Sophisticated and lively, Melbourne is abuzz with history and a cosmopolitan lifestyle, so much so that the city is renowned as Australia’s cultural and food capital.

Inner city precincts, such as the CBD, Richmond, Southbank and Carlton, foster hives of laneways, animated by on-trend boutiques, galleries, restaurants, cafes, bars and gig halls. While fringe suburbs, like St Kilda and Prahran, exhibit the city’s distinct style and flair through a number of heritage and cultural laden drawcards.

Experience Melbourne in full flavour this winter with Play Melbourne  an exciting year-round calendar of events set to bring the city to life with an endless array of adventures.

Lose yourself in the smooth and sultry sounds of The Melbourne International Jazz Festival, held at venues across the city from 1 to 10 June 2012. Get caught up in the drama of The Melbourne International Film Festival, held on Flinders Street from 2 to 19 August 2012. Or be inspired by the world's leading thinkers at The Melbourne Writers Festival, held at Federation Square and at venues across Melbourne from 23 August to 2 September 2012.

Food is not just a means to live in Melbourne; it represents culture, tradition and lifeblood. Celebrating Melbourne's love affair with food and wine, The Good Food and Wine Show permeates the city from 1 to 3 June 2012, with seminars, master classes and samplings.

To taste the city’s food culture in its true spirit, take a day trip to the birthplace of Melbourne’s famous cafe culture, Carlton’s Lygon Street (aka Little Italy); or head coastal to St Kilda’s trendy Acland Street, where funky bars, outstanding restaurants and world-famous patisseries draw dynamic crowds.

Renowned as one of Australia’s leading shopping destinations Melbourne is home to an outstanding assortment of iconic fashion labels and stores. Boutique, flagship and department stores dot the city, spoiling shoppers with a huge number of retail opportunities and indulgences.

Lined with high-end international brands, Collins Street is  Melbourne’s most famous shopping street. Nearby Little Collins Street highlights celebrated Australian labels. While Richmond holds claim as the city’s shopping mecca, home to outlet paradise, Bridge Road and vibrant boutique promenade, Chapel Street.

If you have a passion for dining, shopping and culture, Melbourne should be atop your must-visit list this winter.

Discover Melbourne