When most people think of Australia, the Sydney Opera House no-doubt comes to mind. Between the iconic sights, numerous attractions and bustling night life we understand why most visitors to Australia spend all their time here, but they shouldn’t miss out on exploring one of the most beautiful cities in Australia—Melbourne!
Melbourne is a great city to get lost in, due to the laneways that twist and turn between the main streets. Full of boutique shops, restaurants and bars, the laneways are a great place to explore and get a taste of Australia. In order to find these beautiful alleyways, head towards Federation Square as a lot of the laneways open up on Flinders Street. In addition to the shops and eateries, many of Melbourne’s laneways are full of beautiful street art. Melbourne has set aside certain outdoor areas for stencils, paste-ups, and murals. Whether you go out to discover the street art by yourself or on a street art tour, be sure to bring your camera. The street art makes great photographs by itself or provides a unique backdrop for your next Facebook profile picture.
Located a 20 minute walk, or short tram ride, away from Federation Square Lygon Street is the place to go if you’re looking for great Italian food. Honestly, it’s probably easier to count how many restaurants aren’t Italian along this road, which can make choosing a restaurant difficult. We like Il Cantuccio. Near the corner of Grattan and Lygon, this little Italian restaurant has a warm atmosphere, due to the brick walls, soft lighting, and the friendly staff. While everything on the menu is delicious, we recommend the Risotto Marinara. Loaded with multiple types of fresh seafood in a creamy tomato sauce, this is a great way to sample multiple types of Australia’s seafood in one dish. If you spent the day at the wineries in the Yarra valley, bring a bottle along with you. With its BYO wine certification Il Cantuccio is a great place to enjoy some of Australia’s best wine alongside delectable dishes. I wouldn’t be surprised if owners Mario or his wife Lory would stop by your table either.
Australian Rules Football
If you’re visiting Melbourne between March and August, you have to go to an Australian Rules Football game. Better known as “footy” by the locals, this sport is a unique combination of rugby, soccer, and basketball and is very much part of the Melbourne way of life. Followed as fiercely as the NFL in the states, it’s worth a trip out to the Melbourne Cricket Grounds to watch a math. Due to the large capacity of the stadium, you can typically pick up general admission tickets right up to the start of the game. Once inside, you can join the locals in cheering on the teams as they run, jump, pass, and kick the ball across the circular field, roughly twice the size of a football field back home.