10 reasons why you should visit Melbourne

The brunch, the coffee and the arts scene just for starters..  

It’s easy to see why Melbourne has been voted the world’s ‘most liveable’ city for its fifth consecutive year. I spent a week in the city and barely felt that I had scratched the surface. Melbourne, I’ll be back. Here are 10 good reasons to visit.

1.The weather

When Melbourne turns the heat on, it is hot. You can escape to cool off at the beach (about 20 minutes away) or find yourself a spot at one of the rooftop pools in town such as The Adelphi Hotel (adelphi.com.au). The cooler weather Melbourne gets in winter compared to Sydney means your winter wardrobe gets a work-out and that investment coat or pair of boots will come in handy. Melbourne is a well-dressed city whatever the weather.

2. Brunch

Melbourne does lunch like a pro, which I learned from my well-fed morning spent at Industry Beans (industrybeans.com). Situated in Fitzroy - think Shoreditch with better weather - there are few better ways to spend a Saturday morning, especially if you like your coffee. Also add Ginger Boy (gingerboy.com.au) to your list with its delicious Asian Fusion cuisine and make sure you try their signature dish ‘Son in Law Eggs’ and their cocktail ‘Ginger Girl’ which has enough kick to fuel the rest of your night out. But it’s not just brunch, Melbourne has to be one of the most innovative and exciting cities when it comes to food. It’s a city where people love to eat out: great produce, imaginative chefs and a willing and hungry audience mean there is always a hot new spot to visit. Try Embla (embla.com.au), a new restaurant with a New York style vibe, offering a wide range of small dishes perfect for sharing.

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Brunch at Industry Beans in Melbourne

3. The coffee scene

Starbucks, be damned – this city takes its coffee seriously and whether you like your caffeine in a tall glass with ice or straight up and strong, you have come to the right place. Industry Beans once more takes this crown with their coffee roasted on site – it even has its own menu.

4. Arts & Culture

This is a city buzzing with dynamic and cutting-edge arts and culture. From the colourful, graffiti-lined laneways to the majestic National Gallery of Victoria (ngv.vic.gov.au), there is always a show, exhibition or performance to go to. My trip timed with the critically acclaimed exhibition showcasing the talents of Andy Warhol and Ai Wei Wei at The National Gallery. I also caught ‘200 years of Australian Fashion’, with more than 120 works from over 90 designers, which is the first major retrospective of Australian Fashion to be undertaken in this country. Melbourne gets a big tick for creativity all round.

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200 Years of Australian Fashion exhibition at National Gallery of Melbourne (Oliver Proudlock)

5. Festivals

No matter what time of year, there is always a big event happening in Melbourne. While I was there the Fashion Festival and Food and Wine Festival were in full swing, and next up is the Comedy Festival and Formula 1. Racing is a big part of the culture - The Melbourne Cup in November is an amazing event to come to – not just for the racing but for the fabulous fashion too.

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(Oliver Proudlock)

6. The racing

Home to the infamous Melbourne Cup, Flemington Racecourse is reason enough to visit Melbourne - especially Super Saturday, part of its Autumn Racing Carnival. The grounds are immaculate with thousands of roses lining the mounting enclosure; there is a friendly vibe with families setting up camp track side and all the usual glamour (hats, fashion, champagne) associated with the races.

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(Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

7. The fashion scene

The fashion scene in Melbourne is ever growing, with a wealth of up and coming designers to watch out for. Each is united by their passion to push the boundaries and promote sustainability and work within Melbourne. Design runs through the veins of this city and it is hard not to become inspired when amongst it. Look out for thought-provoking menswear from Vinvent Li and milliner Richard Nylon.

8. Hidden bars

Melbourne is designed on a grid system much like New York that makes finding your way around easy. Less easy - but much more fun - is to go in search of the hidden laneway bars and nightspots that the city is famous for. Local knowledge helps here and you could easily walk straight past them if you don’t know what you are looking for. Love whisky? Go hunt down Eau De Vie (eaudevie.com.au), a very cool bar on Malthouse Lane.

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Whisky den: Eau de Vie

9. Shopping

All the creativity and design innovation filters from the high end to the high street. From Gucci and Prada to Zara and H&M, Melbourne can give you a large dose of retail therapy – no prescription (just a fat wallet) required. If you get a chance visit local designer called Jack London, which deso great tailoring, with a contemporary twist.

10. The people

Australians are renowned for their laid back approach to life - especially in Sydney. Melbourne is equally easy going, populated with people from a diverse range of cultures, with a real sense of community and a genuine passion for life and the city they live in. They make a real effort to embrace you as a visitor, and to make sure you have the best time possible. It doesn’t take long before you feel right at home.