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Shanghai Travel Guide – Deals

Quick Links:

A – Overview

B – City information

C – Attractions & Things To Do

D – Family Fun Attractions

E – Events & Entertainments

F – Shanghai Travel Deals

A – Overview

Known in years past as the “Paris of the East” and “Queen of the Orient”, Shanghai is China’s most populous and sophisticated city.  Its infamous Great World Entertainment Center has been transformed into a modern state-of-the-art theater and Shanghai Youth Center. The wide boulevard known as the Bund was the centerpiece of colonial Shanghai and is a major part of the 21st century showcase that Shanghai has become. 

 Shanghai overview

Shanghai (Chinese for on the sea) is a city in eastern China that is situated on the Huannpu River, a tributary of the Yangtze, near the Yangtze River’s mouth to the East China Sea.  Shanghai is China’s main port, commercial hub, and industrial center. 

 

The words most frequently used to describe contemporary Shanghai are:   prosperous and sophisticated.  Its buildings and atmosphere are reminiscent of New York, London, and Paris.  The old and the new dwell in harmony.  Historic avenues and beautiful parks surround busy harbors and crowded streets.  Pagodas, temples, museums, and cultural centers are all part of this bustling city.  Shanghai recently hosted a Millionaires’ Conference for its many residents who now enjoy that income status.

 

Modern Shanghai still retains many reminders of the past.   Rich Eastern charm and Western flavor coexist in the best of both worlds.  The population continues to rise, as people are attracted by Shanghai’s cultural opportunities, by her history, as well as by the pulse and the vigor which this world class metropolis displays.

 

Opera, classical music, jazz, rock, jazz, theater, acrobatics, and dance are all featured on Shanghai’s cultural scene. Shanghai is the birthplace of the Chinese movie and hosts nine annual film festivals.  The Shanghai symphony orchestra has long been held in high regard, and is one of the oldest symphony orchestras in Asia.   The venues are striking in appearance and in capacity.  The Grand Theatre and the Oriental Arts Centre have attracted top international productions.  Traditional Chinese entertainment in the area of Chinese opera and acrobatics continue to delight large audiences as well. 

 

Recent years have brought dramatic changes to nightlife in Shanghai.  New bars and clubs open almost weekly.  A process of sorting has been occurring by which many new offerings are tried and tested with some closing soon after opening, only to be replaced by others (or reopened under new management) within a short period of time.  Sports bars, comedy clubs, theme bars (Egyptian, Irish, glamour and fashion, Middle East, colonial, and others) are all part of the wide array of choices.     

 

The world’s third tallest broadcasting tower, Oriental Pearl Tower, dominates the city skyline from its height of more than 1500 feet.  From its observation deck, visitors can enjoy spectacular views.  Modern Shanghai Museum Park houses one of the most noteworthy collections of the Middle Kingdom and ranks among China’s four largest museums.  Ming and Qing dynasty art are also displayed, along with fine porcelain exhibits. 

 

The Huangpu River divides Central Shanghai into two distinct areas: Pudong (east of the river) and Puxi (west of the river). The best known attractions of interest to visitors are in Puxi, including the Bund, the centerpiece of tourism, (though not the physical center of town). West of the Bund is the former International Settlement and one of Shanghai’s main shopping streets, East Nanjing Road. South of the Bund is Old Town, a maze of narrow lanes and landmarks of the heart of the original city of Shanghai. West of this Old Town and hidden in the backstreets north and south of Huaihai Road (Shanghai’s premier shopping street) is the former French Concession, with its tree-lined streets, 1930s architecture, cafes, and bars.  At its western end, in Xintiandi, is the more recently established collection of Western-style restaurants and bars. Continuing southeast, the way opens onto the massive shopping mall intersection of Xujiahui. Farther south is Shanghai Stadium.

 

Pudong’s extremely rapid rise as a special economic zone of banks, glass and steel skyscrapers, and upscale residential complexes has been called miraculous.  The spirit of this new area of Shanghai is best characterized by one of its modes of transportation:  the Maglev Train.  The Maglev travels at warp speed through an area that was farmland just 15 years ago.   There is no longer a hint of its rural roots in this burgeoning commercial and residential district of soaring towers and five star hotels.  World class museums such as Shanghai Municipal History Museum, Shanghai Aquarium, and the Science and Technology Museum are presided over by the lofty Oriental Pearl Tower.  Pudong, justifiably, aspires to be the Trade and Finance Center of the Far East.

 

Shanghai, the Eastern Pearl, is a welcoming and enchanting city and a fascinating vacation destination.

B – City information

Population: 17 million

Time Zone:  Shanghai (and all of China) is on Beijing time, which is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT + 8), 13 hours ahead of New York, 14 hours ahead of Chicago, and 16 hours ahead of Los Angeles. There’s no daylight saving time.  Subtract 1 hour in the summer.

shanghai-donghai-bridge 

Average Temperatures:

 

 Month  

   High

 Low

January  

   46F  

  33F

February

   47F

  34F

March  

   55F  

  40F

April  

   66F

  50F  

May  

   77F

  59F  

June  

   82F

  67F 

July  

   90F

  74F  

August  

   90F  

  74F

September  

   82F

  66F

October  

   74F

  57F

November  

   63F

  45F

December  

   53F

  36F

 

When to Visit

Shanghai has hot, rainy summers and dry, cool winters.  With an average daily temperature range of 32F to 90F, July is typically the hottest month.  The average daily temperature range in January, the coldest month, is 33-46F.  Shanghai has an average annual precipitation of 45 inches.  June is the wettest month, and December is the driest.

Holidays

Telephone:  Country Code:  Shanghai’s area code is 021; the country code is +86.

Currency:  Chinese yuan.

Business Hours:  8:30AM – 7:00 PM

 

Post Office:  Namjing Road

Internet Cafes:  Nanjing Road

Shopping Specialties:  Silk, cashmere, clothing, antiques, tea, electronics.

 

Getting There

By Air

Pudong Airport

With the opening of Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport on October 1, 1999, Shanghai became the first city in China to have two international airports. Pudong Airport is 40km from the city. 

Hongqiao Airport

Passengers can take a special airport bus from Pudong Airport to the downtown area and Hongqiao Airport.  Five bus lines  operate on that route.  There is also the Maglev train.. The bus travels from Pudong Airport to Hongqiao Airport; from Pudong Airport to the Shanghai Exhibition Center; from Pudong Airport to Zunyi Road; from Pudong Airport to Dongjiangwan Road; and from Pudong Airport to the Shanghai Railway Station. Buses operate from 6:00 to 19:00 in downtown areas and from 8:00 to 21:00 at Pudong Airport.

 

Hongqiao International Airport is located in the western suburbs of Shanghai, only 13 kilometers away from the city center. Since 1996, Hongqiao International Airport has consecutively won the first prize among airport group with an annual passenger count of over eight million.

 

Getting Around

 

The Shànghai subway system, an inexpensive and fast way to cover longer distances, is currently undergoing some much-needed expansion (from three, including the existing light rail line,  to eight lines. During morning and evening rush hours and on weekend afternoons, the system is so overburdened that it is best to avoid riding the subway at those times. The still incomplete Metro Line 2 runs in an east-west direction from Zhongshan Gongyuán across downtown Shànghai, under the Huángpu River, and through Pudong’s most developed areas to Lóngyáng Lù, where Maglev connections can be made to Pudong Airport. There are plans in the future to extend the line eastward and westward to connect to Shanghai’s two airports.

To locate subway entrances, look for the large signs with a letter “M”. . Subway platform signs in Chinese and pinyin indicate the station name and the name of the next station in each direction, and maps of the complete Metro system are posted in each station and inside the subway cars as well. In addition, English announcements of upcoming stops are made on trains. To determine your fare, consult the fare map posted near the ticket counters and on ticket vending kiosks.

 If you are going to be riding the subway often, purchase a rechargeable Jiaotong Card (Jiaotong Ka).  The card can also be used to pay for bus, ferry, and taxi rides, with your fare being automatically deducted from the amount remaining on the card.

 

Light Rail — By 2001 Shànghai had opened the first phase of its Pearl Mass Transit Light Rail line, which it plans to expand greatly by 2012.. Currently, its 19 stations encircle the western outskirts of the city, with stops at Shànghai Stadium to the south and at Shànghai Railway Station to the north of downtown. Phase two of the Light Rail will complete what’s started of this vast rail circle, extending the tracks across the river, through Pudong, and then back across the river into downtown Shànghai’s southern precincts. The aboveground Light Rail is clean, modern, and not heavily traveled except during rush hours. Ticketing is nearly identical to the Metro system’s. The Light Rail is seldom helpful for sightseeing, although it does stop near Lu Xùn Gongyuán (Hóngkou Stadium Station) and Duolún Lù cultural street (Baoxìn Lù Station) north of downtown, where the Metro lines do not extend. The Metro does usefully intersect with the Light Rail at the stations serving Shànghai Stadium, Zhongshan Park, and the Shànghai Railway Station.

 

By Taxi

With over 40,000 taxis in the streets, this is the most common means visitors use to get around Shànghai. Taxis congregate at leading hotels but can just as easily be hailed from street corners. Few drivers speak English. Most taxis now post a passenger’s “bill of rights” along the back of the front seat. Some of the “rights” include a smoke-free taxi and a driver not distracted by a mobile phone.

The general rule is never go with a driver who asks you your destination before you even get into the cab.

Always have your destination marked on a map or written down in Chinese, as well as a business card from your hotel with the address in Chinese so you can show it to the taxi driver when you want to get back.

Check to see that the supervision card, which includes the driver’s photo and identification number, is prominently displayed, as required by law. If not, find another cab.

Make sure the meter is visible, and that you see the driver reset it by pushing down the flag, If traveling by yourself, sit up front and take out your map so you can follow (or at least pretend to follow) the taxi’s route.

At the end of the trip, pay the indicated meter fare and no more. Tips are not expected.

 

By Bus

Public buses (gong gòng qì che are considerably more difficult to use, less comfortable than taxis or the Metro. Some buses have conductors but others only have money slots in the front of the bus with no change given. Be prepared to stand and be cramped during your expedition, and take care with backpacks and purses.

 

By Bicycle

Shànghai is not the best place to ride a bicycle. Prosperity has tremendously increased the number of cars.  The bicycle is still the main form of transportation for millions of Shànghai’s residents and bicycle riding is challenging, but not impossible.  A bicycle can be purchased at the large Malls.  Be sure to also purchase and use a lock.  Helmets are not required, but are advisable. 

 

By Bridge, Boat & Tunnel

Crossing the Huángpu River is necessary to enter the  Pudong New Area on the east side of the river. There are seven basic routes. Three are by bridge, each handling around 45,000 vehicles a day.  A fourth route (and the cheapest) is by water, via the passenger ferry.

The ferry terminal is at the southern end of the Bund on the west shore and at the southern end of Riverside Avenue at Dongchang Lù on the east shore.

Three more routes across the river make use of tunnels: The Yán’an Dong Lù Tunnel by car;  the  Metro Line 2 of the subway; and the Bund Sight-Seeing Tunnel (Wàitan Guanguang Suìdào) iby tram (daily 9am-9:30pm). 

By Foot

The best way to see Shànghai’s sights and experience life at street-level is on foot..

