Founded in 1835, Melbourne became one of the world's richest and largest cities during the Victorian gold rush of the mid-nineteenth century, and it remains one of the world's most livable cities. The "cultural capital of Australia,"Melbourne is diverse in its offerings, which range from sporting events at Melbourne Park to more than a hundred art galleries.

The city of four million can accommodate your needs whether you are looking to enjoy the nightlife at a club in the Crown entertainment complex, home to one of the largest casinos in the southern hemisphere, or if outdoor activities are your idea of time well spent. Golf, watersports, and fishing in the Port Phillip Bay are just a few of your options in the open air.

Must See: Prior to the arrival of European settlers, the region was home to some 20,000 Aborigines, hunter-gatherers who existed in three separate tribes for thousands of years. An Aboriginal community remains active and close-knit to this day. For a thoroughly Melbourne experience, catch an Australian-rules football game, a sport played by many Aboriginal athletes.

Lodging: The Royce Hotel provides five-star accommodations and is centrally located for convenience. Signature Royal Suites are sure to keep you in luxurious comfort during your down time.

Cuisine: Just as your options for activities are wide-ranging, so too are your choices for dining. Restaurants, cafés, bistros, and bars offer an eclectic mix of food and drink options to suit your preferences.

Ground Transportation: Simplify your ability to traverse the city and its outskirts by using a myki card, an all-purpose solution to getting around by train, tram, and bus. The plastic card lets you store and replenish funds, so you can easily stay on the go.

Packing Tips: Due to its moderate oceanic climate, Melbourne's weather conditions vary drastically, especially in the spring and summer. Although snow is rare, cold fronts often produce thunderstorms, so be sure to bring appropriate clothing.

Currency: The Australian dollar is the local currency.

Calling Code Australia: 61

Best Travel Dates: If you're a sports enthusiast, consider traveling to Melbourne, Perth or any other major Australian cities in January: the Australian Open is held over the last two weeks of the month.

Airports in Melbourne