Footscray is an inner-city suburb a few kilometres west of Melbourne's CBD.
Long a working class area due to its close proximity to the factories and warehouses of Melbourne's nearby industrial centre, it is also home to a large concentration of the city's Vietnamese population and increasingly a hub for the growing East African community, home to many immigrants from Ethiopia, Sudan and Eritrea.
Footscray is also notable as the setting of Russell Crowe's breakout 1992 film Romper Stomper, which dealt with a fictional gang of neo-nazi skinheads and their battle with the Vietnamese immigrants.
Footscray is affectionately known by some Melbourne residents as "Footsy", "Footscrazy" and "Footscary".
Footscray Station is only 3 stops from Southern Cross Station (in Melbourne's CBD) on the Werribee, Williamstown and Sydenham lines. If the train is not travelling via the City Loop, it is only a 6 minute train ride and most trains even run express through the station before it, South Kensington.
A wide off road bike path connects the Docklands to Footscray along Footscray Road, riders should be aware the path crosses several dangerous trucks routes, a truck last killed a rider on this route in 2010.
Forty per cent of Footscray's residents were born outside Australia, hailing from 135 countries and speaking more than 80 languages. This ethnic diversity has fostered a vital street culture like no other in Melbourne.
Visit the Footscray Community Arts Centre, for visual art exibitions, music, theatre shows or a latte on the green lawns. In summer outdoor film screenings take place on the banks of the Maribyrnong River.
A $170,000 Indigenous rock art installation broke thru the sidewalks at Footscray Mall in September 2013, if the temperature raises above 26 degrees the boulders will emit mist.
Footscray's big and crazy Snuff Puppets open their studio doors to the public with new shows every November.
Footscray Park is one of the largest and most intact examples of an Edwardian park in Australia. Located on the south bank of the Maribyrnong River.
The brand new huge Heavenly Queen Temple is located in wetlands next to the Maribyrnong River and features a 16 meter high statue. - 20 Joseph Road Footscray.
Installation art filled the streets of downtown Footscray in the summer of 2012, the local council is committed to promoting more art in the area.
Downtown Footscray has a great community feel, with a dozen streets filled with small businesses.
While far from being one of Melbourne's shopping destinations, Footscray houses two large markets. The Footscray Market is a fresh produce and seafood market, catering particularly to the various ethnicities and local restaurants. Another large market is Little Saigon, which opened in 1992 to cater to the growing Asian population, but now has customers from all backgrounds. Little Saigon is noisy and crowded, with a wide array of tropical fruits and Asian produce.
There are also a number of interesting shops selling traditional African clothing, art and hair products.
Several large, over stocked $2 style shops, packed with weird Chinese imports, cheap plastic toys and household goods.
Like Victoria Street in Richmond, Hopkins Street running through the heart of Footscray is home to a number of very cheap Vietnamese restaurants and noodle shops.
The area centered around the Footscray Hub has become a Little Ethiopia of sorts, and Nicholson Street in particular is lined with African cafes and restaurants, mostly serving traditional Habesha cuisine (that of Ethiopia and Eritrea), characterized by stews and curries dished up on layers of flat bread called injera. Very tasty and ridiculously cheap.
Victoria St Seddon, often consider a part of Footscray, has over 5 cafes, in 2013 Common Galaxia opened and it serves Scandinavian open sandwiches on designer tables. 
Footscray has a reputation as one of Melbourne's worst suburbs, long associated with the drug trade and considered a hotbed for crime and junkies. While crime has declined since the 1990s, drug activity is still an issue in the neighbourhood, particularly around Footscray Station. 2010 statistics from the Australian Institute of Criminology revealed that 48% of people detained by police in the area are heroin users, in contrast to the declining heroin use nationally over the last decade.
Footscray has considerably cleaned up over the last decade and should pose no threat during the day. The worst you are likely to encounter may be addicts begging for money. Exercise common sense, avoid undesirable looking characters, be polite if approached and leave valuables out of sight. If you must walk around at night, stick to the main roads, preferably with company.
Footscray is in the Maribyrnong local council area which had 1082 Crimes Against the Person recorded in 2010 while Melbourne's city center had over 3500 in the same year.
Like much of the western suburbs of Melbourne, the Footscray area has a large volume of heavy vehicle traffic. Coupled with the many narrow roads in the area this can be especially hazardous to cyclists.