Melbourne

Updated on December 7, 2020

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Learn before you go

Capital
Canberra

Language
English

Currency
Australian Dollar ($)

ATMs
Easily found in cities mainly in shopping and tourist areas.

Transaction fees are high so you should consider Revolut or Transfer wise cards.

Credit cards
Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted

American Express is also taken by most establishments

Other cards include DinersClub and CarteBlanche

Time zone
Australia has three time zones

Perth: GMT + 8

Adelaide, Darwin: GMT + 9, 5

Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney: GMT + 10

From October to March add one hour to the time differences in New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria and South Australia ( due to daylight savings)

Emergencies free number
Dial 000
(police, ambulance and fire department)

Visas
All visitors need a visa, except New Zealanders.

For stays of up to three months get an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or an eVisitors (depending on your nationality)

Electricity
Electrical current is 240–250 volts AC

Sockets take two or three flat, not rounded, prongs.

Driving
On the left

Your driving licence must be in English

Carry your license at all times when driving

Seat-belts are compulsory

Making calls while driving is illegal

Mobile Phones
Activate international roaming (be aware of high costs) or bring your phone (if compatible) and buy a local Sim card once you have arrived from Optus, Telstra, Virgin or Vodafone mobile phone service providers.

Etiquette
Smoking is prohibited in all public buildings, transports and stores

Ask for permission before taking some­ one’s photograph

Dress codes are casual but you should to cover up when sitting in a café or restaurant

Public Holiday Dates 2020
Christmas Day public holiday: 25 December (Friday)
Boxing Day: 26 December (Saturday). Additional Day 28 December)
Public Holiday Dates 2021
New Year’s Day: 1 January (Friday)
Australia Day: 26 January (Tuesday)
Good Friday: 2 April
Holy Saturday: 3 April
Easter Sunday: 4 April
Easter Monday: 5 April
Anzac Day: 25 April (Sunday)
Queen’s Birthday: 14 June (Monday)
October Long Weekend (Labour Day): 4 October (Monday)
Christmas Day: 25 December (Saturday). Additional Day 27 December
Boxing Day: 28 December (Tuesday)
  • Victoria’s capital
  • Many Melburnians were born overseas
  • The city has an European-style architecture
  • It’s a cosmopolitan city with lots of culture, shops, restaurants, fashion sites , music concerts, nightlife and so on…
  • Melburnians really wear a lot of black? Reality or stereotype? Just one more reason to visit Melbourne and form your own opinion

TRAVEL SEASONS

High Season
December to January
June/July school holidays
Easter

Shoulder Season
February to May

Low Season
April to November

Our recommendation
March – May & September – November
Moderate temperatures
Less tourist crowds
Lower airfare rates

WEATHER

Spring – Sep to Nov
Autumn – Mar to May
Summer – Dec to Mar
Winter – Jun to Aug

School vacation dates 2020
Summer vacation: 19 December to 26 January 2021

AIR

Melbourne International Airport
wwww.melbourneairport.com.au

Located 22km/14 miles from the city center

Also known as Tullamarine Airport

Covid info update

Green and red zones have been created at airport to ensure the separation of passengers arriving on ‘quarantine-free’ flights from other passengers required to enter 14 days mandatory quarantine

Melbourne City Express (Skybus)
Airport <-> Southern Cross Station
15 minutes between 6am-6pm, 7 days/week
Approximately 25 minutes ride

Ticket Prices
One WayRound trip
AdultA$15.00A$28.00
ChildA$2.00A$4.00
SeniorA$13.50A$25.00

TRAIN
Interstate trains arrive (and depart) at Southern Cross Railway Station.

Train
Our recommended way to move around

City Circle is the main underground railway system (Stations: Central, Town Hall, Wynyard, Circular Quay, St James and Museum)

Many major attractions can be accessed from City Circle line

Other rail lines are connected to the City Circle.

Trains are operated by CityRail

Fares vary based on distance and time traveled

Buy an Opal card (reloadable)

Bus
Two main terminals: CBD and Circular Quay

Expect traffic jams and delays mainly during rush hour

Fare determined by distance traveled

Single ticket ride ( less 3 km): A$2.80
Opal card ride ( less 3 km): A$2.20

Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Tour

Unlimited rides throughout its validity

1-day validity or 2-day validity

Up to 33 stops to Hop-On and Hop-Off

Cruise and attraction entrance (optional)

Commentary in chosen language

“ Sightseeing Bus Tour Hop-on, Hop-off” prices
Adult price (1 Day): A$52
Child price (1 Day): A$32

