On July 20, 2013Nicole Smith answered the question:Melbourne has one of Australia’s best transport systems with a network of trams, trains and buses throughout the metropolitan and greater Melbourne areas.
Tickets are called Myki and can be used on all metropolitan transport.
Daily full fare tickets cost AU$7.00 or AU$1.75 for concession holders for zone 1 which includes the city. There are options for 2-hour tickets and also weekly passes (7-day or longer) for those staying in Melbourne longer.
Melbourne also offers a NightRider Bus service on Friday and Saturday night that has stops throughout the city and metropolitan areas.
For all public transport information and to plan your journey check the Public Transport Victoria website.
Other ways to see Melbourne
One of the best ways to get around Melbourne’s city centre is using the City Circle Tram. The tram runs in a loop around the city with stops at many of Melbourne’s major tourist attractions, as well as linking with other tram, train and bus services. The tram is free and runs in both directions with around12minutes between each tram.
Another free service is the Melbourne Visitor Shuttle which covers the inner city Melbourne, but stretches to Lygon Street (Little Italy), the Queen Victoria Market, and The Shrine of Remembrance and Royal Botanic Gardens.
Buses depart each 30 minutes between 9:30am and 4:30pm.
On July 20, 2013Nicole Smith answered the question:The Australian Football League (AFL) is the highest-level of competition for Australia rules football - also known as footy, Aussie rules, and AFL.
In Melbourne, the home of the sport, AFL is not just a game but also something of a religion and with 10 Victorian based teams there is a great certainty that a game will be held within the city each weekend of the season.
Within Melbourne there are two stadiums - the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and Docklands Stadium (currently known as Etihad Stadium due to sponsorship) and one stadium in Geelong - an hour from the city on the Great Ocean Road - called Kardinia Park.
But that still begs the question, which is the best place to watch football in Melbourne?
If you only have one chance to watch AFL in Melbourne I suggest you head to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), particularly during the finals season or Grand Final if possible (throughout September).
The stadium will swell up to 100,000 as 36 men take to the field and head into battle.
There is no better way to understand the game than to be amongst the fans as they cheer their team on (hopefully) to victory. If the game is good the atmosphere is almost electric and anticipation runs high. There are also a number of 'traditions' to take part in - drinking a cold beer amongst friends or 'the half time pie' (enjoying a meat pie during the half time break).
If you aren't keen on braving the crowds then most good bars in Melbourne will have the game on TV. One of my favourites is the Match Day Bar in Hilton on the Park - with a view of the MCG on the border of the city.
Click here for more informataflion about AFL.
Click here for information and tickets to all AFL games Australia wide.
Seasons run from April - September, with a pre-season cup held from late February or early March.
On July 20, 2013Nicole Smith answered the question:Melburnians are crazy for their coffee and they're determined to make sure they get a good cup.
Don't stop at Starbucks - there's only five left in Victoria - and follow the locals to their favourite spots. Here are five of this locals favourites:
1. Brother Baba Budan – 359 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
Brother Baba Budan's funky warehouse-style café in the city centre has minimal seating available meaning that there is a real focus on good coffee – fast!
2. The League of Honest Coffee – 8 Exploration Lane, Melbourne
You know that a place that takes the time to roast their own beans have a great blend and that’s so true here.
If you have a milk preferences then I recommend you try their coffee as the blend they use is extremely flexible with all milk types, but still tastes great black.
3. Seven Seeds – 114 Berkeley St, Carlton
This company lives and breathes their coffee, roasting their coffee beans on site and taking the time to educate their consumers; in fact I’d go as far as to say they are the leaders in Melbourne’s constantly growing coffee scene.
4. St ALi – 12 – 18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne/815 Nicholson St, Carlton North
Another coffeehouse which roast their own beans. It’s hard to decide which coffee to have here as everything is great, though I’d recommend the house blends and enjoy it over breakfast which is served from 7am.
They have two stores to get your coffee fix - one in South Melbourne and their new store in Carlton North.
5. The Little Mule – 19 Somerset Place, Melbourne
A bike themed cafe, the blends are done well, if not a little bitter sometimes, but overall it’s the perfect smooth mix which you crave when drinking the first coffee for the day.
On July 20, 2013Nicole Smith answered the question:Skip bringing back Tim Tams and Vegemite, instead bring back locally sourced Victorian products from your Australian trip!
