Introduction to Melbourne

As Australia’s unofficial culture capital, Melbourne enjoys a refined reputation as a destination where artistic pursuits are celebrated, dining is elevated to an art form, and fashion and design mesh in fashion-forward buildings and architecturally structured garments. No space is overlooked in this vibrant and colourful city from street art in the alleyways to the Heide Museum of Modern Art set in sprawling parklands in Bulleen.

Melbourne is also rich in colonial heritage as well as newer multicultural enclaves imprinting their own history on the city. Chinese workers from the gold rush days made their mark in Chinatown, Italians settled in Carlton from the 1920s to ‘50s, and the influx from Greece from 1945 to the ‘80s has contributed to Melbourne having the largest Greek-speaking population outside of Europe.

What is true about Melbourne is that its citizens (considered to be the best dressed in Australia on account of their penchant for black and the necessity to cover up) are passionate about their city, from sport (AFL, cricket or soccer to name a few) to coffee culture. With a decidedly European feel, Melbourne is a sophisticated city with historic trams, stately homes, quaintly colourful beachside bathing boxes, manicured gardens and a deserved reputation for culinary prowess due to its multicultural population.

That’s not to say this city doesn’t know how to rock out! Melburnians are proud of their live music scene with dedicated venues all over town while similar sweaty and beer-soaked destinations are closing in other parts of Australia. And nobody does quirky cool like Melbourne. Think the bold, bright patterns of local fashion designer Lisa Gorman, the retro ladylike style of Alannah Hill or Kinki Gerlinki or Pulp Kitchen’s pop culture tees. Highbrow and hip – what’s not to love?

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