Why Melbourne is the perfect city to visit right now

Advice

Go now

Australia’s sporting capital will echo with thundering hooves this weekend as the city welcomes the Melbourne Cup Carnival, which runs until Nov 10 (flemington.com.au/melbournecupcarnival). Its highlight, the Melbourne Cup, is such a big deal that it has its own bank holiday.

Qantas (qantas.com) has the fastest connections from the UK via Perth, while Royal Brunei (flyroyalbrunei.com) launched one-stop flights via Borneo on Oct 28.

Stay here

Base yourself in the thick of things at the Adelphi (1) (telegraph.co.uk/tt-adelphi-hotel), Melbourne’s original design hotel that’s looking fresh from a top-to-toe update. Doubles from £152, B&B. Less chic but more spacious is Oaks on Market (2) (telegraph.co.uk/tt-oaks-on-market), where apartment-style digs come with kitchenettes and living areas. Doubles from £70, room only.

Walk here

Federation Square (3) (fedsquare.com) is the main space for cultural events. Admire the deconstructionist architecture and artworks at NGV Australia (ngv.vic.gov.au), then cross the Yarra river for a stroll on the South Bank to gold-topped Eureka Tower (4), Melbourne’s tallest building.

See this

Get a dizzying bird’s eye view of the skyline, river and Port Phillip Bay from the Skydeck on Eureka Tower’s 88th floor. Skip the crowds by visiting at weekends and bear in mind that it’s busiest at sunset. Admission A$21/£11.70pp (eurekaskydeck.com.au).

View of Melbourne from the Eureka Tower

View of Melbourne from the Eureka Tower

Credit:
istock

Try this

Central Melbourne’s back streets and laneways are brimming with discoveries. Find your way around their cafés, bars and one-of-a-kind stores on a walking tour with Hidden Secrets (hiddensecretstours.com). A three-hour Melbourne Lanes & Arcades tour costs $95pp.

Shop here

Collins Street (5) is Melbourne’s most upmarket shopping address. Nearby laneways and urban malls offer mainstream brands and independent boutiques, or try The Block (6), a covered arcade with its original 1892 mosaic floor, where some shops specialise in Victoria-made products.

Collins Street, Melbourne

Collins Street

Credit:
istock

Drink here

Squeezed into an alley in Chinatown, Union Electric (7) (unionelectric.com.au) is typical of Melbourne’s tucked-away small bars. Head to the open-air level and order a Melbourne Moonshine with freshly pressed apple juice (£7.80).

Eat here

Seven years after it opened, Chin Chin’s (8) popularity is undimmed (chinchinrestaurant.com.au). Join the queue for a table and feast on pan-Asian food. Can’t decide? Try the “Feed Me” menu of bestselling dishes. Expect to pay around £55pp with wine.

Off the map

Swap urban buzz for native bush in Yarra Bend Park, less than half an hour from the centre. Hire a boat from Studley Park Boathouse (from £14, studleyparkboathouse.com.au), looking out for fruit bats or even the occasional platypus.

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