Melbourne is dubbed marvellous for a reason. Healthy hedonism masquerades as high art: Melburnians are equally passionate about football and ballet, nuts for fashion, munchy for restaurants, ravenous for music and hot for theatre. It's a smorgasbord of a city that invites you to take a bite.
A leafy bayside community on the 'upside-down', brown Yarra River, it is cosmopolitan, suburban, cultivated, conservative and a haven for the avant-garde. Visitors come for its shopping, restaurants, nightlife and sporting calendar, and most agree that it's one of the world's most liveable cities.
In the last 10 years the city has undergone a renaissance. Innumerable hip boutiques, restaurants and bars crowd the alleys and Victorian-era arcades off the main streets. Its riverbanks and docklands have been tranformed into spruced-up sites for swanky waterside socialising.
Facts for the traveller
Off the beaten track