The capital of Victoria, Melbourne has long prided itself on being a hub for the arts and creativity, with its art galleries hosting incredible exhibitions throughout the year, as well as a plethora of bookstores and art house cinemas making it a place for soulful rejuvenation. Whatever you can think of to refresh your imagination, Melbourne offers it in spades.
Art scene therapy Melbourne is well known for its flourishing art scene. Local galleries display an amazing range of work, meaning that there is something for everyone.
The National Gallery of Victoria is the largest, with over 68,000 pieces in its collection. Its exhibitions cover everything from modern to Renaissance art and Ancient Egyptian artefacts.
Located in the heart of Melbourne in Southbank, the National Gallery of Victoria is next door to the Arts Centre and State Theatre as well as the Ian Potter Centre, a gallery dedicated to Australian art.
If bigger galleries aren't quite your style, there are independent art galleries aplenty such as the Compound Interest, an artistic hub which describes itself as "the perfect amalgam of idealist modernism and late capitalism."
Here you can find the bespoke gallery/printing press/design studio housed in a renovated warehouse in the Collingwood district north of the central business district, or about a 10 minute taxi ride from Federation Square.
Literary dreams with its myriad bookshops, Melbourne is every bookworm's dream. If you've been finding it hard to make time to read at home, there's no better time or place to pick up a few literary friends than on your next trip to Melbourne.
What you might not know is that Melbourne was named one of just seven UNESCO Cities of Literature, honouring the important role literature plays in the city and the abundance of publishing initiatives and literary festivals in the area.
Foodies can seek inspiration from Books for Cooks, a bookshop specialising in all things food just down the road from the Fitzroy gardens. Reader's Feast is a literary delight and an inner city literary retreat based in the shopping hub that is Collins St in central Melbourne.
A little more off the beaten track is the wonderfully independent and cosy Embiggen Books, situated on Little Lonsdale St just behind the State Library. Second hand book enthusiasts should check out City Basement Books for a treasure trove of interesting finds.
Caffeine inspiration What cultural escape would be complete without that quintessential cup of coffee to start the day? Melbournians take their caffeine seriously, producing arguably some of the best coffee in the country.
Cafe culture flourishes in Melbourne, with quirky cafes tucked down unassuming lanes providing that rich, bittersweet roasted aroma with every cup.
Seven Seeds should be your first stop if you're looking for a distinctly Melbourne brew – this micro roaster travels far and wide to secure high quality beans in search of the ultimate cup.
Not only do they supply cafes throughout the city, they have also set up shop by the Victoria Markets, with their sibling cafes Brother Baba Budan and Traveller Coffee not far away.
Market Lane Coffee is also another must-visit coffee house, situated in the Prahran Market south of the Yarra river. They take great pride in sourcing and roasting their beans themselves, taking their passion to the next level with a coffee club and brewing classes.
You can also find them in other neat places such as the Victoria Market and Carlton, just over a ten minute stroll from the Melbourne Museum.
For more inspirational travel ideas during your time in Melbourne check out the Accor Melbourne City Guide.