Melbourne is both the capital and the largest city of the state of Victoria. The metropolis attracts countless visitors every year, as it has a very interesting history and plenty of varied sights. A special feature of the city is the distinctive music scene with its numerous live concerts held daily, most of which take place in and around the city center.
Victoria has about 6.7 million inhabitants, 5.1 million of whom have registered their permanent residence in the Melbourne metropolitan area. Thus, the metropolis is the second largest city in Australia, whose residents are also called Melburnians. The fact that Melbourne is distinctly multicultural is due to past waves of immigration, the still high rate of immigration, and the many international students currently studying at almost 10 universities.
Melbourne is nicknamed Garden City, among other things, because there are several beautiful parks in the immediate vicinity of the city center. The extremely extensive theme of museums, culture & art, the many restaurants, the daily live concerts and the numerous sports facilities make the metropolis one of the most important cities in Australia in terms of culture and sports.
It is no wonder that Melbourne has been named the most livable city in the world several times by the English magazine “The Economist”.
Tip 1: Federation Square
Federation Square is a public cultural area in the city. The center is located opposite Melbourne’s busiest railroad station, Flinders Street Station and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The two older buildings contrast with the hypermodern building ensemble of Federation Square.
The architecturally unusual complex of buildings, whose massing of facades is refracted from shimmering surfaces, angled window slots, panels, and skewed angles, borders the hilly square to the north, east, and south. The site, which rises slightly to the east, is paved with a cobblestone of beige-ochre sandstone. To the south, a passage leads to the banks of the Yarra River.
Above all, ‘Fed Square’ is a popular meeting place. During the day, to watch events and performances that take place here as part of some festivals. In addition, street performers, bistros, stores and stalls attract residents and visitors alike. In the evening, the square is the starting point for many night owls who meet here to go out on the town.
Tip 2: Eureka Tower Skydeck
The skyscraper juts out of the Melbourne skyline and is clearly visible from afar. The Eureka Tower is Melbourne’s tallest building and the second tallest in Australia. It is located not far from Flinders Street Station on the South Bank Promenade, directly on the Yarra River. If you look up from below, the clouds are reflected in the glass facade.
On the 88th floor there is an observation deck, the Eureka Skydeck. For an entrance fee, the elevator takes you up to the 297-meter tower in 40 seconds. From here, you have a magnificent view over Melbourne: Directly below the tower, you can see the promenades along the river, the Arts Center, Federation Square and the railroad facilities. You also have a view of the CBD, the harbor facilities and all the way to the beach at St Kila. Small free binoculars aimed at landmarks and prominent places help to discover Melbourne’s important points from above. The observation deck brings you out into the open and lets you feel the wind up here. Those who want to go a little higher: There’s a restaurant on the 89th floor.
Also on the Skydeck observation deck is “the Edge,” a cube that juts out from the facade. At the push of a button, the floor becomes transparent and reveals the view down below your own feet.
Tip 3: Melbourne Museum
It is the most popular museum in Melbourne and the largest in the southern hemisphere: The Melbourne Museum opened in 2000. In it, 16 million exhibits can be viewed. They are divided into seven main exhibition areas, a children’s gallery and a temporary exhibition area.
The exhibitions on the different themes each contain a lot of highlights. Particularly popular are the numerous dinosaur skeletons from Australia and China in the “Science and Life Gallery”: Tarbosaurus, Gallimimus, Hypsilophodon, Mamenchisaurus, Tsintaosaurus, Hadrosaurus, Muttaburrasaurus and Pteranodon. Or the skeleton of a dwarf blue whale.
More than 80 plant species and 25 animal species are exhibited in the Forest Gallery. The special feature: The exhibit is alive (with real plants and live animals) and shows the environment of the state of Victoria. Other exhibits include the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, the Mind and Body Gallery, and others. An IMAX cinema is also located in the building.
You can participate and experience in the Discovery Center in the basement. It’s free and touching is encouraged.
Tip 4: Queen Victoria Market
For strolling and shopping, the Queen Victoria Market is the perfect place. It is a Melbourne institution and a must-see for visitors. Since the 1850s, merchants have come to this market to offer their wares. The Queen Victoria Market is the only 19th century market left in the CBD (Central Business District). The other two markets closed in the 1960s.
On more than 7 hectares, more than 600 traders offer everything you can imagine. Fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, clothing and fashion, shoes and leather goods, souvenirs and handicrafts. Especially in search of souvenirs the market is worthwhile, often souvenirs are cheaper here than in the center.
The market stalls are roofed, by the way, the huge roofs are covered with solar cells. For meat and fish there is an extra hall. Directly connected to the market are some gourmet stalls and small restaurants. The donut cart here has become a local celebrity.
The Queen Victoria Market is open every day except Mondays, Wednesdays and public holidays.
Tip 5: St. Kilda Pier
Melbourne is located by the sea and that is easy to reach: By streetcar you can reach the beach in St. Kilda in just half an hour. The seaside district is only 7 kilometers from the CBD and popular as a nightlife and excursion destination.
In and around Acland Street in St. Kilda there are numerous bars, clubs, restaurants and cakeshops (cafes). From apple strudel to steak to cool beer, everything you need to make a nice afternoon or colorful evening is sold here. In the immediate vicinity there are a number of theaters and the famous Lunapark. The historical amusement park is a landmark of St. Kilda, its entrance with the laughing face and the roller coaster are famous.
On the shore, just in front of the beach, stretches the St. Kilda Esplanade. Here is also the long St. Kilda Pier, the end of which is marked by a typical British pier pavilion (formerly called Kerby’s Kiosk). Anglers sit on the pier during the day, families stroll along here, and there’s a great view of the boats in the harbor and the Melbourne skyline. Behind the pier is a small penguin colony. In the evening, after sunset, the little penguins come to the beach.