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A distinctly urban experience in Australia's capital of cool Melbourne has become known world over for its street art.The Olsen is as luxurious as it is cool — we won’t blame you if you don’t feel like leaving your room.

Treat yourself to one of The Olsen’s spa suites, where you’ll get some of the best city — and sunset — views in town.

Living in the shadows of a sibling can’t be easy. Melbourne knows about that all too well, but seems to have in fact embraced the feeling of being lesser known than her more famous northern counterpart, Sydney. Melburnians have worked hard to create their city’s reputation in the island continent as the place to go for good food (brunch, for example, has become an art form), good shopping and good coffee, which is taken so seriously that it’s virtually a sport. It’s not known as the cultural capital of Australia for nothing.

For the urban explorer, Melbourne represents a truly unique experience, full of hidden treasures with an easy, relaxed vibe. Here’s our pick of what to do when you’re in, as it was once known, Marvellous Melbourne.

Stay: The Olsen

A perfect way to get into the spirit of things in the artistic and cultural hub of the island continent is by staying at one of the city’s Art Series Hotels. Each inspired by and dedicated to leading contemporary Australian artists, our pick for both location and luxe factor is The Olsen, located in the leafy inner suburb of South Yarra. All of the boutique group’s hotels feature original works by the artist after whom the site is named — here, you can expect colourful and vibrant pieces inspired by Dr John Olsen’s fascination with landscapes and spiritualism across various media.

The hotel itself is located at the bottom end of Chapel Street, one of Melbourne’s main high streets. A rich selection of food, drink and nightlife is at your doorstep, as is some of the best shopping in town.

Let’s clear something up here — there’s no such thing, really, as ‘Australian food’. A relatively young country, the expansion of the palate down under has mirrored the influx of the larger migrant groups post-World War II. This has resulted in a pan-European, pan-Asian fusion known in F&B circles as ‘Mod Oz’ (read: Modern Australian), with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. Andrew McConnell is one of the country’s leading exponents of this style and has quickly become one of the hottest names in Melbourne’s thriving and very serious food scene.

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