 

Areas of Shanghai

Pudong Located across the Huángpu River from the Bund:  Pudong was formerly farmland before 1990.   Today,  it is home to the Lùjiazui Financial District and includes the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jin Mào Tower, the Shànghai stock exchange, Asia’s largest department store, a riverside promenade, and the new Pudong International Airport.

 

Huángpu (Downtown Shànghai) The city center of old Shànghai lies in a compact sector west of the Huángpu River and south of Suzhou Creek. It extends west to Chéngdu Bei Lù (the North-South Elevated Hwy.), and encompasses the Bund, People’s Square (Rénmín Guangchang), and the Shànghai Museum.

 

Nánshì (Old Chinese City) Though officially part of Huángpu District, this area immediately south of downtown and the Bund, between the Huángpu River and Xizàng Nán Lù, differs in every way from the westernized areas.  Today’s old Chinese city (or Old Town) includes the Old Town Bazaar with its traditional shopping, Yù Yuán (Yù Garden), Shànghai’s old city wall, and the Confucian Temple.

 

Hóngkou (Northeast Shànghai) Immediately north of downtown Shànghai, across Suzhou Creek, this residential sector along the upper Huángpu River was originally the American sector before it became part of the International Settlement in colonial days. Today it is a developing neighborhood with a few sights.  There are the Ohel Moshe Synagogue, the Lu Xùn Museum, and the Duolún Lù Commercial Street.

 

Lúwan (French Sector) Beginning at People’s Square (Xizàng Lù) and continuing west to Shanxi Nán Lù, this historic district was the domain of the French colonial community up until 1949. The French left their mark on the residential architecture.   Local attractions:  Fùxing Park, the Jin Jiang Hotel, the shops along Huáihai Zhong Lù, the new Xin Tiandì development, and the former residences of Sun Yat-sen and Zhou Enlái.

 

Jìng An (Northwest Shànghai) North of the French sector and part of the former International Settlement, this district has colonial architecture, as well as the modern Shànghai Centre. Two of the city’s top Buddhist shrines, Jìng An Sì and Yù Fó Sì (Jade Buddha Temple), are located here, as are a number of Shànghai’s top hotels and restaurants.

 

Xúhuì (Southwest Shànghai) West of the French sector and south along Héngshan Lù, this area is one of Shànghai’s leading locations for cafes, bars, and shops. Sights include the Xújiahuì Cathedral, Lónghuá Pagoda, the Shànghai Botanical Garden, and the former residence of Soong Chingling.

 

Chángníng (Hóngqiáo Development Zone:   Starting at Huáihai Xi Lù, directly west of the Xúhuì and Jìng An districts, this corridor of new international economic ventures extends far west of downtown, past Gubei New Town and the Shànghai Zoo, to the Hóngqiáo Airport.

C – Attractions & Things To Do

Nan Jing Road

One of the two major commercial streets in Shanghai (in addition to Huai Hai Road), Nan Jing Road spans 5.5 kilometers east to west. There are more than 600 shops and shopping centers, covering both sides of the road. Once the premier shopping street, it has undergone a total renovation in recent years. New shopping centers have been erected and a large section on the eastern side has been pedestrianized. There are some first class hotels scattered along the road including the Peace Hotel, and the Portman. In the evenings, the street is illuminated.

Shanghai zoo

Transportation is convenient as visitors can catch the metro at various points along the road.

 

Oriental Pearl TV Tower

+86 (0)21 5879 1888

2 Lujiazui Road

Lujiazui Metro or sightseeing Bus No. 3

Admission Charged.

Standing 468 meters high, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower is one of the highest towers in Asia. Tourists may climb the tower for panoramic views of the city. The ground floor features a shopping area, café, and an international city exhibit. It also offers deluxe conference rooms that have hosted leaders and VIPs from around the world. On clear days, the upper levels of this tower, measuring no less than 263 meters in height, offer spectacular views.

 

Yu Gardens

This area includes the streets around Fuyou Street, Dongtai Lu and Henan Lu.

+86 (0)21 6326 0830

Admission Charged

The 400-year-old Yu Gardens were built in the Ming Dynasty during the reign of Emperor Jia Jin. Recognized as a significant national heritage site, the Gardens are a remarkable representation of a southern Chinese-style garden. Visitor highlights include the Jade Exquisite:  one of the three most famous jade stones in East China. A bustling  shopping bazaar has developed around the attraction

 

Huai Hai Road

Built in 1901, the six-kilometer-long Huai Hai Road commemorates the Huai Hai Battle during Liberation. Today, this road has become synonymous with what is trendy and fashionable in Shanghai. While the stretch between Shan Xi Road and Xi Zang Road is the busiest section (and best for people-watching), this commercial street contains more than 400 shops, restaurants and businesses. The remnants of French architecture give the street its cosmopolitan charm. Many nearby attractions add to its appeal, including the proximity of Doctor Sun Yat-sen Former Residence and Memorial Hall.

 

Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall

+86 21 6318 4477

This museum has five floors that detail the ambitious plans of Shanghai’s urban planners. Visitors are provided with a glimpse of how Shanghai will look in 20 years. The centerpiece on the third floor is a huge model of the city as it is now. The map on the first half floor, outlines the districts scheduled to be cleared for new construction.  Green areas are marked. In the basement, a model of old Shanghai is on display,  with house entrances, cobble stone ways, and operating shops and teahouses.

 

Shanghai Art Museum

325 Nanjing Xi Lu (at Huangpi Bei Lu),

Shanghai, China.

+86 (0)21 6327 2829

Admission charged.

The Museum occupies a heritage building, that once overlooked a racecourse. It is at the northwest corner of People’s Park. There are twelve exhibition halls on five floors showing modern and traditional fine art. The permanent collection includes paintings, calligraphy, and sculpture, but its rotating exhibitions have favored modern artwork. There is a museum store, café, and a rooftop restaurant.

 

People’s Square (Renmin Guang Chang)

People’s Square (Ren Min Guang Chang) is a vast public square surrounded by government buildings. Truly an urban park, it features manicured greenery and, at its heart, the architecturally impressive Shanghai Museum. Other features include a 320-square-meter water fountain, subway station and an underground shopping mall. Because the square attracts many people, it makes an ideal venue for people watching. Add a carefree afternoon of kite flying.   Kites are available at the square.

 

Shanghai Links Golf & Country Club

+86 (0)21 5897 5899

This luxurious golf course is a 40-minute taxi ride from downtown Shanghai.

 

Great World Entertainment Center

Huangpu district Tibet south road

+86 (0)21 6374 6703; +86 (0)21 6326 3760 ext 40

Admission Charged

The Great World Entertainment Center ranks among the oldest entertainment establishments in Shanghai. In existence since the 1920s, it used to cater towards the decadent tastes of some of the colonial settlers during that period and once housed a brothel and a gambling casino. Today, the entertainment is far more wholesome. Performances vary from Chinese gong fu to folk dancing to acrobatics and Beijing opera. A section for children’s entertainment keeps the children happy.

 

Shanghai Museum

+86 (0)21 6372 0276

Admission Charged

This museum boasts 120,000 Chinese art pieces and archeological findings. Permanent exhibits feature bronzes, ceramics and paintings, among other artifacts. Other facilities include a library with 20,000 books, a conservation laboratory and a lecture room. There is an impressive gift shop on the first floor, a non-smoking teahouse and several antique and curio stalls. An audio tour is available in English and Japanese. The building itself is an architectural showpiece, resembling an ancient tripod when viewed sideways. The rooftop with glassed dome is modeled on a Han Dynasty mirror.

 Shanghai-museum

Disc Go-Karting Club

+86 (0)21 6277 5641

Opened in 1997, this club features a spacious, 4,500 square-meter indoor track, so that speed racers get numerous chances to put their foot down on the gas pedal. Visitors can refuel and recharge at the trackside pub and cafe. Entry to the track is free, but there are costs to race.

 

Shanghai Grand Theater Gallery

+86 (0)6386 8686 ext 3103 or 3104

Formerly only showing the works of Shanghai’s popular modern artist, Ting Shao Kuang, the Gallery now showcases a wider range of artists. It is a branch of the AA Gallery, which has established a solid reputation locally (main branch is at the Shanghai Center).

The Gallery aims at popular mainstream tastes rather than the avant-garde. Exhibitions change frequently. Located next to the Shanghai Grand Theatre and near the Shanghai Art Museum, it also sells original paintings and reprints of Chinese artists as well as foreign ones.

 

Shanghai Ocean Aquarium

158 Yincheng Bei Lu,

Pudong, China

021/5877-9988

Admission charged; children below 1.2 meters in height: free.

This new and modern indoor aquarium offers visitors a glimpse of life on the ocean floor. Access to the exhibits is through an entrance resembling an Inca Temple. Schools of colorful fish are viewed against a backdrop of themes, such as a sunken pirate ship, mountain stream and rainforest. There are penguins and species representing all 12 of the Chinese zodiac animals.  The aquarium features a touching pool, and tanks housing unusual crustaceans, sea horses, corals and anemones. The deep ocean and sea floor exhibit brings visitors face-to-face with sharks, sea snakes and other marine life.

 

Shanghai Library

+86 (0)21 6445 5555

This fairly new library is ranked among the ten largest in the world. It seats 3,000 readers and houses over 13 million books, newspapers, journals, rare Western books, family trees, correspondences, and stone inscriptions. It is also honored as one of the ten symbolic cultural buildings in Shanghai.

Technologically innovative, the library is the first in China to have an advanced information management system where coverage, cataloguing, circulation, continual publication and inquiry are done by computers. The library also provides online service for surfing the Internet or checking e-mail.

 

Jade Buddha Temple (Yufo Si)

170 Anyuan Road, Shanghai, China

021/6266-3668

This is one of the most venerated temples in Shanghai.  Famous for its white jade Buddha, the temple was built in 1882 when a Chinese monk brought the figure from Burma.  There are three ornately decorated main halls.  The highlight is the Jade Buddha Tower where the bejeweled white Buddha is displayed.  The massive figure weighs more than a ton. 

 

Bund Museum

(Waitan Bowuguan)

Unit A, 1 Zhongshan Erlu (The Bund)

Shanghai, China

No Phone

Open Daily 9-5

Admission Free.

The white and red observation tower has watched over the Huangpu River since 1884. The base, now home to this tiny museum, was built 19 years earlier. Photos along the walls present the Bund’s most famous buildings, both past and present.

D – Family Fun Attractions

People’s Square (Renmin Guang Chang)

People’s Square (Ren Min Guang Chang) is a vast public square surrounded by government buildings. Truly an urban park, it features manicured greenery and, at its heart, the architecturally impressive Shanghai Museum. Other features include a 320-square-meter water fountain, subway station and an underground shopping mall. Because the square attracts many people, it makes an ideal venue for people watching. Add a carefree afternoon of kite flying to your itinerary—great for the young and the young at heart. Kites are available for sale at the square.

 

Oriental Pearl TV Tower

+86 (0)21 5879 1888

Standing 468 meters high, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower is one of the highest towers in Asia. Tourists may climb the tower for panoramic views of the city. The ground floor features a shopping area, cafe and an international city exhibit. It also offers deluxe conference rooms that have hosted leaders and VIPs from around the world. On clear days, the upper levels of this tower, measuring no less than 263 meters in height, offer spectacular views of the city.

 

Great World Entertainment Center (and Youth Center)

+86 (0)21 6374 6703; +86 (0)21 6326 3760 ext 40

Admission

Performances vary from Chinese gong fu to folk dancing to acrobatics and Beijing opera. A children’s section provides activities for children and youth.

