Melbourne is regarded as Australia’s cultural capital. The city features Victorian-era architecture, extensive shopping, a cosmopolitan cafe lifestyle and many cultural institutions such as museums, galleries, theatres, large parks and gardens.
Melbourne has also been voted as one of the world's most liveable cities.
There are approximately 50,000 international students currently living in Melbourne, which has a population of over 3.5 million made up of people from over 140 different nations (45 per cent of Victoria's community is either born overseas or has at least one parent born overseas).
Melbourne was founded as a British colony on the mouth of the Yarra River in 1835, and it gained independence from New South Wales in 1850. Its farsighted founders envisioned a great city and thankfully planned an abundance of parks and wide roads and boulevards. In the 1850s Melbourne boomed as a result of the gold rush in the region to the north.
The average temperature in summer is 25ºC and in winter it’s 14ºC.
- Docklands – a precinct filled with shops, bars, restaurants and a stadium with a water-side setting
- Federation Square – modernistic and popular meeting space where Melburnians enjoy life whilst sitting down at cafés and bars
- Melbourne Museum – the largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Astor Theatre - see interesting films at the art deco-style cinema in Windsor
- visit a comedy club
- watch a game of AFL football at the MCG or Telstra Dome during winter.
Excellent eateries are scattered through the CBD, Southbank, Carlton (mostly Italian and tourist-aimed), Victoria Street in Richmond (many low-cost popular Vietnamese and South East Asian restaurants), Docklands, South Yarra and Prahran.
Sydney Road in Brunswick and Coburg is known for its many Middle Eastern, Lebanese, Greek and Turkish restaurants.
The popular tourist area of St Kilda offers a large range of good-quality restaurants and cafés, especially on Acland Street and Fitzroy Street.
The past decade has seen a revival of Melbourne’s inner-city bar scene, with dozens of weird and wonderful watering holes opening up within forgotten alleyways and lanes of the CBD.
Melbourne is known as the fashion capital of Australia with numerous malls and boutique-lined streets.
In the CBD, Little Collins Street is home to some of the world’s top designers and fashion houses. Collins Street also boasts other high-end shops such as Louis Vuitton.
Brunswick Street (Fitzroy), Smith Street (Collingwood), both of which are near the Melbourne Campus (St Patrick's), and the southern end of Chapel Street in Prahran/Windsor, have clusters of stores selling an eclectic mix of vintage, rave, retro and alternative gear.