Federation Square, situated right next to the Yarra River, is an iconic meeting place for Melburnians. Its quirky architecture and wide spaces make it the perfect place to hang out.
Opening in 2002, it was originally disliked by the city's inhabitants, because of the unusual - ugly, even - style of the structures. However, these days, Melburnians have learned to love it. It is now on the list of the world's 10 Great Central Plazas and Squares.
Alison and I first became acquainted with "Fed Square" (as the locals call it) on our initial visit to Melbourne, in 2009. It was on the occasion of Australia Day, January 26th. We'd taken up positions next to the square to watch the parade and the whole area was decked out with market stalls, selling all sorts of stuff.
There is a stage area in the square and things were being set up for the evening's entertainment, so we decided to go back there to watch it. That year, it was a choir, but subsequent years have featured "indie" style bands.
Federation Square also has a huge TV screen, set in the wall above the stage, which shows major sporting events.
Inevitably, when we're in town, the Australian Open tennis tournament is in progress and crowds will gather in the square to watch the action on this screen.
Fed Square, naturally, is full of places to eat and drink. A select few have outdoor tables in the main square (prime position) and one we have frequented on more than one occasion is Feddish, where you can sample its stylish menu or just enjoy a drink. Another one we've tried, for drinks, is Time Out.
Fed Square also features a place that serves what must be the cheapest cup of coffee in the city. It's a small convenience-type shop over to the left as you walk onto the square from Swanston Street. It's take-away only and consists of a vending machine which you operate yourself.
Any type of coffee costs one dollar.
Another useful thing to be found in the square is the Melbourne Visitor Centre. A very useful place for holidaymakers, this glass building consists of two floors, ground and basement.
The ground floor features several staff members manning a counter and answering general questions and supplying useful leaflets such as maps of the tram network.
Down in the basement, you can buy tickets for tours and sporting events, as well as a myki card, for public transport travel. There is also a gift shop.
The Visitor Centre, directly across the street from Flinders Street Station
Federation Square is an area that is always buzzing with activity. It continues to be one of the most visited places in Melbourne.
An impressive aerial view