Take a deep breath and dive into the bustling hive of commerce that is the Bourke Street Mall, emerging hours later, arms laden with shopping bags, ears reverberating with the sounds of the street's lively buskers.
Melbourne's retail heart links Swanston and Elizabeth streets and is only open to trams and pedestrians. Listen out for the bells of approaching trams as you drift between department stores and the flagships of fashion retailers.
David Jones and Myer
Here you'll find Melbourne's two main department stores. David Jones occupies three buildings for its vast array of wares, while Myer looms with its nine stories, plus the Lonsdale Street store. Check out the Mural Hall for a diversion, and come at the year's end for the nostalgia kick of the cherished Christmas windows.
Melbourne's 1864 postal building has been stunningly refurbished and converted into a sophisticated and contemporary retail experience and home of the first Australian outpost for Swedish retail behemoth H&M. Two full floors of stark white walls, floors and glass are perfect for displaying the full H&M range of fashion, homewares and cosmetics. Delicious eateries in GPO Lane are there for mid-shopping sustenance.
The Melbourne Visitor Booth is midway along the Mall, with friendly volunteers and staff who can assist you with directions, shopping and handy tips.
How to get there
By tram: Any tram along Swanston or Elizabeth streets to Bourke Street.
By foot: Two blocks north from Federation Square (about 5 minutes).