For foodies, be sure to bring some of Milawa Cheese’s award winning Milawa Blue as a gift. They do a range of cow and goat milk. If you can’t make it to the factory then a number of stores in the Queen Victoria Market have their cheese products for sale.
Beechworth Honey is also another popular gift and can now be found in many of the cities Woolworths, Coles, IGA and Thomas Dux Grocer stores. If you want their full range of products – including their beauty products that are perfect for female friends – you’ll have you order online and visit their store in Beechworth. Be sure to try their natural moisturiser!
For coffee lovers, Melbourne is the place to find great coffee. Some of the top independent cafes in Melbourne is stocked with blends from Seven Seeds. Find their beans for sale in their cafes, Brother Baba Budan and Seven Seeds - or order from the limited selection on their online store.
For your friends who like a good drink don’t forget to pick up a bottle of wine – the Yarra Valley wines are among the best in the world - or consider getting them a single-malt whiskey from the Bakery Hill Distillery – the factory is a 30-minute drive outside of the city in Balwyn North or bottles are available to be purchased at the City Wine Shop on Spring Street.
If you want to buy food gifts for children or those young at heart consider some Australian lollies or chocolate.
For chocoholics, consider gifting them with Koko Black chocolate.
For lolly lovers, step inside The Original Lolly Store and pick out from their range of hard candies and gummies, many made in Melbourne. They have branches in Fitzroy, Melbourne Central or Carlton.
Please note that many countries do not allow the importation of eggs, meat, plant, dairy or items with seeds. For the most up to date information see your countries Customs page and remember to declare items.
On March 4, 2013James Ridenour answered the question:Here is a listing of some of the best festivals in Melbourne. Dates and times can change from year to year so please check the programs before making plans!
- January – Kooyong Classic Tennis Tournament
- January – Australian Open
- January – Australia Day
- January/February – Midsumma Festival
- February – St Kilda Festival
- February – MSO Concert Series at Myer Music Bowl
- February – Philip Island World Superbike Championships
- February – Melbourne Wooden Boat Festival
- February – Chinese New Year
- March – Avalon Air Show
- March – Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show
- March - Melbourne Food & Wine Festivals
- March – Moomba Water Festival & Parade
- March – Loreal Melbourne Fashion Festival
- March – Melbourne Latin Festival
- March – Australian Grand Prix
- March/April – Melbourne Comedy Festival
- March/April – Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach
- April – Melbourne International Comedy Festival
- April – ANZAC Day
- April – ANZAC Day Collingwood vs Essendon AFL Match at MCG
- May – Buddha’s Day
- May – Melbourne International Jazz Festival
- June – Melbourne International Boat Show
- July – Melbourne Motor Show
- July – Melbourne Boat Show
- July – Melbourne International Design Festival
- July – Melbourne Open House
- July/August – Melbourne International Film Festival
- August – Taste of Melbourne
- August – Melbourne Art Fair
- August – Melbourne Writers Festival
- August – Melbourne Spring Fashion Week
- September – Royal Melbourne Show
- September – AFL Grand Final
- September – Melbourne Fringe Festival
- September/October - Tesselaar Tulip Festival
- October – MotoGP Phillip Island
- October – Melbourne Arts Festival
- October – Melbourne Marathon
- October – Melbourne Cycling Festival
- October – Melbourne Home & Leisure Show
- October/November – Spring Racing Carnival
- December – Boxing Day Test Match
- December – AFI Awards
- December – Moonlight Cinema
- December – Carols by Candlelight
On March 3, 2013Sandi Sieger answered the question:Melbourne's public transport system is relatively easy to use and offers a quick and efficient way to get around the city.
Your options are:
Trams, Trains and Buses
You’ll need a Myki smartcard to travel on any public transport in Melbourne. This offers you with flexible travel options between trains, trams and buses – whether it’s just for short trips, a few hours a day, or all day. Visit Public Transport Victoria for information on purchasing a Myki smartcard, and for downloadable maps and timetables.
NightRider Bus Service
This is a late night bus service that operates on Friday and Saturdays. The NightRider leaves from safe locations in the central city, making over 300 stops along ten NightRider routes. Again, visit Public Transport Victoria for further information.
