Cosmopolis in a coffee cup

Progressive, energetic and ineffably cool, Melbourne is truly a 21st century city. Its caf├ęs, festivals and cultural events draw visitors from around the world, and there’s a decidedly cosmopolitan vibe. A visit here should include the city’s landmark sights, but also its high-octane sporting events, its ever-evolving dining scene, and, in local style, plenty of drinks, from coffee to cocktails.

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Must-See Sights

Melbourne is a city determined to take advantage of good weather when it appears, with the city’s denizens flocking to sidewalk seating at cafes and bars at every opportunity.

Take advantage of sunny days to visit the Royal Botanical Gardens. This gem is one of the most fabulous attractions in Melbourne: 94 acres of Victorian-era landscaping, with trees and plants from around the world and eye-catching displays of flora native to Australia. Stroll around the lakes, admire the mini-ecosystems of cacti and indigenous rainforest, or come in summer evenings to catch outdoor movies and theatre performances. If you’re wondering what to do in Melbourne with kids, the Children’s Garden, with tunnels, rocks and a bamboo forest, is paradise for little ones. Tours of the Gardens are free, but book ahead of time.

What to do in Melbourne when the weather’s bad? Head indoors to get some background on the colourful history of the capital and the state of Victoria with an afternoon at the Melbourne Museum. Start with the in-depth exhibits highlighting the stories of indigenous Australians, and don’t forget the open-air forest atrium. With an IMAX theatre, a 3D volcano and giant squid specimens, this is one of the best things to see in Melbourne for visitors of all ages.

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