Melbourne, the capital of the state of Victoria, is set around the shores of Victoria's Port Phillip Bay and boasts a lively and cosmopolitan pulse, with chic boutiques, buzzing cafés and bars, immaculate gardens and festivals and popular sporting events. The city sits on the Yarra River, about five kilometres from the bay. One glance at a map and it's obvious Melbourne is a planned city: a tidy, balanced grid of neatly angled streets. But beneath this sense of restraint lies a restless creative energy. Discover the work of talented local artists, architects and designers in stylish fashion boutiques, buzzing laneway cafés, hidden galleries and trendy bars. Melbourne is a city of style and sophistication, with an inviting cosmopolitan atmosphere. It is a melting pot of cultures reflected in its microcosm of restaurants, cafés, bistros and bars. Melbourne's dining offers a dizzying spread of great cuisines, serving meals from the substantial and classic to the truly exotic. From locally designed originals to the best of international fashion brands you'll be spoilt for choice in Melbourne's shopping precincts. Explore the inner city shopping centres and the city's myriad of arcades and laneways. The CBD is made up of many precincts and enclaves with their own distinct flavour and charm. Some are just a lane or two, while others cover a suburb or a busy CBD street. Spend time experiencing the richness of Melbourne's different cultures from the Greek Quarter around Lonsdale Street, Italian in Lygon street, Vietnamese in Victoria Street to the Chinese culture in Chinatown and the upmarket Paris End of Collins Street. Leave time to admire the elegant Victorian-era streetscapes, take in a film or food festival and add a visit to one of the many galleries and opulent theatres.
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