Melbourne Central Business District (CBD)Laid out as a grid, the city centre is easy to navigate. The modern skyline of the financial district contrasts with well-preserved Victorian architecture, and the alley ways and arcades that snake through the city give it all charm and character. Swanston Street, a pedestrian mall generally considered to be the city's main drag, runs from the ornate 19th century domes of Flinders Street Station to the gleaming, billion dollar Melbourne Central Shopping Complex. The stretch of Collins Street between Swanston and Spring Streets is a more exclusive shopping strip. Known as "the Paris end"of the city, it is home to luxury boutiques, prestige offices and hotels. Running parallel is Bourke Street, the oldest and most successful pedestrian precinct where major department stores, such as David Jones and Myer, are located. The entrance to Melbourne's Chinatown in Little Bourke Street, a block away, is marked by an ornate Chinese arch. Spilling into the surrounding alley ways, it is one of the oldest in the world outside Asia, and is home to a fascinating variety of restaurants and grocery stores. The area between Swanston and Spencer Streets is nine-to-five territory, Australia's corporate heartland and headquarters of many of its largest enterprises. Ambitious plans are afoot to further extend this area by redeveloping the derelict warehouses of the adjacent docklands. The Colonial Stadium was the first project to be unveiled and if the developers have their way, the world's tallest building will soon follow. To the south and east lies a vast and beautifully maintained belt of parkland, containing the Fitzroy Gardens and the Melbourne Cricket Ground, with the Royal Botanical Gardens lying just across the Yarra River.
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→ Melbourne Central Business District (CBD)
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