The long-time rival of Sydney, Melbourne is not exactly the perfect example of Australia but one may fall in love very quickly with this city, on top of every world ranking regarding the city best with quality of live for year now! Sydney the American and Melbourne the European! Beyond easy cliches, we have to recognize he city has a lot to offer, despite a relatively instable weather, reminding more UK thank Australia sometimes!
Clearly, Melbourne is not as beautiful and impressive as Sydney, with a less favorable weather. But the daily life here is often easier and less stressful than Sydney where the competition to get a good job can be tough and the cost of living extremely expensive. The two cities will compete against each other for a long time still…and not only regarding sport, as Melbourne is fond of “footy”, the Australian football whereas Sydney is keen on NRL, the National Rugby League. Melbourne is very dynamic, with a sprawling urbanization and a dynamic demography fueled by a continuous immigration, with very distincts suburbs, such as the professional CBD, the rich Yarra docks, the Italian Carlton, the coastal St-Kilda, the hipster Fitzroy,,,
The long-time rival of Sydney, more “European” style
Discovering the city
Here trams, buses and trains allow to discover the city very easily. And stations, such as Flinders stations and Southern Cross are indeed the hearts of the city. With a symmetrical plan and center and modern roads, Melbourne is really a XXIth century city, several named as the most livable city in the world: Lot of jobs, easy connexions, a dynamic night life and cultural life with lots of museums, and the nature very close to the city.
Most of the interests of the city are very accessible and located right in the middle of the city center: Federation Square, National Art Gallery of Victoria, the Yarra docks, the center for image of Victoria, Botanic Garden, ANZAC memorial monument (Australia and New-Zealand Army Corp). Unlike Sydney, more spectacular but also busier and more stressful on a daily basis, Melbourne is more European, benefiting from good quality restaurants, great public transport, in a very lively and sportive environment.
Going everywhere with the tram!
Good point compared to Sydney as here, nightlife is dynamic! No lock-out laws prohibiting alcohol sales or the entry to bars/nightclub until a specific early hour, Melbournian people like to go out, mostly to small and intimate bars like the ones in Fitzroy where you can drinks and chat with a good Shiraz, Australian wine! The best places to go out, are definitely the CBD, of course, but also bluechips restaurants and drinks along the Yarra river, as well as Fitzroy and Carlton, next to each other north if CBD. And they are easy to reach thanks to the trams until very late.
Where did we sleep?
Although I rent an apartment during my first long stay in Melbourne, many possible accommodation in Melbourne, as everywhere in Oz, and suitable for every budget for every period!
- 22 travellers accomodation: A good and honest backpacker with double rooms on top of usual dormitories. Located near the bustling Chapel street (but quiet however), next to a tram station for trams going directly to the CBD. Thus, good location and good quality for the price.
- The Greenhouse backpacker: A backpacker right in the middle of the CBD, lively! So good location but noisy as well and not very clean either. Finally rooms are small and many of them without any window!