 

Zhen Yang Bowling Hall

+86 21 6439 1708

Zhen Yang is a large and relatively new complex in Shanghai. It has 32 lanes and is in operation 24 hours a day. Peak times are set between 7pm and 11pm.

 

Huang Pu River Tour

+86 (0)21 6374 4461

Taking a boat tour along the Huang Pu River gives visitors an opportunity to see many of Shanghai’s famous sites such as the People’s Hero Monument, the Bund (Wai Tan), the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the dramatic skyline of the Pu Dong business district. Also, in view from the river are the bustling International Passenger Station of Shanghai Harbor, the docks and the Wu Song ancient gun fort relics.

 

Shanghai Ocean Aquarium

158 Yincheng Bei Lu,

Pudong, China

021/5877-9988

Admission charged; children below 1.2 meters in height: free.

This new and modern indoor aquarium offers visitors a glimpse of life on the ocean floor. Access to the exhibits is through an entrance resembling an Inca Temple. Schools of colorful fish are viewed against a backdrop of themes, such as a sunken pirate ship, mountain stream and rainforest. There are penguins and species representing all 12 of the Chinese zodiac animals.  The aquarium features a touching pool, and tanks housing unusual crustaceans, sea horses, corals and anemones. The deep ocean and sea floor exhibit brings visitors face-to-face with sharks, sea snakes and other marine life.

E – Events & Entertainments

Late January

Chinese New Year (Spring Festival)

Chinese New Year is one of the best known, the most widely celebrated and certainly the oldest New Year festivals in the world. Chinese communities all over the globe have made it a big event in their respective communities, but there’s no better place to witness the start of the new lunar year than in China itself.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, falls on the first day of the first lunar month. The date changes in the Western calendar each year. The preparations start long before the event and the festivities last for around 15 days, ending with the Lantern Festival.

In China the New Year is widely celebrated, and everything closes down, officially, for four days. People jam the transport networks to get home to their families. Preparations begin about a month before the day itself, building up to huge house-cleaning sessions to sweep out bad luck. Doors and windows are freshly painted – the colors for the festival are red (for happiness) and gold (for wealth) – and decorative paper cut outs and paintings are put up. Poetic couplets expressing wishes for happiness and longevity, written on rolls of red paper, are traditionally put on gateposts and doors.

On the night itself, almost everyone in China holds a huge family dinner of seafood and dumplings, as well as the traditional New Year cakes. Then, at midnight, fireworks light up the skies all over the country. On the next day, people traditionally visit relatives, friends and neighbors with new year greetings (“Gong Xi Fa Cai”: “Happy and Prosperous New Year”), and married couples give Hong Bao (red packets of money) to children and unmarried adults. There are also high-energy dragon dances, lantern shows, and other entertainments throughout the celebrations.

+86 (0) 10 66 03 11 85

 

Lantern Festival

+86 (0)10 6601 1122

Admission is free.

The streets of Shanghai light up at night during this huge festival as revelers walk about holding Chinese lanterns. Legend claims that the lanterns protect citizens from being attacked and hauled away by evil spirits lurking in Shanghai’s air space..

 

January

Ringing of the Bell

One hundred eight honored Buddhists ascend the Drum Tower in Longhua Park to strike the temple bell at midnight on New Year’s Eve each year. According to ancient Buddhist doctrine, each stroke of the bell represents one kind of earthly happiness.

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, falls on the first day of the first lunar month – the date changes in the Western calendar each year. The Longhua Temple is a great place to head for the event – it has always done its own spectacular thing for local worshippers and tourists alike. The temple’s vegetarian dishes are very popular with tourists, but on New Year’s Eve “over-year noodles” are the only choice – a dish that represents wealth and success in the coming year.

+86 (0) 10 66 03 11 85

 

Early April

Tomb Sweeping Day

China’s Tomb Sweeping Day, every year in April, is a day for worshipping ancestors; people visit the graves of their departed relatives and burn “ghost money” (money for use in the afterworld) in their honor.

Also called Qingming Day, this tradition is observed by millions of Chinese all across the world. It has its roots partly in the half-legendary huge resettlements that were ordered during the Ming Dynasty, when thousands of families were ordered first to Konglong county before being sent to their final destinations.

Thus, to this day, many Chinese believe their ancestors came from that county. The event also appeals to many overseas Chinese who identify their own diaspora with that of the people who suffered under the Ming rulers.

+86 (0) 10 6520 1114

 

Early April

Shanghai International Tea Culture Festival

Hundreds of thousands of tea lovers, experts and tea producers make it to Shanghai for the International Tea Culture Festival. As well as plenty of impressive tea ceremonies, visitors get to taste a good few brands as activities spread around town, attend seminars and visit famous tea spots.

The history of the tea culture festival goes back to when the Revolutionary History Exhibition Hall in Zhabei District opened the Songyuan Teahouse

+86 (0) 10 6520 1114

 

Early April

Longhua Temple Fair

Longhua Park is famous for its ancient temple, the Longhua Pagoda, its evening bell-striking ceremony and beautiful peach blossoms. It is especially worth visiting during the Longhua Temple fair, the largest in Shanghai and said to be the day when dragons visit the temple to help grant people’s wishes.

Stalls surround the temple and thousands of people go to the booths selling every kind of traditional Chinese food and crafts. The temple is decorated spectacularly, and lit at night to full effect.

+86 (0) 10 6520 1114

 

Early-Mid June

Dragon Boat Festival

Every year, on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, a number of Chinese cities (as well as overseas Chinese all across the world) commemorate the death of poet Qu Yuan in ancient times by staging a Dragon Boat Festival. Usually celebrations go on before and after, but there’s one day of races.

Qu Yuan lived as a courtier in the court of the Chou Dynasty until one day he was thrown into the sea after maltreatment at the hands of a corrupt and evil official. When the local fishermen learnt of the poet’s demise, they apparently set to in their boats, trawling the waters to find him. Their efforts were unsuccessful so they threw rice dumplings into the sea, thumping the water with their paddles to prevent the poor poet being eaten by piranhas.

An important part of this timeless celebration is the eating of zongzi – the pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves.

+86 (0) 10 66 03 11 85

 

Mid June

Shanghai International Film Festival

The Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) fills various venues around the city, presenting over 900 official films from more than 60 countries. Founded in 1993, it is the only international film festival in China and has Grade-A international status.

The nine-day event is made up of four strands: the Jin Jue Award International Film Competition, the International Film Panorama, the International Film Market and the Jin Jue International Film Forum.

+86 (0) 10 66 03 11 85

 

Mid September

Chinese Moon Festival

Also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, China’s Moon Festival is celebrated around town and especially in people’s homes. Traditionally it marks the end of the harvest season.

The festival is marked by the making and eating of “moon cakes” – round pastries filled with sweet fillings. In Shanghai, the favorite filling is a red bean paste. Houses are decorated with colored animal-shaped paper lanterns and altars are piled with round fruits to symbolize the shape of the moon. The evening is spent moon-gazing in the company of family, before enjoying a feast at midnight.

+86 (0) 10 6520 1114

 

Mid Sept-Early Oct

Shanghai Tourist Festival

The annual Shanghai Tourist Festival offers a huge amount of entertainment at venues across the city. Float parades, markets, a folklore tour of Shanghai Lanes, a Chinese Festival at Yu Garden,  and a Music Fireworks Festival in Century Park are part of the festivities.

 

Mid Oct-Mid Nov

Shanghai International Art Festival

Shanghai hosts a month-long arts festival every year with a varied program of more than 150 performances. This includes everything  from symphony orchestras, dance and opera to acrobatics, magic, and drama.

Also on the bill are an international piano competition, a magic festival and contest, an Asian music festiva,l and an arts and crafts fair.

+86 (0) 10 6520 1114

F – Shanghai Travel Deals

We offer deeply discounted rates for Shanghai travel vacation packages,
airline tickets, hotel rates and car rental services. Build your own trip now
through our travel products:

– Get cheap airline tickets from our “Seat Inventory” source, best price and
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– Find your cheap hotel rates from our “Best Rate Guarantee” at over 300000
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– Rent a car at the price you want to travel Shanghai. We offer cheapest car
rental
service from wide selection of inventory rates

– Best travel deals for our cheap vacation packages or last minute travel
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. We offer best vacation package rates with deeply discounted prices (up to
70% of regular rates)

– Visit our home page for all travel deals such as:cheap airline tickets, hotel rates, car rental, vacation packages and tourist attractions. Why pay more? save your money now!

Beijing Travel Guide – Deals

Quick Links

A – Beijing Overview

B- Beijing Attractions and Things To Do

C- Family Fun Attractions

D- Beijing Travel Deals

 

A – Beijing Overview

Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China and is the nation’s center of government, economy, culture, and international activities. It has 18 districts and counties, with an area of 16,800 square kilometers and a population of 11 million. Beijing (meaning Northern Capital ) is a place of both ancient history and dazzling modernity. The city itself is traversed by freeways and hundreds of flyovers. High-rises adorn the length of this city making it a major metropolis within China. Beijing, however, is a city of bewildering juxtapositions. Despite the urban construction that makes it modern, Beijing has a long history. It’s history started as early as 500 000 years ago, when Peking Man lived there. It is an ancient cultural city that served for more than 800 years as the capital of the Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. Beijing is now known for its many special places of interest.

Beijing overview

While the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square represent the heart of Beijing, Beijing is a sprawling city without a defined central downtown. The Chaoyang District makes up the northeast section of Beijing. The Sanlitun area features a few embassies, many foreign businesses and a variety of bars as well as nightclubs. It is regarded as the embodiment of nightlife in the city.

From the magnificent Forbidden City, with its stunning wealth of treasures, visitors can begin their journey through the streets and lanes of Beijing. Moving outside the center, one moves away from the hustle of daily life, and into the tranquil pace of ancient times and traditions. Palaces, parks, narrow alleyways and ancient sites such as the YongheGong, reveal a different side of Beijing. The Temple of Heaven’s vast grounds are a pleasure to visit year-round, and are enchanting during a snowstorm.

Visitors can find refuge in the suburbs,in such places as the Summer Palaces and the Western Hills, which have been favored retreats since imperial times.
While visiting Beijing, take some time to hike outside of the city. Excursions may involve a visit to the Ming Tombs or perhaps a simple picnic amid the historic ruins. The Great Wall, a site not to be missed, encompasses many small villages. Visitors should also consider traveling into the countryside and taking a glimpse of village life. Overall, Beijing is a city that is fascinating and is rich in cultural treasures. It provides visitors with a cosmopolitan view of urban modernity, as well as imparting a deep respect for times past.

B- Beijing Attractions and Things To Do

The Summer Palace – Imperial gardens
Yiheyuan Street
Haidian District
6288-1077
The Summer Palace’s is known as one of the most tranquil places in the city of Beijing. Lakeside gardens and elegant pavilions adorn this grand imperial palace. It was originally built as a summer home for the emperor. Nowadays the gardens, pavilions, bridges, and towers receive hundreds to thousands of visitors. A curious feature in Summer Palace is the marble replica of a Mississippi steamboat.

Yonghe Gong – Tibetan Lama Temple
Yonghegong Dajie A little touristy, but worth the journey for the colorful halls, mandalas and notable display of statuary.

