As we write this blog, we can’t quite believe we only have 10 weeks left in the beautiful city of Melbourne. It has been our home for the last 10 months and we couldn’t have enjoyed living here more.
When first coming to Australia back in October 2015, we had no idea where we would want to live whilst on our Working Holiday Visa. Initially we thought it would be between Sydney and Melbourne as we had heard great things about both cities. So we firstly stayed in Melbourne for 5 nights, then flew to Sydney for 5 nights to get a taste for each city and decide where we wanted to live for the next year.
During our first 5 nights in Melbourne we fell in love with the city (read our blog post here), but we thought we should give Sydney a chance too - especially as it has great beaches on its doorstep. Our time in Sydney was fun (read our blog post here), but it didn’t come close to Melbourne.
Since calling Melbourne home, we have done nothing but enjoy our time living in the world’s most liveable city. And here’s a few reasons why...
1. The food
We’re both big foodies and love trying new restaurants and different cuisines - one thing that Melbourne is never short of! Some of our favourite restaurants are; Oppa (Korean), Grand Trailer Park (burgers), Meat and Wine Co (steakhouse), Munich (German) and Meatball and Wine Bar (Italian). Another great place to go for food is the Queen Victoria Summer and Winter night markets. The markets are on every Wednesday night throughout summer/winter and have a huge array of food stalls cooking cuisines from all over the world. There’s often live music and lots of great food and drink so it’s a great atmosphere. Just don’t go there too hungry...You might have to wait in the busy queues for a while to get something tasty as it is so popular!
2. The people
Having been to busy cities in Europe like London, Paris and Milan, where everyone is trying to get somewhere as soon as possible and rush around without a smile on their face, it is really refreshing to see that Melbourne business men and women don’t take themselves too seriously. The people you meet in shops, restaurants or on public transport are always very friendly, kind and helpful which made it really easy to feel at home as soon as we started living here.
3. The weather
Obviously we couldn’t be discussing what we love the most about living in Australia and not mention the weather! Of course, Melbourne has its cold winters (colder than we ever imagined!). But in the summer, the heat is gorgeous and there are so many ways to soak up the sun by playing catch, reading a book or sunbathing. The Botanical Gardens, Yarra River bank and St Kilda beach are just some of the places we enjoyed the typical Aussie weather during our time here.
4. The skyline
This may sound like a strange reason to love this city. But when you’re here, and you walk across Queens Bridge over Yarra River, there is nothing quite like the skyline that greets you. Every building is different - quirky and unique - and the variety of architecture in Melbourne makes it one of the most attractive modern cities we’ve seen on our travels so far. Obviously it’s no Rome, but for a modern day city, it is one of the best. (The pictures don't do it justice!)
5. The activities
There is always so much to do in this city. No matter whether it’s a weekday or weekend, summer or winter, there is always something going on and usually something that suits every budget as well. Occasionally we’ve had to do some research online for things to do, but the majority of major events are advertised on TV, billboards across the city and on the trams. It's easy to keep busy and do interesting things in Melbourne.
6. The craziness
One thing you can’t escape from when you’re in Melbourne is the craziness. You see the strangest things here sometimes - like a man walking a ram on a lead in the middle of the street for example! And there is often a nutter talking to him/herself on the tram or walking through the street, but everyone is always super nice and friendly to them. Oh and there are many, many people who have a bizarre dress sense, the kind that you would only see in Melbourne!
7. The street entertainment
In most cities we have been to on our travels we have watched some sort of street performer, but never have we seen such a variety of street entertainers. There are some very talented people in Melbourne who take to the streets to showcase their work/skill. In this city you can find; artists, singers, dancers, magicians, parkour performers, musicians and many more. Walking the streets of the CBD there is always something cool to watch or listen to.
8. The graffiti
Everywhere you turn in Melbourne there is some amazing piece of street art to admire. Hosier Lane is obviously the most famous street for it, and the artwork is constantly changing. But further out of the city there are some incredible pieces of graffiti artwork too. On a grey winter’s day, the brightly coloured street art will never fail to cheer you up.