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  • Writer's pictureNeha

The Melbournian Saga - Must see places in Melbourne CBD

Travel options from airport and around CBD

Skybus, Taxi, Uber

If you are at the airport and looking to get to the city, you have two options :

One is the ever so convenient Uber and taxis which drop you off at the doorstep of your hotel and the other is the ever so cheap Skybus facility which will drop you off at the Southern Cross station (one of the main train stations in Melbourne) after which you can take a tram to the desired destination, but if you are a first-timer with a lot of luggage, you might find it difficult and confusing to use the Skybus option.

Trams and Trains

Melbourne is well connected by trams and train networks. The trams are a really convenient mode of travel. The trams require a myki card(which has sufficient money) to be swiped in if you are travelling outside the free tram zone. Yes, you heard it right! ,Melbourne has a free tram zone(routes where the trams are free of cost) covering the important tourist attractions around the CBD. It also has a vintage brown city circle tram which travels along the free tram zone and is completely free of cost. The two main train stations in Melbourne are the Flinders Street Station and the Southern Cross station which connects Melbourne and the suburbs in Victoria.


Melbourne has cycle tracks all through the city. It has bikes that can be rented at one place and dropped off at another place and is charged based on the distance and time travelled. But biking through Melbourne is not for the faint-hearted :p. Beware of the tram tracks running in the middle of the road, which many a time has made bikers fall off in the middle of the road and break their bones (Well, I am one of them). A small tip from an old friend, always drive diagonally or cross on the tram tracks, because if you drive into the tram tracks, the tyre gets stuck and Humpty Dumpty is assured to have a great fall.

Places to Visit

Melbourne Central / Coop's Shot Tower

Melbourne Central is a shopping complex with a multitude of stores and restaurants with offices on the top floors. You might be wondering why I would refer to a shopping complex as a place of interest. Believe me or not, Melbourne has art anywhere and everywhere. This complex has a tower-like structure known as the Coop's Shot tower which was saved from demolition and integrated with the complex. This complex also has an underground train station connecting to Flinders and Southern Cross Station. I accidentally hit on this place while I was roaming through the city on my first visit. From then on, I never miss visiting this place on my every visit. For me, it is a perfect mix of old and new with its historic architecture one side and it's modern life on the other side. To know the history of the shot tower see here.

Melbourne Botanical Garden

The Royal Botanical Gardens is a place that cannot be missed if you have some leisure time in Melbourne. This place is located very near the city, spread out over 34 hectares of land and is home to a vast variety of flora and fauna. Albeit present near the city, due to its vast area and it's lush and plush landscape, the garden instantly makes us forget about everything else going in life and immerses us in an experience that makes us feel like we are in the midst of a rain forest. This is a perfect place to unwind and soak into the beauty of nature. Also perfect for picnicking and long strolls, this place is one that cannot be missed.

The Walk Arcade

The Walk Arcade is a walkway that passes through multiple arcades and shopping complexes. It is located in the heart of the city and has an entrance from Bourke Street. You can go window shopping to check out the variety of stores, some of them to be only exclusively found in the arcades. Starting from Bourke Street, it then passes through the Royal Arcade and then the Block Arcade with restaurants offering delicious meals and then leading to the Emporium, a mall with luxury stores and finally leading to Melbourne Central. Mom and I discovered the walk arcade by chance when we were walking through the CBD and it suddenly started raining(Melbourne weather :p), we wanted shelter and noticed the sign saying Walk the Arcade, we went in and walked and walked through to the various shopping complexes, playing hide and seek with the rain

The Royal Arcade is a historic Arcade which is the oldest surviving arcade in Australia. The Arcade's most famous features are GOG and MAGOG which triggers the clock(Gaunt's clock) to hit the bell each hour. The arcade also has various other vintage structures like the ones above, all historic. The arcade also has a chocolate store called Koko Black, which is Australian-made with gourmet pralines and truffles. The chilli hot chocolate that you get here is to die for!.