City Circle Tram and Melbourne Visitor Shuffle
The City Circle Tram and Melbourne Visitor Shuffle bus get you to all the city’s major attractions for free. The City Circle Tram is a free service around central Melbourne taking passengers past some of Melbourne's major attractions. The Visitor Shuffle runs from 9.30am to 4.30pm daily, stopping at key destinations.
On March 3, 2013Sandi Sieger answered the question:It’s not necessary to rent a car when visiting Melbourne. However, if you’re planning to venture beyond the city – to the county, peninsula or further, then it’s certainly an option to think about.
Melbourne’s city is grid-like in appearance and exploring it on-foot is an easy way to get around. Public transport makes it easy to travel across the city quickly, as well. The inner city suburbs of Melbourne are easily accessed by train, tram or bus, as are outer suburbs.
Most train lines end about an hour or so out of Melbourne’s city, which means exploring areas like the Dandenong Ranges is relatively easy and cost-effective. On top of this, there are many bus tours that travel from the city to various destinations – like the Great Ocean Road, Portsea and more. Taxis (cabs) in Melbourne will take you anywhere, but can be incredibly expensive.
Driving in Melbourne isn’t overly difficult – so long as you are armed with a good map or GPS. Drivers are generally courteous and helpful. Traffic is an issue, but usually only at peak times of day (7am-9am and 4pm-6pm) and in certain congested areas. If you are confident driving in another country (particularly on the other side of the road if you’re from the USA) then definitely give it a go – the freedom of a car will allow you to discover so many places - more than you can probably stop at – but having a car is certainly not a requirement, especially if you are not planning on venturing too far away from the city.
On March 3, 2013Sandi Sieger answered the question:Melbourne is a wonderful to city to visit at any time of the year – and no, I’m not just saying that!
If you have the luxury of choice, my advice would be to choose the season that you most enjoy. Do you love a long, hot summer? Prefer cooler days? Like a temperate and generally mild climate?
There’s always something to see and do in Melbourne, so unless you’re visiting at a specific time for a specific event, let your weather preference guide your trip.
Melbourne’s summers are generally very hot - temperatures exceed 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) daily and nights are usually balmy – sometimes humid, sometimes dry, but always warm.
Melbourne’s winters are usually cool – we don’t experience snow in the city (of course, you can enjoy it in the alpine ranges) but winter is a mixture of chilly days and rainy days. Don’t let that deter you – the occasional grey day is present, but Melbourne winters feature many blue skies, too. And the city is perfect to explore in Winter.
The in-between months in Melbourne are the most temperate – Autumn (Fall) consists of warm, sunny days that mostly turn into crisp nights and mornings, particularly as the months roll on. And there’s nothing like seeing the scattering of leaves across our tree-lined streets. Spring sees locals kiss goodbye to winter and start to embrace lovely, mild days – and it’s a magical time where gardens across the city bloom with colour.
There’s no best time to visit Melbourne – anytime is a good time, and that’s the truth.
On March 3, 2013Sandi Sieger answered the question:Tipping in Melbourne is not mandatory – at all. Of course, it is appreciated, but it’s certainly not a part of our custom, tradition or expectation. In recent years, tipping has become more popular but it’s at the discretion and inclination of the tipper.
Tipping is only usually done at more expensive restaurants with more tailored and exceptional service. However, everywhere from the corner café to the casual restaurant will most likely have a tip jar or bowl at the front counter where you can pop a few coins in to contribute to the staff tipping pool.
The hospitality industry in Melbourne is a very well respected one – wage rates and overtime rates are protected and staff do not rely on tips to form the basis of their wage – any tip is an added extra or bonus.
A 10% goods and services tax (GST) is included in the bill when purchasing any goods or service in Melbourne.
On March 3, 2013Sandi Sieger answered the question:English is spoken in Melbourne. All across the city and suburbs, in all venues and establishments, you will be able to converse in English.
Approximately 80% of language spoken in homes across Melbourne is also English. Melbourne is, however, a very multi-cultural city. Migration patterns over the years have ensured that the city has many influences – from food to culture – and in some cases you can also converse in certain areas and establishments in Italian, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Cantonese, German, Vietnamese, Arabic, Mandarin and more.
It’s important to note that Auslan, the sign language for the deaf, is also used across Melbourne.