Sydney was impressive, but for me, Melbourne felt like home. I spent a few years in London before I traded a life of creating elaborate art pieces for slashing soft cold powder. Melbourne has many similarities.
It’s easy to get around Melbourne with public transport. Buses run frequently and their Tram network using their version of an Oyster Card is as easy as the London Underground.
I travelled to the CBD to wander around streets of brightly coloured graffiti. I really love seeing creative neon swipes across contrasting concrete and brickwork, it gave these shady streets an energetic character.
If you are also looking to find some of these free outdoor exhibitions then the best street art in Melbourne can be viewed at (links for location):
- Hosier Lane
- Centre Place
- AC/DC Lane
- Keith Haring Mural
- Caledonian Lane
- Croft Alley
- Duckboard Place
- Rankins Lane
- Everfresh Fitzroy Mural
- Stevenson Lane
The perfect place for some edgy wedding snaps 🙂
Continuing to explore around the area we noticed that this city is buzzing with art sculptures and creative campaigns. These large wire sculptures were found on one of the many bridges across a much cleaner version of the London Thames, called The Yarra River.
Melburnians love a good cup of coffee, and it shows as there are many coffee houses and sweet honest cafes around the CBD and further afield. I was introduced to the brunch culture here which is a meal between breakfast-time and lunch-time that can be either geared towards a breakfast or lunch type of cuisine. This time gets really popular at the weekends in cafes so be prepared!
Melbourne is very multicultural and has a really high Asian population, which means a great variety of Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese and Japanese cuisine available. Like London, there is a China Town, with these awesome patterned gates over the road.
Another noteworthy archway to look out for is the Clocks at Flinders Street Station. A well-known meeting spot. Most of the trams heading to the centre pull into this station.
The Royal Exhibition Building, set amid beautiful landscaped gardens, is meant to be beautiful inside. It also serves as a large enough space for the University of Melbourne’s final year exams, so on this particular day, hundreds of students were gazing up at the embellished ceilings instead.
There is a Parliament House in Melbourne too, built in 1856 with two legislative chambers. It was also closed off to the public during my visit, for a debate.
The State Library Victoria is quite an impressive building to the north east of CBD. The layout is geared towards quiet study with neat, well-lit workstations. Head up to the balconies around the outside of the main reading room for this impressive view.
St Patrick’s Cathedral, located on Eastern Hill, is an architectural beauty. It was visited by Pope John Paul II during his Papal Visit in 1986. Although it is marginally shorter than St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, St Patrick’s Cathedral is both the tallest and the largest church building in Australia.
The Arts Centre is a performing arts centre with a complex of theatres and concert halls. It’s most prominent feature is the 162 metre tall spire. It was originally envisaged by Roy Grounds and due to its complexity it was one of the first Australian structures to rely on CAD. The metal webbing of the spire was influenced by the billowing of a ballerina’s tutu and the Eiffel Tower. In 1996, the original spire was replaced due to wear and tear, and is now illuminated with 6,600 metres of optic fibre tubing, 150 metres of neon tubing on the mast and 14,000 incandescent lamps on the spire’s skirt. That’s a lot of fairy lights!
It’s located near to the Eureka Skydeck 88 at the side of the Yarra River that runs through the city. A great place for a sky view of the city.
Cook’s Cottage is set in a beautiful little park and was transported here brick by brick from Yorkshire. The original home of Captain Cook.
The Botanical Gardens is a nice escape from the concrete if you are craving a slice of nature. They have a couple of greenhouses that house some exotic plants.
We fancied stepping out towards the sea front, and just a short tram journey from the CBD, St Kilda Pier offers a peaceful stroll along the boardwalks amongst shiny white boats clinking together.
A good place to catch a pink sunset.