Seen from across the river, Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD) presents a spectacular modern skyline; what you notice from close up, however, are the florid nineteenth-century facades, grandiose survivors of the great days of the gold rush and after. The former Royal Mint on William Street near Flagstaff Gardens is one of the finest examples, but the main concentrations are to the south on Collins Street and along Spring Street to the east. At the centre of the CBD, trams jolt through the busy Bourke Street Mall. A stone’s throw from these central thoroughfares, narrow lanes, squares and arcades with vibrant street art, hole-in-the-wall cafés, small restaurants, shops and boutiques add a cosy and intimate feel to the city.

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