It's official! Melbourne is the world's most liveable city (again)
For the sixth year in a row, Melbourne has been crowned the world’s most liveable city, based on rankings from The Economist. The rankings consider factors such as stability, healthcare, education, infrastructure, and culture and environment, and the Victorian capital took out top spot ahead of cities like Vienna, Toronto, Helsinki and even Sydney. And while any time is a good time to visit Melbourne, the city really comes alive during spring and summer, with a packed calendar of events to suit all types of holidaymakers. To tempt you into booking, stat, we’ve also included some suggestions on where to stay.
The Australian Open. White Night. Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix. The Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. The Victorian capital has a lot going on throughout the year and it’s this portfolio of events and things to do that help boost Melbourne’s liveability score. Here’s what’s coming up...
The Spring Racing Carnival officially kicks off on September 1. The big event is ‘the race that stops the nation’, the Emirates Melbourne Cup. Run on the first Tuesday of November, the Emirates Melbourne Cup is as prestigious as it is exciting. Other popular race days happen either side of the Cup and include AAMI Victoria Derby Day, Crown Oaks Day and Emirates Stakes Day. Don’t forget your fascinator or suit jacket if you’re planning on adding a race to your itinerary.
The Royal Melbourne Show is happening from September 17-27 and is an iconic Melbourne event. There are rides, performances and showbags (tip: comb the newspaper showbag guide to find out which ones you want to buy), but the show is also a major agricultural event. Livestock, crafts and fresh produce are all on display and judged in competitions.
The last weeks of September usher in AFL finals frenzy - it takes hold of the entire city. In the days leading up to the bounce, businesses often deck out their shopfronts with banners and streamers; some even close early on Grand Final day. Viewing parties with friends are a fixture on most Melburnians’ social calendars. Out-of-towners can head to bars or pubs to catch the game, and if you’re in the city be sure to get down to the Melbourne CBD for the Grand Final parade.
Keen to pad out your itinerary with even more events while you’re in town? Check out the City of Melbourne’s event calendar for more inspiration covering everything from exhibits and stage shows to kid-friendly and free activities.
What to do
When it comes to culture, Melbourne has it by the bucketload – and that plays a big part in why the city ranks so well. Exhibit A: the laneways. Melbourne’s laneways are a tourist attraction in its own right. In the CBD, Flinders Lane is scattered with trendy eateries, hole-in-the-wall bars and cute boutiques, and nearby Hosier Lane is covered with graffiti and street art. Degraves Street is just down from Flinders Street and is home to excellent restaurants and cafes. The city is a maze of quirky laneways and arcades, and visitors could easily spend an entire day wandering around and exploring.
The above laneways are close to the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia’s oldest and most visited gallery. With temporary and permanent exhibits and installations, the NGV is one for art aficionados and novice gallery-goers. Another must-do is the Queen Victoria Markets. Taking up two city blocks and home to covered and indoor stalls selling fresh produce, homewares, clothing, bric-a-brac and hot food, the Queen Vic (that’s local lingo) puts the ‘bustle’ in bustling. The market is open Tuesdays and Thursdays to Sundays. Plus, seasonal night markets are also held during winter and summer.
What to eat
Melbourne loves to eat. Seriously. The city and surrounding suburbs are bursting with dining opportunities, covering everything from cheap eats and cool watering-holes to hatted restaurants and fine-dining establishments. Breakfasts and brunch are a particular favourite, but that doesn’t mean you should count out lunch or dinner. Lygon Street in the city’s north is where Melbourne’s café culture was born. Called Little Italy, Lygon Street is heaving with hip eateries, old-school restaurants and more contemporary cuisine. It also has great shopping so you can give your credit card a workout before refuelling over a plate of mouth-watering pasta. Other suburbs with excellent eats include Richmond, Northcote, Fitzroy and St Kilda.
One thing Melbourne does better than smashed avocado is coffee. Whether your cup of choice is a simple latte, soy flat white or oh-so-Melbourne magic, you’re guaranteed to find a top-notch brew in this city. Die-hard caffeine-lovers can track down house-roasted beans and cold pours, and those who prefer to drink their long blacks with something on the side can nibble on oven-fresh pastries or tuck in to hearty breakfasts at a smattering of cafes across the city.
Where to stay?
Colour pop: Tolarno Hotel, St Kilda
City centre: Honey Apartments, CBD
On-the-go days: District Apartments Fitzroy, Fitzroy
Swanky Southbank: Melbourne Short Stay Apartments on Whiteman Street, Southbank
Plush pad: Melbourne Mansion, St Kilda