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Java, Joe, Jitter Juice… whatever you like to call it, chances are you are one of those people who don’t just drink coffee… you REQUIRE IT. Therefore, you would find yourself most at home in Melbourne. As Australia’s coffee capital, there are more caffeine-loving-yuppies per square kilometer than any other region in the country (statistics may or may not be accurate).
In any case, whilst it might seem like it… Melbourne is not just about coffee. What might you be able to enjoy in Melbourne with your double-shot caramelised latte? Why, a spot of culture, of course. Here’s why Australia’s coffee capital is considered a cultural hub (if you can pull yourself out of the queues in Degraves Street long enough to take notice).
It has swanky digs
Melbourne has some pretty sweet places to stay, largely due to the fact that it is a prime destination for business and domestic travellers alike. It really depends what you are looking for …in terms of bang for your buck, or how much cash you want to splash.
Take these Melbourne serviced apartments, for example. A good amount of choice and competition (by virtue of Melbourne being a cosmopolitan capital city) means that there are a lot of comfortable, affordable and spacious options available that won’t break the bank.
In terms of luxury five-star accommodation, this runs the gamut from metropolitan skyscrapers (that are just perfect to stare down at the little folk from) to the ornate gothic facade and glass atrium of the iconic The Intercontinental Melbourne the Rialto.
It puts on a good show
What to see whilst in Melbourne? It’s hard to choose when there are so many shows, exhibitions and events. The city’s many international influences and multicultural neighbourhoods mean that there is always something unique and exciting happening on the arts scene.
A top pick is Her Majesty’s Theatre, where you can take your seat for popular musicals like ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’. It has a distinct old world charm that will be sure to get the champagne flowing and the hobnobbing, well… nobbing.
In the mood for something slightly more avante-garde? Check out The Melbourne Theatre Company. As Australia’s oldest professional theatre company, this is one of the places to go for those cooler indie offerings…beret optional.
It knows good art
Banksy said that “art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable” and if this is true …well, Melbourne delivers the goods. This city of contrasts has a strong artistic flavour, making it an attractive destination for some of the world’s best touring exhibitions and artworks. It also has a thriving street art scene and numerous public works.
At the top of the list of established galleries would have to be National Gallery of Victoria, the grand modernist site on St Kilda road that showcases Australia’s oldest art museum. The permanent collection houses no less than a Rembrandt, a Bonnard and a Tiepolo.
You may also find art-related seminars, workshops, and at least a half dozen or so people seated on cushioned benches looking at flowers that may also be phallic symbols contained within the many galleries that are littered across the city… just one of these being The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA).
It’s a foodie’s wet dream
Apart from the coffee…one of the best things about Melbourne would have to be the food. As a multicultural melting pot, you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to international cuisines. From a degustation at The Press Club, to a bratwurst at Queen Victoria Market… there’s a bite on every neighbourhood corner that will be sure to tizzy the taste buds.
If you are after Italian, you will be sure to find affordable and very tasty authentic fare. Looking for Korean BBQ? Same deal… just head to the relevant city quarter and you will have yourself a banquet to go down for the ages. Farmers’ markets can be especially rewarding, particularly if you know your Manchego from your Pecorino. Ah, so cheesy.
So, Melbourne equals coffee…and more…but, basically coffee.
So, there’s more to life than coffee? It’s quite possible… and, it’s also quite likely that you will find a magic that goes far beyond the caffeinated variety when it comes to Melbourne… one that will be sure to expand your cultural and artistic horizons. But, did we mention THE COFFEE?