Expect your first time in Melbourne to be filled with the combination of its financial hub and a fast progressing cultivation of new arts. Key to enjoying your visit to the max: eat your heart out at Queen Vic Market, bar hop in Chinatown, and explore your artistic side in Fed Square!
1. Catch a match at The MCG.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground is a stadium almost as old as the city itself and has been both the birthplace and home to many of Australia and the world’s most famous sports and events. Its most famous moment was probably serving as the main stadium for the 1956 Olympic games, but the venue continues to host events week to week. Regardless of if you are a fan of whichever sport is in season, experiencing an event among the 100,000-person crowd is unreal. The stadium is also home to the National Sports Museum, which possesses pieces of history from various moments in Australia’s rich athletic history. It is also located as part of one of the world’s greatest stadium consortiums, located adjacent to the Rod Laver Arena, which is home to the Australian Open and AAMI Park, which is home to Melbourne City FC.
2. Indulge in all the tastiness at Queen Victoria Market.
On the average day the Queen Vic Market is home to some delicious food and a lengthy market perfect for picking up a memento to remember your time in the city. However, during the Summer on Wednesday nights the market transforms into one of the city’s liveliest destinations. The atmosphere is authentic and the food and drinks are delicious. Melbourne is an extremely diverse city and the cavalcade of ethnicities comes forth in the variety of food available at the night market. Everything from artisanal gelato to Spanish paella is available and it is impossible to resist the urge to try as many dishes as possible.
3. Check out Australian Centre for the Moving Image at Federation Square.
Fed Square is located in the heart of the Melbourne’s Central Business District and has become an integral part of the city since its inception in 2002. The square’s official website provides a great list of attractions and everything from live music to a classic film can be seen passing through the square. One of the greatest parts of the square is Australian Centre for the Moving Image (Federation Square, Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia, map). The museum is free and gives visitors a clear view of the way film and television developed in Australia’s history and the integral role Melbourne played in that development. The museum also has a constant amount of amazing films regularly playing.
4. Let time pass by at The National Gallery of Victoria.
The city’s most prestigious art gallery is both a short walk from the city center and from Flinders Street Station. The greatest part about the gallery is that it is free and that it is guaranteed to have some of the world’s finest classic and modern art through their extensive halls. The museum typically has a special collection, which does cost money and is usually worth the price of admission. However, if on a tight budget, the free space is enough to satiate any museumgoers appetite. Permanently installed in the museum is The Great Hall, which possesses one of the country’s largest stained glass ceilings. Be warned that time is easily lost laying on the floor of the hall looking up at the stained glass.
5. Don’t miss some great bars in Chinatown.
Emerging during the gold rush, Melbourne’s Chinatown remains a cultural hub for the city. On an average day the streets will be packed and the shops and restaurants filled with local residents. The cuisine is as good as expected, but the real highlight of Chinatown is that it is home to a number of great bars. Turn down any alley way in the area and the graffiti covered walls will lead to one of the city’s many fantastic bars. Highlights include The Croft Institute (21 Croft Alley, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia, map), which is infamous for serving drinks through syringes in a building that used to be an insane asylum. Also, The Berlin Bar (2, 16 Corrs Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia, map) which is split down the middle with décor on either side of the bar representing East and West Berlin.