Melbourne, Australia

Footy at the MCG, laughing at a show during the comedy festival, exploring the graffiti adorned lanes of the CBD, people watching in St Kilda, placing a bet on the horses for Melbourne Cup: these are some of the quintessential experiences that will make you fall in love with the beautiful city of Melbourne.

Although, not quite as geographically or climactically blessed as some of other destinations in Australia, Melbourne is a very special place that welcomes all travelers and will have you falling in love. Melbourne forces you to look deeper to find its beauty. It is not as easy to appreciate as in some other cities, yet lurks just below the surface. Those people that take the time and effort to get to know this beautiful city will be payed back a thousand fold with many amazing experiences.

One of the things that Melbourne is known for is its outstanding cuisine. In the CBD alone, you will find world class restaurants on every corner serving up the most delicious food. You could live here for a lifetime and still not have time to try all of them. As Melbourne is home to a massive immigrant population, you can find any type of cuisine that your heart desires. Lygon street is famous for its Italian eateries. Little Bourke Street is renowned for its many authentic Chinese restaurants. Victoria Street is home to mouth watering Vietnamese dining options.

Although, the CBD is home to many wonderful attractions such as the aquarium and the Crown Casino, it is important to explore further afield to really see what the city has to offer. Melbourne boasts a very extensive tram and train network that can carry you to hotspots around the greater metropolitan region. Head down to Chapel Street to do some shopping in the gorgeous boutiques or have a night out in one of the area’s many night clubs. On a nice day, nothing beats going down to St Kilda beach for some people watching and a refreshing dip in Port Phillip Bay. If you’re looking to refresh you’re appearance, perhaps a botox treatment in Melbourne could be the answer.

Further afield from Melbourne, there are a wide range of activities and attractions. Just north of the city is the stunning Yarra Valley, which is home to some of the most beautiful vineyards. Make sure you check out the Domaine Chandon vineyard as it has one of the most stunning views. To the southeast of the city lies Phillip Island, which is where you can watch an entire penguin colony waddle out of the Southern Ocean at sunset. This is also the perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with some native wildlife at the local animal reserve. To the southwest of the city are the famous Great Ocean Road and  Twelve Apostles, which are not to be missed.

What will really make your time in Melbourne special are its people. They are friendly and welcoming. It is very easy to find yourself riding on a tram or sitting in a bar or cafe and find yourself making friends with the people around you. Melbournites love their town and these are the people who will be your key to unlocking Melbourne’s beauty.

Written by Taylor J for The Essential Destination

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