The central business district, or CBD, is where all the action happens.  The various residential neighborhoods have their charm and various restaurants and cafes, but the CBD is where nearly everyone works, where all the really famous restaurants and bars are, and where all the fun is in terms of theatre, music, festivals and more.

 From our digs in S. Yarra, you take the 8 tram into the city, which is a great ride since the tram route wraps around the Botanical Gardens and up St. Kilda Road into the CBD.  Once you get over the Princes Bridge, you’re right in the thick of it — Flinders Station, Federation Square, Flinders Lane.  The CBD is only 4 blocks wide south-to-north from Flinders Street to La Trobe, and 8 blocks east-west from the Parliament building to the Docklands, but they are big blocks, and there’s lots packed in-between blocks in alleys and laneways. 

One of the icons of the CBD is Flinders Station, where you can catch a train or tram nearly anywhere else in the CBD or outside of the city.  It’s a massive, old structure with a European train station feel and always sure to be bustling full of people.

Fed Square is another venerable icon of the CBD landscape.  Just across the street from Flinders Station, it was opened in 2002 and is known as “Melbourne’s meeting place”, which just seems ironic to me since the courtyard is the size of a city-block and never has less than 200-300 people milling around in it!  It’s a conglomeration of culture, housing the NGV and the ACMI and countless festivals and weekend street performers. 

(Tim Burton exhibit at the ACMI)