Adult price (2 Days): A$63
Child price (2 Days): A$40

Taxi
Fare determined by distance traveled

Approximate price per km: A$2.20

Hiked fares may apply during peak hours (10 pm – 6 am) and on weekends

You can also use Uber and Taxify

Explore Sydney

Taronga Zoo

Location
Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman

Phone
02/9969 2777

Opening hours
9.30am to 5pm

Getting there
Ferry: Taronga Zoo

Prices
Adult: A$44.10
Child (4-15): A$26.10
1 Adult & 2 Children: A$85.60
2 Adults & 1 Children: A$101.60
2 Adults & 2 Children: A$124.80

Visit Time
3 hours

Australian National Maritime Museum

Location
2 Murray St, Darling Harbour

Phone
02/9298 3777

Opening hours
10:30am to 4pm, daily

Closed
Christmas Day

Getting there
Ferry: Darling Harbour

Prices
See It All Ticket
Adult: A$25
Child: A$15
Concession: A$20
Family: A$60

Visit Time
2 hours

About

Featherdale Wildlife Park

Location
217 Kildare Rd, Doonside

Phone
02/9622 1644

Opening hours
9am to 4pm

Getting there
Train: Blacktown station, then bus 725

Prices
Adult: A$35
Child (3-15): A$22
1 Adult + 1 Child: A$52
1 Adult + 2 Children: A$67
2 Adults + 1 Child: A$79
2 Adults + 2-4 Children: A$99

Visit Time
2-3 hours

SEA LIFE Aquarium

Location
1-5 Wheat Rd, Manly

Opening hours
10am to 4pm
26-30 Dec:
10am to 5pm

Closed days
December 2020: 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 25

Getting there
Ferry: Darling Harbour
Train: Town Hall or Wynyard

Prices
Adult: A$48.00
Child (4-15): A$35.00

Visit Time
2 hours

Museum of Contemporary Art

Location
140 George St, The Rocks

Phone
02/9245 2400

Opening hours
10am–5pm
(Tue–Sun)

Closed
Mondays
Christmas Day

Getting there
Train, bus, or ferry: Circular Quay

Prices
Free of charge

Visit Time
3 hours

About

Art Gallery of New South Wales

Location
Art Gallery Rd, The Domain

Phone
02/9225 1744

Opening hours
10am – 5pm, daily

Closed
Good Friday
Christmas Day

Getting there
Train: St James or Martin Place
Bus: 441

Prices
Free of charge
(general entry)
Exhibitions have diferent prices

Visit Time
3 hours

About

Powerhouse Museum

Location
500 Harris St, Ultimo

Phone
02/9217 0111

Opening hours
10am – 5pm, daily

Closed
Christmas Day

Getting there
Ferry: Darling Harbour
Bus: 501

Prices
Free of charge
Booking required

Visit Time
2 hours

About

Hyde Park Barracks

Location
Queens Sq., 10 Macquarie St

Phone
02/8239 2311

Opening hours
10am – 5pm
(Thu – Sun)

Closed
Mon-Wed
Christmas Day

Getting there
Train: St James or Martin Place

Prices
Adult A$24
Child (5-15) A$16
Concession $20
Family $64

Visit Time
1 hour

About

The Rocks Christmas Markets

Full Details

Location
George Street, Playfair Street and Jack Mundey Place

Dates
4 Dec to 24 Dec

Opening hours
Fri to Sat: 10am – 8pm
Sun: 10am – 5pm
24 ​Dec: 11am – 6pm

Getting there
Train, bus, or ferry: Circular Quay

Prices
Free

Highlights & Events
Kids Christmas Cookie Decorating
10am, 12:30pm and 3pm

Gingerbread House Decorating
10am, 12:30pm and 3pm

Kids Christmas Card Screen Printing
11am – 3pm

Bauble Decorating
11am, 1pm and 3pm

Official website

Carriageworks Market

Full Details

Location
245 Wilson St, Eveleigh NSW 2015

Dates
23 Dec
Registration (mandatory) open 1 Dec

Opening hours
4pm-8pm
one-hour shopping windows upon prior registration

Prices
Free

Highlights & Events
Opportunity to buy fresh seasonal directly from producers and Christmas gifts

Official website

Harbour Bridge

Getting there
Train, bus, or ferry: Circular Quay

Other informations

  • Completed in 1932
  • Is 1,150 m long and the arch spans 503 m
  • The top is 134 m above the water
  • The chief engineer was John Bradfield
  • The bridge was built by 1,400 workers; 16 died in accidents during construction.
  • It has pedestrian walkways, two railway lines, and an eight-lane road
  • It’s a 30-minute walk from one end to the other
  • Intrepid visitors can climb to its summit
  • As an alternative to the climb (cheaper and easier) visit the Pylon Lookout (good views and documentation on the bridge)

