Multicultural, beautiful, and vibrant, Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia and one of the most liveable metropolises in the world. With its elegant Victorian buildings, tree-lined promenades, and a mix of hidden laneways, the city features a uniquely European feel. Foodies might also find a lot of things to love here as prominent Aussie chefs show off their talents in a variety of restaurants, from Vietnamese and Spanish to Italian, Indian, and Greek. As there are so many things to do and visit, it can be tricky for you during the first trip to Australia. With that in mind, here are top 5 activities to try in Melbourne.
1. Walking around the Royal Botanic Garden
In the centre of green parkland, the Royal Botanic Garden is among the most beautiful of its kind in the world. Founded in 1846, the site covers an area of approximately 38 hectares with nearly 8500 species of animals and plants. Inside the garden, you can find the Aboriginal Heritage Walk which represents the heritage of the indigenous Australians. In fact, visiting the garden is probably one of the best things you can do for free in Melbourne. During the summer, you can go for a picnic by the lake, enjoy live theatre, and watch moonlight cinema setting up under the night stars.
2. Watching a horse race in the Melbourne Cup
Racing is widely appreciated by thousands of people across Australia and the Melbourne Cup is the most prestigious horse race in this country with nearly 150 years of history.
Started annually on the first Tuesday in November, this event is often considered as the most special day in Aussie sport. There is nothing that matches the Melbourne Cup when it comes to heartbreak, joy, excitement, and history, making it become a truly national festival. That’s why you should travel to Melbourne and visit the Flemington Racecourse, watch a horse race, and try your luck by placing a bet online at www.unibet.com.au/racing.
3. Cruising on Yarra River
A boat cruise is probably one of the best ways to do the sightseeing and explore the city’s history. You can find many tours along Southbank, and it is a fun and relaxing experience to make yourself familiar with the area before setting out on foot. While gliding down the river, make sure to keep your eye out for the Birrarung Marr, a waterfront parkland that celebrates the ties of the Aboriginal with the Yarra River. If you don’t have lots of time, a one-hour cruise can give you a short tour around top sights in the city, including the Royal Botanic Garden, Melbourne Tennis Center, or the Federation Square.
4. Visiting the Victoria National Gallery
The oldest art gallery in the country, the Victoria National Gallery accommodates more than 70000 artworks in two locations for the international and Australian collection. You can visit the well-known Great Hall and lie on the ground to gaze at the vivid stained glass ceiling. Also, it offers a great collection that features the history of art in the country, including Aboriginal works, the Heidelberg School, as well as contemporary media
5. Shopping at Queen Victoria Market
Queen Victoria Market is a popular area with tourists and locals. This historic site has been at the heart of fresh local produce shopping for more than a century. Apart from the great food halls, you can find everything in the market stalls, from toys, art, and clothing to that unique souvenirs. Special events also take place on the weekend like music concerts or night markets, especially in the summer.