- I was there 3 days at the end of December 2005 and 3 more in March 2012.
- Recommended number of days: 2, plus one for the Great Ocean Road.
- My score: the city 4/5, but because of my friends Kym and Tam I rate it 5/5. If you knew them, you would also do it.
The first time I went to Melbourne I did not intend to spend so many days, but I was exhausted after a month without rest visiting the east coast, the Northern Territories and the desert, so I decided to take it easy, and discovered a so nice city, that the second time I saved time to spare to enjoy it again properly. Although I have a crush for Sydney, I admit that Melbourne is great; a city that radiates the feeling of an excellent quality of life in every corner, good weather and a better atmosphere:
- Downtown is the eminently tourist area:
- We will find the more than pleasant Botanical Garden, free access, that ends in the Shrine of Remembrance, a war memorial with good views. Immediately to the south is Albert Park, which becomes the urban circuit of the Australia‘s Formula 1 grand prix, and that coincided was being celebrated the second time I went.
- The main museums. I only visited the remarkable Natural History Museum, but the National Gallery and the ACMI are very well considered.
- To the north of the river, there are some European-looking colonial buildings, which contrast with the exaggeratly contemporary Federation Square, and the walk along Yarra River, with its modern glass towers illuminated by frightening blue neons at night in an attempt to give the city a Blade Runner look that certainly does not get on well with its style.
- Because Melbourne is not and should not try to look like Tokyo, it is relaxed and kind by nature:
- In this era in which every big city wants to have a modern but at the same time alternative and vintage neighborhood, Fitzroy is one of the best examples to follow, with a wide main avenue, the restaurants and trendy venues are perfectly organized one next to the another, anyone better designed and more original than the previous.
- St Kilda The nearest beach to the center of the city is usually accessed by the picturesque tram. Although, as with Bondi or Manly in Sydney, it is not even by far the best beach in the state, its proximity, quality and services make it highly recommended to visit.
- And one of the best day trips (or better if they are two, or better if they are three and we can stop for a while on each beach) that can be done, the Great Ocean Road, a fantastic coastal route, where for 300 km we will enjoy extensive beaches and magnificent cliffs until we reach The Twelve Apostles, rock formations eroded by the sea of incomparable beauty.
Melbourne is kind, cultured, alternative and really cosmopolitan, it is the city that others are trying to copy.
WHAT TO SEE
- ONE DAY ITINERARY IN DOWNTOWN AND ST KILDA
- THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD
- WHEN TO GO
- HOW TO GET THERE
- GETTING AROUND
- WHERE TO EAT AND STAY: FITZROY