On my visit to Australia in 2011, I stayed in Melbourne city for a few days. The city itself had a real vibrant bohemian vibe to it that was lively and busy. I was staying in the nearby suburb of Fitzroy, which had great trams to reach into the city centre in less than 20 minutes.
The city centre was ultra-modern, with interesting styles of architecture all around. There were some classic Victorian styled buildings and churches in between the busy streets. The central metro station exterior also had an old Victorian design. The city is brimming with activity, and there are cool nightclubs, bars and restaurants to check out during the day and night. Most people use cabs at night, as the public transport stops working at 12, and Melbourne was rather safe too.
You can also find just about any type of food here, and it was all really good! Melbourne also has the largest Asian expat community, so there are lots of different types of Asian restaurants of good quality to enjoy. Even the delis in the shopping malls sold really good food. The beaches were rather far off, so having a car came in handy and it was not difficult to get there.
Overall Melbourne seems like a great place to live in, with nice parks, picnic spots and outdoor leisure facilities. the city is also known for it’s budding artistic and creative communities, with many top design and art schools in and around the city. The public transport was comfortable too.
Even though I only had about 3 days to explore and look around, I think there was so much more to do. I really liked it, and it’s def one of the coolest cities Down Under to check out!
- Good news for South Africans! You can find just about any product from back home here, and that includes delicious Amarula and Nandos!
- The currency used is the AUS$ or Australian Dollar, so be sure to exchange it at the airport.
- Certain countries, like South Africa, will need a tourist visa, and you will have to prepare this in advance, before coming to Australia. The key factor for this visa is proving you have a place to stay for your duration.
- Melbourne is big, but all the major tourist spots are centrally located and easy to use public transport to get to them.
- The weather in Melbourne was significantly cooler than Sydney, so bring a light jumper for the summer.