Melbourne City

What’s The Best City In Australia? Comparing Melbourne Vs. Sydney

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    So, you’ve decided to pack up and ship out to the land of kangaroos and koalas. A land where flip-flops are called thongs, a liquor store is called a Bottle-O and going for a surf despite recent sightings of great white sharks is called perfectly normal behavior.You’ve got a backpack and an Australian work visa in tow but you haven’t worked out where you want to live yet. What now?

    While there are a number of cool cities in Australia, the majority of backpackers and expats tend to settle in either Sydney or Melbourne. Travelers and Australians alike usually agree that these cities are the best. But, which one reigns supreme is a point of contention.

    Here are some of the most notable differences between the two to try and help you make up your mind as to which is the best city in Australia.

    Sydney City

    Is Sydney the Best City in Australia?

    You’ve no doubt seen photos of the spectacular Sydney Opera House and the famous Harbour Bridge. While these sites are impressive, alone they are not enough to secure Sydney the title of the best Australian city. So, what else does Sydney have to offer?

    Sydney Has Better Weather

    Compared to Melbourne, Sydney has considerably better weather year-round. It tends to be less windy, less rainy and more consistently sunny. 

    You probably won’t be going to Australia for the culture so you’ll be relying on its nature. Which is fine. The nature in Australia is unbelievable. But, to enjoy nature to its fullest you’re going to need good weather. So Sydney wins this round.

    Sydney Has Beautiful Beaches

    The number one thing the causes travelers from around the world to fly to Sydney is its beaches. Bondi, Coogee, Shelly, Palm and Manly beaches are all accessible from Sydney and are all ranked in the top 25 beaches in Australia. 

    When the sun is out (which is always) there’s nothing better than an afternoon surf or stroll along the sand.

    Things to Do in Sydney

    It is generally agreed that Sydney has more on offer by way of activities than Melbourne. Does this make it the best Australian city? Well, that depends on what you like. Sydney has the Taronga Zoo and a big aquarium on offer as well as Sydney Tower and the Australian National Maritime Museum.

    If you’re looking for days out then a trip to the nearby Blue Mountains or Jenolan Caves are great mini-adventures. Alternatively, you could indulge in some fine Australian wine in Hunter Valley. Whatever you’re into, you’ll struggle to get bored in Sydney.

    But Then There’s Melbourne…

    Now let’s move on to Melbourne. Situated right on the Southeast tip of Australia, it is known as being much more hipster-friendly than Sydney. This might appeal to you or it might not. But, before you book your flights to Melbourne let’s see how it compares to Sydney is this battle for the title of the best Australian city.

    Melbourne City

    Rent is Way Lower than Sydney

    Perhaps the best thing about Melbourne, compared with Sydney, is the significantly lower rent rates. It is estimated that a 1 bedroom apartment in the city center of Sydney will set you back around AUD $2,689 (US $2127) per month. The same thing in Melbourne will cost you about $1,725 (the US $1364).

    Generally, the cost of living in Melbourne is about 11% cheaper than in Sydney. But, when it comes to accommodation, rent is roughly 37% cheaper in Melbourne. That doesn’t necessarily make it the best city in Australia but it’s worth taking into account.Australia is expensive where ever you go but if you’re on a budget, Melbourne might be a better choice.

    Melbourne’s Food Scene is Amazing

    If your favorite part of traveling is getting to eat amazing food then Melbourne has you covered. Melbourne’s culinary offerings are sensational. Here, you will find restaurants serving cuisine from all over the world. Best of all, not only is it cooked to perfection, but the prices aren’t too bad either. You can get a decent meal out for between AUD 10-15 ($8-12) in this groovy city.

    Melbourne is also known for having a much better coffee scene than Sydney. If you know your different roasts and consider yourself a coffee connoisseur then you’re likely to pick Melbourne as the best city in Australia.

    Local Transport in Melbourne

    Sydney is a mess. Even the people that live there will tell you that. Melbourne is laid out in a logical grid format (like Manhattan), making it far easier to navigate. In addition to its simple layout, Melbourne has a cracking public transport network. 

    There are plenty of trams, trains, and buses that serve the city’s population well. Be aware, however, that these vehicles can become packed out during the rush hour.So we have taken a look at some of the highlights each city has to offer. But, are we any closer to deciding whether Melbourne or Sydney should be crowned as the best city in Australia?

