A coastal city in the Australian state of Victoria, Melbourne is known for its trendy arts scene in the Southbank area, riverfront bars and restaurants and modern Federation Square development.
And do you know what? It’s an absolutely cracking place.
Those who know me personally know that I first visited Australia in 2014 when I did the typical touristy route from Cairns to Sydney. However, I didn’t make it as far down as Melbourne.
And I always regretted it.
After all, practically everybody I met along the way told me how Melbourne was the best city in Oz. And I was missing out big time. Sigh.
Luckily, I’ve now rectified this situation.
At the end of September, almost two years following my first time in Oz, my dream of being able to visit this captivating city became a reality. And here are 5 reasons why I love Melbourne.
Reasons why I love Melbourne 101: have you SEEN the Melbourne skyline?! It’s BEAUTIFUL.
Plus, Yarra River cuts directly through the Central Business District, which means that there’s skyscrapers overlooking it either side.
If you sit on the riverfront behind Flinders Station, you have the perfect view of Southbank. And if you sit out on the river at the edge of Southbank, you have the perfect view of the rest of the CBD. It’s so lovely and charming down there with shops, bars and buskers aplenty.
Then you’ve got the beauty of the Royal Botanic Gardens only a stone’s throw away.
The city also generally feels like aspects of places you’ve visited before; it’s so homely. When I first walked through it’s streets, I think I described it as a cross between Chicago, Auckland, Wellington and Charlotte. And I immediately fell in love.
Everyone who’s been to Sydney CBD knows that there’s a lot of people constantly rushing around the pavements (a bit like London) and it often feels overcrowded.
Melbourne is super chilled in comparison. No one seems to be in a hurry to get anywhere and the streets are generally a little quieter.
Also, the people we came across in Melbourne were so sweet, they were generally interested in us. For instance, the Baristas we bought our coffee from in the morning wanted to know our life stories. And the Retail Assistants who helped us buy gifts for our loved ones wanted to know all about life back in England.
The locals are so friendly, probably because it’s a very multi-cultural city. After all, out of all the places in the world, Melbourne has been voted the number one city to live in. And I totally understand why.
From alternative Fitzroy to the hipster feel of St Kilda, Melbourne has some pretty cool suburbs surrounding its CBD.
We visited St. Kilda during an overcast day which probably wasn’t the greatest idea for beach photos. Usually the sand is super golden and not slushy and rained on like we experienced.
That said, this little town still oozes charm, even in rubbish weather, and is a backpacker favourite for the beach, shops and nightlife.
The shops I’m talking about in particular are the cake shops. There’s a whole row of them where you can find every cake variety imaginable. We had chocolate fudge cake in one of them and it tasted like a little drop of heaven.
Furthermore, there’s Luna Park in St Kilda which is one of the oldest theme parks in Australia. We didn’t go in, but it was just fun to have our photo taken in front of the entrance as it has quite a circus-themed look to it!
Another of the top reasons why I love Melbourne is the nightlife.
There are an abundance of bars, from the Asian Beer Cafe and Melbourne Central Lion Hotel in the CBD to upmarket Chapel Street. This means that there’s something to suit every taste.
And the atmosphere is always buzzing in these places, which makes for a fun time.
For those who haven’t heard of the Great Ocean Road, it’s exactly what it says on the tin: a road at the coast running alongside the ocean. And it really is great.
There’s a lot of beaches along the way that you can stop off and look at, as well as gorgeous generic scenery looking out to sea.
Around a two-hour drive from Melbourne’s CBD, on the edge of Port Campbell National Park, are the Twelve Apostles.
These limestone rocks in the middle of the ocean are famous as they have slowly detached from nearby cliffs over time. Although don’t try to count twelve because there are, in fact, only seven remaining. (I know, bit misleading -right?)
Regardless, the SEVEN Apostles are definitely a sight to behold and have vastly become one of the most popular tourist hotspots in Melbourne. For me, they were up there with the Grand Canyon as one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.
We did a full day tour from Melbourne’s CBD which included other stops as well as the Apostles, such as Loch Ard Gorge and the adorable beach town of Port Campbell. It was one of the best days of our trip and I’d highly recommend this tour to anyone!
To be honest, I could go on and on about this city. It has good shopping, one of the best public transportation systems I’ve ever experienced, a nice marina and countless other plus points.
And do you know what else? It’s cheaper than Sydney and some other parts of Australia.
Sure, Australia is more expensive than England in general, but Sydney in particular is on a whole other level. Sometimes I feel like Melbourne gets overlooked. But it shouldn’t.
Because it really is mesmerising. I love Melbourne forever!
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