Melbourne - The cultural capital of Australia

Melbourne Airport Directory (MEL)
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Melbourne shines as Australia's cultural epicentre. The interesting canvas of Melbourne is adorned with world-class museums, grand theatres, and captivating galleries. Are you planning to visit Melbourne to witness the world's top tennis stars in action? Or perhaps you're considering experiencing the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for a dose of laughter? With its brilliant cultural scene, diverse festivals, and an array of attractions, Melbourne is a city that never fails to impress. From iconic landmarks like Federation Square and the Royal Botanic Gardens to its thriving food scene and multicultural neighbourhoods, Melbourne invites you to immerse yourself in its dynamic spirit. Let's explore more about this city known for its blend of contemporary living and rich cultural heritage. 

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Best time to visit: Autumn (March to May) is the best time to visit as it offers pleasant weather, making it the best time to experience the city's diverse attractions.

How to reach?

By air: To reach Melbourne by air is the fastest option. Melbourne is serviced by Tullamarine Airport (MEL). Together with codeshare partnership, we at IndiGo can connect you from India to Brisbane with multiple flights to Melbourne.

By train: Melbourne's Southern Cross Station is a major transportation hub for interstate and regional train services. The V/Line service connects Melbourne to regional Victoria, while long-distance trains like the Overland and Spirit of Queensland provide connections to other Australian cities.

By bus: Several bus companies operate services to Melbourne from various locations within Victoria and other states. Buses are a budget-friendly option for reaching the city, and some long-distance buses have comfortable sleeper seats for overnight journeys.

By Sea: Melbourne is also a port for some cruise lines. If you're arriving by cruise, you will disembark at Station Pier, located in the Port Melbourne area. 

Getting around/transport in Melbourne: In Melbourne, you can enjoy complimentary tram rides within the city centre. However, for public transport usage beyond this area, obtaining a Myki card is necessary. This card can be conveniently purchased from various locations, including retail outlets displaying the Myki sign, visitor centres, and train stations. Alternatively, if you opt for a road trip, Melbourne is easily accessible by car from other Australian cities through major highways such as the Hume Highway from Sydney and the Princes Highway from Adelaide. Car rental services are readily available both at the airport and within the city, providing flexibility for travellers exploring the region by road.

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Places to visit

  • Federation Square: Situated in the centre of Melbourne, Federation Square is a cultural and architectural masterpiece. It houses the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), providing insight into film, television, and digital culture. The square frequently hosts events, festivals, and live performances. Its modern and innovative design makes it an ideal spot for people-watching and taking in Melbourne's lovely atmosphere.
  • Royal Botanic Gardens: These gardens sprawl across 94 acres and are a serene oasis within the city. You can explore a wide variety of plant species, including some rare and exotic ones. Highlights include the Guilfoyle's Volcano, a picturesque reservoir garden and the tranquil Fern Gully. The gardens are perfect for picnics, leisurely walks, and birdwatching.
  • Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG): Known as the "G", this iconic stadium is popular among sports enthusiasts. Whether you want to watch a cricket match, a game of Australian Rules Football (AFL), or simply take a guided tour, you will experience the rich sporting history that's part of Melbourne's DNA.
  • Queen Victoria Market: Dating back to the 19th century, Queen Victoria Market is a bustling place to experience Melbourne's food and culture. Shop for fresh produce, local delicacies, clothing, jewellery, and unique souvenirs. Don't forget to try some street food while you're there.
  • Melbourne Zoo: The Melbourne Zoo is home to over 300 species of animals from around the world. It is an entertaining destination for families and wildlife enthusiasts. Be sure to check the feeding times and special exhibits.
  • St Kilda Beach: Just a tram ride from the city centre, St Kilda Beach is a popular spot to relax by the sea. The palm-lined boardwalk, Luna amusement park, and Acland Street with its famous cake shops make it a lively area to explore. Take a stroll along the pier at sunset to see penguins.
  • State Library of Victoria: This historic library is not only a haven for book lovers but also an architectural gem. The La Trobe Reading Room, with its iconic domed ceiling, is an impressive sight. Explore exhibitions, galleries, and the library's rich collection. The library often hosts events and lectures that are open to the public.
  • National Gallery of Victoria (NGV): NGV is Australia's oldest and most prestigious art museum, offering an extensive collection of art spanning centuries and continents. Explore European and Indigenous Australian art, contemporary exhibitions, and the eye-catching stained glass ceiling in the Great Hall. Entry to the main collection is free.
  • Eureka Skydeck 88: For breathtaking views of Melbourne and beyond, visit the Eureka Skydeck on the 88th floor of the Eureka Tower. The Edge, a glass cube that extends from the building, offers a thrilling experience. It is especially stunning during sunset or in the evening when the city lights up.

