The very first thing you should know about Melbourne is how to pronounce Melbourne. Let me guess. You’ve been saying, “Mel-born”. You’re a ‘stupid American’ then. But that’s okay, because I am too! I’ve been pronouncing it that way too because come on. When you look at that word, it only makes sense. The correct way to pronounce it is actually, “Mel-burn”. (or if you hear Australians say it with their (hot) accents, it’s really, “Mel-bin”.)
1. Melbourne Airport (also known as Tullamarine Airport) – instead of wasting money on a cab, there’s an express bus you can take from the airport. It’s only about a 20 minute ride. Plus, there’s free WiFi on the bus! A roundtrip ticket costs $30 and it will take you directly to the Southern Cross railway station, which is in the Central Business District of Melbourne. Since we stayed near Chinatown, it was another 20 minute walk after the bus. But it feels like a lot longer when you’re lugging a huge suitcase.
2. Free trams – it’s called the City Circle Tram, and has the number 35 on it. It runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. For a list of stops you can hop off/hop on at, as well as the time table, check out these two sites:
3. Weather – I found that the weather in Melbourne is not as unpredictable as it is in Sydney. Check the forecast a few days ahead of time. What you see is what you get.
4. Dining out – unlike Sydney, you’ll be able to split bills at restaurants. So if you’re not in the habit of carrying around cash, most places will probably accept credit cards and separate the checks.
5. Tours – if you want to take a three-hour walking tour of the city, there are a few free ones you can do. Check out this site:
6. Bars – subconsciously (or maybe consciously), I compare each city I visit to New York City – especially the nightlife. Melbourne measures their drinks – exactly one shot of liquor for well drinks. Whereas NYC is usually pretty generous with the pours. Melbourne bars close at 1. NYC bars close whenever. I finally understand why they call New York City the city that never sleeps. Apparently, Melbourne goes to bed at 1 a.m.