Melbourne’s cultural and sporting precinct proves that big is definitely beautiful; the The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) houses the nation’s largest permanent collection of Australian art, Arts Centre Melbourne is Australia’s largest performing arts venue, and home to the Australian Music Vault and Australian Performing Arts Collection Store, while the Melbourne Cricket Ground has the most seats in the Southern Hemisphere. It was built just 15 years after Melbourne was established, in 1853 and the priority given to sport in this city remains.
A global foodie mecca, Melbourne is internationally recognised, not just for its coffee, but also its food and wine. This city finds inventive ways to turn spaces into wine bars and hip restaurants. Its more than 5000 cafes and restaurants can be found in intriguing laneways, basements and even beneath bridges. Wherever it is, Melbourne’s food and wine scene nourishes its cultural appetite.
Long considered Australia’s cultural capital, Melbourne has a high concentration of contemporary art galleries and is one of the world’s leading street art cities. Walking tours are an ideal way to explore the city’s cultural heart.
Numerous cultural festivals take place in Melbourne each year including the International Jazz and Melbourne Comedy Festivals, the Melbourne Festival and the Melbourne Fringe Festival. The Melbourne Comedy Festival, along with Edinburgh and Montreal, is rated one of the top three comedy festivals in the world. Melbournians also take great pride in their thriving live music scene. And, to cap it all off, Melbourne also has the honour of being classified as a UNESCO City of Literature.