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5 Reasons to Visit Melbourne

Published 30 March 2016

Brendan Wan

Brendan Wan

Voted the most liveable city in the world, Melbourne is the metropolitan cultural capital of Australia filled with the hippest bars, eccentric cafes and a modern cosmopolitan landscape that reflects the carefree attitude of its inhabitants. In this post local lad Brendan Wan gives us his top five reasons to visit Melbourne.

Melbourne city buildings

As a local, the one word I would always use to describe my beloved home town of Melbourne is ‘funk’.

Melbourne has funk.

It’s true that Sydney posses more of the iconic sights of Australia, but it is Melbourne where you really want to be, and here are the reasons why.

The Melbourne Laneways

The narrow spaces in between buildings are as much a part of Melbourne’s character as the canals are to Venice. It is in these cute little lanes where you’ll find an electrifying blend of hidden bars and cafes, charming vintage stores and high-end diners.

- Hardware Lane: An abundance of fine dining options and cocktail bars where a Maître D’ will tempt and seduce you with an enticing menu.

- Flinders Lane: For luxurious high-end dining options look no further than here.

- Degraves St: The most beloved of all the Melbourne lanes is jam-packed with funky cafes and vintage stores.

People walking through Degraves St in Melbourne

- Tattershall Lane: A hub of cafes where all the corporate warriors of the CBD head for their coffees and lunch.

ACDC Lane: The world’s most rock’n roll-named street is home to live head-banging music venues and chic pumping clubs.

Hosier Lane: An array of Melbourne’s finest Street Art lies here, decorating every inch of space on the walls.

Coffee

It’s a well-known fact that Melbournians are intensely serious about their coffee; so much so that to be able to serve coffee, baristas are required attend certified courses where they’ll receive the proper training and qualifications! For some of the best coffees in Melbourne, check out these funky cafes as a starter:

- Brother Baba Budan: 359 Little Bourke St, CBD

Baristas making coffee in Brother Baba Burdan coffee shop in Melbourne

-Proud Mary: Corner of Oxford and Stanley St, Collingwood

St. Ali: 12-18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne

Seven Seeds: 106-114 Berkeley St, Carlton

Batch Espresso: 320 Carslie St, St. Kilda

Food

Australia is a multicultural country built on hardworking immigrants. Such cultural diversity is evident in Melbourne’s food scene with the local eateries offering you the finest in world cuisine, delivering it to you with authenticity and delight. From the exotic spices of the East to the organic aromas of the West, there is so much more to the food scene in Melbourne than the typically assumed ‘shrimp on a barbie’.

- Italian: Lygon St in Carlton is the spiritual home for Melbourne’s Italian food. An endless array of cafes and restaurants serving up mouth-watering Italian classics such as pasta, pizza and gelato.

Vietnamese: Victoria St in Richmond is the traditional home to the early Vietnamese community and it is here where you’ll find the best Banh Mi and Phoin town.

A crowd of people walking through Chinatown in Melbourne

- Chinese: The obvious destination would be Chinatown in the CBD, packed with the cheap and high end eateries that serve up the best in Chinese cuisine. Alternatively, you can venture out into the eastern suburbs of Box Hill and Glen Waverly, where the real local Chinese community prefer to eat.

Greek: Don’t look further than the ‘Greek Corner’ located between Russell St and Swanston St in the CBD. An irresistible smell of souvlaki lingers in the air as you casually glance through the shop-front windows displaying their traditional Greek savoury goods.

Shopping

There are endless opportunities for retail therapy in Melbourne. The fashion stores that run along Swanston Street and Bourke Street are a good place to start. Myer and David Jones, located on Bourke St, are the leading department stores, and Melbourne Central, known for its iconic glass cone ceiling and massive fob watch, is home to over 300 stores. But to true satisfy your retail cravings, it is the Melbourne suburbs that prove to be the best antidote.

The conical glass roof of Melbourne Central

- Shopping Malls: Chadstone Shopping Centre, Highpoint, Knox City and Southland are the four big mega-malls.

Chapel St: A tram ride away from the CBD, South Yarra is home to chic designer labels and high-end fashion stores.

Church St: Richmond’s shopping centre is home to Melbourne’s factory outlets where you will find the best bargains.

Fitzroy: The bohemian sector of Melbourne, especially along Gertrude Street, Smith Street and Brunswick Street, is home to a variety of eccentric vintage stores and second-hand shops.

Festivals

Although South Australia may have the slogan ‘The Festive State’ on their licence plate, it is in fact in Melbourne where all the major events take place. It appears that on every other week, Melbournians are either out celebrating one festival or readying themselves for the next one. These are some top events in Melbourne:

- The Big Day Out (Jan): The nationwide music festival which brings the biggest acts from a range of genres.

- Melbourne International Comedy Festival (Mar/Apr): Along with The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Just For Laughs in Montreal, this comedy festival is one of the top three comedy festivals in the world.

- The Melbourne Cup (Nov): Very much like UK’s Ascot Vale or America’s Kentucky Derby, the Melbourne Cup is the horse race that ‘stops the nation’ , so much so that the state of Victoria receives a public holiday for the occasion!

Horses racing at the Melbourne Cup

- Moomba (Mar): Australia’s largest and longest running free community festival that celebrates culture and the arts.

AFL Grand Final (Sep): Being the nation’s sports capital, Melbournians go mad with footy fever as two lucky teams battle it out for glory.

International Food and Wine Festival (Mar): Melbournians love food so much that they’re willing to hold a festival to celebrate it! Get your stomach full and enjoy the finest wines and succulent meals from across the globe.

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