Follow the fun to Footscray, the ever-changing neighbourhood that's a fascinating balance of a growing arts scene and a hotbed of international cultures and delicious cuisines.
Whether you're in the mood for an Ethiopian coffee experience, South East Asian market shopping, fresh Italian cannoli or a juicy steak, Footscray has you covered.
Once a centre for southern European migrants, these days Footscray is home to Chinese, Vietnamese, and increasingly, North African immigrants and their gastronomic traditions. Slurp a bowl of pho at a Vietnamese noodle house, get a masala dosa near Victoria University, or tuck into traditional Ethiopian injera flat bread at Nicholson Street Mall. Alternatively, opt for one of Melbourne's best steaks at the Station Hotel.
Spice up your life
Locate those exotic spices and ingredients at Footscray Market. Busy Little Saigon Market will satisfy your craving for tropical fruits and Vietnamese groceries.
Pay your respects to the Golden Heavenly Queen of Mazu at the Heavenly Queen Temple off Hopkins Street, the biggest Chinese temple in Australia.
Chances are you'll find yourself in Footscray on the trail of a highly-anticipated arts event. The local arts scene is led by the dynamic Footscray Community Arts Centre, situated on the banks of the Maribyrnong River. The precinct features theatre performances, workshops, a bar and cafe and gallery spaces like Five Walls. It's also the venue of the annual St Jerome's Laneway Festival, boasting international music acts and local performers.
Other exciting and innovative arts organisations call Footscray home. Catch a performance by Footscray's experimental theatre company Snuff Puppets at the Footscray Drill Hall, and see a live band at the Reverence Hotel.
Big games and fireworks
Cheer on the 'Dogs', the Western Bulldogs Australian Football League team, at a training session at the state-of-the-art Whitten Oval. See the fireworks at Chinese New Year and the Tet Lunar Year Festival, a colourful Vietnamese celebration featuring dancing dragons, live music and food stalls.
How to get there
Footscray is just 10 minutes by car from Melbourne's CBD. By train, take the Sydenham or Werribee lines from Flinders Street or Southern Cross stations to Footscray station. Journey time is approximately 15 minutes.