A first- time traveler to Australia is always posed with a big question of where to go: Melbourne or Sydney? Both these cities are iconic, how to choose one over the other? Both these cities cater to a different kind of traveler with a completely different look, energy, and vibe.
Both the cities have their own strengths and weaknesses, and it all will eventually depend on you and on what you prefer, from city sights to cultural experience?
On whether you like to immerse into nature or prefer a city break? Whether you are here to witness Australia’s history or you are going there to gain some brownie points on your Instagram account? In the end, it will all come down to your personal choice.
But, do not fret already, here we have broken down the best to see and experience in both the cities so that you can easily decide, which city is the best fit for you:
• Things to do
The uniqueness of Sydney lies in the variety of things that it has on offer. The city offers a range of beautiful art galleries and museums to choose from. The brilliant geographical location and welcoming weather conditions open up a range of opportunities that are not available in Melbourne.
Picturesque locations like the Taronga Zoo, Sydney Aquarium, and Madame Tussauds are easily accessible from the CBD and you can soak in the sights of the city from the top of the Harbour bridge or climb your way up to the Sydney Tower.
With so many things to see, it may get to a point where you will not feel touristy. So hop on a ferry or a bus and spend the day at any of the beaches in the city to relax and unwind.
People usually visit Melbourne for three main reasons: To shop, to eat, or to witness some specific musical event, art show or sports game.
Melbourne features an Aquarium and a Zoo, but they are a lot smaller than Sydney’s. The Eureka tower bids a 360-degree view of the city’s amazing skyline, but not as beautiful views as compared to Sydney’s.
The Botanical Gardens are gorgeous to explore, but they do not look out over a harbor. In terms of outdoor fun, Sydney is miles ahead of Melbourne.
Winner: It largely depends on what your priorities are, but Sydney is way better than Melbourne in terms of things to do and experience.
Sydney boasts of amazing sights and glamour when it comes to things to do but the city is very snobby when it comes to the food scene. Middle-tiered restaurants, (ones that offer good-quality, affordable food) are hard to come by, you will need to ask local experts who have decent insider knowledge about local food to locate such a restaurant.
So, if you go out, looking for a decent place to get the best grub you might end up disappointed. The CBD is one decent place where you can savor some authentic Asian cuisine, but if you are looking for some diverse offerings, you might have to hop on a train to the Inner West.
If you are a foodie, anytime between the end of September and early October is the best time to visit. It is the time when the International Food festival Kicks in and you will see loads of offerings available in the city’s Hyde Park.
A good quality middle-tiered restaurant is not very difficult to find in Melbourne’s CBD. The city is teeming with a range of hole-in-the-wall style restaurants and coffee shops which you can easily duck into to get some energy to sustain! The Chinatown is packed with a variety of quality restaurants and bars as well.
If you are looking to grab a good quality grub while you also save some money, head to the Queen Victoria market in the city’s North which hold some summer and winter markets annually.
In the winter months, you can warm yourself against the cold with pizza, mulled wine or hot cider. During the summer, you can enjoy a burger or a dozen oysters coupled with chilled beer while you soak in the Sun.
One thing that both the cities are proud of is Brunch. Melbournians even go so far as to claim that they serve the best quality coffee in the world. So, do not forget to check that out for yourself!
Winner: While both cities offer a much sought-after food culture, but Melbourne is the clear winner when it comes to accessibility for travelers.
Sydney is very sound culturally. It has all you expect of a city of its stature and size. It has theaters, museums, art galleries and the Opera House.
Although, in terms of culture, Sydney plays second fiddle to Melbourne, most of the times. Art, music, and fashion are a part of an everyday lifestyle of the Melbournians while the Sydney folks have other priorities like staying fit, to be beach ready at all times.
Melbourne is renowned as the “cultural capital” of Australia and is very proud of wearing this tag.
The city boasts of a desirable music and art scene. Whenever there is a new show, play or musical coming to Australia, Melbourne usually has the first dib at running it.
The city features plenty of top-class museums and galleries like the National Gallery in Victoria, a marvel from both outside and inside.
You can catch live music concerts at venues within the CBD and the surrounding outskirts like the Collingwood and St. Kilda to name a few.
The city in itself is a breathing piece of art. Pieces of urban art can be found from the passageways of the CBD like the Hosier Lane close to the Flinders Street Station and the beautiful suburban buildings like the Fitzroy and Brunswick.
Winner: Sydney will surely have to tip its hat to Melbourne when it comes to culture and art scene.
Not too long ago, Sydney used to boast of its nightlife. The tipplers could have a swanky night out at the bars or hang out at the beer gardens in the west. The King Cross used to offer brilliant cocktails, worth savoring on.
But, this kind of nightlife has kind of disappeared due to the late night violence in the city and the newly formed Lockout Laws. This has caused carousers to head elsewhere.
This has pretty much shifted the balance in favor of Melbourne. But having said that, Opera Bar still ranks very high. When you are looking to grab a wine and delve into the beauty of the harbor which is spread out in front of you.
Melbourne boasts of a vivid and vibrant nightlife. There is no dearth of boast-worthy bars in Melbourne’s CBD (Central Business Region), a fan of tipples will not leave disappointed.
Also, you will not really have to be inside the city, to enjoy a good nightlife. Some of the towns in the outskirts of the city- Brunswick, Fitzroy and St. Kilda- will offer a lot many places to enjoy a good night out.
The clubs, pubs, and rooftop bars are available at every nook and corner of the city, so all your preferences will be taken care of.
Winner: The decision to pick one out of these two cities, would have been quite difficult, some time ago, but when you talk of the present, Sydney does not even come close to Melbourne in terms of serving best quality nightlife.
• Outdoor living
Sydney is way better as compared to Melbourne when it comes to the abundance of nature. Sydney is a lot different from London or New York as it is not a concrete nightmare and is more like an urban jungle.
The city is teeming with green spaces like the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Hyde Park and its shoreline is littered with pathways and beaches in which you can navigate on. It is also home to the loveliest harbor in the world.
Melbourne is a beautiful city, but it lacks that wow factor, which comes from the natural beauty. There are plenty of green spots that are present in this city and the city really looks lovely on a sunny day against the backdrop of a blue sky.
But on a rainy day the city looks altogether a different place, the Yarra River, which looks splendid under the Sun turn into a dirty brown river. The St. Kilda Beach look like a humorless joke in the name of a beach.
Winner: Melbourne comes nowhere near to Sydney when it comes to natural abundance and outdoor living.
• WOW factor
The city is packed with so many spots worth-witnessing such as the Harbor Bridge, the Sydney Tower, the Opera house, the Bondi Beach, and the Luna Park.
If you ask an Australian local about what they are excited about seeing, they will most likely refer you to these destinations.
There is no dearth of worth seeing sights in Melbourne as well. The Flinders Street Station is an amazing specimen of historical architecture and the Yarra River presents a beautiful setting to have a jaunt beside on a sunny summer day.
Melbourne is also called the sporting capital of the country because of the renowned Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) which remains open to the residents and the visitors.
Do not forget to visit the Royal Botanical Gardens as it offers an insight into the history of the city and an opportunity to soak in the decent view of the city.
Winner: With that being said, Melbourne does not quite hold a candle to Sydney when it comes to must-see sights.
So, here you go, this is pretty much all you need to know, to compare and decide on which of the big two cities (Melbourne and Sydney) will you place your final bet on when planning a trip to Australia. We hope that after coming this far into the blog you would have decided which city better suits your personality.
So, without further ado, book your affordable flight tickets today, by calling the Reservation phone number and plan ahead to your much-awaited holiday to Australia.