Melbourne is one of Australia's sweetest delights; a city designed to awaken the senses and stir the soul. The State capital of Victoria, it is widely considered to be the most European of Australia's cities.
To lose yourself in the city's cobblestone alleyways is to discover a romance long-forgotten. Fine restaurants and quaint boutiques hide behind non-descript doors in buildings from a by-gone era.
The year-round calendar of events, sensational shopping and fabulous food lure a great many visitors to this city. Those fortunate enough to call this cultural heaven home, have ready access to a thriving art scene that includes major art exhibitions and musical extravaganzas.
Bejewelled with innumerable leafy parks and public gardens, floral displays and decorative fountains compliment fine sculptural works. A network of trams makes access to Melbourne's attractions a breeze, while outlying areas may be reached by way of train.
Melbourne's migrant history has resulted in the creation of distinct cultural precincts, such as the Greek Quarter (Lonsdale Street), the Vietnamese enclave (Victoria Street), Chinatown and the Paris End of Collins Street. A number of the city's fine schools offer international studies and lessons that are given in languages other than English.
Positioned to the north of the city centre are the suburbs of Fitzroy and Carlton. They are home to Melbourne's alternative and Italian communities and some fine examples of Victorian architecture.
Richmond lies to the city's east and is famed for its Greek and Vietnamese eateries. The upmarket suburb of Toorak lies along the banks of the Yarra River, while to the south are the bay-side suburbs of Port Melbourne, South Melbourne and St Kilda.
The west of the city was traditionally more industrial and down at heel, but is fast coming up with people priced out of the east moving there. The Yarraville/ Seddon area in the Inner west is a vibrant young area while Williamstown on the bay is a highly desirable address.
A very good and useful website is cityhobo.com. It used to just profile Sydney suburbs but now does Melbourne too. There's a lot of information on this website and it is very easy to use.