The Great Wall
Well recognized throughout the world, China’s Great Wall is a symbol of the ancient Chinese culture and civilization. Originally the wall was built as a means of defending the city.

Great Wall

Palace Museum of Beijing
The Forbidden City – Imperial palaces
6513-1892
Twenty-four emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties lived in this palace city, officially making it the home of China’s emperors for five centuries. The Palace Museum, formerly known as the Forbidden City, lies in the heart of modern Beijing. Built in the early 1400’s, the structure is impressive with more than 9,000 rooms and halls containing many precious relics – making it the largest architectural palace in the world.

Ming Tombs
The Ming Tombs are located one an area measuring about 40 square kms. The mausoleum houses 13 Ming emperors. Of the tombs only two are actually open to the public. The most famous and perhaps the most thrilling is the Dingling. Curious enough, Dingling is practically an underground palace.

Tian’anmen Square
Tian’anmen Square is located in the heart of Beijing. Tian’anmen Square is noted as one of the largest parks as well as one of the largest city squares in the world. The history of the square dates back to the Ming and Qing dynasties, when Tian’anmen was the front gateway to the imperial palace.

The Temple of Heaven
Tiantan Road and Chongwenmenwai Street
Chongwen District
6702-8866
Located on Tiantan Park, this dazzling temple built in 1420 is said to be the place where emperors if the Ming and Qing dynasties would pray to Heaven. As stories tell it, the emperors would perform ceremonies in honor of the god of harvests – this would be done in order for good harvests that season. The Temple’s primary structure has become a well-recognized symbol of Beijing.

Yonghegong Lamasery
Yonghegong Lamasery was built in 1694. Its structure resides as one of the largest lamaseries in Beijing.

Coal Hill (Jing Shan Park)
A royal garden of the Ming and Qing dynasties, Jingshan Park was formed from the soil excavated to create the moat around the Forbidden City. It is one of the best places for a panoramic view of the whole city. The Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion is located at its summit.

Beihai Park
Another imperial garden, the Beihai Park was the imperial garden of the Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. It is noted as one of the oldest of the Chinese gardens.

Yuanmingyuan
Yuanmingyuan was once an impressive imperial palace built during the Qing Dynasty. Unfortunately, all that remains of the palace is ruins. The grounds of Yuanmingyuan are well preserved and open to the public.

Beijing Zoo
137 Xizhimenwai, Xicheng District
6831-4411
The Beijing Zoo is the oldest zoo in China. Some 5,000 animals live there and features a wide variety of animals. The panda house is the only place in Beijing where visitors can see giant pandas. Some of the animals that are featured are the golden monkey, the white-lipped deer, the red-crowned crane, and many other rare animals from all over the world.

Marco Polo Bridge
This structure was erected in 1189. It is the oldest and grandest arch bridge in Beijing

Hutongs
A hutong is a kind of street lined on both sides by courtyards containing compound houses. Hutongs are a special feature of downtown Beijing. The hutongs (alleyways) were created by the traditional Beijing courtyard-style architecture

Museum of Chinese History
6512-8986
Located just off the northeast corner of Tiananmen Square, this museum displays more than 9,000 ancient Chinese relics, including bronze pieces dating back 5,000 years. The museum shares the same building as the Museum of the Chinese Revolution. This museum features cultural artifacts from 1919 to 1949.

Beijing Amusement Park
1 Zuoanmennei Dajie
Chongwen District
6711-1155.
Beijing Amusement Park, in Longtan Park, has live entertainment, rides, a water-screen show, paddleboats, bumper cars and roller coasters.

Capital Museum (Confucius Temple)
Guozijian Jie, Andingmennei,
Dongcheng
6401-2118
In a former imperial temple and Confucian civil-service university, this was where China’s best and brightest came to serve the state

Blue Zoo Beijing
(Gongti Nanlu), Chaoyang District
6593-5263
This international-class aquarium is great for the kids. The main attraction is a 140-yard-/130-meter-long moving walkway that swirls around underneath the main tank, with sharks swimming overhead. The museum focuses on such marine issues in China as the damming of the Yangtze River and the slaughter of sharks for shark-fin soup.

Miraculous Amusement Palace
Chaoyang Park
Chaoyang District
6506-6382
Wax exhibitions and scenery depict episodes from the famous Chinese story A Journey to the West, featuring the monk, the pig, the monkey and the warrior.

Beijing Museum of Natural History
126 Tianqiao Nandajie
Chongwen District
6702-4431
The largest of its kind in China, this museum contains fossils or specimens of almost all plants and animals found in China.

The Central Park of Beijing
1 Wenjin St.,
Xicheng District
6404-0610.
Beihai Park has an 800-year history as the royal garden of the Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. The park is grand and sprawling, with some beautiful plantings, a lake and paddleboats for rent.

Beijing Recreation Center
Beisihuanzhong Road, Andingmenwai
6499-3434
Watery fun including a wave pool, simulated river, three slides and a “fast slippery dip” (a steep water slide). A sports complex provides bowling, squash, tennis, roller-skating, disco dancing, billiards and a sauna.

Chinese Geology Museum
15 Yangrou Hutong
Xisi Nandajie
6617-6387
Chinese Geology Museum displays minerals, gems and Paleozoic plants and plenty of animals. A great place for family fun!

China Art Gallery
China’s national museum of art has permanent displays of works by Chinese artists and frequent shows by foreign artists.

Contemporary Art Gallery
123 Longfusi St
6401-7659.
A great place to view the national museum’s collection of China’s leading contemporary artists.

White Cloud Temple
6 Baiyunguan JieXibianmenwai
Xuanwu District
6346-3531
White Cloud Temple also known as Tianchang Temple. It is the largest Taoist temple in Beijing and the center of Taoism in north China.

C- Family Fun Attractions

Beijing Zoo
137 Xizhimenwai, Xicheng District
6831-4411
The Beijing Zoo is the oldest zoo in China. Some 5,000 animals live there and features a wide variety of animals.  The panda house is the only place in Beijing where visitors can see giant pandas.  Some of the animals that are featured are the golden monkey, the white-lipped deer, the red-crowned crane, and many other rare animals from all over the world.

Beijing zoo 

Museum of Chinese History
6512-8986
Located just off the northeast corner of Tiananmen Square, this museum displays more than 9,000 ancient Chinese relics, including bronze pieces dating back 5,000 years. The museum shares the same building as the Museum of the Chinese Revolution. This museum features cultural artifacts from 1919 to 1949.

Beijing Amusement Park
1 Zuoanmennei Dajie
Chongwen District
6711-1155
Beijing Amusement Park, in Longtan Park, has live entertainment, rides, a water-screen show, paddleboats, bumper cars and roller coasters.

Blue Zoo Beijing
(Gongti Nanlu), Chaoyang District
6593-5263
This international-class aquarium is great for the kids. The main attraction is a 140-yard-/130-meter-long moving walkway that swirls around underneath the main tank, with sharks swimming overhead. The museum focuses on such marine issues in China as the damming of the Yangtze River and the slaughter of sharks for shark-fin soup.

Miraculous Amusement Palace
Chaoyang Park
Chaoyang District
6506-6382
Wax exhibitions and scenery depict episodes from the famous Chinese story A Journey to the West, featuring the monk, the pig, the monkey and the warrior.
 

Beijing Museum of Natural History
126 Tianqiao Nandajie
Chongwen District
6702-4431
The largest of its kind in China, this museum contains fossils or specimens of almost all plants and animals found in China.

Beijing Recreation Center
Beisihuanzhong Road, Andingmenwai
6499-3434
Watery fun including a wave pool, simulated river, three slides and a “fast slippery dip” (a steep water slide).  A sports complex provides bowling, squash, tennis, roller-skating, disco dancing, billiards and a sauna.

Chinese Geology Museum
15 Yangrou Hutong
Xisi Nandajie
6617-6387
Chinese Geology Museum displays minerals, gems and Paleozoic plants and plenty of animals.  A great place for family fun!

D – Beijing Travel Deals

We offer deeply discounted rates for Beijing travel vacation packages,
airline tickets, hotel rates and car rental services. Build your own trip now
through our travel products:

– Get cheap airline tickets from our "Seat Inventory" source, best price and
seats for your family.

– Find your cheap hotel rates from our "Best Rate Guarantee" at over 300000
global properties.

– Rent a car at the price you want to travel Beijing. We offer cheapest car
rental
service from wide selection of inventory rates

– Best travel deals for our cheap vacation packages or last minute travel
deals
. We offer best vacation package rates with deeply discounted prices (up to
70% of regular rates)

– Visit our home page for all travel deals such as:cheap airline tickets, hotel rates, car rental, vacation packages and tourist attractions. Why pay more? save your money now!

Melbourne, Victoria Travel Guide

Quick Links:

A – Overview

B – City information

C – Attractions & Things To Do

D – Family Fun Attractions

E – Events & Entertainments

F – Melbourne Travel Deals

A – Overview

The road to Melbourne is spectacular no matter the direction from which the city is approached. There is a route through the rugged Australian Alps; as well as a Princes Highway seaside route from Sydney that passes beautiful sandy beaches. The Hume Highway is lined with vineyards and fine wineries; and the drive from Adelaide along the Great Ocean Road provides a showcase for some of Australia’s most dramatic scenery.

Melbourne (pronounced Mel bun) is located on the banks of the Yarra River is the capital of the state of Victoria in southeastern Australia. The city overlooks the huge expanse of Port Phillip Bay, a sailing and boating paradise. Its beautiful beaches provide recreation for local residents and visitors throughout the year. The many parks along the banks of the Yarra and the Maribyrnong Rivers are popular spots for picnics, parties and barbecues by the water.

Magnificent landscaped gardens and parklands make Melbourne one of the greenest cities in the world. The streets of the city center are alive with thousands of residents bustling in and out of buildings that are a blend of grand Victorian and modern architecture and house everything from outstanding galleries to opulent theatres. Hundreds of designer fashion boutiques, many shops and countless rows of sophisticated little cafés line the main thoroughfares. Over 3000 restaurants present fine cuisine accompanied by superb local wines. This friendly multicultural city is home to people from over 140 nations, a fact that is reflected in the excellence and diversity of the food choices that are available. There is something to please everyone.


Green and gold trams circle the city providing efficient transportation in the gracious style of days gone by. Children will love the riverboat cruises, water taxis, and gondola rides that provide the best in aquatic travel on the Yarra River. They will also enjoy a visit to a shark at Melbourne Aquarium and an afternoon at the Melbourne zoo. It’s only a short ferry boat ride across Port Phillip Bay to Williamstown and St Kilda, the beach suburbs that function as the playgrounds of Melbourne.

Melbourne

Melbourne

This cosmopolitan and sophisticated city hosts major cultural festivals, world famous horse races, smash hit musicals and international sporting events throughout the year. In fact, Melbourne is known as the sporting capital of Australia. Melbourne Festival, Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, Qantas Australian Grand Prix, Australian Football League finals series, Spring Racing Carnival, Australian Open, Melbourne Comedy Festival and Melbourne Food and Wine Festival are just a few of the key events.

