Sydney or Melbourne? This was a question I thought to myself a lot but also found nearly all other travellers were asking the same thing. So here i’m going to give you some standouts from each. Hopefully you can make the decision on where to stay for you.
Sydney often mistaken for the capital of Australia (for good reason, seeing as Canberra is crazily uninteresting). It has everything you could expect in a capital. With its super busy streets all throughout central.
With a large Asian influence in a lot of the city there is plenty to eat. Loads of different oriental cuisines dotted around. China towns just off the main streets (providing some great cheap dumplings!) while being a nice route to get to Paddy’s market. An indoor market ideal for finding those cheap smart clothes you might need for interviews. With friendly stall owners open to a bit of haggling!
With a huge 23 platform central station. Getting around Sydney by train is a breeze, within a week you will feel yourself learning what platforms go where. If this seems a little daunting there is always the updated tram system that rolls throughout the centre at a leisurely pace. You may need to get your hands on an Opal card. this is the travel card for all of NSW so worth grabbing one from most shops.
When you have finally found your way around this busy city you can head to the station Circular Quay. Here you will find the Royal Botanic gardens of Sydney. Special because you can see not only the famous harbour bridge from here but also the Sydney opera house all within 10 minute walk of Circular Quay station. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous you can walk along the top arches of the Harbour bridge.
With classy and expensive restaurants and bars dotted all along the Darling Harbour. If you are looking to have a fancy night out look no further. With everyone around being sharply dressed and yachts all sitting in the harbour. Enjoy waterside cocktails and small but delicious meals. Finished off by clubs where only the smartest and nicest dressed people get inside.
But what really pulled me into Sydney was the promise of beautiful beaches. Bondi beach famous all across the world is a popular beach without feeling to overcrowded most days. You can lay back and relax on the golden sand, watching the filming of the well known TV series Bondi rescue. With only a short walk along the coastal paths will get you to Coogee beach a bit gentler of a beach. These beaches are just a few of many beautiful bays and beaches all around the area of Sydney.
So what about Melbourne? This city holds a totally different feel to it than any city i have seen. With graffiti decorating every wall in central. To a huge vegan and environmentally friendly lifestyle. If there was going to be a cultural capital of Australia Melbourne would certainly be it!
With a strong European vibe even though its on the opposite side of the globe. It hosts a huge variety of different arts and entertainment from the Melbourne international comedy festival. Occurring during March/April of each year it completely takes over the city. You would have to be blind to miss the decorations and the hype around it. Or go to see a show at a huge selection of theatres with a wide arrange of performances. If this is your thing but you’re on a budget the Arts house is a fantastic little theatre with fantastic little prices to match.
If you love vegetarian/vegan food then Melbourne will have you bloated with options. With so many choices even people who thought being vegan would be to demanding on what they could and couldn’t buy, will find it a breeze to find most cuisines with a vegan twist. A personal favourite was Lentil As Anything. A restaurant in St. Kilda with a relaxed atmosphere, with the crazy addition of you decide what you pay for your meal. It’s great for being on a budget! The food is delicious and filling with friendly staff. But try not to abuse the payment, as these guys do wonders with this idea for people who truly cant afford a normal hot meal.
Compared to the beaches in Sydney the beaches in Melbourne are lacklustre. With little safe areas for swimming and the beaches not kept very tidy. With quite a large drug scene its not unusual to see “equipment” on the floor. The weather while still warm is a bit more comparable to England in the sense of lots of rainy days. But the bonus that comes with these less busy beaches and colder weather is something you would not expect to see when visiting Australia.
Penguins on the beach! These little penguins are easy to see down on the pier in St. Kilda with them arriving to the rocks to nest each evening. Get there around dusk for the best chances! Many tourists and travellers flock to these areas with many not adhering to the flash photography rules. So if you’re planning on visiting, please be on your best behaviour to keep these little guys happy! Keeping in tune with nature around Melbourne is easy with the great ocean road just outside!
While Melbourne can feel quiet compared to the busy streets of Sydney. Aside from the graffiti from famous cartoon characters to political statements giving the city a strong sense of freedom of speech. This city comes alive at night. As it gives way to all walks of life with hip bars dotted down alleys off the main streets. Whole streets dedicated to partying all night. With an undercurrent of hallucinogens can mean you never have to rest if techno and pumping dance floors are for you.
If you are still trying to decide between these two amazing cities. It can’t hurt to visit both! They’re drastically different cities, I’m sure you will find something you love in either! Let me know if you find anything that particularly stood out to you about these places. Australia has plenty to offer not just from these two cities and you will see drastic differences between all sorts of towns and cites! Enjoy!
Last but not least!
Are you ready to start your adventure in one or both of these beautiful cities? Don’t think any more just do it!
click the link below to see the most competitive prices on flights to Australia!