Google search for any top cities to live in the world, the city of Melbourne in Australia will surely be on the list.
Never mind that the weather is up and down sometimes, Melbourne is a favorite for many for the diversity it offers. It seems, it is a city where anyone is free to be who they are, a place for every interests, for a diehard sports fan, for someone who likes arts, for a person who like an afternoon stroll and a good coffee afterwards.
Melbourne is an intriguing place, and I have to admit based on my experience as a tourist, I actually felt more welcome as compared to Sydney. Not sure if it has something to do with the different ethnicity of the people living here or is it because of the universities with so many international students.
Melbourne is beautiful, perhaps not the Sydney kind of jaw dropping harbour front beautiful, but it has the European flare that is quite mesmerizing.
Take Flinders Street Station, the art nouveau style building, might be one of the most gorgeous train station and its location besides the Yarra River where you can just stroll at the promenade and watch kayakers, is certainly a good way of spending an afternoon and getting your bearing between the North and the South area.
AC/DC Lane, Hardware Lane, Degraves Street, Postal Lane, Royal Arcade, there are so many streets with really cool names to explore. Thanks to the grid-like street arrangements, exploration on foot is quite easy. But when I wanted to venture out far from the famous street , I hop on at the Tram to bring me further, I don’t even recall paying for a tram fee. I do recommend Tram No. 35 as it circumnavigates and show you the best of the city.
On a tourist point of view, the best thing about Melbourne is everything you needed to see and do are free. I saw amazing exhibition at The National Gallery of Victoria, entered the magnificent Melbourne State Library for free, at Royal Botanic Gardens attended a free film screening and I spent a considerable amount of time window shopping and snacking at the Queen Victoria Market.
When the CBD area and the laneways becomes all to consuming, I ventured out to the city’s oldest and tagged as the coolest neighborhood , Fitzroy, for more coffee, more street art and some second-hand shopping.