12 Reasons You Should Visit Melbourne Over Sydney

Photo of Monique La Terra
27 June 2017

No-one can deny that Sydney is a fantastic city, but Melbourne is thought to be one of the greatest cities in the world. Although there are many, many reasons for that, Culture Trip has narrowed down the city’s superiority to these 12 facts.

World’s Most Liveable City

Anyone can ramble on about how great their city is, but the city of Melbourne has been granted the title of World’s Most Liveable City by the prestigious Economist Intelligence Unit’s Liveability Index for six years in a row. Meanwhile, Sydney failed to crack the top 10 in 2016.

Sports Capital

Not only did AFL originate in Melbourne, but the city hosted the Olympic Games more than 50 years before they were held in Sydney. Melbourne also hosts the Australian Open, the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Melbourne Cup and the AFL Grand Final among other events. Melbourne was also named the World’s Ultimate Sporting City in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2016.


Culture Capital

In addition to being the sporting capital of Australia, Melbourne is also the culture capital. The NGV is the country’s most visited art gallery, and the Melbourne Museum is the largest museum in the Southern Hemisphere. Other cultural institutions include ACMI and the Royal Exhibition Centre. Melbourne also hosts many world-class festivals, exhibitions and exclusive events.

Len French ceiling National Gallery of Victoria | © Daniel/WikiCommons


Melbourne is home to Australia’s largest shopping centre, Chadstone, which boasts over 500 stores. It’s no wonder why Melbournians are some of the most stylish people in Australia. With luxury boutiques, department stores and affordable brands, Chadstone attracts more than 20 million visitors annually.

TV Shows

From Neighbours to Kath & Kim, Offspring and The Sullivans, many of Australia’s most iconic television shows are set in Melbourne. In addition, some of Australia’s highest rating reality programs including The Block and Masterchef are filmed here.


From rooftop bars and restaurants with dazzling views of the skyline, to themed bars, clubs, outdoor cinemas, theatrical events and music performances, there is always somewhere to go and plenty to do every night of the week in Melbourne.

Image courtesy of Siglo, | © Tess Kelly

Laneways and Arcades

Hidden within the laneways of Melbourne, you can find quirky bars and intimate cafes surrounded by ever-changing street art murals. In contrast, Melbourne’s arcades ooze European charm. When visiting, be sure to roam through Hosier Lane and one of Australia’s oldest surviving arcades, the Royal Arcade.

Royal Aracade | © Heidi Sandstrom/Unsplash

Easy to Navigate

Unlike Sydney’s entanglement of streets, Melbourne’s central business district is laid out as a grid, making it tremendously easy to navigate. Known as the Hoddle Grid, the centre of Melbourne is composed of a network of intersecting straight roads and city blocks. Melbourne also features a free city circle tram, making the matter even easier.



From fusion restaurants, fine dining and food trucks precincts, Melbourne is a foodie’s paradise where distinguished chefs from across the globe come to set up shop. Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar & Grill and Shannon Bennett’s Vue de Monde are among the best restaurants in town. You can even find Heston Blumenthal’s only restaurant outside of England here.


Ethically sourced, Melbourne is home to the best coffee in Australia. Whether it’s cold drip, espresso or cappuccino, Melbourne’s expert baristas respect the bean. For the best cup of coffee you’re likely to ever taste, visit Market Lane, Seven Seeds or Industry Beans.

Market Lane QVM Deli Hall Shop | Courtesy of Lauren Bamford

Ned Kelly

An icon of Australian folklore, Ned Kelly lived and died in Victoria. Regardless of your opinion, there’s no denying that Ned Kelly and his gang of outlaws are integrated into the Australian identity. The State Library of Victoria and the Old Melbourne Gaol have Kelly memorabilia on display.

Ned kelly armour library | © Chensiyuan/WikiCommons

Ellen DeGeneres

Comedian, television host, forgetful fish and one of the world’s kindest and most influential people, Ellen DeGeneres married Portia de Rossi who hails from Geelong, only an hour from Melbourne.

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