Melbourne is an amazing city. Full of nooks and crannies. However, at first glance, there are not many tourist attractions here. The most important ones include the CBD with skyscrapers, shops and restaurants; Botanical Garden, Federation Square, meeting place and main station of the city rail, Arcades and Lanes, the hidden streets in the city center.
Museums are unfortunately not very interesting. But we will find many art galleries in Melbourne that are worth visiting. For sure, worth a visit is the Queen Victoria Market with a huge variety of vegetables and fruits, but we may also find here a lot of souvenirs, such as hand-carved figurines or opal jewelry.
For sports fans: MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground), one of ten the biggest stadium in the World, where footy, Australian football and cricket are held, and AAMI Park – a complex of stadiums and tennis courts in the very center of the city.
For lovers of sunbathing, beaches in St Kilda or Brighton with characteristic houses. Both quite ugly, and the water is a bit dirty, because we are still in the bay, so to the cleanliness we could have some objections.
CBD – Central Business District
A vibrant city center. Lots of pubs, people dressed so differently and bravely that I looked back and stare at them over and over again. It’s colorful and crowded. Musicians playing on the sidewalk. But also homeless. The whole mass. Sleeping next to glass office buildings.
Queen Vic Market
Something for shopping enthusiasts, but also good, cheap food fans. Fruits and vegetables I have never seen before and I do not even know how to eat them. Yelling hawkers, mixed smells, and the idyllic atmosphere of this place is so awesome I can spend 2 hours there, or even drive for more than an hour to come and just walk between stalls.
The district in which I was living, is about 25 minutes by train from CBD (which is relatively close). Ivenhoe is not particularly entertaining. It is rather like a small town. Single-family houses with large gardens, main street with a supermarket, post office and shops. The atmosphere is very family-friendly, everyone knows each other. After 4 months, I already knew people at the station. Ivanhoe is one of the “better”, more expensive districts, but due to the distance from the center you can find relatively cheap rooms here. However, most “WH visa” travelers prefer to live closer to the CBD or St Kildy (beach). Few people know that Cate Blanchett spent most of her childhood in Ivanhoe.
It’s a neighborhood where every backpacker would like to live. Close to the beach, a lot going on, parties, restaurants, shops. It is also somewhat dangerous, because Australia is struggling with the drug problem. Everyone here takes something or at least smokes. But, in general is awesome. 😀 I love it.
Arcades & Lanes
Here, it is really worth getting lost because you can find something unusual. The magic of these streets is amazing. Everywhere is full of young people, all smiling, satisfied with life, taking pictures of themselves with the graffiti. Hidden pubs and small shops with handicrafts or sweets are another reason why I visit Arcades & Lanes more and more often ?
Everyone meets here before going out to the city. “Under the clocks” – exactly. Suburban trains come from all over the city. And on the other side of the street: a huge place/plaza with art galleries, shops and cafes, next to the river, where you spend a pleasant time on warm days.
A beautiful park almost in the city center (ok, not so in the center, but very close). Interestingly, there are possums in the park (such a combination of a cat and a squirrel), which are quite friendly and if we go there in the evening with an orange or banana and wait a moment, they will certainly come to us. But be careful! not all are so nice. In the other parks there are quite aggressive individuals.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Royal Botanic Gardens – with that name the gardens must impress. RBG are huge and you can walk around for hours (if it’s not too hot, otherwise you melt). 😀 Gardens are just behind the river in the CBD, so anytime you want you can rest and relax there.