With its lush parks, Victorian boulevards and hip bars, Melbourne brings a European twist to the typical laid-back vibe associated with Australian cities. Situated on one of the country’s southern-most points, Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia, and has an age-old rivalry with the country’s largest city – Sydney. Sydney undeniably wins on natural beauty, economy and glamour. However, Melburnians think (and many outsiders agree) that Melbourne’s glorious juxtapositions just give it the edge. The vestiges of 19th-Century gold-rush wealth combined with a thriving art scene and countless uber-hip bars and clubs make Melbourne, possibly, the coolest city in Australia, if not the world. The city is a veritable melting pot of cultures, having seen a massive influx of immigrants since WWII. Whole communities from Lebanon, Sudan, Vietnam, Italy, Turkey and Greece relocated to Melbourne and the surrounding area. In fact, such was the influx of Greek nationals, that Melbourne is statistically the third-largest Greek city (coming after Athens and Thessaloniki). The result? A delicious cacophony of cultures, which is evident in the city’s diverse authentic cuisine, making it a haven for food-lovers.
|Flight||Airline Name||Price||Type||Trip Dates||Search Time|
|LHR to MEL flight||China Southern||£1042||Round-Trip||08 December to 15 December||10 July 02:40|
Direct flights to Melbourne will bring you to Melbourne Airport (MEL), 14 miles from the city centre.
Melbourne is renowned for its changeable weather – it is not uncommon to experience four seasons in a day. Situated in the southern hemisphere, Melbourne’s summer is December – February, and temperatures range from 15-25°C, with the occasionally hot spell when the thermometer reaches well over 30 for a few days. Spring (September-November) and Autumn (March – May) range in temperature from 10-20°C, and during winter, the temperature tends to drop below 10°C. If you want to intersperse your site-seeing with days on the beach, you may want to head to Melbourne during the summer. However, this is when most tourists flock to the city (for the same reason), and it can be very crowded, not to mention more expensive. If you are looking for cheap flights to Melbourne, plan your trip in spring or autumn. Alternatively, if you don’t mind the cooler weather and want to grab a bargain, go in winter.
Whether or not you are a cricket fan, Melbourne Cricket Ground is worth seeing on your trip to Melbourne. With a capacity of 100,000, the vast arena is home to cricket in the summer months and the Australian Football League (AFL) in the winter. If you don’t have the time to go to a game, there are tours on non-match-days where you can visit the stands, members’ area, changing rooms and more. Just being in such a huge stadium gives you an insight into the almost religious status of sports in Melbourne. If animals are more your thing, head to Melbourne zoo, Australia’s oldest zoological park, at more than 150 years old. Although relatively small, the zoo works hard to recreate each animal’s natural habitat; although this means that animals have a plethora of opportunities to hide, it also allows you to view animals with peace of mind that they are well treated despite their captivity. The zoo’s stunning landscaping makes it perfect for a day trip, but if you visit Melbourne between September and May, you can join the Roar ‘n’ Snore, where guests camp overnight at the zoo and even join in with the morning feeds.
In the centre of the bustling city, you will find the Royal Botanical Gardens, 94 acres of lush vegetation. More than one and a half million people walk the Victorian landscaped gardens every year, taking in exquisite examples of Australia’s flora. Aside from vast lawns and classic herb gardens, you will find an indigenous rain forest and microsystems of succulents and cacti – the perfect oasis in Melbourne’s busy metropolis. The UNESCO World Heritage Royal Exhibition Building was purpose built for the International exhibition in 1880. The glorious Victorian architecture is a symbol of the glory days of the 19th Century, when British Colonialism and Melbourne’s economic power were at their pinnacle. It was here that the Australian flag was first flown, and here that Australia’s first parliament was heard in 1901. Today, the building is a venue for trade shows, conferences and events with daily tours of the building and grounds taking place at 14.00 p.m.
Melbourne’s art culture is one of the finest in the world, and you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to galleries. If you are an art lover, try to get a mix of smaller, boutique galleries as well as the larger ones, to make the most of your trip. A branch of the National Gallery of Victoria (NVG), the Ian Potter Centre exhibits a dazzling array of Australian art. Temporary and permanent exhibitions showcase sculpture, prints, photography and fashion, from indigenous pieces, to representations of the Industrial Revolution, and modern pieces. Entry to the permanent exhibitions is free, but you will need to buy a ticket to visit the temporary installations. If urban art is more to your taste, visit Hosier Lane, whose cobbled walkways are lined with gritty installations and graffiti. Bold silhouettes are used to portray counter-cultural and political opinions with a good dose of satire. If you visit, take pictures while you can, as the works change on a regular basis. Over the past forty years, collectors Leah and Charles Justin have amassed an impressive collection of modern art. The pair’s home is in itself an art form: the zinc-clad, geometric structure was designed by Elisa, their daughter. The home doubles as the Justin Art House Museum, with pre-booked private tours of the home and impressive collections.
As one might expect from a city as diverse as Melbourne, the cuisine is a delectable combination of fresh, fusion and traditional. You can eat your way around the world on your trip to Melbourne: one day languishing in a Greek taverna, the next in a street food shack in Korea. In fact, Melbourne is home to restaurants owned by some of Australia’s best loved chefs; and is the proud home of Attica, the only restaurant in Australia to be listed in the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants”. Attica offers traditional Australian fare, but if it is beyond your budget, don’t despair: there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy wallaby, kangaroo and emu served with fresh local veg, washed down with a good old Ozzie beer or wine – just ask around for the best place for your budget. Whether you fancy noodles, croissant or a simple barbecue, Melbourne won’t disappoint when it comes to variety, authenticity and flavour. There is so much to discover in Melbourne: layer upon layer to peel away as you immerse yourself in the vibe of gritty suburbs, world-class galleries and multi-cultural eateries to discover the city’s irrefutable, irresistible charm. If you want to make your Australian dreams come true, Travangelo can help you to find cheap flights to Melbourne.