Melbourne may not have the world-famous icons, like the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, of its rival to the north, but what it lacks in postcard sights it more than makes up for in soul.

While Sydney may be Australia’s business centre, Melbourne is the holiday destination to visit for all things cultural—and Melbournians know it. The people here take great pride in their city, and a visit to any of these five tourist attractions will quickly show why.

School Holidays in State of Victoria Australia

Victoria School Holidays - Melbourne Term Dates

Australia School Half Term Dates

Please note that some schools have decided to adopt slightly different half term and holiday dates to those shown here and it is therefore advisable to contact the individual school to confirm their dates.

Browse the Melbourne alleyways

Melbourne is famous for its alleyway culture. While in other cities these small laneways would be given over to rats and trash, in Melbourne they’re packed with cafes and galleries and the art isn’t exclusively inside the galleries. Melbourne is a world leader in graffiti art and many of these alleys are like outdoor museums, attracting the talents of some of the best graffiti artists all over the world. Hosier Lane, between Flinders and Collins, is a particularly great place to see some of these talents.

National Gallery of Victoria

Speaking of art, make sure you head to the National Gallery of Victoria while in Melbourne. This is not just one art gallery, but two: the NGV International, featuring art from all over the world (including works by Picasso, Monet, Warhol, and others), and the Ian Potter Centre, which focuses on Australian art. Both galleries are within walking distance of each other, and, best of all, entry is free! You’ll still have to pay, though, if you want to see some of the bigger temporary exhibitions.

Melbourne Cricket Ground

Australians love sport and nowhere is this more in evidence than in Melbourne. Melbournians are mad for it, and if you want the genuine Melbourne experience a visit to the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (the ‘G,’ as it is affectionately known) to experience a game of Aussie Rules Football (or Footie) is a must. While the rules of the game may be baffling at first, a nearby fan will always be happy to explain it to you. And failing that, you’ll be enjoying the beer, meat pies and atmosphere so much you probably won’t care what’s happening on the field.

St. Kilda Beach

What Bondi is to Sydney, so St. Kilda is to Melbourne. But this beach is a far cry from the bikini-clad, surf-loving, volleyball-throwing antics of that more famous Sydney beach. Melbourne, after all, has to do things differently, and what you’ll find here is a place closer to Coney Island and an English seaside retreat than to a sun-kissed paradise. But that’s all for the better.

When not soaking up the sun or taking a dip in the water, there are plenty of other attractions to keep you occupied here, whether it’s visiting the historic Luna Park and riding its hundred year old roller coaster or browsing the wares on display at the edgy and alternative Esplanade Market.

Author; by Malcolm Oakley

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