Graffiti-covered laneways, hole in the wall cafes, fashion-forward boutiques…yep, there’s nothing quite like Melbourne.

Only recently the Victorian capital was crowned “Australia’s capital of cool by UK’s leading travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler.

Here’s why it deserves the title and it’s numerous accolades:

Shopping

Fashionable threads in Melbourne are as popular as flip flops in Sydney, and it’s no wonder, with so many places to visit for Melbournians to get their fashion fix- including Bourke Street Mall, Queen Victoria Market, Swanston Street shopping strip and the famous Chapel Street (and plenty more!).

Graffiti-filled laneways 

With the philosophy of “do art, not tags”, the Melbourne Government encourages artistic artwork that is done with their permission. As a result, there are plenty of laneways to view this form of  artwork, from a range of world-famous artists, such as Banksy, as well as up-and-coming local artists. Some of the more popular laneways are Amphlett Lane, Union Lane and Hosier Lane.

Hole in the wall cafes 

Around almost every corner in the Melbourne CBD, you’ll stumble across a tucked-away cafe that might have been easily missed if you weren’t on the lookout for it. Some of the more popular spots to find these “camouflage cafes” include Little Collins Street and Flinders Lane. These nooks are also generally offer free Wifi (as well as world-famous Melbourne coffee!).

Rooftop bars  

If you feel like enjoying a drink whilst overlooking the uber-cool city of Melbourne, you don’t have to look far to find a rooftop bar or beer garden. A few to put on your travel list include Goldilocks, Siglo and Wolf’s Lair. These are particularly stunning as the sun goes down and the lights of this great city begin to sparkle around you.

Penguins

Melbourne’s St Kilda Beach is home to some of the world’s cutest creatures – little penguins. These little critters can be seem at dusk if you are lucky. You can also see the penguins by driving 90 minutes from Melbourne to the world-famous Phillip Island. Most visitors would agree little penguins are pretty adorable!

Culture

Melbourne is not only known as the “cool capital of Australia” but it’s also earned a reputation as the cultural capital. Cultural-buffs will always find an exhibition or show to see at spots like the National Gallery of Victoria or Melbourne Museum.

Multiculturalism

Did you know there are more than 140 nationalities that call Melbourne home? Melbourne has welcomed people from all corners of the globe and it’s diversity is a sight to behold. You can find out more about Melbourne’s multicultural history by visiting the Immigration Museum at the Old Customs House building.

Festivals

From a trumpet festival to a singers festival, Melbourne is home to some weird and wonderful festivals that are sure to keep you entertained year-round. Of course it also has some great multicultural festivals, like the yearly Kensington Australia Day Festival that includes citizen ceremonies to honour those newbie Aussie citizens and put on a traditional Aussie barbie!

Sport

To see a sports match in most Aussie cities, you would generally have to drive to the outskirts of town. In Melbourne, it’s a hop, skip and jump – with the Melbourne Cricket Ground located just 3km from the CBD, as well as Melbourne Park, home to the famous Australian Open Tennis each January.

Trams

Last but not least- if you can’t find a bus or a train to catch, then you have a third public transport option. Trams have been running in the city since way back in 1884 and although the old styles have mostly been replaced by new high-tech trams, you can still see some of the older ones if you are lucky- they are like a portal through time.

Of course the best way to explore everything the city of Melbourne has to offer is by car. Check out Thrifty’s range here.