If Sydney is Australia’s bright and brash spokesperson, Melbourne is her creative and distinguished cousin. Both are fun-loving, but in decidedly different ways – you’ll find hip and current galleries next to top museums, and sleek 19th century facades rubbing up against converted industrial buildings in Melbourne’s tree-lined streets.
In fact, Melbourne may just be the nation’s most well-rounded city, with unbridled sports fandom and a fondness for good food and drink balancing out the cultural slant. In fact, the city has grown not by overtaking previous personalities, but rather by adding to them, and you’ll need a bit of time and patience to uncover the enormous wealth of nature, culture, and history it has collected over the years.
1. Queen Victoria Market
Head to the corner of Victoria Street and Elizabeth Street for the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s also one of the most animated and diverse, with over 600 stalls of food, art, and other products from all over the globe – where else can you dine on artisanal French cheese while you shop for authentic sheepskin moccasins? It’s open five days a week, but try to drop by on a Sunday, when the scene is extra-vibrant. For a calmer, focused introduction, opt for a guided tour.