Melbourne Travel Tips
Keep in Mind...
- The seasons are opposite Because Australia is on the opposite side of the equator, the seasons are reversed. For example, the Aussie summer occurs during the U.S. winter.
- Order a flat white This milky coffee is a staple in Oz. We can almost guarantee you'll be asking your local barista to learn the recipe.
- Prepare to party Melbourne is known for its roaring nightlife, especially in neighborhoods like St Kilda, and South Yarra-Prahan
More than three million people call this big small town home. Yes, it's a big small town, and no, it's not an oxymoron. See, it contains all the trappings of a major metropolis—vibrant neighborhoods, prize-winning cuisine, notable things to do—but Melburnians manage to do their urban hustle at a leisurely pace. Burrowed in wine country beside the Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne's natural landscape anchors its laid-back personality. When you're sipping wine in the nearby Yarra Valley or listening to waves roll into St Kilda Beach, there's no way you can't relax.
That said, don't be mistaken: There are some high-octane activities awaiting you. The nightlife is epic, with diverse venues ranging from bumping clubs to hole-in-the-wall concerts stages. It's also a powerhouse for sports; one visit to the Melbourne Cricket Ground will cement that in your mind. For travelers who want a seemingly paradoxical vacation—a stress-free vibe in an exciting metropolis—Melbourne is the place for you.
How To Save Money in Melbourne
- Hop on the City Circle Tram This free tram travels in a circular route and gives visitors a great overview of the city.
- Fill up at lunch Most establishments raise their menu prices at night, so enjoy a large mid-day meal and sup on a small, cheap dinner to save your Aussies (AUD dollars).
- Buy a See Melbourne Pass These passes offer entry to more than 35 attractions. You can get them in two-, three-, and seven-day day quantities, or you can purchase a pass for free entry into five attractions.
Melbourne Culture & Customs
Melbourne is much smaller than Sydney, but this southern Australia city exudes same joie de vivre. The events capital of Down Under attracts families and casual travelers with its laid-back vibe.
Americans find it easy to adapt to the Melburnian way of life for several reasons. Firstly, the official language here is English, meaning that there's no language barrier to overcome. Secondly, the official currency—the Australian dollar—just about matches the U.S. dollar in terms of exchange rate, so there's no need to worry about calculating conversions.
One stressful factor here is getting behind the wheel of a car. Driving can feel quite erratic. First, the Aussies drive on the left side of the road. And ever heard of a "hook turn?" You're only allowed to do it in the Central Business District, but it's weird. Check it out on this YouTube video. For more information about driving, check out Melbourne's Getting Around section.
Sports are a way of life in Melbourne. We highly recommend a visit to the Melbourne Cricket Ground to watch a match of Australian football (or as Melburnians call it, footie).