Although Melbourne is among the best global cities to visit, that doesn’t mean it ought to be toured in the same way. You go to the very heart of cities like London to see the country’s icons and experience its, and it’s the same with other global cities – but not Melbourne. We have international students living in the CBD for years and not learning a thing about the culture of the place – why? Because the Melbourne experience is not about the city, it’s about the suburbs. And Melbourne tours that specialise in this experience are few and far between.
If you want to go sightseeing in Melbourne, hit up the CBD for sure, but don’t make it your focus. Once you’ve seen the art in the National Gallery of Victoria, had your coffees in the cobblestoned Degraves lane way, and gaped at the architectural monstrosity that is Federation Square, hit up Melbourne’s suburban areas where the culture truly thrives. It’s not just tourists that miss out on the true Melbourne experience by making the mistake of treating Melbourne like other global cities, but as I mentioned earlier, international students who never cross the threshold of the city centre. They meet few Aussie friends because they’re surrounded by internationals and never see the real face of Melbourne.
Any good Melbourne sightseeing tour takes visitors to the inner city suburbs where you’ll find all the hotspots. Discover where all the bohemian vibes come from in suburbs like Fitzroy and Carlton, and cultural melting pots like Lygon Street. The south side of Melbourne is where you’ll experience some of the upmarket areas of Melbourne like St Kilda where beautiful apartments overlook the sea and Toorak where you get elite private schools. Just outside the CBD, you also get Melbourne’s famous sporting arenas like the MCG.