Melbourne is the gateway to the State of Victoria. Victoria’s walking and riding trails provide the perfect getaway for anyone who enjoys the beauty of the out of doors. They cover diverse landscapes ranging from National Park wilderness to immaculate gardens, from serene lakes to endless beaches, from rolling mountain ranges to deserts. Many hiking trails can be found close to Melbourne within easy driving distance of the city. Many other major attractions are outside the city limits. Nature lovers visit the penguin parade at Phillip Island, the open-range Werribee Zoo and the popular Healesville Sanctuary. Food lovers gravitate to Yarra Valley wineries to sip on pinot noir and dine at the region’s many restaurants. Hundreds of picturesque mountains, lakes and valleys lie within an hour’s drive of the city.

Scientists believe that Australia is a piece of continental crust that broke away from Antarctica about 50 million years ago. The result is that many reminders of Australia’s Antarctic heritage remain, and have over the centuries provided challenges to those who immigrated and sought to remake Australia in the image of their native lands. In the 1800’s attempts were made to make the country look more like Europe. Salmon, sparrows, and trout were among the species introduced. All of them competed with native animals and forced their counterparts into extinction.

Since the 1980’s there has been a massive team effort by environmentalists and farmers to reverse the extensive damage and to restore the land to its original beauty. Their efforts have paid off. Instead of trying to mould Australia to fit modern European farming methods, agriculturists have learned to work in harmony with the naturally occurring dust storms and floods. The earliest settlers, the Aboriginal people known as the Kooris, adapted to the ebb and flow of Australia’s seasons over 60,000 years ago, and continue to do so today.

Sweeping efforts at modernization in Melbourne have occurred in the past 20 years. Highlights include Southgate, a world class casino; the new Museum of Victoria, and the Tennis Center. Major national events such as the Australian Grand Prix have been attracted to Melbourne, and renovation and restoration of the city’s buildings is continuing. High rise buildings have replaced the formerly low rise skyline, though the central area remains intact with its distinctive 19th century architecture including Gothic-style churches, neoclassical public buildings, and terraced houses decorated with cast iron. A result of this rejuvenation of Melbourne has been that residents have wanted to be in the midst of it. Many have left the suburbs and moved into the city itself. The waterfront has been transformed as has the older inner city into new and attractive residential areas. Through it all, Melbourne remains affordable, welcoming, and the place to relax and be yourself while exploring one of the great cities of the world.

Melbourne Overview


B – City information


Population: 3.5 million

Area: 2,452 sq. miles

Time Zone: Greenwich Mean Time plus ten hours: When it is noon in Melbourne, it is 9:00 pm yesterday in New York City and Washington, DC. (Daylight saving time turns the clocks one hour ahead between late October and early March. However, this does not change the time interval in the US, as the US advances the time for Daylight saving time just as Melbourne’s ends. )

International Dialing Code: All numbers for Melbourne and the outskirts of the city begin with 03 and have 8 additional digits. The country code is 61.

Emergency: Police, fire or ambulance emergencies: 000. General police: 11444; fire: 11411; ambulance: 11440.

Currency: Australia’s currency is in dollars and cents. Major credit cards and traveler’s checks are accepted almost everywhere. The easiest method of securing cash at the best exchange rate is to make withdrawals using a US credit card from the ATM machines found at the major banks.

Average Temperatures:

Note: Australian seasons are the opposite of those in the U.S.

Average Temperatures:

Month

High

Low

January

78F

57F

February

78F

57F

March

75F

55F

April

68F

51F

May

62F

47F

June

57F

44F

July

56F

42F

August

59F

43F

September

63F

46F

October

67F

48F

November

71F

51F

December

75F

54F

Local Seasons: Melbourne’s climate is warm to hot in summer (Dec.-Feb.), mild in Fall (March-May), damp in winter (June – Aug.), and cool in Spring (Sept.-Nov.) The coldest months are June and July and October is the wettest. Melbourne’s climate is changeable, especially during the spring and summer when sudden drops in temperature can occur within a few minutes. It is best to dress in “layers” and to have a raincoat

Sunscreen: Australian sun has strong ultraviolet rays, especially between 11am and 4pm. A wide brimmed hat and high SP sunscreen are essential in Melbourne in the summer when the sun is especially intense.

National Holidays:

January 1 New Year’s Day

January 26 Australia Day

First or second Monday in March Labor Day

April (dates vary) Good Friday, Easter Monday, Easter Tuesday

April 25 Anzac Day

2nd Monday in June Queen’s birthday

Last Thursday in September Melbourne Show Day

First Tuesday in November Melbourne Cup Day

December 25 Christmas Day

December 26 Boxing Day

Electricity: ( 240 volt, 50 cycles A/C). Most hotels have 110V shaver outlets. American appliances will need a three pin flat plug adapter and will require a transformer if they do not have a dual voltage capability.

Visas and Passports: All visitors require a visa and passport to enter the country. Visas are free from Australian consulates and allow up to a three month stay. There is a charge for business visas.

Visitors with disabilities: Information is available from : VICROD Victoria Council for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled: P.O. Box 210 Hampton 3188. Telephone: 9597 0157.The Met Disability Services Officer will assist with advice on public transport for disabled travelers. 9619 7482

How to get around: Melbourne’s tram and light rail network is the fourth largest in the world. There are 135 miles of double track carrying trains through the city and out into the suburbs. Fares are paid through pre-purchased tickets or travel cards.

Services run regularly from five in the morning until midnight. Many train services link to bus and tram routes so you can negotiate your way to most places in Melbourne within a short walk from a train, tram or bus. You will also find taxi stands outside many train stations.

Spencer Street Station is the main city station from which you can take trains to other parts of Victoria.

Most stations on the loop provide services to outer suburbs or trains that link to a connecting train to take you on to your destination.

The City Circle tram provides a free and convenient way to visit the shops, museums, etc. in the City. Its route includes shopping malls, arcades, and many of the major attractions. Trams run in both directions every 10 minutes from 10am-6pm (except Christmas Day and Good Friday). Hours are extended to 9pm when daylight saving time is in effect.

Taxis can be hailed from the street or from one of the stands around the city. Look for the yellow taxis swarming major hotels and train stations. Flinders Street and Spencer Street Stations and Lonsdale Street outside Myer are the best places to hail a ride. All taxis are regulated and charge the same amount per kilometer. If you wish to book there is a small fee and several companies from which to choose. Taxis for the disabled are also available.

Air Travel: Melbourne Tullamarine Airport is about 20 minutes from the city. If traveling at peak times, add another 30 minutes.

The most direct route to the Airport is via Tullamarine Freeway, which is part of City Link. Part of this trip takes in the City Link road network and state-of-the-art electronic tolling system. There are no tollbooths to slow down the flow of traffic but a day pass must be purchased before using the network or by 12:00 noon on the following day. This fee is computed as part of the fare when using a taxi or airport bus. Rental car companies have other arrangements and customers will be informed of these at the time of car pickup. Day passes can be purchased at the customer service center at the airport, via the direct dial phones provided, or from a City Link service centre located adjacent to the freeway. To purchase day passes and for other information you can contact City Link at 03 13 26 29.

Sky Bus offers services from Spencer Street, Franklin Street and the Town Hall and departs about every half an hour.

Driving a car in the Melbourne area: Australians drive on the left hand side of the road.

There are one way streets, two directional carriage ways and some multiple lane carriage ways, often divided by a median strip.

Take care when turning onto these multiple lane roads. All lanes may be travelling one way.

Outback regions are linked with dusty narrow roads which require careful negotiation. There is a great similarity to driving on icy roads.

Another hazard in the country is the possibility of a kangaroo, wombat or koala crossing in front of the car. Drivers are required to carry a license at all times. An overseas license is acceptable as long as it is in English.

Cycling: Cycling country roads is fine way to spend a day. Riders are likely to encounter very few hills and only gentle inclines. Helmets are required by law.

C – Attractions & Things To Do

Note: See Melbourne and Beyond The SmartVisit Card

For an all-inclusive price, card-holders get cashless entry to almost 60 leading attractions, including Melbourne Museum, Melbourne Aquarium, Victoria’s Open Range Zoo, Penguin Parade and Puffing Billy Steam Railway.

Crown Entertainment Complex

8 Whiteman Street

Southbank

tel: 03 9292 8888

A relatively new addition to Melbourne’s nightlife, Crown has become synonymous with entertainment and glamour. There are more than 40 restaurants, bars and cafés to choose from. In addition, there are the casino, cinemas, game arcades, international designer stores, nightclubs and live performance venues. Crown hosts film premieres, international conferences and awards ceremonies. Located downstream from Southgate on the banks of the Yarra River,

Melbourne Museum

11 Nicholson Street

Carlton Gardens

tel: 131 102

Open daily from 10am to 5pm

Walk through a living forest gallery, discover the tumultuous history of Melbourne and experience Aboriginal cultural performances in this ultra-modern, hands-on museum. Performances, activities and interactive displays make a visit to the Melbourne Museum a truly memorable experience.

National Gallery of Victoria

180 St Kilda Road

Melbourne

Open daily from 10am to 5pm

tel: 03 8620 2222

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) has an impressive range of international and Australian art housed within its recently renovated walls. Most of the Australian art is now located at the NGV’s Ian Potter Centre located at Federation Square. This new building and the renovation of the original gallery on St Kilda Road provides exhibition space for literally thousands of previously unseen treasures.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

ABC Southbank Centre

120-130 Southbank Boulevard

Southbank 3006 VIC

Tel: 03 9626 1111

Fax: 03 9626 1101

With a reputation for excellence, versatility and innovation developed over almost 100 years the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is renowned for its performances of the great symphonic masterworks with leading international soloists and for its appearances with The Three Tenors, Frank Sinatra, Kiri Te Kanawa, Elton John, John Farnham, supergroup KISS, Dionne Warwick, Meat Loaf, tenor Andrea Bocelli, Harry Connick Jr and kd lang.

Victorian Arts Centre

100 St Kilda Road

Melbourne

Tours depart Monday to Saturday at midday and 2.30pm.

tel: 03 9281 8000

Crowned by a magnificent spire, one of Melbourne’s most distinctive landmarks, the Arts Centre is the city’s hub of visual and performing arts. Explore the centre’s many theatres and discover the history of the site on a guided tour. Tickets are available from the concierge located near the entrance.

Surfing Museum

Beach Road, Torquay

(03) 5261 4606

10am to 4pm

This is a museum that most families will enjoy, where parents don’t have to worry about their children breaking something. The museum features a large number of interactive activities for children and adults alike. There are displays that will interest those that are not surfers, as well as surf fanatics. For surfing enthusiasts, the museum offers tips on some of the best surf locations in Victoria.

Australian Toy Museum

174-180 Smith Street

Collingwood

Tram 86

Daily 10-5 Children under 18 months free.

Historic building houses toys from the 1880’s to the present. A special feature is a permanent display of dolls and doll houses. There is also a garden with a miniature steam train and the Magic Pudding Café which caters to the tastes of children.

Fun Factory

257 Toorak Road

South Yarra

03-9826-8276

Daily 10-1

No admission charge.

One of the largest indoor amusement centers in Melbourne, Fun Factory is equipped with Daytona racing machines, pinball, shooting and skill test games, pool tables, a rollerblade rink and “dodge-em” cars.

Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre

Aughtie Drive, Albert Park

03-9926-1555

Tram # 96

This combination sporting facility and playground has a wave and toddlers’ pool, a water slide, pool garden, and a diving complex. Childcare is available Mon.-Fri. 9-Noon. A school holiday program and one on Saturday mornings for children ages 5-12 are low in cost, and high in educational and entertainment value.

Puffing Billy

Admission charged.

