Melbourne, the city of my heart, has been nominated as the most liveable city seven times in a row. When Sydney is charming you with the most recognisable monuments, Melbourne has a different, more subtle tactic. Maybe that’s why people say that Sydney is the girl you date, but Melbourne is the girl you marry. But what is the secret of Melbourne? Is it the sounds of tram bells, the perfect milk foam on your coffee, culinary gems or just the never-ending surprises that the city has to offer?
Melbourne is a melting pot of different cultures, and for example here you can find the world’s largest Greek community outside of Greece. First came the Brits, then other Europeans, followed by Asians and Indians. Every single wave of immigration enriched Melbourne with its customs, cuisine, events and celebrations. Almost every day Federation Square in Melbourne is filled with people celebrating some national or local special day, and every Melburnian is welcome to join. In general people of Melbourne are very open to get to know new customs and well, they always appreciate a bit of fun and party. So come and join the Italian street food event, Greek dance class, Indian festival of colours or Chinese New Year celebrations!
Mecca of culture and sports
Melbourne is undeniably the cultural and sports capital of Australia. You can discover countless art exhibitions, theatre performances and musicals. Also the street art is more liveable than anywhere else. Places like Hosier Lane are undergoing a constant change when new graffiti art is being painted on top of the old ones. All street musicians need to get a permit to perform, and for this they need to pass a trial in front of a jury that decides whether the act was good enough for the standards of Melbourne.
Also in terms of sports, excitement is guaranteed, since Melbourne is the place for footie finals, cricket matches, horse races and Formula 1.
Lanes and alleys full of life
The main streets of Melbourne might be a bit lame, but the excitement is just hidden in the shadows of tiny streets, alleys and laneways. In anywhere else you are expected to find just trash bins on narrow alleys, but no, not in Melbourne. Those most unexpected places host the most interesting cafes, restaurants and bars. Or look up, there might just be the coolest rooftop bar! Melbourne is always ready to surprise you. New exciting places are popping up every day, and the whole city is constantly changing, developing, or just simply living.
Melbourne has free tram in the central area, which makes it easy to explore the city centre. If you are visiting Melbourne, jump on to the tram no 35, because that takes you around the whole free tram zone, and you can hear interesting facts and tips about the places around you.
Somewhere else suburbs are just places where people come to sleep, but not in Melbourne. Suburbs are at least as much alive as the city centre itself. Different areas have their distinctive personality, everything from posh to hipster. So catch a tram or local train and start exploring!
Malbourne has a lot of parks that offer places to relax, have your lunches or picnics, exercise or just hang out with your friends. During the summer time the Botanic Garden is turning into a outdoor cinema where you can bring your own snacks, blankets and wine. How perfect is that!
If you head out from the city, you are pampered with the stunning scenery of the Great Ocean Road, world class wineries of Yarra Valley or green natural parks of Mt Dandenong. Just to mention a few.
It is said that a six-month barista experience in Melbourne is equivalent to six years somewhere else. Melburnians are passionate about their coffee, and yes, the coffee is extremely good. Try out Australian specialities, flat white and long black, and whatever you do, remember to avoid Starbucks.
Life is good, easy and full of surprises
What else does a man or a a woman need? Top-notch restaurants, safety, good public transport, multiculturalism, opportunities to enjoy arts, sports, exercising, outdoors and all the other aspects of a good life. City that is filled with interesting book stores, design shops and clothing boutiques. You never know what you will find around the next corner. You never know what kind of an event or performance is going on today. Melbourne surprises you, excites you, charms you. And for all these reasons, the people of Melbourne are so passionately loving their city. And yes, I am one of them.