As two born-and-bred Melbournians, We have a real soft spot for the city we grew up in. No matter how far we travel in the world, no matter how big the cities are overseas, or how much better the weather is, we always make plans to return to Melbourne – Australia’s great city of sports, good coffee, arts and culture.
It’s always nice to return home. There is an irony to this, since our last article was about Struggles you face when you stop traveling. But we believe there’s a place in every heart for the city we grew up in. Our love for Melbourne, however, goes far beyond childhood nostalgia. Since the city’s rapid growth during the Victorian Gold Rush, Melbourne has grown to become one of the most vibrant, academic, multicultural and artistic cities in the world. It has also been voted the World’s Most Liveable City for the fifth year in a row. So what makes it so good? To celebrate our love for our beautiful hometown, we’d like to present you with a list of our favourite things about Melbourne.
Melbourne has a worldwide reputation as a sporting city. Our two biggest sports – Australian Rules Football (AFL) and cricket both have a very rich history beginning in Melbourne. AFL football began in this city in 1956 – before soccer, American football and some forms of rugby were ever played. Likewise, the world’s first international cricket test was held in Melbourne, as was the first one-day game of cricket. Today, millions of fans attend sporting matches every year at one of Melbourne’s world-class facilities. The most famous sporting ground is the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) – often listed as one of the top 10 stadiums in the world.
In the tennis world, Melbourne also plays host to the Australian Open each year in January, and it’s very popular for locals to attend a summer match or two.
The Melbourne Cup is arguably the largest horse race in the world, and it has been held every year in the city since 1861. Known as The race that stops a nation, it attracts thousands of punters to the racecourse.
In most cities, laneways are places for garbage bins, rats, and strange-looking people. This is certainly not the case in Melbourne! The city’s laneways are neat, clean places to dine, drink or enjoy various forms of art. In streets such as Degraves Street or Hardware Lane, hipster cafes and restaurants serve exquisite culinary dishes to patrons, who dine in the middle of the lanes.
Hozier Lane is another Melbourne lane that is famous for its urban street art. Hozier draws the attention of many international street artists including Banksy, and the pieces that decorate its walls are allegedly worth tens of thousands of dollars. If you’re visiting Melbourne and need an art fix, coffee, gourmet burger or pasta dish, head into a laneway and get lost in a world of arts and culture!
Melbourne is often called Australia’s most European city, and this is mostly because of its preservation of old Victorian architecture. Today, the city has a mix of old and new architecture. Some of the most famous of these are Flinders Street Station (right top), St Paul’s Cathedral (left) and Parliament House (right below). In the Southeast reaches of the city lies the Shrine of Rememberance – a temple-looking monument to those lost during the World War I and I. Melbourne’s skyscrapers do not disappoint either. Eureka Tower – Melbourne’s tallest building – sits at 297 metres, and was for many years the world’s tallest residential tower until surpassed by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
This is where Melbourne truly shines. There is always something happening in this city. Whether it’s theatre, exhibitions at the Arts Centre or Exhibition Centre, night markets, day markets, noodle markets, you’re guaranteed to enjoy something. Every year, Melbourne hosts Moomba – a cultural festival held on the banks of the Yarra River. Also on the calendar is the Royal Melbourne Show – an agricultural and family festival held at the showgrounds.
One festival we decided to visit this year was the White Night festival – an all-night celebration of art and culture held in the city. As part of the festival, exhibitions were held in all of the city’s biggest venues, with food vans and lights and performers filling the streets. It was a fantastic night!
In writing this article, we have realised just how many things we could write about Melbourne! It’s such a great city! As you can imagine, we can’t cover everything. But if you’ve been to Melbourne and loved something we didn’t include, send us an email and let us know!