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Central Melbourne boasts a huge array of eating and drinking options — from famed, five-star restaurants to uber cool bars hidden in laneways and hole-in-the-wall cafes. The most popular destinations include Centre Place, Degraves St, Hardware Lane and Crossley St. If Asian cuisine is more to your liking, visit Chinatown in Little Bourke St.
The historic Queen Victoria Market, on the northern edge of the CBD, is the city’s fresh food mecca, open daily except Mondays and Wednesdays. There are more than 600 retailers offering meat, seafood, cheese, fruit and vegetables, coffee and wine, plus clothing, craft and souvenirs. The fashion conscious might make a beeline for the new Emporium complex with its 225 stores at 287 Lonsdale St. The complex also links to Myer and David Jones department stores.
Haileybury College is due to open the CBD’s first preschool to year 12 school campus. The campus at 383 King St will have capacity for 750 students and will start with an early learning centre for preschoolers this year before adding prep to year 10 classes next year.
The iconic Melbourne City Baths, at 420 Swanston St, has been helping city residents, workers and visitors stay in shape since 1860. Today it includes a 30m lap pool, 15m pool for swimming lessons and aquatic classes, a gym, squash courts and massage services. While there are few parks within the CBD, there are plenty of options on the edge of the city grid, including Melbourne’s newest major park, Birrarung Marr, located on the Yarra River’s north bank next to Federation Square.