Melbourne is a city with one eye fixed on the past and another on the future. It’s the capital city of the state of Victoria and the country’s capital of style, where good food, coffee, fashion and art are revered.
Exploring the city center will immediately bring Melbourne’s fusion of new and old to light. Stroll down Collins Street to see Victorian-era churches, art deco hotels and daring post-modern structures. Close by is Bourke Street Mall, where trams trundle through a boulevard of heritage-listed buildings tastefully converted into modern shops.
At nearby Federation Square, this delightful collision of the past and present continues. Angular modern buildings stand in futuristic contrast to neighboring Flinders Street Station, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the timeless elegance of the Yarra River. While at “Fed Square,” visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) to learn about the country’s history of film and television, and experiment with the latest digital technology.
Cross the river and explore Southbank’s restaurants and bars, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Then take the elevator to Skydeck 88 in the Eureka Tower for breathtaking views of the park-filled city.
Once you’ve explored the city center, jump aboard one of Melbourne’s iconic trams and explore the suburbs. Not far from downtown is Carlton, where you’ll find the Melbourne Museum, and the espresso bars and restaurants of “Little Italy” on Lygon Street.
Pack your towel and swimming costume and head to the seaside suburb of St. Kilda. After a dip in Port Phillip Bay, browse the suburb’s famous cake shops and vintage stores before heading to the bright lights and thrill rides of Luna Park. Stay overnight in one of St. Kilda’s boutique hotels then rise early for a sunrise walk along the coastline to the brightly colored “bathing boxes” of Brighton Beach. Have your photo taken by these heritage-listed structures, a perfect memento of this effortlessly stylish and most liveable of cities.