Places to eat

  • Chin Chin: Chin Chin is arenowned restaurant that offers a fusion of Thai and Southeast Asian flavours. From crispy prawns to pad Thai, the menu is packed with mouthwatering dishes. The high-spirited atmosphere, and extensive food and beverages list make it a popular spot; so make reservations in advance.
  • Cumulus Inc: Located in a beautifully designed space in Melbourne, Cumulus Inc is a top choice for breakfast, brunch, and lunch. Their menu features Australian cuisine with an emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients. Don't miss their famous "cloud eggs" or the house-made pastries.
  • Supernormal: For contemporary Asian cuisine, Supernormal is a must-visit. This stylish eatery offers a variety of dishes, including dumplings, bao, and larger shared plates. Their lobster rolls and peanut butter parfait are crowd favourites. In addition to the extensive food list, the sleek interiors add to the dining experience.
  • Movida: If you're a fan of Spanish cuisine, Movida is the place to be. This iconic tapas restaurant serves up an array of delicious small plates, from chorizo to croquetas. The lively atmosphere makes it perfect for sharing dishes with friends or family.
  • Queen Victoria Market: Queen Victoria Market is a food lover's dream. It is one of the largest open-air markets in the Southern Hemisphere and has been operating for over a century. You can explore a wide variety of food stalls offering everything from fresh seafood and gourmet cheeses to delicious street food. It's an excellent place to try local and international flavours in a dynamic market setting.

Shopping places

  • Bourke Street Mall: Bourke Street Mall is a pedestrian-only shopping precinct. It is located in the heart of Melbourne's Central Business District. Here, you'll find a mix of high-end departmental stores, as well as international and local fashion brands. It's convenient and centrally located.
  • DFO South Wharf: For outlet shopping and discounted designer brands, head to DFO South Wharf. It offers a wide range of stores with clothing, footwear, accessories, and homeware at reduced prices. You can find deals on popular brands, making it a favourite destination for bargain hunters.
  • Chapel Street: Located in the trendy neighbourhoods of South Yarra and Prahran, Chapel Street is known for its diverse shopping options. You can explore a wide range of boutiques, fashion stores, vintage shops, and speciality stores. 
  • South Melbourne Market: South Melbourne Market is a local favourite for clothes, fresh produce, gourmet foods, and specialty items. It has a friendly, community-oriented atmosphere.


  • Live shows: Melbourne is renowned for its thriving arts and entertainment scene. Attend a live theatre performance, comedy show, or musical concert at one of the city's renowned venues, such as the Melbourne Arts Centre or the Athenaeum Theatre, for an evening of cultural enrichment.
  • Night markets: Explore Melbourne's outstanding night markets like the Queen Victoria Night Market and South Melbourne Night Market. These offer a sensory feast with street food, artisan crafts, and live music, creating a lively atmosphere under the stars.
  • Rooftop views: Head to one of Melbourne's rooftop terraces for breathtaking views of the city's skyline. These elevated spaces provide a serene ambience to unwind with friends and enjoy the cool night breeze, often accompanied by soothing music.
  • Nocturnal wildlife encounters: For a unique experience, embark on a nocturnal wildlife tour in the surrounding areas of Melbourne. Encounter native animals such as kangaroos, wallabies, and possums in their natural habitat under the moonlight, offering a glimpse of Australia's remarkable wildlife.

