Melbourne is a wonderful destination for the cultured traveller, with its mix of architecture, its chic coffee culture, and its love for the best in art, fashion and food. It effortlessly combines a respect and reverence for the past with a dynamic aesthetic.
The city's famous trams roll serenely down Bourke Street Mall, passing modern shops, gracefully housed in perfectly preserved buildings. Collins Street continues the melding of styles, with cutting-edge modern buildings mixed among the art deco hotels and the Victorian-era churches.
Continuing through Federation Square, the charming Yarra River compliments St Paul's Cathedral and nearby Flinders Street Station, which contrast with the polished design of the newer additions to the streetscape. The popular Australian Centre for the Moving Image tells the history of Australia's relationship with television and film, through the use of the best in current technology.
Southbank is to be found on the other side of the river, and has a rich selection of bars and restaurants. It’s also home to the Eureka Tower, where a trip up to Skydeck 88 will reward you with panoramic views across the rooftops and many parks of Melbourne. The excellent National Gallery of Victoria is also to be found in Southbank, along with the Royal Botanic Gardens.
The suburbs also have a lot to offer, as a trip on a tram to the eateries and espresso bars of 'Little Italy' on Lygon Street in Carlton will prove. The Melbourne Museum also offers a cultural reason to see this part of the city.
The glorious sunshine of Australia demands a trip to the beach, and seaside St Kilda is the place to go! When you've had your fill of sea and sand, take a walk through the tasteful vintage boutiques and cake shops, and follow that up with the hair-raising amusements at Luna Park. An overnight stay in the suburb, followed by an early-morning stroll along the coast to the colourful 'bathing boxes' of Brighton Beach, is recommended.
The style and grace of Melbourne charms the visitor, and the relaxed atmosphere makes it a very easy place to fall in love with.