    It is all down to tastes. If you want sunshine, go to Sydney. If you don’t mind a bit of rain and love coffee then Melbourne is the obvious choice. Got enough time and money? Heck, why not hit up both!The important thing to remember is that Australia is amazing where ever you go so you’ll never be making a bad decision.
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    Sydney City

    Sydney Vs. Melbourne: The Ultimate Guide

    Let's be honest, Australia is a massive country and for travelers short on time it may be essential to choose between a visit to Sydney or Melbourne.  As Australia's largest capital cities, Melbourne and Sydney both shine as wonderful examples of everything Australia has to offer but there are some significant differences between both.

    Here is the ultimate guide to Sydney and Melbourne to help you answer the eternal question- which city is best for me?

    Sydney Landmarks are the epitome of what many international visitors imagine

    ... as the symbol of Australia and it is hard to argue with that stereotype considering Sydney Harbour is one of the most picturesque waterways in the world. The harbor is home to some iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and Luna Park drawing crowds from far and wide.

    Away from Sydney Harbour, the city's Royal Botanic Gardens, acclaimed museums and art galleries plus its breathtaking beaches near the central business district make Sydney stand out from Melbourne.

    It is hard for many modern cities throughout the world to measure up to Sydney

    ... when it comes to landmarks but Melbourne has its impressive architecture, iconic sporting venues, and laneways with personality. Discover an eclectic mix of modern architecture and art mixed in with bellowed heritage theatres and buildings of historical significance.

    The best examples can be found at Federation Square and Flinders Street Station, the State Library of Victoria, the Shrine of Remembrance, Old Melbourne Jail, and the hallowed Melbourne Cricket Ground where legends have taken to the field to achieve incredible sporting feats. Lastly, if you're looking for the best spot to soak in the views of Melbourne then Eureka Skydeck provides 360-degree views of the Melbourne skyline and Port Phillip Bay.

    Melbourne City

    Sydney culture is a divisive topic

    ... given that it is open to an individual's interpretation, however, Sydney checks all the boxes one might expect when visiting an international city with its fair share of galleries, churches, theatres, museums, restaurants, and nightlife proving to be a popular choice for international performers from all around the globe. 

    The Sydney Opera House is the most famous venue for concerts and operatic performances while the VIVID Festival lights up the night sky and iconic landmarks every May and June celebrating the festival of lights, music, and ideas. When it comes to nightlife Sydney is the place to party with some of the largest nightclubs in the country attracting international DJs. 

    And if it's exquisite food experiences that you desire then Sydney shines with its offering of top-end fine dining and unbelievable waterfront views if you are willing to pay for it. 

    But if you are on a budget then shared dining experiences at precincts like Spice Alley provide an authentic experience with mouth-watering food at a fraction of the price and without sacrificing on quality.

    Melbourne oozes culture

    ... and it begins with the diversity of its people in a city that has embraced multiculturalism. Art is prevalent on every corner that you turn with brightly painted murals, live performances, hidden rooftop bars, world-class restaurants, and hole-in-the-wall eateries serving up mouth-watering cuisines at all hours of the day and night. 

    This also falls in line with the fashion-forward population and strong alternative scene that walks a fine line between trendy and hipster.

    Melbourne's nightlife has a distinctly more mature tone with an abundance of live music venues alongside niche wine, scotch, or gin bars. Fitzroy, St Kilda, and The Crown Casino are popular precincts for evening entertainment and socializing. 

    Eating out tends to a more affordable social event but doesn’t discount the many award-winning restaurants that are here too. The food options are endless with European and Asian influences inspiring a great fusion of culinary options. If you want culture then Melbourne will give it to you in spades.

    Sydney City

    Sydney's got plenty of attractions to keep all ages happy

    ...including Taronga Zoo, SEA LIFE Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Madame Tussauds, Sydney Eye Tower, Luna Park, Wet n Wild, or the iconic Harbour Bridge Climb. 

    This is without even mentioning all the heritage and natural attractions, beaches, gardens, and hidden coves that Sydney has to offer.As Australia's largest city you'd expect it to offer the most things to keep you occupied and you'd be correct for making that assumption. 

    Sydney's landmarks, weather, variety, and geographical location all come together to make it one of the most varied and diverse cities in the world in terms of activities and attractions. 

    In terms of diversity and things to do for both visitors and residents alike, Sydney is the rightful jewel in the crown of Australia.

    Compared to Sydney's huge number of attractions, Melbourne falls behind slightly.

    A rich food and bar culture are all well and good but there is only so much dining and drinking a person can do in a single day. What Melbourne does excel at though is a huge number of interesting museums and art galleries some of which can be found in the cities laneways.