Old Monbulk Road, Belgrave 3160

(03) 9754-6800

This historic steam train still runs regularly in the mountain district it was built to serve at the turn of the century. Puffing Billy, Victoria’s best known steam train. travels through the beautiful bush land of the Dandenong ranges. The Railway is the sole survivor of four experimental lines used to develop rural areas in the early 1900’s. Puffing Billy is now a major tourist attraction, its operation depending on hundreds of dedicated volunteers.

All Puffing Billy trips depart and return from Belgrave, 40 km east of Melbourne,

Catch Puffing Billy to Emerald, have a picnic lunch, then travel back to Belgrave. Puffing Billy runs every day of the year, except Christmas day, and is a 24.5 km operating museum. Enjoy the mountain scenery and panoramic views which pass by your carriage window. Lakeside, the intermediate terminus of the railway, is inside beautiful Emerald Lake Park. You may stop over for a few pleasant hours bushwalking, swimming or just relaxing in the peaceful country setting. The terminus of the line at Gembrook is a delightful country town with much to offer the visitor.

Melbourne Cricket Ground

(03) 9657 8879

Open 7 days a week (excluding event days)

Go behind the scenes…see prints and paintings, ornate silverware and porcelain trophies, in portrait-lined hallways.

Scienceworks

Booker Street Spotswood

Williamstown and Werribee Lines from Flinders Street station to Spotswood Station

Daily 10-4:30

Admission charged.

A series of interactive exhibits teach participants about science and technology. The subjects range from sports, to insects, to the human mind and body. There is also a digital planetarium.

Kryal Castle

8 kilometres East of Ballarat on the Western Highway

(03) 5334 7388

Weekdays/Weekends

Admission charged.

10am – 5pm 7 days a week

Visit a medieval castle just a short trip from Melbourne. Hidden on the hills of Warrenheip, just out of Ballarat Kryal Castle lurks, waiting to amuse the whole family with medieval re-enactments, games and shows. A truly magnificent day for the whole family

Collingwood Children’s Farm

St. Heliers Street

Abbottsford

03-9205-5469

Epping Line from Flinders St. station to Victoria Park station.

Daily 9-5

Small admission charge.

Children can pet and feed a variety of farm animals (call for exact feeding times). They are also shown how to do simple farm chores and can milk a cow, etc. Farm tours instruct at a child’s level about plants and animals along the way. The first day of each month is Family Day. Horse rides and a home made farm lunch are part of the fun on these special days.

Ashcomb Maze

Admission charged.

10 – 5 everyday except Christmas Day, Good Friday & during August.

Red Hill – Shoreham Road, Shoreham 3916

(03) 9989-8387

This traditional hedge maze offers a great afternoon of fun for the whole family, with the main maze and other activities. My Recommendations: A fun afternoon, It could be on the way to

Healesville Sanctuary

Admission charged.

9am to 5pm Daily (including Christmas day and public holidays)

Badger Creek Road, Healesville. (follow signs)

(03) 1902 240 592

For overseas visitors and Australian visitors alike Healesville sanctuary offers a complete relaxing day out. Explore the Sanctuary, set in the lush bush land of Healesville on the Badger creek, home to one of Australia’s most loved, and most secretive animals, the platypus. See a wide variety of Australian Fauna and flora. See emus, kangaroos, echidna’s, koala’s, possums and many other Australian natives, in natural and peaceful settings.

Royal Melbourne Zoo

Elliot Avenue Parkville

03-9285-9300

Tram 55,56,or 68. Admission charged.

Melbourne Zoo is open every day of the year (including Christmas Day and all public holidays) 9.00am – 5.00pm

You can not visit Melbourne without visiting the Royal Melbourne Zoo! The Royal Melbourne Zoo offers a large range of exotic animals, beautiful gardens and an educational experience to all its visitors young and old. Popular Meet the Keeper sessions (wombats, seals, pelicans, penguins) teach children about the animals in a most engaging manner. There are also twilight tours for better views of nocturnal animals. A whole day is needed to explore and enjoy the Zoo to its full extent.

Victoria‘s Open Range Zoo At Werribee

K Road, Werribee 3030

Werribee Line from Flinders Station to Werribee station.

(03) 9742-7933

Admission charged.

Daily: 10- 5

You travel around the zoo which has only African animals in a bus, in order to have a better idea of how animals interact with each other in the wild. In addition there is a 30 minute Volcanic Plains walking Trail.

Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill, Ballarat

(03) 5331-1944

Admission charged.Daily 10am – 5pm (except Christmas day)

A whole day is needed for Sovereign Hill, it is an educational theme park and is suitable for people of all ages and all interests.

The gold rush themed park offers many old styled shops selling everything from hot bread and scones to metal goods . Children have great fun panning for gold in the creek, many usually finding some real gold dust! Visitors can go through a tour of a gold mine, and see exhibits and souvenirs of real gold.

Geelong Naval & Maritime Museum

Located near the stables at the rear of Osborn House

Swinburne Street, North Geelong

(03) 5277-2260

Admission charged.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10am – 4pm

The museum is set in the first Australian Naval College (from 1913-1919). The museum has a wealth of information and a large and interesting range of exhibits. The museum includes model ships and submarines, and the museum is said to be haunted by a ghost! an interesting day for all those interested in history and ships. you will need about 1 – 2 hours to visit the museum.

Seal Rocks Sea Life Centre

Seal Rocks, The Nobbys, Phillip Island. (follow signs)

1300 367 325

Admission charged. Children: Free

10 am – dusk (see Sea Life Centre web site for approximate dusk time during your visit)

One of the most popular attractions at Phillip Island, along with the Penguin Parade and Koala Conservation Center is Seal Rocks, the sea life center offers educational and enjoyable insights into the life of the Australian Fur Seal. The Center displays views of Seal Rocks and the Nobbies, which is home to Australia’s largest fur seal colony. There is also a sea gull rockery and a few penguins.

Luna Park

18 Lower Esplanade, St Kilda

03 9625 5033

Admission to Luna Park is free.

(Weather permitting):Friday:7p.m.-11p.m; Saturday: 1-11pm.;

Sunday:1pm until dusk. Closed Christmas Day.

School holidays and public holidays 11 – 5

A day of family fun is Luna Park, offering a large selection of rides including a roller coaster, ferris wheel and ghost train.. Luna Park is Melbourne’s own “mini theme park”.

Serendip Sanctuary

100 Windermere Road, Lara

(03) 13 19 63

10am – 4pm daily

Take a walk with Australian wildlife and have a close encounter with Brolga, Kangaroos, Emus, and waterfowl. Delightful picnic areas are available with barbeques in this wetland setting. Discover the serenity of Serendip Sanctuary. A delightful visit for the whole family, particularly animal lovers. spring time (September – November) is the best time to visit, as there are a lot of cute baby birds.

AFL Football – The Great Australian Game

(03) 9643 1999

Check for locations and game times.

AFL, Aussie Rules, football is the favorite sport, followed by millions. For sheer atmosphere and excitement it’s an experience not to be missed.

Melbourne Aquarium

Daily 9am – 6pm

Corner of Queenswharf Road & King Street, Melbourne

(03) 9620-0994

Situated at Southbank, opposite the Crown Casino on the tranquil Yarra river, it has a large collection of fish and sharks enjoying life in its aquariums and oceanarium. The aquarium towers 2 stories high and goes one story underground, and is even under the Yarra itself! Some of the aquarium attractions include a coral atoll, oceanarium, and billabong display.

Royal Botanic Gardens

Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra, 3141

(03) 9650~9424

7:30am – Sunset

Admission: Free

The Royal Botanic Gardens are situated on the edge of Melbourne next to the Yarra River . Surrounding them is a beautiful lake with ducks, eels and swans. The gardens contain a variety of plants from all over the world. There are many beautiful spots for a picnic lunch by the lake on the lush green lawns. This is a country garden right in the heart of Melbourne! Remember to take a little extra bread as the children enjoy feeding the swans, ducks and eels. Visitors usually bring their own food but there is a snack kiosk on premises.

Area Attractions

Anakie Fairy Park

2388 Ballan Road Anakie 3221

(03) 5284-1262

Daily – 10am to 4pm

This is a fascinating place for a family day trip, set in the mountains of the Brisbane ranges, southwest of Melbourne. The Fairy park offers playgrounds, walks and attractions for the whole family. An entire day could easily be spent exploring. The park has a medieval castle theme and is truly magical. There is quite a bit of walking involved, and the park is on a hill.

Penguin Parade

Summerland Beach, Phillip Island

Hours change depending on the time of year. the world’s smallest penguins come in just after sunset.

Visitors to Phillip Island look forward to the Penguin Parade. The penguins put on an impromptu show just by performing their ordinary daily routines. You do need to wear something very warm in the evening as the cool sea breeze is part of the fun. Large cafeteria style restaurant, snack bars, and extensive gift shop and theater are located in the Visitor Center.

Shopping

Melbourne Markets

Some of the best of Melbourne culture may be experienced by a visit to some of the many markets that the city has to offer.

Queen Victoria Market

Tele(03) 9320 5822

Market Days: Tue & Thurs 6am-2pm, Fri 6am-6pm,Sat 6am-3pm, Sun 9am-4pm.

From Elizabeth Street take any tram. Corner of Victoria and Elizabeth Streets Everything from fruit and vegetables, fresh produce and delicatessen goods to clothing, plants and pets are sold at this market which covers seven hectares (around 1000 traders) and is renowned as a gourmet paradise. Its origins date back to 1857 and many of its buildings have been classified by the National Trust. The Magical History Tour of the market explores 125 years of history and allows participants to meet vendors.

St Kilda Esplanade Art & Craft Market

Upper Esplanade, St Kilda

Open every Sunday 10am-5pm.

From Swanston Street take #15 or #16, from Bourke Street #96.

Unique handcrafted gifts are made and sold by stall holders along this beachfront esplanade. There are over 200 stalls.

The Sunday Market Victorian Arts Centre

100 St Kilda Road

Open every Sunday 10am-4pm.

Walk from Flinders Street Station across Princes Bridge.

Located in the heart of Melbourne’s arts and culture precinct, this market features local artists and craftsmen who sell their own work.

Prahran Market

163-185 Commercial Road, South Yarra

Open Tuesday and Thursday 10am-5pm,

Friday 6am-6pm, Saturday 6am-1pm.

Take tram #8 or #72 to Chapel Street, or a train to South Yarra Station.With its fresh produce and wide range of delicatessen goods, this lively market is frequented by locals and visitors alike and is just a short walk from fashionable Chapel Street.

Melbourne Attractions

D – Family Fun Attractions

Note: See Melbourne and Beyond The SmartVisit Card

For an all-inclusive price, card-holders get cashless entry to almost 60 leading attractions, including Melbourne Museum, Melbourne Aquarium, Victoria’s Open Range Zoo, Penguin Parade and Puffing Billy Steam Railway.

Como House

Guided tours daily.

Open 10am – 5pm, 7 days a week

Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday

Corner Williams Road & Lechlade Avenue South Yarra 3141

Telephone: (03) 9827 2500

Como, with its impressive architecture and extensive garden was the home of the Armytage family for 95 years. It is now possible to explore the life and social history of this family as it was in the 1920s and 1930s and take advantage of the many activities and programs that have been developed to bring to life the history of those times.

