General Tips For Visiting Melbourne
Australia is pretty high on a lot of people’s tourism bucket lists, and with great reason. It’s a spectacular country/continent, truly unlike any other place in the world. The wilderness is unique, the beaches are on par with the best on the planet, and the few big cities are packed with interesting attractions. In this post we’re going to narrow our focus to one of the bigger cities down under: Melbourne.
Melbourne has actually been covered on this site before, specifically with regard to some striking tourist spots to see. We’ll reiterate that the four sights mentioned there are well worth your time if you happen to make it to Melbourne. But below we’ll give some broader tips about visiting the area.
Familiarize Yourself With The Beaches
Some other locations in Australia and New Zealand are actually more renowned for their beaches. But at the right time of year (remember, summer and winter are flipped in the southern hemisphere), there are some excellent coastal spots in and around Melbourne. The best beach options have been written about in detail across the web (Brighton Beach, St. Kilda Beach, and Williamstown Beach to name a few), which means they should be part of your pre-trip research. You can always wait until you go, but it pays to know in advance which beaches you want to check out. There’s a lot to do in Melbourne, and this kind of planning gives you more flexibility to fit in some beach time without missing out on all the rest.
Visit During The Year’s Early Months
As mentioned, summer is during what many of us consider to be winter, and that’s reason enough to visit during January. But this also happens to be a very exciting time in Melbourne thanks to a few international sporting events. The Australian Open of tennis gets started in late January, and though there are some smaller tournaments that take place beforehand, it’s viewed by many as the start to the season. Meanwhile, as noted in a preview for the Melbourne Grand Prix earlier this year, the Formula 1 championship begins in Australia every year (in March). It’s the first of 20 major races that take place around the globe, and a great opportunity to see the world’s best drivers up close. Either event is outstanding to catch in person.
Plan On Tram Rides
Melbourne is particularly cool for tourists in that it offers free tram rides that basically circle the city showing off some of its best attractions. This is worth mentioning because it’s the sort of thing you might ordinarily ignore in a foreign city, the same way you might not be keen to take a subway in a place you’re not familiar with. But these tram rides are actually excellent resources and means of transportation for tourists. They shouldn’t just be used if seen; they should be sought out intentionally.
Be Ready To Try Some Coffee
This might sound like a bizarre tip, particularly when Australia doesn’t often make the list of countries known for their coffee. But as was pointed out in another excellent Melbourne travel guide, the availability of excellent coffee throughout the city is a highlight. There are coffee cafés all over the city, offering all of the best drinks and some truly high quality espresso. We won’t quite compare it to sampling wines and cheeses in France or trying the tapas in Spain, but in a way it’s similar. Trying different coffee spots truly gives you a better feel for the city (not to mention it’s delicious and stimulating).
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