Descriptions of Melbourne invariably mention two things: laneways and coffee, which is odd, as both those things can be found in practically every city in the world. So what is it about Melbourne that makes Melbourne people so proud? What is it that makes them insist it’s different to any other city in the country?
What are those ‘Melbourne things’ that Melbourne people do?
The following is a list of very ‘Melbourne things’ that also happen to be some of the best attractions for any visitor to the city.
See a band
Melbourne isn’t just the music capital of Australia but is regularly listed as one of the best cities in the world for live rock music. Cherry Bar, The Tote, The Old Bar, and Northcote Social Club are just a few of the dozens of great music venues in Melbourne. Pick up a copy of the free Beat magazine around town for a full weekly gig guide.
If you’re in the mood for something cinematic and want to avoid the multiplexes, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image always offers a variety of screen events, film festivals and exhibitions. While St Kilda’s iconic Astor Theatre is home to cult and classic films. Grab one of their (just as iconic) calendars to see what’s on.
Jump on a bike
Escape the traffic and noise of the city by hiring a bike and hitting one of Melbourne’s bike trails. The Main Yarra Trail and Capital City Trail offer particularly pleasant, easy rides through parkland alongside waterways.
Housed in the buildings of a historic convent, this multi-arts precinct is now home to galleries, studios, cafes, restaurants, performance spaces, markets, a school and hosts countless special events.
Go to the Footy
Perhaps the ultimate Melbourne experience is to go to the MCG to witness an AFL game. The ‘footy’ season runs from late March through to the end of September and the fast paced spectacle of the game and the passion of the fans is something impossible not to get caught up in.
Catch some comedy
Melbourne has a vibrant comedy scene. Each April the city gets caught up in the Melbourne Comedy Festival, but throughout the year there are dozens of quality comedy rooms offering stand-up, cabaret and ‘improv’. Local Taphouse, the Imperial Hotel and the Imrov Conspiracy Theatre all run quality nights.
While Sydney battles lockout laws, Melbourne’s bar scene is as strong and (most importantly) cool as ever. It’s impossible to say exactly what bars to go to; the best thing to do is to go wandering around any inner city neighbourhood and it won’t be long before you find something worth entering. And if it turns out to be not to your liking, the chances are there’s a place just down the road that will be.
Coffee in a laneway
What the hell. There’s some great cafes making great coffee in some great little laneways.