However, there are smaller airports for domestic aircrafts in Avalon Airport, Moorabbin Airport and Essendon Airport. Public transport from airport is pretty reliable and cheap. You can easily get taxis to different parts of the city too.

Main Attractions
- Flinders Street Railway Station is a monumental colonial style landmark in Melbourne. It is located at the junction between Flinders Street and Swanston Street. There are plenty of clocks hanging at the entrance which is quite unique.
- Eureka Tower is an observation deck, the tallest of its kind in Melbourne. You can enjoy panoramic views of Melbourne skyline from here.
- Parliament House of Victoria can be visited on weekdays. Guided tours are provided.
- Queen Victoria Market is the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere. It is the largest of its kind. It sells fresh and dry produce and plenty of Australian souvenirs to take home.
- State Library is a colossal place for books. The library has over 1 million books. It once held the record for the largest dome reading room.
- Immigration Museum showcases the moving stories of different people belonging to different ethnicities and culture.
- Police Museum exhibits the crime stories of Melbourne from past 150 years. You can see forensic techniques and proofs of various cases from the timeline.
- Old Melbourne Gaol was where the convicts were kept in the early twentieth century. You can take the self-guiding tour on your own, with quality guiding signs and occasional interpreters available.
- Shrine of Remembrance is a monumental war memorial. You can enjoy panoramic view of Melbourne from the balcony rooftop. There is an appealing Ray of Light exhibition every half an hour.
- Melbourne Museum is the largest in southern hemisphere with seven main galleries, children galleries and temporary exhibition rooms.
- Melbourne Zoo has recreated the habitats of the animals. Jazz at the Zoo is a popular weekend pastime here, where you can enjoy the music and take a stroll.
- Woodlands Historic Park is close to the Melbourne Airport. It has 1840s homestead and a rich natural reserve.
- Spent time at Koorie Heritage Trust to learn about the aboriginals and their culture.
- Melbourne has plenty of comedy clubs, which stage stand-up comedy acts and other forms of entertainments. The Comedy Lounge is an interesting place to laugh your hearts out.
- Visit the MCG or Etihad Stadium if you are a sports buff. MCG hosts cricket during the summer and AFL in the winter.
- Little Collins Street houses a number of world-renowned fashion stores.
- Melbourne Central and Bourke Street Mall are popular shopping destinations.
- South Wharf and Elizabeth Street has plenty of stalls for bargain shopping suitable for backpackers.

Places to Stay
Melbourne is one place which can offer you most of the things under sun. You can easily find the kind of accommodation you wish for, suiting your budget as well as service priorities.
If you wish to stay slightly away from CBD, but not too far, St Kilda is a good choice. You will find good budget and mid-range facilities close to the coast.
South Yarra is on the banks of River Yarra and accommodation in the area will definitely give you mesmerising scenes of the river.
Southbank is closer to CBD and offers facilities from mid-range to splurge kind mostly.
Brunswick is farther from the coastline and a peaceful locality. You can find mid-range apartments easily here.

Eateries in Melbourne
Melbourne is arguably the best destination for food lovers. There is possibly no cuisine that is not available in Melbourne. Eateries are spread across the city and you would literally go confused in choosing one.
Chinese food is majorly concentrated in Richmond, Footscray, Springvale localities.
Indonesian cuisines can be found in Prahran and Swanston Street.
Indian curries and thalis are available in North Melbourne, Richmond etc.
Italian cafes and restaurants are to be found everywhere in Melbourne, particularly in Lygon Street and Carlton.
Japanese restaurants can be found in Chinatown serving sushis.
Middle Eastern cuisines are concentrated in Brunswick and Coburg areas.
Café and pubs are seen all across Melbourne. Café culture is deep here. Pubs and nightlife is colourful and vibrant. In Melbourne, bars mean a smaller place for few drinks but pubs are the larger facilities. The nightlife scene is unrestricted in Melbourne.

Getting around in Melbourne
Taxi - Taxis are easily available in Melbourne. There are a number of online services like Uber, which operate here. You can easily get one from the streets generally.
Train - Melbourne has well networked rail lines connecting its suburbs from Southern Cross Railway Station. Frequency to different parts of the city is generally 10-15 minutes.
Buses - Buses are very reliable and cheap in Melbourne. Frequency of buses are pretty good.
Rental Car/Bike - If you would love to drive/Ride around the city, there are plenty of companies from which you can hire your ride. However, be wary about the traffic.
On Foot - Walking around the city is a good experience if you are aware of the directions.

Tips for travel across Melbourne
- Off late, Melbourne has reported many cases of violence and racial abuses. Visitors are advised to be vigilant.
- Public drinking and smoking can attract fines.
- Public transport is generally safe. However, you may watch out in case of empty carriages.
- Display of expensive stuff is better avoided.
- Melbourne generally has good climate. The time best to travel depend on your purpose of visit. May to August is generally the best time. But if you are heading for beaches, December to February is a good time.