Melbourne, or “Mel-bun” as the Aussies pronounce it, is the capital of the Australian state Victoria and the second most popular city of the country. Located in the South of Australia, the country has been rated the world’s most liveable city for the sixth year in a row. There has always been some feeling of competition between most popular city Sydney and Melbourne, but don’t get distracted by that; both cities are completely different and should be appreciated on their own. Melbourne is by some called the Berlin of Oceania; it almost feels like a European city due to its hipster vibe, (relatively) old buildings, busker culture and street art. Make sure to experience Melbourne by night too; there are some amazing roof terraces which offer stunning views over the city.
Still not convinced? Read our list of 5 reasons (in no particular order) why you should never skip Melbourne when visiting Australia.
1. The out-of-this-world street art
Always thought graffiti to be a waste of paint and the worst thing that can happen to a building? Melbourne’s graffiti art works make you think again. The city is full of graffiti-designated spaces, functioning as platforms for young artists to showcase their skills. The temporary fame doesn’t last long: the graffiti gets painted over and over again by other artists, so they never stay the same.
2. The busker culture
Walking through the city you will notice quite a few skilled buskers on the streets. Take a moment and appreciate the beginning artists and their often beautiful performances. The Melbourne Council actually lets the buskers audition first, before they can actually perform on the streets – this ensures the quality of the musical acts. Me and my friends sat on a set of stairs leading to H&M for about 20 minutes, listening to these talented men (check their “Depth over Distance” cover on youtube!).
3. The sights
Fair enough, Melbourne doesn’t have an iconic building like the Opera House. That doesn’t mean the city doesn’t host numerous interesting buildings that are definitely worth a visit! My biggest recommendation would be to go on a Free Walking Tour; these tours are completely free (though a small gift at the end is appreciated). From the Old Melbourne Goal to the State Library, Parliament and Federation Square; there are loads of sights to enjoy during your walking tour.
4. The food
There is SO. MUCH. good food in Melbourne! My favourite area for food was Degraves Street, which had lovely restaurants for either a good breakky, lunch or dinner. As for snacks, my personal recommendation would be to get the most delicious ice cream ever at Nitro Lab (located on 188 Bourke Street). It all looks very scientific – you can even choose your own flavoured injections!
5. The coffee
If you’ve ever been to Oceania, you know that the Australians take their coffee very seriously. Fun fact: the “Flat White”, which is getting increasingly more popular in Europe, was actually invented by the Australians! There are too many good coffee shops to name, so just have a wander yourself and let the Australian brews amaze you. Oh, don’t forget to have a piece of banana bread (toasted and buttered) with it, if you want the true (and heavenly) Aussie experience.