There’s no denying it – whether for business or pleasure, Melbourne is one of Australia’s most popular destinations for local and international travellers alike. Among the country’s most culturally rich and diverse places, and consistently rated the most liveable city in the world, you’ll be forgiven for wanting to stay there long after your conference ends.
The Victorian capital has been particularly flourishing in the MICE scene in recent years, and was voted Australasia’s Leading Meetings and Conference Destination in the 2013 World Travel Awards. A large factor behind this reputation is its world-class conference infrastructure, including the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre – voted Australasia’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre in the same awards. It’s also the largest convention venue in the southern hemisphere.
Given the high value the local government places on conferences and exhibitions, the city is more than welcoming to delegates from across Australia and around the world. Here is our guide on what to do and where to go in the city:
As one of Australia’s premier commercial hubs, Melbourne is more than ready to accommodate any number of conference delegates, thanks to its array of hotel options.
For a top-of-the-range experience, you simply can’t surpass Crown Towers. This luxury 5-star behemoth, which dominates the skyline of the Southbank precinct, is regularly ranked as Australia’s best hotel and one visit is all it takes to see why. It is simply the number one choice for anyone wanting a VIP trip while visiting their Melbourne conference.
Melbourne is also fully stocked with a range of international hotel chains, meaning you’re never far away from high quality lodging. The Langham, Sofitel, Quay West, Radisson and Holiday Inn all have locations within or close to the city centre, giving you easy access to the key conference hotspots.
Eat and drink
Melbourne’s diverse blend of cultures and international influences means there’s a taste to suit every palate – and some great options for those looking for something new.
If you’re looking for a quintessentially Melbourne dining experience that’s imbued with continental flair, MoVida is the place to be. This tapas bar is situated in one of the city’s distinctive cobbled laneways, and you can graze on some delectable Spanish morsels while watching the world go by from your table.
The Victorian capital just knows how to do European food right. For those with a more Gallic palate, Vue de Monde is unmissable. While French in nature, the menu is given a bold Australian twist for an unforgettable dining experience.
Of course, Melbourne’s cafe culture is one of the city’s defining elements and you can find a good brew in just about any nook or corner. For some of the finest the city has to offer, however, check out one of its gems such as Proud Mary, Market Lane, Auction Rooms or Sensory Lab.
In a city like Melbourne, it’s incredibly difficult to become bored. You’ll likely find that your to-do list is simply too long to cram into the space of a few days, but there are some places that are definitely worth stopping by.
One of the world’s best spots of green is located in the heart of the Victorian capital in the form of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Situated right by the Yarra River, the gardens offer a place to catch a bit of peace and quiet after your hectic conference itinerary.
Aside from the conference itself, there are plenty of opportunities to feed your mind in Melbourne. The State Library of Victoria, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image are all located in Melbourne, in addition to the numerous local galleries and museums.