Photo Credit: glennnnn

Melbourne is one of Australia’s most popular cities and it’s perfect for a two-week holiday, whether you’re arriving from overseas or planning on a domestic staycation. Not only is the city the country’s cultural centre, the immediate surroundings provide countless opportunities for day-trips.

When you arrive, if you haven’t driven in from elsewhere in the country, it’s a good idea to hire a car or buy one if you’re going to be in the country for an extended period, where buying and re-selling might be a more cost-efficient solution. Check out reviews in a site like Motoring.com.au to get an idea of the type of vehicle that will be best suited to your travel plans. Melbourne is a sprawling city and although there is a good tram network, if you want to visit the surrounding areas, a car is definitely the best choice of transport.

As to the best time of year to visit, Melbourne comes alive during the summer when there are countless events on around the city, from the Australian Tennis Open in January to the F1 Melbourne Grand Prix in March.

St Kilda

Melbourne’s city beach, St Kilda is extremely popular during the summer, when Aussies and tourists alike flock to the bars and restaurants around the shore for some al fresco beers and great seafood in the sunshine.

The Lanes

Melbourne is famous for its street art, and the lanes that crisscross the city’s CBD are the best places to see some of the excellent examples of graffiti that vibrantly cover the bare brick of the surrounding buildings. Try the cobbled Hosier Lane near Flinders Street for some of the best artworks in the city.

Federation Square

This is the heart of the CBD and the place to head whenever any major sporting event is going on, as it will often be shown on the big screen, attracting a crowd and a great atmosphere. You’ll also find free Wi-Fi here and plenty of live dancing and musical performances on any given day.

The Royal Botanical Gardens

A lovely place for a stroll or a picnic on a pleasant day, the Botanical Gardens in South Yarra also host various events, like Shakespeare Under the Stars, so check out what’s on when you visit.

Yarra Trail

A great way to see the city, the Yarra Trail runs along the Yarra River and is perfect for a bike ride – the Melbourne Bike Share Scheme means you can hire a bicycle and it’s free if you return the bike within half an hour.

Mornington Peninsula

Just an hour’s drive outside Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is a beautiful retreat from the city, with quiet beaches backed by colourful beach huts for long walks or a spot of surfing, and wineries famous for their Pinot Noir.

Phillip Island

A tiny island a couple of hours south of Melbourne, Phillip Island is most famous for its ‘Penguin Parade’, which sees a select number of tourists able to watch the world’s smallest penguins (known as Fairy Penguins) come in from the sea and waddle up the beach at sunset each day.