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Plan Your Melbourne Vacation

Consistently rated among the "world's most livable cities" in quality-of-life surveys, Melbourne is built on a coastal plain at the top of the giant horseshoe of Port Phillip Bay. The city center is an orderly grid of streets where the state parliament, banks, multinational corporations, and splendid Victorian buildings that sprang up in the wake of the gold rush now stand. This is Melbourne's heart, which you can explore at a leisurely pace in a couple of days.

In Southbank, one of the newer precincts south of the city center, the Southgate development of bars, restaurants, and shops has refocused Melbourne's vision on the Yarra River. Once a blighted stretch of factories and run-down warehouses, the southern bank of the river is now a vibrant, exciting part of the city, and the river itself is finally taking its rightful place in Melbourne's psyche.

Just a hop away, Federation Square—with its host of galleries—has become a civic landmark for Melburnians. Stroll along the Esplanade in the suburb of St. Kilda, amble past the elegant houses of East Melbourne, enjoy the shops and cafés in Fitzroy or Carlton, rub shoulders with locals at the Victoria Market, nip into the Windsor for afternoon tea, or rent a canoe at Studley Park to paddle along one of the prettiest stretches of the Yarra—and you may discover Melbourne's soul as well as its heart.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Fabulous Markets Melbourne has nearly a dozen major markets. The huge Queen Victoria Market (the Vic) has more than 1,000 stalls. Others include the "foodie heaven" Prahran Market, and St. Kilda's Sunday market, awash with pottery and all things arty.
  2. International Cuisine Melbourne's dining scene is a vast smorgasbord of cuisines Chinese restaurants on Little Bourke Street are the equal of anything in Hong Kong. Richmond's Victoria Street convincingly incarnates Vietnam.
  3. Sizzling Nightlife Melbourne's nightlife centers on King Street and Flinders Lane, with dozens of retro-style bars and clubs. The city’s famous live music scene can be viewed in historic pubs in Fitzroy, Collingwood, and Brunswick.
  4. Sports Galore Melburnians, like Aussies in general, do love a good match. The Melbourne Cup horse race in November brings the entire city to a standstill. The same is true of Australian Rules Football.

When To Go

When to Go to Melbourne

Melbourne and Victoria are at their most beautiful in autumn, from March to May. Days are crisp, and the foliage in parks and gardens is glorious...

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