5 Reasons to Love Melbourne

5 Reasons to Love Melbourne

We spent six weeks in #Melbourne and never had a dull moment in this exciting city. We had lots of fun as a #family, found a great, central hotel and saw the city via a #helicopter #tour. It's easy to get around, and if you're a sports fanatic, this is definitely the city for you! #tourismaustralia


Melbourne is a steaming melting pot of cultures from around the world. You can seemingly spot any nation within its 9,900 km2 (3,800 sq mi) and it’s easily identifiable as the second most populous city in Australia.

The weather is unpredictable and can be down right horrid at times, but it’s still easy to see why people fall in love with Melbourne. After all, we did.

Bender team!
Bender team!

1. You Will Never be Bored

There are so many things to do in Melbourne I ended up writing a whole post about it. Anything and everything is easily accessible, from theatre to comedy shows, theme parks and playgrounds. They even have the world’s 3rd largest movie screen at the IMAX (apparently that’s pretty big).

The city of Melbourne
The city of Melbourne

2. There’s Room for the Family

We spent most of our time staying with family during our visit, but after being invited to spend a few nights in the city centre we were surprised by the space available.

Somerset on Elizabeth is quite possibly the best location for a family looking to explore Melbourne while on holiday. It is located next door to the Emporium shopping centre and a small walk to Melbourne Central shopping centre as well, which includes a large supermarket. 

from  $212.01

Hotel Somerset On Elizabeth, Melbourne

 250 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, VI, Australia
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There are plenty of restaurants right on the doorstep so you won’t need to wander too far or wide.

Shopping centre next to Somerset on Elizabeth
Shopping centre next to Somerset on Elizabeth
Food court within shopping centre
Food court within shopping centre
View of the city from our apartment
View of the city from our apartment

I have to admit the windows weren’t double glazed so the city noise was noticeable, but nothing that stopped us from getting a good night’s sleep.

Our apartment included 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room and dining table, and fully equipped kitchen. Plus the room was serviced once per day while we were out exploring the city, so there was no need to make our own beds (very important when you’re on holiday!).

Kingsize bed
Kingsize bed
A cute welcome!
A cute welcome!

3. Free Public Transport

Within the central city “square”, Melbourne operates a free tram zone.

As of May 2014, the whole network consisted of 250 kilometres of track, 493 trams, 25 routes, and 1,763 tram stops. It is the largest urban tramway network in the world and runs extensively around Melbourne. We didn’t find many places we couldn’t get to.

TIP: Get a list of useful public transport maps here and plan your journey online.

The MYKI smart card system that it runs on is a pretty big pain for tourists. Many stops don’t have any place to purchase a ticket. I guess they assume tourists start in the city where you will find one, but we didn’t being out in the suburbs.

Melbourne also has a train system that we used a few times with ease, and paid using the same MYKI card. Flinders Street Station in the centre of the city is an exquisite historical building that you must visit, even if you’re not catching a train.

4. It’s a Pretty City

If walking around on foot doesn’t convince you that Melbourne is a pretty city with Australia's largest and oldest cultural institutions and numerous parks, then the views from above will.

from  $224

Melbourne and St. Kilda Helicopter Tour

ActiveFamily
 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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Melbourne is often referred to as Australia's garden city, and the state of Victoria was once known as the garden state. And our Viator helicopter tour above the city definitely confirmed that. 

View from above
View from above
Melbourne by night
Melbourne by night
The Yarra River runs through the centre of the city
The Yarra River runs through the centre of the city

5. Sports mad

We had a sneaking feeling walking through the Melbourne’s streets that it is certifiably sports mad, but from the air this is plainly obvious.

Melbourne's sports centre
Melbourne's sports centre

Melbourne is home to 3 major international sporting events (tennis, horse racing and Formula One) and was proclaimed the “World’s Ultimate Sports City” in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

The most popular sports are Australian rules football (dating back to 1858) and cricket (dating back to 1877), but there’s also soccer, rugby, tennis and more. We attended a few major matches, but by far my favourite is “footy” (Aussie Rules). The country’s premier league is known as AFL (Australian Football League). Up to five matches are played each week in Melbourne, attracting an average of 40,000 people per game. The Friday night match we attended exceeded 58,000 fans. The atmosphere is electric. If you’ve never been to a footy game you must go just for fun. 

If you’ve never been to a footy game you must go just for fun

On the walk there, stop at one of the many tourist shops and grab a team beanie or scarf (or both teams, just to cover your bases). Then have yourself a friendly competition on who’s going to win.

This city has it's magic
This city has it's magic

Bottom Line

We have loved every minute of our 6 weeks in Melbourne. If you are a sports fan visiting Australia, then Melbourne is the only choice to get your sports fix. Or if you are looking for culture, food or theatre then Melbourne has got everything you could possibly want. Well, almost everything. If you are seeking picture-perfect weather, then perhaps pick Perth.

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