Holidays to Melbourne, Australia

Bizarre as it may sound, the settlement of Melbourne was first established by an Australian-born explorer named Batman, and was for some time called ‘Batmania’. Whether its fortunes in the 20thcentury would have been any different under such a moniker is hard to judge, but certainly, the place has done pretty well for itself.

The state capital of Victoria, it’s second only in size to Sydney – but pips even its east coast cousin at the post in terms of culture, cool and quality of life. It was ranked as the world's most liveable city for the seventh year in a row in 2017, and although some Sydneysiders may take issue, it is acknowledged as Australia’s cultural capital (Sydney leads in terms of business and finance). The city even had a brief spell as Australia’s administrative capital when it served as the seat of government from 1901 to 1927 – but Melbourne is really at its best when doing its own thing.

Its achievements, in terms of culture, read like a roll call. Melbourne is considered to be the cradle of Aussie Rules football, Australian Impressionism, Australian contemporary dance and the Australian film and television industries. It is known as a UNESCO City of Literature and is a significant centre for music, theatre and street art. It is also home to many of Australia's largest and oldest cultural institutions, including the National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the State Library of Victoria and the Royal Exhibition Building, which is UNESCO World Heritage-listed.

It goes without saying that there is plenty to do here. The National Gallery of Victoria has a large collection of international artworks, but for something different – and more local – head to one of the many smaller, independent galleries in the Laneways (also a great place to shop and eat out). To help you negotiate the city’s Artscape with its 100+ galleries, sign-posted trails have been created to tell you more about each location and how they have inspired artists. Melbourne maintains the links to its historical past with some of Australia's best museums, parklands and 19th century Gold Rush buildings. Take a visit to the Melbourne Museum, where you can wander through eight galleries full of permanent exhibits, and a gallery for children. Don't forget to see the blue whale skeleton.

And then there’s sport. Melburnians are unashamedly obsessive about it, and the city is home to a host of international events, including the Australian Open tennis tournament and the Grand Prix and the Australian Football League grand final.

When it comes to eating out, Melbourne offers just about everything. Immigrant communities – including a large Chinese community and biggest Greek-speaking population outside Europe – have made this as eclectic as anywhere on earth, and the cuisine fully reflects that diversity.

Getting around is a breeze, too. Melbourne has the world’s largest urban tram network – which means if things get too much you can just head out to nearby St. Kilda beach to relax, unwind and watch the windsurfers doing their thing.

Highlights

  • Take the huge tram network to anywhere in the city – and beyond

  • Explore the Laneways for their shopping bargains, eateries and great galleries

  • Visit Melbourne Museum for its eight galleries of permanent exhibits

Emilie
Travel Designer
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I love spending my days barefoot or in flip flops, so laid-back Melbourne was the perfect place to live. My favourite adventure from my time living in Australia was the 3-month campervan road trip along the East Coast – full of sun, sea and scuba diving!

Trips that include Melbourne

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Things to do in Melbourne

Here are some of the things you can do in Melbourne. When you've chosen your favourite experiences, just give our Travel Designers a call and they'll put a trip together for you. if you need help choosing an experience, or if you want to learn more about it, our Travel Designers will be more than happy to talk to you. Just call them on: 020 3510 5777.

Map of Melbourne