There is a reason this city until last year was voted the most livable city for six consecutive years running. According to the EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit), it has been ranked in the world’s top three since the index began in 2002. The EIU compiles the rankings using data related to Infrastructure, Healthcare, Education and Stability and more; however I’m going to delve into my very bias experience living, working, eating, and drinking in this “concrete playground”.

Melbourne has a skyline that genuinely makes you excited when you see it driving in from the airport. It also looks great from other angles too, like the botanical gardens, or when you are at the beach.

I was lucky enough to live in a suburb called Elwood, I refused to move to Australia and not live near the beach. This was my personal preference, some people like to live nearer the city and leave the beach aspect for trips on the weekend, but the sand and sea became the best part of my work commute.

There are some really varying suburbs within Melbourne, there quite literally is a suburb for everyone as they have such different personalities and things that they offer. What makes it better is the inexpensive and for the most part reliable public transport system. Trams run all over the city, and where they don’t bus and train systems pick the rest up. Additionally, I have never lived in a place where there are so many Ubers, and for such great prices; especially when you use the pool. I once got a trip for 10 minutes for $2 (I think I was very lucky!).

If you are into sport, Melbourne is host to some of the best International sporting spectacles year-round. The Australian Tennis Open kicks (or serves) it all off for the year in January, even if you are not a tennis fan getting a day pass is something I couldn’t recommend enough, they have pop up food shops catering guests with the best food Melbourne has to offer, and part of the park gets transformed into a music festival. Bastille and The Veronicas headlined this year.

March brings the First Grand Prix of the year on the Formula 1 Calendar. Set in Albert Park, the track is sandwiched between the beach and the city. Fast cars, Air force jet flyovers, and a great atmosphere. Most importantly for Australians themselves, Cricket season ranges from October – March, and the AFL (Australian Football League) begins when the Cricket ends up until around September.

Horse racing is also a huge part of Australian culture, with “Tabs” scattered all around the Cities. Even if you are not a racing fan, Flemington Racecourse is an amazing place, with a spectacular backdrop of the city. I went to the Melbourne Cup in 2018, had a few too many cans with friends, it rained and Sam Smith turned up and serenaded everyone. What a day.

Food is very much something to write home about, Melbourne is a massively ethnically diverse city and it hosts pretty much any cuisine you can think of with amazing restaurants nestled around every suburb. If you have any doubt about my opinion and want some more information this is a great starting point: https://www.theurbanlist.com/melbourne/food-and-drink

A personal favorite of mine was visiting the Summer/ Winter Victorian Night Market. You can get a taste of everything. Additionally, if you don’t feel the inclination to leave the comforts of your own home, Uber Eats is always there for you.

Melbourne is world-famous for its Coffee, and for very good reason. It lived up to the hype for me and still does every time I have one. Starbucks still exists here, but it is no way as popular; pretty much every cafe (with a few exceptions) supplies the goods. Warning, it can become addictive and it is strong so set yourself some boundaries.

Now onto the harder stuff, Melbourne much like any City has some great bars and clubs, allowing you to drink watching the sunset on the beach, or watching the stars from a rooftop bar on a high rise. It also does not have the silly (in my option) restrictive drinking laws that Sydney (NSW) has. Chapel Street is a very famous strip of watering holes and a great place to get lost on a Friday or Saturday night. Chapel Street also has some great late night eateries to help soak it all up once your night is done. More information can be found: https://www.theurbanlist.com/melbourne/a-list/best-bars-melbourne

Last but not least, the Great Outdoors. If you need to escape for a weekend and the beaches are still to close to this concrete playground, Melbourne is surrounded by some breathtaking landscapes just a stone’s throw away. Wine Country in the form of Yarra Valley makes for some great day-tripping with friends, out in the Vineyards feels like a long way from the City but you can still get back to your own bed by the end of the day. Philip Island and its famous Penguin Parade is also a few hours away, with some incredible beaches I would recommend this for a long weekend. Additionally, there are some spectacular National Parks where you can camp and really feel at one with nature if you need some respite from the City. There are also lots of Air BnBs if you don’t want to feel that “at one” with nature.

I could go on and on, but I hope I have at least scratched the surface on describing what has turned out to be one of my favourite cities in the World. Melbourne is a bit of a contradiction, as it is truly one of a kind, yet manages to remind you of home.

P.S It really does have 4 seasons in one day, so pack accordingly!

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