THINGS TO DO IN INNER CITY
A vibrant, world-class city with a whole lot to boast about, in Melbourne's Inner City, there is never a dull moment.
When a place continuously ranks as the world's most liveable city, you know it's going to be good. Really good. A melting pot of arts, dining, and cultural events, Melbourne's Inner City life is anything but boring.
Hugging the Yarra River, towering office buildings sit alongside high-end boutiques, laneway bars, dining hotspots, heritage markets and the vibrant colours of Chinatown. And with an impressive line-up of theatres, museums, galleries and entertainment venues, you'll quickly see why Melbourne is arguably the culture capital of Australia.
Yet still, it's the street art, coffee and food that will have your head in a spin. Not only is it all seriously good, but there is also plenty of it. The Inner City is home to some of Melbourne's (ok, Australia's) hottest dining destinations, and the coffee and brunch scene has set the standard nationwide. And giving the city a welcome edge is the head-turning street art.
With an addictive vibrancy that stays with you well after you have left, there are a whole lot of things to do (and love) in Melbourne's Inner City.
Many restaurants and cafes in Melbourne's Inner City have a cult following, and rightfully so. The city's superior culinary culture plays out in industrial-chic spaces, hidden laneway eateries and stylish restaurants. You can find it all here, from hatted restaurants serving up Asian fusion dishes and Middle Eastern delights to burger joints and Vietnamese bakeries. But to really get a sense of what Melbourne does best, head to a café (any really) because you're all but guaranteed for the brew to be perfect and the food to be world-class.
Queen Victoria Market
Where the produce is fresh, and the atmosphere is buzzing, Queen Victoria Market is a must on every list of things to do in Melbourne's Inner City. It's a historic landmark that spans two city blocks, and it's the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere. The deli section rivals the spoils of the Mediterranean, and the heritage fruit and vegetable sheds are full of local produce.
Playing host to some of Melbourne's (and Australia's) biggest sporting and live music events is Marvel Stadium, Melbourne Cricket Ground and AAMI Park - and it can all be found here in Melbourne's Inner City. And although tennis and cricket are some of the biggest events, nothing compares to sports-crazed Melbourne's obsession with AFL. A must-do on every round-up of things to do in Melbourne's Inner City, an AFL game at either Marvel Stadium or Melbourne Cricket Ground is an absolute must.
Theatre and the Arts
Melbourne's Inner City is a treasure trove for art galleries, performing arts spaces and museums. From Melbourne Museum to ScienceWorks to the National Gallery of Victoria and the Heide Museum of Modern Art (just to name a few), you can explore the city's history and cultural make-up and discover a world of ancient and modern art. Plus, the performing art spaces, theatres and cinemas are top-notch.
Fun fact. Melbourne's Chinatown is the longest continuous Chinese settlement in the western world. Positioned around Little Bourke Street, the alleyways are filled with hole-in-the-wall eateries and fine dining restaurants. If the food alone doesn't make this one of the best things to do in Melbourne's Inner City, then the pop-up markets, outdoor dining and Chinese New Year celebrations will.
Shop 'til You Drop
Yet another thing Melbourne does well is shopping. From designer labels to vintage finds, fashion to homewares, you can find it all here. Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne Emporium, The Block Arcade, Queen Victoria Village, Melbourne Central, and Queen Victoria Market are your go-to's in the city itself. For outlet shopping, jump over to Harbour Town Melbourne in Docklands.
With a reputation that labels this neighbourhood Melbourne's premier cultural destination, then you know that it must be doing a few things right. Here you will find the National Gallery of Victoria, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne Recital Centre, Southgate Shopping Centre, and the Arts Centre Melbourne. Then there are the dining and bar hot spots (Ponyfish Island, a floating bar and restaurant is a must), or jump aboard a river cruise or kayak the Yarra River.
Dining and drinking to cultural spaces and event venues, when it comes to things to do in Melbourne's Inner City, you will have the pick of the bunch.
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