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Melbourne might always jostle with Sydney for the title of Australia’s most popular urban playground, but there are plenty of things that set this multicultural, cosmopolitan metropolis apart from its New South Wales rival. If you mosey on down to South Yarra you'll get chichi boutiques and fine dining. If you spend your evenings with the drainpipe jeans-wearing locals of Inner East, it's all about bohemian dives and barista-led coffee houses. Then there are the Southbank and the city centre, each packed to bursting with soaring skyscrapers, entertainment complexes, rejuvenated docklands, and rattling tram lines that weave this way and that between the old Victorian buildings and leafy parks. It's effortless cool.
In a city where it's all about getting in with the friendly locals, Melbourne holiday apartments offer a unique opportunity to bag your own pad. With the added benefits of large lounges and self-catering kitchen spaces, you'll be able to settle in boho areas like St Kilda and Fitzroy without worrying about looking like a tourist. And you'll likely have lots more room to drop the backpack and relax than in a traditional hotel, too, not to mention the chance to rise whenever you want – no breakfast timetables here. Melbourne holiday rentals also tend to come with an overload of character and charm, whether you pick one of the timber cottages in the Olinda woods or the swish penthouses above the Docklands.
Melbourne inspires a sort of carpe diem attitude. Its woven fabric of neighbourhoods is perfect for unplanned jaunts through bohemian cafés, or launching impromptu craft beer odysseys in independent breweries. You'll want to check off the cool areas of Fitzroy and the Latin cookhouses of Carlton for sure, all before hopping across to the boardwalks of St Kilda to mingle with the international crowd under the sunset. There are also more straight-laced things to do along the Yarra River. You can shop your way through the old Docklands and the bustling Queen Victoria Market, and also trace Aussie history at the Immigration Museum. Not forgetting making time to take in the panoramas atop the Eureka Tower.
Holiday apartments in Melbourne city centre are a perfect choice if you don't want to hop on any public transport at all. From there, you'll be able to walk to most of the major sights, and delve into the nearby neighbourhood street scenes with ease. Those based elsewhere can make use of the city's wallet-friendly Free Tram Zone – a section of the transport network that costs nothing and connects many of the major attractions. For anywhere that's not on the extensive tram map, buses are a great option, while hiring a car is a great choice if you're looking to break out to Werribee, the vineyards of the Yarra Valley, and the gorgeous Great Ocean Road.