Red Bear’s Playhouse

134 York Street

South Melbourne

Tram #1 or #12

03-9645-0788

Mon.- Thurs. 9:30-6:30; Friday: 9:30-8 Sat. & Sun.: 8:30-8.

Australia’s largest indoor play center has piles of plastic tubing formed into tunnels, ladders, and just piles of tubing which appeal to all ages of children. Cappuccino, television and free newspapers and magazines are provided for the entertainment of the adults.

Gold Treasury Museum

Spring Street, Melbourne 3000

(03) 9651 2233

Open Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Weekends & Public Holidays 10am – 4pm

Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday

The Gold Treasury symbolizes the wealth of the gold rush era, and showcases a diverse ongoing program of exhibitions. Built on Gold explores the legacy of Victoria’s gold.

Healesville Sanctuary

Badger Creek Road, Healesville 3777

(03) 5957 2800

Open 9am – 5pm, 7 days a week

Stroll with kangaroos, meet an emu on the path and encounter colourful birds in a natural bushland setting. An easy drive from Melbourne. Day tours available.

Imax

The Museum Complex

Rathdown Street Carlton

(03) 9663 5454

Films screen on the hour from 10am-10pm, 7 days a week.

The sights are bigger at Imax Melbourne. See the world as you’ve never seen it before, on the world’s biggest screen at the Imax theatre.

Immigration Museum

Corner of Flinders & Williams Streets Melbourne

(03) 9927 2700

Open 10am – 5pm, 7 days a week

Embark on a journey of discovery at this Contemporary Museum, where Victorias immigration history is brought to life through voices, images, memories and belongings. Climb aboard the 17 meter ship and explore the sensation of ship travel to Australia over the past 200 years, then relax in the beauty of one of Melbourne’s finest 19th Century buildings, the Old Customs House.

Melbourne Aquarium

Corner Queenswharf Road and King Street Melbourne 3000

(03) 9620 0999

Open 7 days a week

Melbourne Aquarium provides an innovative environment where fish are heroes and visitors can achieve the ultimate underwater experience. Walk through clear tubes, surrounded by 7 metres of water, watch great sharks, stingrays and other aquatic life. A total immersion experience from the moment visitors meet their electronic host fish and disappear into the exhibit zones, until they exit experiencing the excitement of state-of-the-art simulator rides.

Melbourne River Cruises

Princes Walk, Corner Princes Bridge & Batman Avenue, Melbourne 3000

(03) 9614 1215

No visit to Melbourne would be complete without an award-winning trip on the Yarra with fantastic views and informative commentary in the comfort of a Melbourne River Cruiser. Choose from the Scenic River Gardens up river cruise, the Port and Docklands down river cruise, or for the complete city experience, the Melbourne Highlights up and down river cruise. All vessels are fully enclosed with on board amenities and snack bar.

Melbourne Zoo

Elliott Avenue, Parkville 3052

(03) 9285 9300

Open 9am – 5pm, 7 days a week

A visit to the internationally acclaimed Melbourne Zoo is a fantastic experience. Wander through an African Rainforest where gorillas bask in the sun, mandrills forage on the forest floor and pygmy hippopotamus drift through the river. Observe otters playing in the rapids or enter the steamy brilliance of the Butterfly House. View Australian animals in the exhibit entitled Australian Bush.

Old Melbourne Gaol

Russell Street, Melbourne 3000

(03) 9663 7228

Open 9.30am – 4.30pm, 7 days a week

Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday

Victoria’s oldest surviving penal establishment. Today it houses a fascinating exhibition on the 19th century jail life including the death masks and memorabilia of some of Melbourne’s most notorious criminals. Alternatively, book a Night Performance and explore the gaol by candlelight.

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Polly Woodside

Lorimer Street East, Southbank 3006

(03) 9699 9760

Open 10am – 4pm, 7 days a week

Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday

The restored iron barque Polly Woodside is afloat as the main exhibit of Melbourne’s extensive Maritime Museum. Build in 1885, she made 16 voyages around Cape Horn before sailing for 20 years in Australasian waters. Come aboard, smell the tar and rope in the forepeak store and listen to her creaking and heaving on her mooring ropes.

Puffing Billy Railway

(03) 9754 6800

Old Monbulk Road, Belgrave 3160

This world famous steam railway travels through the magnificent Dandenong Ranges from Belgrave, only one hour east of Melbourne, to Emerald Lake Park and Gembrook, every day of the year, except Christmas Day. Together with traditional rail journeys, First Class options available are, Devonshire Tea, Luncheon or Dinner, in luxury fully enclosed dinning carriages. Easily accessible by fast electronic train from Melbourne. .

Queen Victoria Market

Corner of Queen & Therry Streets Melbourne

(03) 9320 5822

Tuesday & Thursday 6am – 2pm

Friday: 6am – 6pm

Saturday: 6am – 3pm

Sunday: 9am – 4pm

Closed every Monday and Wednesday, Melbourne Cup Day and Boxing Day

Sample a range of fine Victorian and unique Australian produce as you taste your way around the Market. Discover a world of new tastes and flavours, meet friendly traders and gather hints from professional tour guides. Enjoy the spectacle of a Heritage Tour, a journey over the markets 7 hectares, reliving its 120 years of history.

Rialto Towers Observation Deck

525 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000

(03) 9629 8222

Open from 10am until late, 7 days a week.

Spectacular 360-degree panoramic views of Melbourne and surrounds, from the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere. Facilities include Rialto Vision the award winning sight and sound extravaganza, gift shop, licensed cafe, function room and Zoom City live action cameras.

Rippon Lea

192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick 3185

(03) 9523 6095

Open Tuesday to Sunday – 10am – 5pm

Closed Mondays (except public holidays)

Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday

Rippon Lea is the last of Australia’s great privately owned 19th century suburban estates. The Victorian Pleasure garden, of international significance, includes a lake, island and bridges as well as a large Victorian Fernery. The mansion retains much of the Victorian splendour of the Sargood family but also reflects the 1930s Hollywood style of its last owner, Mrs. Louisa Jones.

Royal Botanic Gardens

Open from 7.30am, 7 days a week.

Birdswood Avenue, South Yarra 3141

(03) 9252 2300

Discover one of the great gardens of the world, only minutes from Melbourne’s heart. Stroll through landscapes displaying plants from across the globe, join a guided walk or take a self-guided audio tour. Exclusive gift shop and cafes in magnificent setting.

Captain Cook’s Cottage

Fitzroy Gardens, East Melbourne, 3002

(03) 9419-8742

Admission charged.

This historical cottage that Captain Cook purportedly once lived in was transported to its present site from Yorkshire in 1934. The cottage is located in the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens close to the city center and the MCG, you can get to the cottage via the free City Circle tram, which stops a short walking distance from the cottage.

The cottage is a place to visit for those interested in Melbourne and Australia’s History, though it may not interest small children.

Scienceworks Museum

Open 10am – 4.30pm, & days a week

Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday

2 Booker Street, Spotswood 3015

(03) 9392 4800

Scienceworks is Melbourne’s award winning hands-on science and technology museum. Encompassing the Melbourne Planetarium, Scienceworks features changing exhibitions, historic objects, live shows, tours and events.

Area Attractions

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Corner of Moorabool and Brougham Streets, Geelong

5227 0701

Daily – 9:30am to 5pm (closed Christmas day and good Friday)

The national wool museum, located in the heart of the Geelong CBD is a place of discovery for young and old to learn more about Australia’s wool heritage. The museum features exhibits on sheering and wool production, and houses a working weaving loom, that weaves majestic rugs, which can be purchased

Victorias Open Range Zoo at Werribee

K Road Werribee 3030

(03) 9731 9600

Open 9am – 5pm, 7 days a week

Safari Tours depart from 10.30am. Last tour at 3:40pm.

Experience a unique wildlife safari. Enjoy close up views of grassland animals from Africa, Australia and Asia. Rhinos range free with giraffe, zebra and antelopes, while hippos wallow in waterholes and kangaroos graze nearby. Facilities include guided safari, walking trails, discovery centre, Meerkat Bistro & Function Centre and Safari Shop.

melbourne-family-fun3

E – Events & Entertainments

January

Andersen Match Play Golf Championships

World Golf Championships are a series of events launched in 1999 that feature the game’s top players competing against each other in a variety of competition formats.

Metropolitan Golf Club, Golf Road, South Oakleigh

(03) 9579 3122

Mid-January

Australian Open (Tennis)

The Australian Open features many of the biggest names in tennis and an off-court carnival.

Melbourne Park, Batman Avenue, Melbourne

(03) 9286 1175

Late January

Pride March Victoria

Victoria’s Gay and Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and allied communities hold their annual pride march in St Kilda. Up to 40,000 people, including 120 organisations, march to express their pride and solidarity. Family and friends are encouraged to attend. The principal sponsor is the City of Port Phillip.

Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, to St Kilda Beach

(03) 9513 3054

February

Ericsson Masters Golf Championships

One of Australia’s leading golf tournaments, featuring the best Australian players and international stars.

Huntingdale Golf Club, Windsor Avenue, South Oakleigh

(03) 9639 2333

Throughout February

Woolmark Melbourne Fashion Festival

An annual celebration of fashion and style, offering a wide range of parades, performances, business events, exhibitions, international guests and gala events.

Melbourne

(03) 9826 9688

Mid-February

Australian International Airshow

The Australian International Airshow is the largest and most comprehensive aviation event in Australia, featuring a very impressive list of world class aviation, defence and aerospace companies. This show is staged every two years by Airshows Downunder.

Avalon Airport, Beach Road, Avalon

(03) 5282 4400

Mid-February

C F Orr Stakes

Experience the best in thoroughbred racing at the home of some of the most exciting horse racing in the State.

Caulfield Racecourse, Station Street, Caulfield

(03) 9257 7200

Mid-February

Maroondah Festival

The Maroondah Festival is one of the largest free community festivals in Melbourne and presents an exciting program of entertaining activities. The activities include stages full of entertainment including a performance from a renowned band, craft markets, youth and children’s area, amusement rides, informative business displays, street theatre and plenty more for the entire family.

Croydon Park and surrounding areas, Croydon

(03) 9871 0373

Late February

AAMI Classic/Oakleigh Plate

See the champion horses of today and tomorrow racing at one of Australia’s premier racecourses.

Caulfield Racecourse, Station Street, Caulfield

(03) 9257 7200

Late February

Jazz at Canterbury Gardens

Free jazz concert in the picturesque Canterbury Gardens with children’s entertainment provided. Bring along a picnic and a rug and enjoy some of the gourmet food and refreshments available for sale.

Canterbury Gardens, Canterbury Road, Canterbury

(03) 9278 4777

Early March

Qantas Australian Grand Prix

Set on Albert Park’s street circuit, this race is one of the longest on the Formula One World Championship calendar with a track length of 5.26kms. The race is the first of the racing calendar and is set around a four day carnival of motor sports and public entertainment.

Albert Park Lake, Albert Park, Melbourne

(03) 9258 7100

Early March

Mercedes Benz Blue Diamond Stakes

Experience the best in thoroughbred racing at the home of some of the most exciting horse racing in the State and witness Victoria’s richest race for two year olds.

Caulfield Racecourse, Station Street, Caulfield

(03) 9257 7200

Early April

The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

The success of the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is now a matter of record and continues to grow in horticultural and floricultural excellence with displays continuing to enthrall visitors. Held within the historic Royal Exhibition Building and the surrounding Carlton Gardens the event features over 300 exhibitors ranging from floral designers, flower growers, landscape architects and designers, leading nurseries and florists.

