CONSISTENTLY NAMED one of the most livable cities in the world, Melbourne offers plenty for visitors to do as well. Known as Australia’s cultural and sporting capital, this city of almost 5 million on the Yarra River attracts visitors who stroll its cobbled laneways, attend cricket matches, explore the lively arts scene and enjoy world-class dining.
Those wanting to experience the city’s bohemian scene make their way to Fitzroy, Melbourne’s first suburb, located less than a mile north of the city center. In the early 20th century, the area had become slum territory but experienced a resurgence in the 1980s. Attracted by low rents, artists began moving in, which attracted other creatives, and now the neighborhood flourishes with art galleries, coffee shops and local designers’ boutiques.
You’ll find locally made items from more than 100 artisans at Rose Street Artists’ Market, held every Saturday and Sunday. Check out the stores along Gertrude Street for records, second-hand books and vintage clothing.
Melbourne is one of the world’s leading street art cities, and a Fitzroy Street Art Tour includes a history of the area and the story of the ever-evolving street art scene.
Fitzroy boasts just about every type of cuisine, from falafels to fried chicken. Vegans will want to check out Yong Green Food, Trippy Taco and Smith & Daughters, where guests rave about the desserts and the ragu and polenta dish. If you wonder what the world’s best croissant tastes like, get in line at Lune Croissanterie. For a fine-dining experience, grab a seat at Cutler & Co., housed in an old metalworks factory and voted one of the top restaurants in Australia.
Take in killer views of Melbourne with an adult beverage from a rooftop bar like Naked in the Sky, featuring beer, ciders, infused vodkas and tapas-style dishes.
Keep your fitness routine going with a trip to one of Melbourne’s most popular parks, Edinborough Gardens, where you can run or play tennis or basketball. Bring your workout clothes for “pay as you feel” yoga classes offered by Blooming Happy Yoga. The park offers access to the Main Yarra Trail, a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians.
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