Melbourne Holidays: Great Places in the Cultural Capital Down Under

Following the Australian Dream of “a quarter acre home and garden” for every family, the metropolis has a low density sprawl, also encouraged by the extensive tram and railway service put into place during the early development of the city.

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At the Central Business District, travellers will find a shopping mecca that stretches from Swanston Street to Collins Street adjacent areas. Here stands the billion-dollar Melbourne Central Shopping Complex, upscale designer boutiques, and prestigious hotels. A block away is charming Chinatown, with an interesting mix of restaurants and quaint grocery shops. Southeast of the shopping areas are swathes of green paradise which house Fitzroy Gardens, the Royal Botanical Gardens, and the Melbourne Cricket Grounds.

At the Southbank lies the Crown Casino Entertainment Complex, a 24-hour hub of luxury stores, nightclubs, eateries and one of the world’s largest gaming facilities; a very popular place to visit for tourists, gamers, and gamblers. The place is Melbourne’s most popular attraction.

North of Melbourne is Carlton, where cozy cafés and bookstores buzz with life from the local student community of the nearby university.

In South Yarra, at the city’s outskirts is Chapel Street, lined with boutiques and nightclubs where the young denizens of Melbourne flock to party the weekend nights away in street jams, with cars blaring techno music, turning the tree-lined streets into a disco inferno.

At St. Kilda, a former red light district transformed into a bayside resort, one can meet fellow backpackers who roam the place during weekends. The place has been gradually gentrified and was the setting for the 2001 Australian television drama "The Secret Life of Us."

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