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 and head 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 Forever New, Sportsgirl and Zara.
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 Melbourne's GPO, a sophisticated and contemporary retail experience showcasing fashion, luxury goods and dining. Look out for gorman, Leona Edmiston, Mimco, Ben Sherman, Georg Jensen, Camper, Cacao Fine Chocolate & Patisserie plus delicious eateries in GPO Lane.
The Melbourne Visitor Booth is midway along the Mall, with friendly volunteers and staff who can assist you with directions, shopping and handy tips.
Bourke Street Mall is in Melbourne's city centre. Catch any tram along Swanston or Elizabeth streets to Bourke Street, or walk two blocks north from Federation Square (about five minutes).