The Block Arcade, adjacent to the Royal Arcade is known for its richly decorated interiors. The Hopetoun tea rooms which have been operating in the block arcade for 128 years now has been attracting people with its extravagant cakes, aromatic herbal tea's and everyday chef's special desserts. Unfortunately, this place closed down due to business collapse.


Docklands is a waterfront suburb in Melbourne. No matter what the weather in the other parts of Melbourne maybe, docklands will always greet you with breezy cold air, cold enough to make you shiver on a hot sunny day. The shopping complex here has a Melbourne observation wheel, from where we can see the Melbourne in its entirety coupled with an audio tour.

Yarra Trail

If you are fond of biking and have some time on your hands, the best thing to do is biking along the Yarra trail. The Yarra trail runs along the Yarra River and is a scenic route to cycle along. The grass on the side of the road near the river, the bridges along the river, all make it a thrilling experience like going on a roller coaster. Just bear in mind that wearing helmets are necessary while cycling in Melbourne. My mind still reminisces this place as one of the best experiences of my life.

Queen Victoria Market

Queen Victoria Market located in the centre of the city has been the heart and soul of the city for ages now. You can find shops with fresh and exotic local produce. This market is always bustling with shoppers and shopkeepers. The boreks in Victoria Market is something that should not be missed and the bread and spice shops are ones to crave for. If you are staying in a hotel, you can stack up on some of these breads to keep you going while you are in town. In this market, you will also find a woman who carves soaps as fast as lightning, the variation she does is amazing to look at and carved soaps make as great gift options. The Victoria Night markets have shops completely diversified compared to the morning ones, the night market is my personal favourite. The music, the crowd and the varieties of food stalls that are available is a great pastime and a wonderful experience of the local culture.

Fed Square, NGV, ACMI

Federation square opposite to Flinders station is the main centre of the city. The federation square has various events taking place at various times of the day. If you are planning of taking any tours near Melbourne, you will always be asked to assemble at Fed Square. I have found myself catch most of my tours starting from Melbourne, from Fed Square.

Australian Centre for Moving Image(ACMI), a building present in Fed Square is Aussie's national museum for film and digital art. It has guided tours taking place throughout the day.

The National Gallery of Victoria(NGV) is an art gallery showcasing a whole range of European, Asian, Oceanic and American Art. This gallery is huge and the art showcased here is full of variety and skill. NGV provides free tours explaining the various art forms present in the gallery.

State Library of Victoria

The state library of Victoria which is the oldest public library in Australia has a collection of over 2 million books. The library has a lawn in front of the building which is a famous lunch spot. The domed reading room for which the library is famous for can accommodate up to 600 readers. This library literally had me in awe the first time I entered it. The library's dome is the largest in the world and provides a great environment for all those book lovers out there.

Eureka Skydeck

This one that I am talking about is just a building, a skyscraper building! So what's so special about this skyscraper building?

This skyscraper is 285 metres above the ground and has the fastest elevator trip in the Southern Hemisphere, taking just 38 seconds to get to the top of the building.

The Skydeck provides with a world-first experience called "EDGE" on the 88th floor. We were asked to step into a room, we were then projected out of the building from the 88th floor with just a 4cm glass beneath our feet and surrounded by glass on all sides. It was pretty scary to be looking directly into the ground from the 88th floor standing on a 4cm thick glass. I was pretty scared that the glass would break and we would all fall down :p


The Melbourne Cricket Ground(MCG), is the largest stadium in the Southern Hemisphere and the second largest in the World by capacity. If you are a cricket enthusiast and it excites you to want to see the MCG, then you can take the guided tour of the Stadium. But, I personally think that the tours are expensive and not worth the money, to just to go have a look at some empty seats, the trimmed and maintained empty grass ground :p

A city you do not want to leave

With this, we come to the end of the first post about the various attractions in the CBD on the Melbourninan saga series. Melbourne is a well-organised city and home to some breathtaking art and graffiti-filled lanes. I always love long strolls at night, along the Yarra River near the casino observing the Yarra cruises and people dining on the Yarra River, with fire blowing out on both sides of the river. I hope you liked the post. Let me meet you all in the next post in the series on where I talk about my day tour from Melbourne along the storm carved coastline.

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