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From historic architecture to modern festivals and sporting events, Melbourne is a vibrant centre that should be included on any Australian tour...
Founded in 1835, Melbourne is a relatively new city but one that is nonetheless brimming with culture, history and architectural beauty. On arrival in the city centre it is not difficult to see why it is a top travel destination. It was built along the Yarra River on Port Phillip Bay and Victorian buildings blend with modern skyscrapers to create a stunning skyline. While the business district contains towering high-rises such as the 62-floor Freshwater Place, other parts of Melbourne are home to outstanding examples of 19th-century design. The enormous white columns of Parliament House, the spires of St Patrick's Cathedral and Flinders Street Station, an icon of the city, should not be missed.
Also known as Australia's cultural capital, Melbourne is the nation's film, television and music hub, making it a great city for the arts. The National Gallery of Victoria is both the oldest and largest public arts museum in Australia.
Each suburb extending beyond the city centre has its own unique character, which has helped to shape Melbourne to become the eclectic city that it is today.
Fitzroy is its bohemian heart and it is here that cafes, independent galleries and music venues can be found in abundance, as well as Melbourne's Fringe Festival, one of the many festivals occurring in the city each year.
Nearby is the 'Little Italy' suburb of Carlton, characterised by beautiful Victorian architecture and some of Melbourne's most significant buildings. These include the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Carlton Gardens that contains the Royal Exhibition Building and Melbourne Museum.
To the south of Melbourne, the suburb of St Kilda is home to the best beaches and many iconic attractions, including Luna Park and a number of major events and festivals. It also has a strong connection to a number of the nation's favoured sports, including the Australian Football League.
Melbourne is often also referred to as the sporting capital of Australia because of its strong tradition of sporting events and occasions. As well as hosting the 1956 Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games in 2006, the Australian Open tennis tournament is held in the city and it is the venue for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix. It is also where the Melbourne Cup, the annual horse-racing event known as 'the race that stops the nation', is held.
Melbourne has a range of venues for those looking for peace and quiet. There are picturesque parks, such as the beautifully designed Fitzroy Gardens, miles of outstanding beaches and the underwater calm and curiosities found in Melbourne Aquarium.
Melbourne is an area of fantastic geographical and cultural variety and Melbourne flights will deliver visitors to a city that cannot go unexplored.
Flying to Melbourne is easier than ever, with stop-overs available and offering an extended experience...
There are many options if you want to fly to Melbourne, so do shop around for great deals and an interesting itinerary. From stop-overs in Los Angeles or even Fiji in the Pacific, it's possible to make your trip truly unforgettable.
Flights can take, on average, 24 hours in total from the UK. Some visitors enjoy the option of flying into Melbourne and out of Sydney in order to take in more of the country, so do check out domestic flight options too.
International flights land at Melbourne International Airport (MEL), also sometimes called Tullamarine Airport. This is the only international airport in Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria, although there are three other smaller airports for internal and cargo services, including the former primary airport of Essendon and Avalon Airport.
As the second busiest airport in Australia, Melbourne Airport serves over 27 million passengers a year.
Melbourne is a buzzing commercial and cultural city and transfers are highly efficient and regular...
Located 23km from the city centre, it is accessible via both public and private transport. The Skybus Super Shuttle takes around 20 minutes to get to central Melbourne, while four local bus lines also serve the airport.
With great public transport links, including a tram network that is the largest in the world, access to all of the sights is simple, helping to ensure that any visit is an enjoyable one.
Cosmopolitan Melbourne is such an exciting city to stay in, with great accommodation options and a variety to suit all pockets...
Travellers to Melbourne can enjoy some incredibly high quality accommodation in this great city - from magnificent sky-rise five-star hotels (with roof-top swimming pools) in the centre, to charming boutique hotels in the fashionable suburbs.
Central Melbourne, however, remains a magnet for British holidaymakers as it offers the convenience of access to all the major sights.
Luxury, as mentioned, is available and hotels along the river have prices at a premium thanks to their location. Further in to the city, you will find more mid-range hotels and well-known chains, ideal if you are staying longer, and a good bet if you are in town for the Melbourne Cup tournament as access to public transport is excellent.
Feeling more adventurous and fancy a coastal stay? Why not try the beach area of St Kilda? The tram takes you right to the sea front and the accommodation is much cheaper. Best of all, you get to be in minutes' walking distance of a very safe and well-served beach.
Nearby, you might enjoy Fitzroy. It's a young, trendy area full of bars, restaurants and cafes, and still very close to the centre.
The 'burbs', or suburbs, are growing in popularity for the more discerning traveller and families. Consistently voted the best and most popular is South Yarra which is close to central Melbourne and the coast.
A major attraction is the cafes/restaurants, shopping and culture. For families, it has plenty of open space, aided by Fawkner Park and the Botanic Gardens. It is also hilly, has great public transport and a growing reputation for some of the best boutique hotels in the city, as well as upmarket B&Bs.
Feeling tempted? Get on and book your flights today with our price comparison tool and in no time you'll be saying “G'day” to sophisticated, sunny and sporty Melbourne.