(03) 9639 2333

April

Easter Cup

A family day at the races. Highlights include an Easter Bonnet competition, the Clip Clop Club for children and the running of the Red Tulip Easter Cup. A classic event for three-year-old horses.

Caulfield Racecourse, Station Street, Caulfield

Rozalee Ercea

(03) 9257 7200

April

Melbourne Autumn Music Festival

Commencing in 1971 this is Australia’s main festival of early music with a wide range of performances by local and international soloists, ensembles, orchestras and choirs in some of Melbourne’s most beautiful buildings. The week long program of over 20 events includes concerts, seminars, master classes and an historic tour.

Various Melbourne metropolitan venues (mainly churches)

(03) 9347 0447

Late April

Anzac Day Parade

Memorial march to the Shrine for those who fought and died for their country.

Swanston St Walk and St Kilda Road to the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne

Anzac House

(03) 9655 5555

Late April

Anzac Day Service and March

Members of the local community are invited to remember the fallen and since departed comrades who have represented their country during war.

‘Pillars of Freedom’ Cenotaph (north end of Palm Plaza), Clow Street, Dandenong

Denis Rogerson

(03) 9792 1535

Mid-June

A R Dobson Australian Steeple and the Australian Hurdle

The A R Dobson Australian Steeple and the Australian Hurdle are the feature races at this meeting and have long been regarded as two of the most prestigious jumps races on the Australian racing calendar.

Sandown Racecourse, Racecourse Drive, Springvale

(03) 9257 7200

Mid-July – early August

Melbourne International Film Festival

Established in 1952, the Melbourne International Film Festival is a showcase for the latest developments in Australian and international filmmaking, offering audiences a wide range of features and shorts, encompassing fiction, documentaries, animation and experimental films with a program of more than 290 films from 40 countries.

Venues within the Central Business District

Melbourne International Film Festival Office

(03) 9417 2011

Throughout August

MUDfest

Melbourne University’s Student Arts festival comprising drama, dance, visual arts and music. Held every two years.

Venues on University of Melbourne Campus and throughout Carlton

(03) 9344 8869

Early September

Melbourne Symphony Season opens

(03) 9626 1111

Melbourne Concert Hall, Victorian Arts Centre, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Early September

Coca-Cola AFL Grand Final

Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne

Australian Football League

(03) 9643 1999

The AFL Grand Final is the superbowl of Aussie Rules. Attracting more than 95,000 fans to the MCG, it brings the nation to a standstill as the two best teams fight for the coveted Premiership.

Early September

Father’s Day at the Zoo

There are themed activities including an activity trail, prizes, artifacts table and face painting. Bring dad along to the zoo for special Father’s Day Safari Tours and a free card making activity.

Victoria‘s Open Range Zoo at Werribee, K Road, Werribee

Victoria‘s Open Range Zoo

(03) 9731 9600

Memsie Stakes Day

Early September

Bring the family along to enjoy a day’s horse racing with one of the most important feature races on the horse-racing calendar at one of the best racecourses in the Metropolitan area.

Caulfield Racecourse, Station Street, Caulfield

(03) 9257 7200

Melbourne Theatre Company

(03) 9684 4500

Season Opens

Early September

Hygain Equestrian Championships

(03) 9207 5840

National Equestrian Centre, Werribee Park, K Road, Werribee

The Hygain weekend is one of the largest championship showjumping events on the Australian calendar, with the best horses and riders from around the country competing for titles.

Mid-September

Family Concert

Introduce your family to the magic of the Melbourne Symphony in a concert for the family.

The Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street, Melbourne

Melbourne Symphony

(03) 9626 1111

Late September

The Age Master Series

One of the series of ten concerts that explore the great orchestral tradition. Some of the finest conductors and soloists from around the world will perform with the Orchestra to bring you the excitement, passion, drama and enchantment of the great masterworks of the classical repertoire.

Melbourne Concert Hall, Victorian Arts Centre, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Melbourne Symphony

(03) 9626 1111

Late September-early October

Annual Royal Melbourne Show

The Biggest Event in the Event State brings the magic of the country to the city for 11 days of animals and events, produce, art and crafts, machinery and equipment, food, fun and sideshows, rides and much, much more. All this can be found just 15 minutes from the city centre.

Royal Melbourne Showgrounds, Epsom Road, Ascot Vale

(03) 9281 7420

Late September

Junior Open Amateur Golf Tournament

Medway Golf Club, Omar Street, Maidstone

Medway Golf Club

(03) 9317 9031

Late September

Tea and Symphony

Refreshing music and morning tea are the successful ingredients of these hour-long morning concerts.

The Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street, Melbourne

Melbourne Symphony

(03) 9626 1111

Throughout 3 weeks of October

Melbourne Fringe Festival

The Melbourne Fringe Festival is Melbourne’s annual open access three week program of innovative and experimental art across all art forms. A showcase of new work and new ways of presenting, in hundreds of individual events, across the city.

Venues across Melbourne

(03) 9481 5111

1st Sunday in October

Queen Elizabeth Trophy

One of the major events on the Victorian golfing program.

Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Cheltenham Road, Black Rock

(03) 9598 6755

Early October

Annual Melbourne Art Fair

One of the most important and successful national and international visual art events in Australia. Held every two years in Melbourne

Three weeks in October

Zootober

October is Zoo Month so come along and join in the special activities run every weekend throughout the month. Visitors are invited to participate in the many activities that will explore the many floras, as well as endangered species of grasslands, around the world.

Victoria‘s Open Range Zoo at Werribee, K Road, Werribee

(03) 9731 9600

2nd Sunday in October

Melbourne Marathon Festival

Australia’s oldest marathon incorporates the Melbourne Marathon (42km), the Melbourne Half Marathon (21km), the Melbourne Marathon Relay (42km), the Melbourne Marathon Bike Ride, a 6km Fun Run/Walk and an in line skate event.

Aughtie Drive, Albert Park

(03) 9486 6133

Mid-October

Melbourne Champions

The Melbourne Champions is one round of the 21 tournament world circuit for former champions aged 35 and over. The tour features players of the calibre of Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, Guillermo Vilas, Yannick Noah, Johan Kriek, Henri Leconte and John Fitzgerald.

Melbourne Park, Swan Street, Melbourne

Mid October-early November

Melbourne Festival

The Melbourne Festival is among the world’s premier arts festivals, renowned for presenting the cream of Australian and international events encompassing all art forms. This festival is a 17-day cultural feast featuring hundreds of music, opera, dance, theatre and artistic performances in a host of venues, both indoors and on the streets of Melbourne.

(03) 9662 4242

Mid-Late October

Melbourne Oktoberfest

A time of feasting and fun for the whole family. Visitors are treated to German, Austrian and Swiss style food and beverages, music and continuous entertainment in new large festival halls and the main stage area.

Royal Agricultural Society Showgrounds, Epsom Road, Ascot Vale

Heinz Wendt

(03) 9529 5211

Mid-Late October

Spring Fling

The North and West Melbourne Multicultural Arts Festival features music, performance and food reflecting the cultural diversity of the area. Errol Street explodes in colour, music, dance and fun. Over 100 stalls, 30 acts, exhibitions and thousands of people; this festival celebrates the rich cultural life of North Melbourne.

Errol Street, North Melbourne

Jane Karslake

(03) 9328 1126

Late October

Harvest Festival Music Festival

Melbourne community radio station 3CR is proud to present an alternative country music festival for lovers of roots based music. This is a festival that reflects the alternative country genre that has grown out of Melbourne’s inner city hotels. The festival will feature three nights and one afternoon of live music and a special evening of cinematic musical beauty. On the last night of the festival the stars will be out for a Gene Clark tribute night at the Continental Cafe. Various venues around Melbourne

(03) 9773 0722

Late October

Reclaim The Night

Reclaim the Night is organized by a collective of women working together to show that violence against women and children will not be tolerated. The celebration and march acts as a symbol of women’s right to go about their community in safety. The celebration is on the same night throughout Australia and the world.

(03) 9791 9299

Mid-November

Melbourne Cup International Polo Tournament

An annual event featuring top players from Australia, South America and Europe competing in the fast and furious action of International Polo. Wine tastings and picnic hampers in historic Werribee Park.

Werribee Park, K Road, Werribee

(03) 9521 9700

Mid-November

Victorian Arabian Jockey Club Futurity Show

Presenting the inaugural Arabian Horse Futurity Show. See Australia’s best 2 year old Arabians competing for the Futurity Championship. All horses will be eligible to race in the Futurity Race for 3 year olds.

Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre, K Road, Werribee

(03) 5429 6985

Late November

Rose Festival of the Yarra Ranges

Indulge in the beauty and fragrance of roses. See them blooming on a rose farm, in beautiful gardens, in hot houses and in trial beds. Lectures will be running daily at Tesselaars and Roses Galore.

(03) 5964 8475

Throughout December

Rural Christmas Market

Over 50 rural producers from all over Victoria selling their handmade crafts and produce in the three weeks leading up to Christmas. Handcrafted gifts include ceramics and pottery, sheepskin and emu products, gourmet foods, Aboriginal artwork, children’s toys and clothing, glassware and timber gifts.

Information Victoria, 356 Collins Street, Melbourne

(03) 9603 9949

Early December

Messiah – Handel

Arguably the greatest oratorio ever written, Handel’s masterpiece, Messiah, is filled with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of glorious melodies. Join us in this annual joyous celebration of music that will literally bring you to your feet. The Saturday performance of this work is included as part of the Choral Series.

Melbourne Concert Hall, Victorian Arts Centre, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Melbourne Symphony

(03) 9626 1111

Early December

Melbourne Cup on Wheels

This classic track cycling race was first run in 1947. See Australia’s Olympic and world champion cyclists in action.

Northcote Velodrome, John Cain Memorial Park, Darebin Road, Northcote

(03) 9328 4391

December

Carols at Central Park

Celebrate the joy of Christmas with the whole family at a night of traditional Carols by Candlelight in lovely Central Park. Candles and programs are available by donation to a local organization. BYO picnic or buy light snacks and beverages. Central Park, corner Burke Road and Wattletree Road, Malvern

(03) 9522 3391

December 24

RVIB Carols by Candlelight

Millions of families each year enjoy the original Carols by Candlelight at Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl. The cream of Australian talent perform at the event, a major fundraiser for the RVIB, which assist children and adults who are blind or vision impaired.

Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne

(03) 9522 5295

Christmas Day on Safari

Experience a unique wildlife Christmas through the grasslands of Africa, Asia and Australia.

Victoria‘s Open Range Zoo at Werribee, K Road, Werribee

(03) 9731 9600

Melbourne Boxing Day Test Match

The Melbourne Boxing Day Test Match is one of the great traditions of sport in Victoria and Australia. More than 160,000 passionate cricket fans attend the historic Melbourne Cricket Ground to support Australia in the biggest Test Match in the world.

Melbourne Cricket Ground, Brunton Avenue, Jolimont

(03) 9653 1100

Late December

Hmong New Year Festival

The Hmong New Year Festival is a special event for young adults to strengthen their friendships, maintain Hmong culture (by playing a traditional ball game) and other cultural activities

Deep Rock Oval, Yarra Bend Park, Fairfield

(03) 9417 2553

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