Covid-19 Alert
The Pylon Lookout is temporarily closed

Opera House

Location
Bennelong Point

Closed
Christmas Day, Easter Sunday

Getting there
Train, bus, or ferry: Circular Quay

Other informations

  • Was completed in 1973 with a A$102 million cost
  • Jørn Utzon (Danish architect ) won an international competition to design it
  • Given the difficulty in execution, the project was significantly changed
  • It’s a group of theatres and performance spaces linked beneath its iconic shells
  • One of the world’s busiest performing arts centres
  • Guided tours of the Opera House (A$42) last about an hour

Sydney Tower

Location
100 Market St
(at the corner of Pitt St and Market St)

Opening hours
Thu – Mon: 10 am – 8pm (last entry 7pm)
Skywalk: 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm

Closed
Tuesdays & Wednesdays (except in school holiday periods)
Christmas Day

Getting there
Train: St James or Town Hall

Other informations

  • Completed in 1981
  • Top floor viewing platform is called Sydney Tower Eye
  • With 309 m tall offers a 360-degree view of Sydney
  • Many times you can see as far as the Blue Mountains
  • The building may slightly tremble in strong wind days
  • Has a revolving restaurant at the top

Looking for radical experience and aren’t affraid of heights?
Try the Skywalk tour, a walk out onto a glass-floored platform 260 m in a special suit

Bondi Beach

  • Bondi Beach is Australia’s most famous beach
  • 1-km long sweep of golden sand
  • It gets crowded in peak season
  • For safety always swim between the flags
  • The southern end of the Beach is the surf area
iVenture
  • Access over 30 top Sydney attractions and tour
  • Option by days to use
Prices examples
3 Days optionfrom A$270
7 Days optionfrom A$345
Go Sydney
  • Either 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 attractions, tours & activities
  • Organized by Leisure Pass Group – Australia
Prices examples
3 attractionsfrom A$120
4 attractionsfrom A$154
5 attractionsfrom A$184
7 attractionsfrom A$199

There are another card just for museums and historic houses:

Sydney Museums Pass

Price
A$35 Adult
A$28 Child (5–15)

Free access to 10 museums and historic houses
Expires one month after first visit
Allows one general entry to each attraction

Covid-19 Alert
Some of the participating houses and museums remain closed

Our Accommodation choices

Shangri-La Hotel Sydney

1.1 km from centre
Romantic, Business

176 Cumberland Street
The pros
  • Overlooking Darling Harbor
  • Luxurious interiors (Asian-inspired)
  • Indoor pool area
  • Large and bright rooms
The Cons
  • Can be very busy
Veredict

It is one of the most desired hotels in the city which reflects its excellent quality. The downside is that it can be quite crowded and agitated

Ovolo Woolloomooloo

1.1 km from centre
Romantic, Boutique

6 Cowper Wharf Roadway
The pros
  • In Woolloomooloo Bay
  • Bright rooms with modern hi-tech
  • Groovy & stylish decor
  • Occupies part of a heritage building
The Cons
  • Parking is valet-only (fees aply)
  • Train stations distance
Veredict

The bay location and the historic building environment makes it one of a kind. You may have to take a taxi or bus to connect to the train

Four Seasons Sydney

1 km from centre
Romantic, Kids-friendly

199 George Street
The pros
  • Central location near Circular Quay
  • Outdoor pool and bar
  • Children’s menus and welcome gifts
The Cons
  • Expensive room service
  • 531 rooms may feel a lot
  • Dated decor
Veredict

This is our choice in this segment. Even so, we highlight the high number of rooms and the somewhat impersonal decor

Recommended

Meriton Suites Kent Street

700 m from centre
Mid-range, Apartment

528 Kent Street
The pros
  • Central location near Hyde Park
  • Separated kitchen option
  • Location and ease of parking (but pricey)
The Cons
  • Lower floors street noise
Veredict

This hotel located right in the center is an excellent option at a good price. Definitely our choice in this range

Recommended

Swissotel Sydney

In the centre
Mid-range, Urban

68 Market Street
The pros
  • Central location near Hyde Park
  • Isolation from street noise
The Cons
  • Expensive on site parking (off site option)
Veredict

The good location and good conditions also make it a good option for a stay

Meriton Suites Campbell Street

1 km from centre
Mid-range, Apartment

4 – 10 Campbell Street
The pros
  • kitchenette
  • Location
  • Value formoney
The Cons
  • Without on site parking
Veredict

Best option for those looking for an apartment.

If you are going by car, consider the Meriton Suites Waterloo – same chain but with on site parking

Meriton Suites North Ryde

13 km from centre
Budget, Apartment

88 Talavera Road, North Ryde
The pros
  • Good price for value
  • Near shopping centre
  • Close to train station and bus stop
  • Shuttle bus in the morning and afternoon
The Cons
  • Away from city centre
  • Parking fee and availability
Veredict

If you’re short of money and don’t mind wasting some time to get to the center

Recommended (budget)