Overview

Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city, and not by much. In fact, statistics say that Melbourne’s population will overtake Sydney by 2050. There’s a reason why Melbourne is growing faster than Sydney. For the sixth year in a row it has been rated the world’s most livable city. This is because of its numerous parks, art galleries, restaurants and also cheaper housing.

Melbourne As A Moving Destination

When moving to Melbourne accommodation will seem well-priced if you are coming from Sydney. But if you are coming from virtually anywhere else it will seem expensive. Melbourne is Australia’s fastest growing major city and to an even greater extent than Sydney—prices have been soaring for two decades.

Which part of Melbourne you want to live in depends on what you want out of this city. For affordability—west Melbourne is your best bet. But for transport to the city—the east has less congestion during rush hour because it doesn’t face the bottleneck of the West Gate Bridge. The east has better infrastructure and services and a denser population, however more development plans are in place in the west in order to reduce this discrepancy.

But nowadays, almost as important as the east vs west debate is the hipster vs yuppie area debate in Melbourne. The hipster epicenter of Melbourne is Fitzroy—inner north-east Melbourne. And the classic distinction is that north Melbourne is for hipsters, south Melbourne is for yuppies. It’s a very socioeconomic rule-of-thumb also which is basically the inverse of Sydney’s north/south divide. In inner Melbourne, the south is the expensive area.

Climate

Melbourne’s climate is the talk of Sydney and several other slightly more climatically fortunate cities. Melbourne has a temperate-oceanic climate that is cooler than Sydney, and also more stormy in winter. It is also oft remarked upon that Melbourne’s weather is more mutable than Sydney—prone to sudden change.

But this is mainly compared to Sydney. Objectively . . . Melbourne’s weather is quite mild and pleasant most of the time.

Cost Of Living

The cost of living is a degree lower in Melbourne than it is in Sydney for all purchases except accommodation. Accommodation in Melbourne is significantly cheaper than in Sydney (Source).

Accommodation prices are one of the main reasons why people are choosing Melbourne over Sydney, causing Melbourne to grow at a faster rate.

Transport

Driving into the city is a common practice in Melbourne, and the standard commute is around 40min to the city. But, especially if you live in west Melbourne, traffic delays are common.

Driving around the suburbs is by far the quickest transport option, but for transport to the city, many people take the train. Melbourne’s train system is quite good and its network of trams (the largest in the world) make micro-transit a breeze. However, expect crowding in the morning on the trams and you may even fail to get on the first one that goes by because it is just too full.

Infrastructure

Melbourne’s public infrastructure of parks, art galleries, museums and sport stadiums always amazes people from Sydney because they are so large, numerous and of such a high quality. Melbourne truly realises the importance of spending money on public infrastructure to keep its people happy.

Culture

Melbourne’s appeal could not be talked about without mentioning culture. Melbourne is a cultural hub of Australia and its cultural center has traditionally been Fitzroy. Fitzroy is known for its hipsters, its IceBar and its warehouse parties. But of course, a place can only stay cool and affordable for so long, so the next hip suburb in Melbourne is always a matter of speculation, but it is usually somewhere near Fitzroy.

As a whole, Melbourne is known as the artsy alternative to Sydney. Not in a bad way at all actually. It is known for its slightly slower way of life and numerous art galleries, making it a choice city for many creative types.

4 Tips For Moving To Melbourne

  • Expect stormy weather in winter. Buy coats, get property insurance and stay inside if it gets too stormy. Not to scare you, just so you can be prepared.
  • Try to find the right balance between appreciating hipster culture and the boundless creative contributions that hipsters have made, and becoming overly hip and pretensious.
  • Discover some hidden bars and even restaurants. In the labyrinths of Melbourne’s alleyways there are countless secret places that only the in-crowd knows about.
  • Find your favourite coffee place. Every Melbournian has a favourite coffee place. (A stereotype but . . . it is true that there is a lot of good coffee.)