The Australian cities dilemma: Sydney or Melbourne?
Part 1: Background
“Is Melbourne better than Sydney?”, “Is Sydney better than Melbourne?”.
You must have gone through this dilemma when you’re choosing between Australia’s two remarkable cities.
But don’t worry, this article has broken down the pros and cons of both cities so that it’ll be easier for you to make a decision.
Part 2: Comparative analogy
Getting around Melbourne is quite easier than Sydney as Sydney is heavily congested and transport expense is more expensive than Melbourne’s.
The Public transport of Melbourne is also better than Sydney because of its less urban sprawls in compared to Sydney.
Melbourne have a sky Bus (AUD 18 one way southern cross station) and it also makes the public easier to get around because of the tram system which is 100% free within the CBD (central Business District).
In terms of scenic beauty while traveling Sydney is much prettier to commute through with harbor ferries and swish double-decker trains that cross the Harbour bridge.
Melbourne’s weather can be four seasons in one day. Its summers are less predictable than Sydney’s.
Winter of Melbourne are perceived to be harsh, it goes through Arctic blast and occasional torrential downpour and blue skies can sometimes be seen in winter days but as Melbourne goes through this kind of weather in August, Sydney basks in 22-degree heat.
As mentioned Sydney is all about humidity, it also has legendary beaches. Milk Beach, Bondi Beach, Shelly Beach, Manly beach, and the list goes on … these are the beaches that are the best for swimming, surfing and sunbathing.
However, Melbourne doesn’t come off that strong in the context of beaches, but if you take a short drive or train ride down the eastern side of Port Philip Bay in Melbourne, you will find yourself in non-surf beaches like Brighton, Chelsea, where the water is warm, clear as glass and beautiful.
Sydney beaches are iconic but they are also heavily crowded and chaotic.
Landmark and Sightseeing
Sydney is a popular city that has a huge number of landmarks and sightseeing destinations.
Nature, the natural harbors and the man-made wonders like Sydney opera house bring their best in Sydney. The Opera House is one of the best landmarks in Sydney.
As compared to Sydney Melbourne has a better number of Architectural wonders. Flinders Street Station is a gorgeous piece of historical architecture and the Yarra River is lovely to stroll beside on a sunny day. As the sporting capital of the country, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is open to tour for visitors and residents alike. A visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens is a must-do and the nearby Shrine of Remembrance offers an insight into Australian history, as well as a decent view of the city.
Melbourne is often considered as the capital of Culinary. The range and quality of food in Melbourne are phenomenal.
Sydney has a fair- share of award-winning restaurants but tends to be of the price variety.
The city’s Chinatown is packed with quality restaurants and bars. If you’re after a cheap meal in an outdoor setting, Queen Victoria Market in the north of the city holds annual summer and winter markets. Here you can grab a burger or oysters to have with a cold beer to warm yourself against the cold with pizza coupled with a hot cider or mulled wine during the winter months.
It depends on how you define culture, but if it comes down to the arts scene, Melbourne is better than Sydney.
The city boasts an extremely enviable art and music scene, especially the National Gallery of Victoria which is a marvel inside and out.
You can catch live music essentially any and every night of the week, from venues within the CBD and surrounding suburbs like St Kilda and Collingwood to name a couple of hot spots. The city itself is like a living, breathing a piece of art. Urban art can be found everywhere – from the laneways of the Central Business District (CBD) – like the famous Hosier Lane near Flinders Street Station – to that adorning the buildings of suburbs like Brunswick and Fitzroy.
In times it would be hard to decide between the two, but Melbourne is the clear winner in terms of Nightlife.
Fitzroy, Brunswick and St Kilda will guarantee you a good night out. It doesn’t matter what your preference – pubs, clubs, rooftop bars with a full view of the city – you’ll find it in Melbourne. However, King Cross on a Friday night or having a glass of wine at Opera Bar of the harbor spread will give you a good night out at Sydney.
Sydney feels less concrete nightmare and more urban jungle. Being built on one of the loveliest natural harbors in the world goes a long way in helping this feeling.
¡The city is full of green spaces, Hyde Park and the Royal Botanical Gardens in the CBD are lovely and you could spend hours navigating Centennial Park in the city’s east.
While for Melbourne on a sunny day, it is gorgeous. There are plenty of green spots to be found around the city (being part of Australia’s Garden State after all) and the city looks lovely against a backdrop of blue sky.
However, on a rainy day, Melbourne seems like a completely different place. The Yarra River and St Kilda Beach are two main attractions consisting of natural beauty.
Melbourne is the undisputed sports capital of Australia. The teams like AFL or Aussie rules are originated in Melbourne. It hosts many international events but the memory of the most recent Olympic Games in Australia.
Melbourne has a reputation of being the sports capital of the world so it’s safe to say that in terms of Sports Melbourne is the winner than Sydney.
Besides all of the mentioned above, Sydney experiences a cockroaches situation so a bug spray might come in handy.
Regular fumigation of your apartment is mandatory to control the pests.
SO WHY SYDNEY?
Sydney has the sights: the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach, Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney Tower, Luna Park… the list goes on.
It has amazing weather, beautiful beaches and is desperate to see some of Australia’s renowned icons.
If you want to be close to nature, then Sydney is the place for you.
AND WHY MELBOURNE?
If you want to experience the beating heart of Australia, by immersing yourself in its culture, art, food, and nightlife.
If you’re a fan of boutique shopping, colorful cocktails and consider yourself a coffee connoisseur, then Melbourne is the city for you.
If you want to know more about cities in Australia, here’s the link to one of out other popular post, “Where to Live in Australia as an International Student?”, where you’ll find more information about Sydney, Melbourne, and other popular student cities around Australia.
Part 3: Conclusion
Sydney and Melbourne couldn’t be more different in looks, vibe, and energy – and they each cater to a different kind of traveler.
The Sydney vs Melbourne showdown has been raging for a long time, but which city will you choose? 🙂