There are so many popular tourist spots and cities all around Australia, but one of the most visited locations in the country is Melbourne. In case you don’t know, Melbourne is the capital of Victoria, the Australian state located in the southeastern portion of the country.
Melbourne is also the most populous city in the state, as the Greater Melbourne area of the city consists of office buildings, apartments, condominiums, and various tourist spots, which include landmarks such as the Royal Exhibition Building and the National Gallery of Victoria. If you are planning a special vacation or trip to Australia, then one of the must-visit cities in the country is Melbourne. But, if you aren’t sure what to do in the said city yet, here is a list of the different ways to enjoy a weekend getaway in Melbourne.
Dine and Shop at Chapel Street
If you want to go shopping and dining in Melbourne, the best place for you to do so is Chapel Street, which is an area that runs along with several suburbs in the city, particularly within South Yarra and Windsor. An iconic shopping center in Chapel Street is The Jam Factory, which was originally built as the “Victorian Brewery” in 1858 but was eventually redeveloped as “The Jam Factory” in 1995.
Other centers and spots that you should visit within Chapel Street are Prahran Market (a fresh food market that has been in existence for more than 120 years), the Commercial Road (a shopping strip that has an LGBT village), Chapel Off Chapel (gallery and theater venue), and Greville Street (a niche shipping strip). You can also dine in a few of the best restaurants in Melbourne that are located in Chapel Street, so you can eat delicious food after spending the whole day shopping in this location.
Visit the National Gallery of Victoria
One of the most well-known spots in Melbourne is the National Gallery of Victoria, also known for its acronym NGV. The National Gallery of Victoria was founded or established in 1861, which makes it the oldest art museum in Australia. There are two sites within the NGV that house an encyclopedic art collection, and these two sites are the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia and NGV International.
NGV International was designed by Sir Roy Grounds, one of Australia’s leading architects, and was opened in 1968. However, the building was redeveloped by another renowned architect named Mario Bellini and was reopened in 2003. The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia was then designed by Lab Architecture Studio and was opened in 2002. The NGV doesn’t only contain Australian art, as the curators and owners of the gallery have also bought and displayed numerous art pieces from different countries around the world.
Watch Games at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
If you want to watch one of Australia’s most popular sports, then you should try watching one or more games at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, a sports stadium located in Yarra Park. This stadium is currently managed by the Melbourne Cricket Club and is considered the 11th largest stadium in capacity and the largest one in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground was built in 1853, although it has been in numerous renovations since then. What’s great about the MCG is that it is one of the buildings without the city center, wherein you will see many of Melbourne’s popular attractions, like Melbourne Park and the National Sports Museum. So, if you plan on watching a sports game at the MCG, you can surely have time to visit the center and explore its different spots and attractions.
Relax and Unwind at the Royal Botanic Gardens
For those that want to unwind after hours and days of traveling around Australia and Melbourne, they can visit the most peaceful place in the country, the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, which is located between Cranbourne and Melbourne. The Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria was originally divided into two separate gardens, which are the Melbourne Gardens (founded in 1846) and the Cranbourne Gardens (founded in 1970).
The Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is mostly known for the State Botanical Collection, which is home to more than 1.5 million preserved plants, fungi, and algae. Because of the sheer number of pieces found in the collection, the State Botanical Collection, which is located within the National Herbarium of Victoria, is regarded as the largest herbarium collection in Australia. So, if you are fascinated by flowers or botany in general, you should take a look at the collection when you visit the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.
Take a Look at Federation Square
If you can’t get enough of art, you should also visit Federation Square, also called by locals as the Fed Square, which is located at the edge of the city’s central business district. What’s interesting about Federation Square is that it is often the location for many live events, like small concerts and even plays.
The Federation Square is also near the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, so you can already visit the National Gallery of Victoria after you are done admiring Federation Square. The theater within Federation Square is The Edge, which is a 450-seat space that is lined in wood veneer and geometrical patterns that are predominant in the design of the Federation Square.
Visit the Animals at Melbourne Zoo
For tourists that are fond of animals, they should visit the Melbourne Zoo, which is found within Royal Park in Parkville to the north of Melbourne. The Melbourne Zoo is said to contain more than 320 animal species, with some belonging exclusively to Australia while others are rehomed from different countries of the world.
Within Melbourne Zoo, there are 14 exhibits that you can check out. Some of the most well-known exhibits in the Melbourne Zoo are Trails of the Elephants, Orangutan Sanctuary, Australian Outback, Butterfly House, and the Great Flight Aviary. Be sure to visit all of the fun exhibits if you can so that you can have the full Melbourne Zoo experience.
So, these are some of the popular tourist attractions in Melbourne that you should visit. Besides the six we mentioned above, there are still many activities that you can do within the city, as it is packed full of interesting tourist spots and locations.