Even though Melbourne isn’t as well known as its rival, Sydney, the unique charm of one of the world’s most livable cities attracts tourists from near and far year after year. As far as sightseeing and activities go, Melbourne has no trouble holding its own against the Australian capital. Whether on heavenly beaches, in hip art galleries, or when it comes to delicious food, the Melburnians know how to have a good time and enjoy life to the fullest.

Eureka Tower / Skydeck 88

Though it’s nearly impossible to overlook the 297.3 meter tall skyscraper in Melbourne’s city center, paying a visit to Melbourne’s tallest building is definitely worthwhile. In just 40 seconds you will be shot up to the 88th floor of Eureka Tower in the southern hemisphere’s fastest elevator. Now at a height of 285 meters, you’ll find yourself on Eureka Skydeck 88 — a viewing platform with a breathtaking view of Melbourne. If you’re up for another adrenalin rush, step into the glass cube, known as “The Edge,” which juts 3 meters out from the side of the building, and, with the push of a button, becomes transparent. Not for the faint-hearted, but for those who dare, the impressive view below is one you’re not likely to forget.

Brighton Beach

A visit to one of Melbourne’s most beautiful and well-known beaches is a must-do on any trip to the Australian metropolis — Brighton Beach in Victoria is especially well known for its 82 colourful beach houses, which line the beach in a row of vivid splendour. Brighton Beach is just a 30 minute drive from the city center and offers not only the perfect postcard to send to friends, family or colleagues at home, but invites you for a perfect oceanside getaway with its dreamy white sand. Anyone looking to recharge after a day of sunbathing, should swing by the trendy food trucks around the beach and grab a burger or taco.

National Gallery Victoria (NGV)

The National Gallery of Victoria in Southbank is the oldest and largest public art gallery in Australia. Since its opening in 1861, over 65,000 works by prominent Australian, and also European, artists have been exhibited — Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt and Peter Paul Rubens to name a few. In the International Decorative Arts wing fans of classic design get their money’s worth– the new resurgent Eames Chair is currently on exhibit, among other things.

The museum also came to public attention due to the famous theft of Picasso’s “The Weeping Woman” on August 4, 1986. The important painting was recovered one week later from a locker in Southern Cross Railway Station in Melbourne.

Aquarium

The Melbourne Aquarium on the Yarra River offers not only a large exhibit on Australian jellyfish, but is also home to genuine sharks. All animals are exhibited in replicas of their natural habitats. The aquarium houses over 2000 creatures from 12 different habitats, giving both adults and children a plethora of wonders to admire.

Food

What would Australia be without its food culture? In the last few decades, asian cuisine in particular has really pushed through. On a visit to Melbourne, dumplings with meat or vegetable filling — an asian specialty– is something you absolutely cannot pass on. We recommend a stop at Yum Yum Dumplings on Flinders Lane.

True foodies will get their money’s worth at one of the classic food festivals. The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival takes place in March throughout Victoria — a 25 year tradition, so far! What began as a crazy idea, has become a tradition and brings thousands of visitors together in Melbourne for a full week of food and wine tasting and over 300 festival events. Be sure to stop by one of the trendy rooftop events, feast your way through the buffets, and don’t forget to watch the incredible Melbourne sunset!

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