It’s safe to say Melbourne’s reputation of being the ‘most liveable city in Australia’ definitely made itself known to me when I first arrived in Australia. I constantly met other travellers who told me so many amazing stories about their time in Melbourne which made my decision as to whether or not to visit a lot easier than I initially thought. I was constantly told how it was the most relaxed and easygoing city, how the standard of coffee couldn’t be beaten and how the atmosphere is like no other with graffiti filled lanes, street performers and quirky café’s and restaurants filling the streets.
How I would describe Melbourne
I remember before coming to Melbourne a Sydney Resident described Melbourne and Sydney as being so alike and now that I’ve been I really see what he means, I like to describe Sydney and Melbourne as ‘sisters’ when people ask me why I prefer Melbourne..
Now Sydney is ‘the young blonde’ and Melbourne ‘the older brunette’ Sydney is generally always the first choice for everyone… she is the fun, outgoing and confident ‘sister’ who everyone is initially drawn to and Melbourne is often blind sighted by its ‘younger sibling..’ What’s funny is everyone seems to love Sydney to begin with..I know I definitely did! When I first arrived it seemed so bright and exciting and exactly how everyone had described it but it soon becomes apparent that this ‘sister’ seems to be quite a lot of show and doesn’t really have that much going on, that it’s not really that different to the other cities in Australia.. In fact there isn’t actually that much to do once you’ve seen all the tourist spots, partied in Kings Cross and sunbathed on Bondi, that is is actually quite boring and that’s when people tend to move on to Melbourne.. Melbourne is the ‘sister’ who seems quiet to begin with and has more hidden inside but soon becomes as confident and outgoing as her ‘sister’ with all the quirkiness and atmosphere that her ‘sister’ Sydney lacks, this is the ‘sister’ you want to stick with, this is somewhere you want to live not just visit.
I’m not saying everyone will agree with my analogy but for me that is the best way to sum up why I prefer Melbourne, I will be honest and admit that I didn’t initially love Melbourne as I do now but it grew on me and the longer I spend here the more I love it! Melbourne just has something I found Sydney lacked and as much as I enjoy being in Sydney it’s definitely not somewhere I can imagine myself living, especially not for the 4 months I’ve found myself in Melbourne for! I don’t know if it’s being able to walk down the street and being offered everything from; Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, English or American food, they literally have somewhere for everyone! Or if it’s being able to go strolling along the Southbank to visit the Casino (which is definitely worth a visit) and watching the fire show each weekend,, being able to walk along Brighton beach and see all the colourful beach huts or Port Melbourne and seeing the huge cruise ships dock in or just going shopping at all the little boutiques or the massive shopping centre’s..there is just something for everyone!
Arriving in Melbourne
When I booked my flight to Melbourne I was pretty sure I would end up staying, no one seemed to stay for less than a few months so I was prepared to be grabbed and held hostage but now I find myself not wanting to leave!
There is just so much to love about Melbourne and although in comparison to some cities it may lack on certain features it definitely makes up for it in atmosphere.
I will admit that yes the beaches may not be as good as some over in Perth, no it’s not constantly hot and sunny like Brisbane, it doesn’t have huge tourist spots like Sydney or a barrier reef to snorkel in like Cairns but it’s just so liveable! Below I created a list of the best things to do and see in Melbourne, I can’t guarantee everyone will loving living in Melbourne as much as me but I can guarantee you will enjoy your time here if you visit at least one of these places!
The best things to do in Melbourne
– Take a wine tour in the Yarra Valley – Picture acres of vineyards in the middle of the countryside and you will have a good idea as to what the Yarra valley is like. There are so many wine tours available starting at around $99pp with pick up, you will be taken to various vineyards where you will get the chance to sample some of the best wines in Australia as well as getting a chance to purchase your own selection of wine!
– Visit the graffiti Laneways – Melbourne is famous for the graffiti lanes hidden away within the city centre. I was blown away with the amount of amazing artwork found down some of these lanes and I would highly recommend taking a visit if you are ever in Melbourne!
– Visit Philip Island – Now if your like me you assume the only places your likely to see Penguins are at a zoo or in Antartica which is somewhere I’m not planning to visit anytime soon.. However you can take a day trip over to Philip Island and watch the adorable fairy penguin parade each evening, if you’re an animal fan this is definitely worth a visit!
– View the city from the Skydeck – Viewing the Melbourne skyline from the ground is breathtaking but being able to view the city from the 935ft Skydeck is a whole other story! The views are amazing and with tickets starting at $30 it’s a steal!
– Drive the Great Ocean Road – Driving the Great Ocean road was one of my highlights from my time in Australia. The coastal views are amazing throughout the journey and getting to visit the Twelve Apostles as well as London Bridge and Loch Ard Gorge on a sunny day was so lovely!
– Go to the Queen Victoria Nightmarkets – Imagine hundreds of market stalls all under one roof selling everything from clothes to toys, food and even alcohol! Just add some live music and you’ve got the Queen Victoria night market! This places has a little bit of everything and your bound to find something you like even if it is a drinking coconut like me!
Visit Naughty Boy – Omg where do I start with this place?! As you may have seen overfilled milkshake with masses of toppings have recently become a bit of a trend so when I saw that somewhere in the city was selling these I couldn’t got! These milkshakes are amazing and at $12 I think they are worth every cent..definitely worth a visit!