Enticing with an irresistible itinerary of food, coffee and arts, vibrant Melbourne often tops the ‘world’s most liveable city’ list
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Melbourne, the cosmopolitan capital of Victoria in Australia, often takes top spot on the list of world’s most liveable cities and there’s no better way to find out why than to make a trip there yourself.
Compared to its rival Sydney, Melbourne is said to have more “soul”. Art and culture are more prevalent and noticeable when you explore the city streets. You will encounter street performances, painted murals, fashionable cafes and so on. The city’s population of close to five million is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural with mostly European, Greek and Asian influences resulting in a fusion of food styles and plenty of great restaurants.
THINGS TO DO
The bucket list of things to do in Melbourne is only limited by the time you have. You can start with the obvious—by taking the City Circle Tram (route number 35) for a free ride around the city’s central business district. The historic tram will pass by major tourist attractions like Waterfront City (Docklands), Royal Botanic Gardens, Princess Theatre, Federation Square, Melbourne Aquarium and Flinders Quarter, among others.
If you like heritage buildings, Flinders Street Station, Australia’s first railway station that was opened in 1854, is worth a visit. Queen Victoria Market, or Queen Vic, hailed as the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere, is another major landmark in Melbourne. Besides fresh produce, you’ll also find yourself drawn to a spectrum of clothing, jewellery and souvenirs. It is also a great place to enjoy a meal and savour local coffee that the city is famous for. The market now opens on Wednesday nights from 5pm with over 60 stalls cooking up both western and eastern foods.
Melbourne is also famous for its laneways, arcades and cafes, and you should start with some of the famous ones like Hardware Lane, Degraves Street and Centre Place. The laneways offer plenty of outdoor dining options along with some of Melbourne’s best cafes.
Other tourist attractions you would not want to miss are: Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium, The Melbourne Museum, St Paul’s Cathedral and Royal Botanic Gardens. For a great view of the city, make your way to the 88th floor of Eureka Tower Skydeck, the country’s second tallest building.
About two and a half hour or 140km southeast of the city, you can explore Philip Island. There are many bus tours available and most of them will stop for lunch at a farm where you can take pictures with kangaroos, koalas and wombats, and maybe have a go at sheep shearing. The highlight of the trip is the “penguin parade” at sunset when you can see hundreds of penguins emerge from the sea to waddle back to their burrows on the beach. This amazing natural phenomenon will be etched in your mind forever, so don’t miss it!
Getting to Melbourne is easy as there are direct flights via Malaysia Airlines, Batik Air and AirAsia X that depart from KL International Airport, so make those travel plans today!
Photos © iStock by Getty Images