Melbourne’s Central Business District is at the heart of the city. The CBD offers more than a hundred attractions, from learning history at the Old Melbourne Gaol, to watching a show at Regent Theatre. Culture Trip has narrowed down the top 10 things to do in the area.
If you are thinking about touring the city but can’t figure out the most convenient route, just take the City Circle Tram 35. This vintage mode of transport goes around the city, stopping at almost all the major attractions of Melbourne CBD. The heritage trams are more than just practical transport, and are completely free. Word of warning: remaining historically authentic, the trams have no air conditioning installed in them so consider taking water on board.
Street performances are among the defining features of Melbourne and there is no greater concentration of them than in the CBD. Walk along Bourke Street Mall for the biggest performances in front of the General Post Office. Wandering around the streets is a great way to discover new talent. Many of the artists also have CDs and YouTube channels.
Melbourne may be a concrete jungle of skyscrapers, but it is also littered with Victoria’s oldest buildings. The General Post Office and Parliament House were both built in the 1850s, while the Old Treasury Building is more than 150 years old. If you wish to delve even deeper into the history of Melbourne, then head to the Immigration Museum and the Shrine of Remembrance. If you wish to explore the darker side of Melbourne, the Old Melbourne Gaol (1853) is worth a trip.
Graffiti lanes are another unique characteristic of Melbourne. These are not just instances of random, rebellious vandalism, but respected and much appreciated forms of art. Croft Alley in Chinatown and Caledonian Lane off Little Bourke Street are filled with creative wall paintings. However, the truly unmissable place is Hosier Lane, opposite the ACMI, possibly the most photogenic location in Melbourne’s CBD. You have not really been to Melbourne CBD if you have not seen Hosier Lane.
Melbourne has always been famous for its brunch cafes. However, for a truly rewarding food experience, you must dig deeper. Melbourne attracts people from all around the world. As a result, you can find global cuisine in abundance. In the CBD, there is no need to travel far for good food, just about any type of cuisine (Middle Eastern, Vietnamese or Mexican) and even fusions (Chin Chin) are available, but you have to learn to spot the best of the best.
Although most shops close between 5pm and 6pm, the night in Melbourne CBD is still young. The CBD has a wide range of cool bars, both eccentric and classy. Drinking in one bar is simply not enough to fully experience Melbourne after nightfall, so go bar hopping with your friends to the coolest bars in the CBD – you won’t regret it.