Vacation rentals in Melbourne
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Your guide to Melbourne
Welcome to Melbourne
The second-biggest city in Australia after Sydney, Melbourne is the capital of Victoria as well as being widely considered the cultural capital of Australia. The city is home to scores of edgy contemporary art galleries, plenty of striking street art, and an arts precinct that encompasses world-class galleries and museums, ballet and theatre companies, and performing arts centres. Melburnians would argue their hometown is the food capital of the country as well, with thousands of hip cafés, destination restaurants, and locavore wine bars to choose from.
Melbourne’s city centre is a tight grid of grand Victorian-era buildings and modern high rises, while its suburbs spread out along the shores of Port Phillip Bay and sprawl far inland. Check out the famous laneways between city blocks to discover a tiny hidden bar, or head to inner-city neighbourhoods such as Carlton to soak up fine Italian food and coffee; upmarket Toorak and South Yarra for designer shopping; the funky adjoining suburbs of Fitzroy and Collingwood for more cool bars and indie fashion; or beachside St Kilda.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Melbourne
Melbourne’s weather is notoriously unpredictable. The local joke is that you can experience four seasons in one day. What starts as a warm sunny morning could turn cold and rainy by lunchtime, then hot and bright in the late afternoon. In summer, you’ll enjoy a string of warm to hot days, but come prepared for all weather. The heat usually lingers into March, when the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival draws food lovers from around the country.
By the time the Melbourne International Comedy Festival opens in late March, the autumnal days will be brisk and the nights chilly. While it rarely snows, Melbourne’s winter is still icy. It’s the season for taking in a show in the city’s theatre district; an arts performance at the Rising festival, from late May; or new cinema at the Melbourne International Film Festival in August.
Top things to do in Melbourne
Chapel Street shopping precinct
This shopping street in Melbourne’s inner east is so long it runs through three suburbs. You could easily spend the day drifting along Chapel Street checking out everything from thrift stores to high-end fashion and homewares stores, with plenty of cool bars and cafés for breaks along the way.
Melburnians are mad for markets. You’ll find the city’s artists and designers showcasing their handiwork at the Rose Street Market in Fitzroy on Saturdays and Sundays. The St Kilda Esplanade Market features arts and crafts every Sunday, then there are council-run markets in Prahran for organic food from Tuesday to Sunday.
Heide Museum of Modern Art
A 35-minute drive from central Melbourne, this leading art museum brings together some amazing Australian modern and contemporary art in striking modernist galleries. There’s also a sculpture park and plaza set within heritage-listed gardens.