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Today I’m sharing 15 reasons to move to Melbourne. After moving to Melbourne alone (twice), I feel like I’m an expert on relocating to the city now!
So this week marks mine and Melbourne’s first anniversary. How it has already been a year I don’t know, but that’s what the calendar tells me. I have already reflected on why I wanted to move to Melbourne in the first place, and how I felt after six months. Now it has been a year, has much changed? Not really. I still don’t regret moving to Melbourne alone at all. Melbourne is a fantastic city, and I think the best in Australia (sorry not sorry, Sydney).
I mean, it’s not Australia’s top student city for nothing – there are so many fun extracurricular activities waiting for students in their new backyard. I for one have enjoyed getting out and exploring on the weekends. I survived the winter but loved Melbourne’s summer. The only thing my Melbourne experience is missing is the friends I made in Vancouver. Why it’s so hard to meet people here I will never know. So for expats, international students or other Aussies wondering whether a move to Melbourne is right for them, I thought I would compile a handy list.
You should move to Melbourne if…
1. You enjoy drinking coffee
I mean, this city is saturated in coffee shops. I should know, seeing as I work in one. If you visited a cafe a day in Melbourne, I think it would take you years to sample them all. So, if you’re a coffee-lover, there is no better place to move to than Melbourne.
As a side note (1.1) the abundance of coffee shops and bars in Melbourne also means there’s plenty of hospitality jobs on offer. My second job is also in the industry, so I know there are many jobs for the taking.
2. You’ll be relying on public transport
As a former expat, I know when you move to a new country you will be relying heavily on public transport to get from A to B. Fortunately, Melbourne has the best public transport system in Australia. The fact the city uses trains, trams and buses make getting around a lot easier. Hey, I’m not even an expat anymore and I rely solely on public transport. Yes, I sometimes miss having a car, but with free trams around the city, my transport costs are quite low.
Rent in Melbourne is harsh. Not as steep as Sydney (so I’ve heard), but I found it difficult to find a reasonably priced room in a shared unit when I moved. So if you want to keep costs low, share housing is the way to go. For others moving to Melbourne alone, I recommend checking out Gumtree (Australia’s Craigslist) or Flatmates for listings.
4. You like to feast on brunch
Brunch in Melbourne is basically its own course. So many cafes are packed on the weekends with people filling up on what I think is the best meal of the day. Check out this article for 65 excellent places to choose from (yeah, this is just the beginning too).
5. You aren’t moving to Australia for year-round summer weather
If this is why you are moving down under, check out my hometown of Townsville. A move to Melbourne means you are going to experience summer and winter, but a pretty mild winter compared to its northern hemisphere counterparts.
6. You like to keep busy
There’s always some kind of festival/expo/event happening on the weekends, and a lot of them are free. Check out Weekend Notes, whose writers always know what’s going on in Melbourne. You seriously won’t be bored when you move to Melbourne.
7. You’re a fan of sports
Melbourne is called Australia’s sporting capital, and it’s easy to see why. It’s the home of Australia’s largest sporting stadium, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (known around these parts as the MCG, or just the G). During the cooler months, you can enjoy watching AFL (Australian Football League), rugby league or rugby union. In summer, the city’s attention turns to soccer, tennis and cricket. Basically, if you like sport, move to Melbourne.
8. You like to walk
I’ve discovered throughout my travels that some cities are just so easily walkable, like New York City and Vancouver. Well, Melbourne is now added to this list. Thanks to its grid system, it is so simple to walk around the CBD and visit the Yarra River, the many gardens, Queen Victoria Market and Bourke Street Mall.
9. You aren’t a surfer
If you’re moving to Australia so you can surf every day, your best bet is to move to Sydney and pay exorbitant rent to live near the beach. Melbourne is on the coast and you can swim in suburbs such as St Kilda, Port Melbourne and Brighton. But the surf is better once you leave the city and head either to Geelong and the Great Ocean Road or to the Mornington Peninsula.
10. You’re all about the markets
Anyone else love markets as much as me? Melbourne has plenty to choose from each week, fortnight and month. I love going to the Queen Victoria Markets and picking up fresh meat and produce on a Sunday. I recommend the $3 boreks for lunch and visiting the churro truck any time of the day. Its similar suburban counterparts are the South Melbourne and Prahran Markets. The Finders Keepers Markets only happens twice a year, but they are full of unique and local handmade accessories. I have also heard good things about Camberwell Market, which is all about vintage clothing and treasures.
11. You’re a traveller
Another plus for a move to Melbourne is the number of direct flights there are to other nearby countries. I’m constantly checking the Jetstar, Tigerair and Virgin Australia websites for good flight deals. If you’re flexible, you can definitely get cheap deals on domestic and international flights. For example, I am flying home next month (3 hours each way) for $140 return. I also flew to Bali for under $400 return, thanks to Webjet. You can fly direct from Melbourne to many New Zealand cities, and a lot of Asian countries, including Japan. It’s not Europe, but South East Asia is cheaper.
12. You’re a lover of the arts
Melbourne is all about culture. I mean, there is plenty of street art to enjoy, yes. But there are also excellent exhibitions regularly at the National Gallery of Victoria. On the theatre side of things, thanks to my work with The Australia Times I have discovered just how many big musicals and independent plays are performed in Melbourne every week. The answer is A LOT. There’s also a different national or international music act hitting the Melbourne stage too. No matter what art you are into, Melbourne has you covered.
13. You like to live in cities with epic nightlife
Every city has nightclubs, but not every city has hidden bars (seriously). Melbourne is home to plenty of excellent rooftop bars and award-winning restaurants. For Italian food, look no further than Lygon Street. If you fancy Chinese, check out Chinatown, which is home to the longest continuous Chinese settlement in the Western world – thanks, Google. From Brunswick to Fitzroy to St Kilda to the CBD, Melbourne only gets better when the sun sets.
14. You have a thing for fashion
As well as being the sporting, coffee, nightlife and culture capitals of Australia, Melbourne is undoubtedly the fashion capital too. Bourke Street Mall and Collins Street are the two main shopping areas in the CBD, while Chapel Street is the most popular street outside of the city. Chadstone Shopping Centre is the largest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere too. Vintage shoppers will love Brunswick Street in Fitzroy. Fellow bargain hunters like myself will love the Harbourtown and DFO centres in Docklands.
15. You want to live in Australia’s #1 city
I couldn’t not finish with this as #15. I hands down believe Melbourne is Australia’s best city for living in. Many people may disagree and say Sydney, but what’s a little friendly competition?
I hope this list helps you decide on a move to Melbourne. If you decide you want to live in a city, Melbourne has everything you could want and need. Plus, I’m a prime example that moving to Melbourne alone is possible too. Before I go… check out my archive for all of my Melbourne content.
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