The city’s grid-planned Central Business District (CBD), located on the north bank of the Yarra River, is home to six of the ten tallest buildings in Australia. Hotels in the CBD have easy access to Melbourne’s most popular attractions, either by foot or via tram.
Melbourne Aquarium, the country’s largest, sits on the banks of the Yarra River. A short walk and elevator ride away is the Melbourne Observation Deck, on the 55th floor of Rialto Towers, offering a spectacular 360-degree view of the city. Down below, an eclectic mix of high-end fashion, funky boutiques and mainstream stores line the city’s laneways, retail centers and tree-lined streets.
Some of Melbourne’s main department stores are located in Bourke Street Mall, a busy pedestrian street that buzzes with shoppers, office workers, buskers and the ubiquitous trams. The Diamaru and the Melbourne GPO are both major shopping venues, though the laneways of Melbourne's CBD hide a treasure trove of cafés, bars and fashion boutiques.
Nearby, Queen Victoria Market has over 1000 stalls selling food along with low-priced clothing, toys, souvenirs and trinkets. The Old Melbourne Gaol, now a penal museum, displays the armor worn by the legendary Ned Kelly.
For great food and atmosphere, Melbourne’s Chinatown is popular with all Melbourne residents. The Sichuan food here is ranked amongst of the best in the world, and on weekend evenings it can be difficult to get a table. Adjacent is Little Greece, boasting many lively Greek cafés, nightclubs and shops, with an emphasis on al fresco dining, even in the winter time.
Melbourne's tram network is the largest in the world, so travelers staying in the CBD have easy access to the entire city and suburbs.