A fresh start in a new city is something many of us fantasise about. I for one adore the feeling of arriving to an unfamiliar place and leaving, be it weeks, months or years later, having considered it that special place we call home.
I’ve lived in a few different cities now and although it hasn’t even been a year yet, I have to say that none have felt more welcoming and exciting as Melbourne. I’ve fallen in love with so many aspects of this city and consequently I now find myself compelled to rave about it to everyone who will willingly – or unwillingly listen.
If you’re looking at moving away, or are just intrigued, Melbourne is a place you should seriously consider. For starters, it’s easy to gain employment, make friends and generally reside in comfortably. But what makes Melbourne better than the rest of the Australian cities?
Read on for just 5 of my compelling reasons why, that will hopefully persuade you to move to Melbourne ASAP.
1. It’s Music Mad
Of all the things I love about Melbourne, this for me has to be my number one. I’ve lived in London for many years and as much as I adored the endless intimate gigs, bars and arena concerts, my biggest disappointment was always that the city just closed too early. This is where Melbourne differs. Here the music and party scene is literally 24/7 as warehouse parties, nightclubs and festivals roll on for literally days on end. Melbourne does not sleep.
The rather aptly named ‘Breakfast Club’ event for example, is held every Monday from 9am on the rooftop of High Street’s well renowned OneSixOne club. So if you fancied going clubbing for breakfast (they also amusingly provide fruit), then you actually wouldn’t be the only one.
Melbourne even has more record shops per capita than anywhere else in the world (yes – you read that correctly!). Melbournian’s are clearly music snobs as with nearly 60 record stores, vinyl is quite rightly thriving.
2. It’s Officially One of the Most Liveable Cities in the World
The annual liveability index carried out by The Economist rates 140 cities on factors such as education, infrastructure, healthcare and stability. In 2017 Melbourne was awarded an outstanding score of 97.5 out of a possible 100, which is most definitely something to brag about.
Amazingly, Melbourne has not claimed this impressive title just once – it has hogged the top spot as the world’s most liveable city for an incredible 7 years in a row (from 2010 to 2017!).
Although all of the five Australian cities that were analysed in the study feature within the top 20 (proving that Australia is just awesome), Sydney and Brisbane both saw a drop in their scores. Perth featured at a modest 7th place but Melbourne is the only Australian city that has proved such overall consistency.
The report noted Melbourne’s low crime rates as one as the main reasons it outranked other high performing cites. Green spaces was also another commended attribute as it boasts over 480 acres of publicly accessible parks and gardens such as the gorgeous Botanical Gardens located in the CBD.
So… not only has all the hard research been done for you, you can’t argue with solid statistics!
3. It’s the Culture Capital of Australia
Simply walking the streets of Melbourne is enough to become enraptured by an art scene that is as varied and vibrant as the culturally diverse Melbournian’s behind it. The eye-catching painted murals inadvertently makes you pick up your camera, the performers stop you in your tracks and the live music, be it the old Chinese man playing the lute outside the MOMA or the bucket drummer on Bourke Street, leaves you in awe of their talent.
Unlike Sydney with its grand Opera House, Melbourne’s scene feels raw, organic and distinctly unpretentious. Creativity, displayed in a variety of mediums and with various international influences, spills from every street corner and is fuelled by a collective appreciation of self expression.
Fashion is one way in which everyday Melbournians seem to especially master personal expression. Victoria’s capital seems to take particular pride in it’s fashion scene, aided by thriving vintage shops and trendy independent clothing boutiques.
There’s a prominently cool European hipster/alternative fashion influence here that you can’t help to be inspired by, and a little envious of. I often find myself observing and admiring the looks of colourful characters from a cafe in the trendy suburbs of Fitzroy, St Kilda or Brunswick. It is no surprise to me that in recent years, many industry professionals have declared Melbourne to be overtaking Sydney as the fashion hub of Australia.
With an abundance of book shops, literary festivals, events and award winning historic and present day authors, Melbourne has even been declared a UNESCO city of literature. The iconic museums and galleries (of which the city has too many to list) are also internationally notable. The Melbourne Museum is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and just like many others in the city, (such as the Museum of Modern Art), entrance is free for everyone.
It’s fair to say there’s one thing you’ll never be in Melbourne – and that is bored.
4. It’s an Ideal Base for Exploring
Granted, travelling Australia isn’t particularly easy or cheap due to the sheer size of the country, but there are actually some brilliant places to visit near Melbourne, especially if you have a car. There’s bays, beaches, bushland, rainforests and mountains; there really is so much diversity on your doorstep.
One of the most famous road trips in the world, the Great Ocean Road, starts just an hour out of Melbourne and is perfect to experience over a long weekend. Not only does it have some of the most scenic coast in Australia, there are tonnes of waterfalls and natural formations to see such as the 12 Apostles and The Gorge. There’s nothing quite like an Australian summer road trip and Victoria is home to some of the best.
More further afield you have the breathtaking Grampians National Park – a huge series of rugged sandstone mountain ranges, that to me almost look like an epic movie set. Imagining that this was one day the ocean floor blew my mind. I could seriously hike here every weekend and not get sick of it.
The extremely underrated state of Tasmania is also an overnight ferry ride or short flight away from Melbourne. It’s the smallest of Australian territories but at about 70% of the size of England, there really is absolutely masses to do there.
5. The Wine and Coffee is Some of the Best
I’ve never been a massive coffee drinker and unfortunately a bad bottle of red in the Netherlands put me off wine for about a year. However, since moving to Melbourne and with a little encouragement, I have given both a second chance and my mind has been blown.
Some of the best vineyards in Australia can be found along the Mornington Peninsula and in the Yarra Valley, both nearby to Melbourne. This local experience of frolicking between grapevines and sipping on wine fresh from the source has completely changed my perception of wine. Coupled with an alfresco cheeseboard for lunch, there aren’t many better ways to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon.
The bars in Melbourne often stock many of these fantastic wines and the staff are always so knowledgeable and willing to advise you should you be stuck for making a decision or wish to pair it with your food.
Coffee is an equally professional affair and a lot of skill and thought gets put into each cup by your barista. It’s so typically ‘Melbourne’ to see everyone walking around with a coffee but I can see why – it’s bloody good.
Have I managed to persuade you to come to Melbourne? I’d love to hear if yes below!
All photos are ©