    Melbourne also serves as the ideal gateway to visit some of the more unique natural attractions that Victoria has to offer including the spectacular Great Ocean Road, Grampians, Wilson's Promontory, or the impressive wildlife haven in Phillip Island where you can encounter penguins.

    Sydney outranks Melbourne by far when it comes to the weather.

    This could be attributed to its coastal location - the climate is temperate with warm summers and cool winters. Occasionally the city may reach 40 degrees in summer however, several beaches, ocean pools, and Wet N Wild Sydney make it much more bearable to deal with.

    The yearly average maximum temperature for Sydney is a pleasant 22 degrees with a minimum of 13.8 degrees reinforcing the general comfort that you may experience during a visit. 

    Rainfall is surprisingly higher than in Melbourne but it is more likely to be experienced in summer during heavy seasonal thunderstorms as opposed to drizzly showers throughout the year. The consistency of the weather makes it easier to make plans and know what to expect when you travel to Sydney.

    Melbourne City

    In Melbourne, you can experience four seasons in one day you should dress in layers and prepare for sunshine and rain at all times. 

    It's this unpredictability coupled with a higher number of drizzly days and cooler temperatures that make Melbourne a less desirable attraction but with so many indoor activities and attractions, the city is well and truly acclimatized to the weather.

    Summer can be just as unpredictable with prolonged heat waves and few beaches to speak of but luckily everywhere is air-conditioned. If you don't like the weather in Melbourne then the good news is that you won't have to wait too long for it to change. 

    The real benefactor of the weather though is the beautiful gardens with autumnal colors and evergreen trees creating an impressive visual display.

    Sydney's traffic has reached epic proportions

    ... with the rise of the population which can be making driving or catching a bus a bit of a nightmare but the city's saving grace is its railway and ferry system which is based in Darling Harbour and Circular Quay. 

    This is especially handy for tourists who can access many of the prominent sightseeing points of Sydney including Taronga Zoo, Manly, Sydney SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, and Sydney Eye Tower within the city zone. 

    But with your electronic Opal transport card in hand, the city is available for you to explore easily on ferry, bus, and rail. The yearly average maximum temperature for Sydney is a pleasant 22 degrees with a minimum of 13.8 degrees reinforcing the general comfort that you may experience during a visit. 

    Rainfall is surprisingly higher than in Melbourne but it is more likely to be experienced in summer during heavy seasonal thunderstorms as opposed to drizzly showers throughout the year. The consistency of the weather makes it easier to make plans and know what to expect when you travel to Sydney.

    Melbourne's excellent tram system is a great alternative for getting around the city.

    What's even better is that the city is sanctioned a free travel zone so you can just jump aboard the travel without having to worry about purchase a ‘Myki' electronic travel card. 

    Peak hours should be avoided though as unsurprisingly it is a tight squeeze the journey outside of these times is an enjoyable one.

    The grid-like streets around the CBD make it easier enough to drive around unless you need to make one of those dreaded ‘hook' turns to avoid the oncoming traffic of a tram but if you are a visitor you will likely stay in the central district where walking is a sufficient and far more exciting to explore the city and ample trams are available if needed.

    Sydney City

    The Verdict

    Melbourne is a city with a very distinct European feel with heritage buildings and an extraordinary bar and restaurant culture. If you aren't too interested in history or have an art appreciation then this may not be the city for you. Sydney, however, does live up to the hype in terms of the huge variety of activities to do that appeal to the young and old. 

    And while the transport may not be the most convenient, visitors will find that most attractions that they are seeking to visit are located in the city so public transport may not even be required and if you do then can we recommend the very affordable ferry system that delivers with million-dollar views of the city.

    Sydney in the minds of many is the true capital of Australia with a great mixture of natural scenery and man-made tourist attractions and an emerging culinary scene that rewards many diners with waterfront views. 

    It may be stereotypical to say but no visit to Australia is complete without a visit to Sydney and thus the city slightly edges out over Melbourne as an round destination for all.

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    Sydney wins. Sydney is the most spectacular city in Australia with its amazing harbour views, better weather and the picturesque beaches. ... Melbourne has many of the hippest and coolest suburbs in oz and on average most people live in suburbs that are of better standard than Sydney.
    Melbourne has the Yarra River which is particularly photogenic at sunset but really it doesn't stand a chance against Sydney Harbour. If we were talking about architectural beauty that's another matter. Sydney's CBD is by and large pretty ugly and Melbourne's city centre and laneways are much more attractive
    Both cities are capitals of two neighboring states. Melbourne is the capital city of Victoria, with the second largest city with the second highest population on the continent while Sydney is the capital city for New South Wales and holds the record for being the largest city and the most populous city.
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