Once I decided that I wanted to study abroad in Australia, the hardest decision was choosing where in Australia. The decision was down to Sydney vs. Melbourne. I had heard great things about both, but was not sure as to which one would end up being the best fit for me. If you ask anyone in Sydney, they’ll say Sydney is the best city, however, if you go to Melbourne they also claim to have that title. However, this weekend I decided to test out my decision by visiting Melbourne for a couple of days with a friend who was leaving there. That way I was able to get the Melbourne experience with a local to show me around.
My first impression of Melbourne was that it definitely had more of a city environment than Sydney. The city is more put together in one spot, while Sydney is more spread out. It was really easy to get to different parts of the city either walking or through a short tram ride. From my experience, I concluded that Melbourne is more of a London meets New York type of city. Meanwhile I would describe Sydney as a Miami meets Spain.
When it comes to art, however, Melbourne definitely has the lead. Every alley and corner is full of art. Basically every spot in the city is a photoshoot opportunity. Although Sydney is also full of art and culture, it doesn’t compare to Melbourne’s.
Moreover, walking down Fitzroy street in Melbs, you can definitely feel the hipster vibes. It is full of thrift stores and coffee shops that make you feel like you are stuck in the 90s.
Nevertheless, when it comes to beaches and weather, no place beats Sydney. Unlike Melbourne, Sydney is significantly warmer and the beach is a big part of people’s lifestyle. While I was in Melbourne, I had the chance to visit Brighton beach and St. Kildas, but in no way do these compare to Bondi or Bronte in Sydney. In addition, Melbourne’s weather is totally unpredictable and usually consists of more rainy days than Sydney.
Both cities are full of culture, good food, and things to see and do. Consequently, picking the right city depends mostly on what your preferences are. For me, I was glad to see that I made the right choice coming to Sydney. I am more of a laid back and beach person, which makes Sydney the perfect fit. However, Melbourne is an amazing city for art and city lovers.