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Melbourne is the undisputed cultural capital of Australia. The nation's second largest city after Sydney and the capital of Victoria, Melbourne ranks consistently among the best cities to live in the world - a result of its world-class infrastructure, safety, and cultural extravaganza in the form of art galleries, museums, theatres, cafés and world-renowned festivals. With amazing roads inside the city and a well-planned network connecting to the rest of the country, Melbourne is easy to explore by car. Rent a car in Melbourne to enjoy some of the most beautiful coastal drives in the world around this spectacular city.

It's your choice: Where to go in Melbourne?

Melbourne has lots to offer for every kind of traveller. Rent a car in Melbourne and drive around for an easy and cost-effective holiday. You can head to the heart of the city, its business district, which is rich in heritage buildings and vibrant murals showing the artistic face of the city. Another option is to head to Southbank - an creative epicentre, full of theatres, ballets, symphonies, operas, as well as the grand Crown Casino. Southbank also has beautiful walks to explore the Yarra River. If you want to stay by the seaside, then drive down to the iconic St.Kilda, the backpackers' base in Melbourne. Lively with its seaside activities, art markets and a pulsating, bohemian nightlife, St Kilda is also famous for Luna Park, Australia's foremost amusement park. Alternately if you want to stay in a more upmarket neighbourhood, Stonnington is a high-end suburb with luxury accommodation, dining and shopping.

What to do in Melbourne?

Melbourne is surrounded by nature's bounty - rivers, hills, seas and islands, so there is a wide variety of activities for nature lovers. A must do is the world-renowned Great Ocean Drive (230km from the city) that takes you to the 12 Apostles - giant stone pillars jutting out of the sea. Rent a car in Melbourne to go for this stunning drive by the coast of Victoria. If you love fauna, then head over to Phillip Island, which offers guided tours to see marsupials as well as the famous Philip Island penguins. For the hiker, there are scenic trails on the Yarra river and by the nearby Port Phillip Bay. For the art connoisseurs, there are museums, art deco theatres, heritage buildings with baroque architecture and art galleries strewn all around the city. There are marvellous murals and street art as well.

Important info about Melbourne

Melbourne tops the index of the most liveable cities of the world year after year. It is very multicultural, has a low crime rate and is, therefore, a safe and beautiful city for an unforgettable holiday. Its cultural trails, late night pub crawls, friendly locals and gourmet cuisines will keep you engaged for days, if not weeks. The nearby Yarra River valleys are full of wineries, which are increasingly gaining world fame. Melbourne also has an exciting sports scene. The Melbourne Cup is the world's highest paying thoroughbred horse race, while the Australian Tennis Open is also hosted here. Film festivals, food and wine shows, spiritual festivities and boat shows run almost year round. Ensure that you have your bookings in place if you are visiting Melbourne during these big festivals.

Weather in Melbourne
Facts
Country Victoria
Language English
Currency Australian Dollar
Time-Zones AEST
Country Code +61

Good to know

As in the UK and all Commonwealth nations, Melbourne has left-hand traffic rules. International driving licenses are permitted in Melbourne and the state of Victoria over the age of 17 years. Similar to the other big cities of Australia, Melbourne has stringent traffic rules, with extensive monitoring and police patrol, particularly during the grander festivals. Purchasing insurance for your vehicle is recommended when renting a car. Also, ensure that you do not drink and drive as the limit of blood alcohol concentration is 0.05%. Speed limits are marked at the entrance to all roads and motorways and you will need to adhere to these limits, especially in school zones. Throughout Melbourne, the roads are world class and fitted with traffic lights and signboards everywhere, and the city's moderate traffic makes for an easy driving experience.

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What to taste in Melbourne

Multicultural Melbourne is a melting pot of cuisines from all over the world. Cafés, breweries and chocolateries aside, restaurants are abundant, fitting every budget. Some of the best spots to indulge in fine dining are near the City Business District, along the scenic Yarra River or even by the seaside around the Bay area. A meal in the local Yarra Valley wineries is another great option. Nonetheless, you should definitely try the local wine, particularly the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir. Melbourne also has a fascinating live music reputation at its restaurants. Enjoy a night of jazz music with your red wine for some unforgettable gourmet memories in this city. Melbourne is also famous for its flavoursome beers and microbreweries, so go for a bar-hopping night to enjoy more of the city's famed nightlife.

What to bring to your friends from Melbourne

Melbourne offers an entire world of quintessential Australian mementos for your family and friends. Nearby Torquay is the surfing capital of Australia - hence surfwear and beachwear from Australian brands such as Rip Curl and Billabong are great gifts. If any of your friends are surfing enthusiasts, check out the gift shop at the Australian National Surfing Museum for great mementos. Australia is also famous for its focus on outdoor activities such as hiking and camping, with a strong presence of brands such as Oztrail and Kathmandu. Products from these brands are also great gift ideas. The Yarra valley close to Melbourne is fast gaining global recognition for its vineyards. Chardonnay, sparkling wines and Pinot Noir are its most popular products. So do ensure you pack a few bottles of wine for your gourmet friends. Other gifts include clothing accessories, key-rings, hats and sports gear emblazoned with quintessential Australian logos and motifs.