Sunday, November 15, 2015

Expat Observations: Melbourne vs Sydney

There is nothing like a good city rivalry to get the blood pumping, and Melbourne vs Sydney is Australia's equivalent of this time-honored tradition. Dan Kelly even wrote a song about it. Each city has its own unique personality and attractions to set it apart from the other. So which one is best?

Sydney is obviously Australia's oldest and best known city. It is a leading tourist destination that draw people from around the world to see landmark attractions like the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and The Rocks. Sydney also has pretty good weather, fantastic beaches and a laid back surfer vibe. It is the home of rugby league and the entertainment capital of the country. Sydney has the glitz and the glam with its beautiful people and large nightclubs, and reminds me of Los Angeles.

Melbourne is the sporting and cultural capital of Australia, and has been named the world's most livable city by The Economist numerous times. It is the spiritual home of Australian Rules Football (AFL) and hosts the Australian Open (tennis) and Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix each year. Melbourne is a foodie mecca and known for its street art and thriving music scene. While it doesn't have landmark attractions like the Opera House, it is a city where you can wander around and discover hidden gems down the laneways and arcades in the CBD. This can be a good thing as Melbourne is also known for its unpredictable weather, so it's good to be able to duck into a cafe for a bit and wait for the weather to change. Melbourne reminds me of San Francisco as they have a similar vibe.

As you can see, each city has something unique to offer. For me though there is no contest - I chose to live in Melbourne for a reason. However, sometimes it is nice to make a quick visit to the Emerald City.

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