Where to stay? 

  • The Langham: The Langham is a luxury hotel situated along the River Yarra. It offers stunning views of the city. Known for its elegance and exceptional service, the Langham provides luxurious rooms, spa, and multiple dining options. It's conveniently located near Southbank's restaurants and cultural attractions.
  • QT Melbourne: For a stylish and unique stay, consider QT Melbourne in the Central Business District (CBD). This boutique hotel features quirky and artfully designed rooms. It's perfect for travellers seeking a trendy and central location.
  • The Cullen: Located in the artistic hub of Prahran, the Cullen is an art-inspired boutique hotel. Each room is adorned with original artwork, and the hotel is part of the Art Series Hotels. It's a fantastic choice for art lovers and those looking for a trendy and unique neighbourhood.
  • Ovolo Laneways: Situated in Melbourne's laneway district, Ovolo Laneways offers a unique and contemporary experience. The hotel features stylish rooms with complimentary amenities, making it a popular choice for those who appreciate modern design and the city's laneway culture.
  • United Places Botanic Gardens: This boutique hotel offers a luxurious experience near the Royal Botanic Gardens. With only 12 suites, it provides personalised service and elegant, spacious rooms. The hotel's location offers easy access to both the city centre and the natural beauty of the gardens.

More reasons to visit

  • Street art and laneways: Melbourne is a canvas for street artists from around the globe. Take a self-guided tour of its famous laneways and alleys, adorned with vibrant and thought-provoking graffiti art. Hosier Lane is great for street art enthusiasts.
  • Great Ocean Road: A day trip along the Great Ocean Road will be a memorable one. Marvel at the dramatic coastal scenery, visit the Twelve Apostles and explore the charming seaside towns along the way.
  • Hot air balloon ride: Start your day with an unforgettable hot air balloon ride over Melbourne. As you ascend into the morning sky, you will witness the city's iconic landmarks, parks, and suburbs bathed in the soft light of dawn. It's a peaceful and scenic adventure that provides a unique perspective of Melbourne's beauty.
  • Phillip Island Penguin Parade: Witness the adorable spectacle of the Penguin Parade on Phillip Island, located a few hours from Melbourne. Each evening, hundreds of penguins return from the sea to the island's shores. Observing them waddle ashore in groups is a heartwarming and uniquely Australian experience.


  • Melbourne International Comedy Festival: This is one of the largest comedy festivals in the world, attracting both local and international comedians. It's a month-long extravaganza of laughter with stand-up and sketch comedy performances held in various venues across the city.
  • Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF): Film enthusiasts flock to MIFF, Australia's oldest film festival. It screens a diverse selection of films from around the globe, including independent, documentary, and international cinema. It's a great opportunity to discover new cinematic gems.
  • White Night Melbourne: This annual all-night arts and cultural festival transforms the city into a breathtaking canvas of light, music, and performance art. Landmarks and streets are illuminated, and you can experience art installations, live music, and interactive experiences throughout the night.
  • Melbourne Food Festival: Foodies rejoice during this gastronomic celebration. The festival showcases Melbourne's culinary excellence with food tastings, cooking demonstrations, and special dining events featuring renowned chefs. 
  • Moomba Festival: Moomba is a beloved Melbourne tradition held over the Labour Day weekend. It features a parade, carnival rides, water skiing performances on the River Yarra, live music, and fireworks. It's a fun-filled event that brings the community together. 

Visa and immigration

To visit this vast and diverse country located in the southern hemisphere, Indians require an Australia visa. You can apply for various Australian visas from India, such as tourist visa (subclass 600), which allows leisure and family visits, while students can pursue their education with the student visa (subclass 500). To apply for an Australian visa, you need to create an account on the ImmiAccount, and apply for a new visa application for Australia. 

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