Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, is a popular stop on many Australia itineraries. Galleries, theaters, restaurants, shops, and a distinctly European feel are the main draws of this sophisticated city on the Yarra River. It’s also a green city with parks, gardens, and open spaces occupying almost a third of its total area. Highlights of the city include the Royal Botanic Gardens, the National Gallery of Victoria, and the Melbourne Cricket Ground where sports fans can watch cricket in the summer and Australian Rules football in the winter. Shoppers flock to the elegant Royal Arcade on Bourke Street, as well as Chapel Street, the Melbourne Central Shopping Center, and the Queen Victoria Market, which has been selling fruits, vegetables, clothes, and crafts for more than a century. To the east, greater Melbourne extends into the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, and in the south to the Mornington Peninsula where many locals escape for seaside getaways.
Melbourne is the coastal capital of the southeastern Australian state of Victoria. At the city’s centre is the modern Federation Square development, with plazas, bars, and restaurants by the Yarra River. In the Southbank area, the Melbourne Arts Precinct is the site of Arts Centre Melbourne – a performing arts complex – and the National Gallery of Victoria, with Australian and indigenous art.