Australia is a massive country and for travellers short on time it may be essential to choose between a visit to Sydney or Melbourne. As Australia’s largest capital cities, Melbourne and Sydney both shine as wonderful examples of everything Australia has to offer but there are some significant differences between both.
It is hard to argue with that stereotype considering Sydney Harbour is one of the most picturesque waterways in the world. The harbour is home to some iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Luna Park drawing crowds from far and wide.
Away from Sydney Harbour, the city’s Royal Botanic Gardens, acclaimed museums and art galleries plus its breathtaking beaches in close proximity to the central business district make Sydney really stand out from Melbourne.
Melbourne has it’s own impressive architecture, iconic sporting venues and laneways with personality. Discover an eclectic mix of modern architecture and art mixed in with bellowed heritage theatres and buildings of historical significance.
The best examples can be found at Federation Square and Flinders Street Station, the State Library of Victoria, the Shrine of Remembrance, Old Melbourne Gaol and the hallowed Melbourne Cricket Ground where legends have taken to the field to achieve incredible sporting feats. Lastly, if you’re looking for the best spot to soak in the views of Melbourne then Eureka Skydeck provides 360-degree views of the Melbourne skyline and Port Phillip Bay.
Sydney checks all the boxes one might expect when visiting an international city with its fair share of galleries, churches, theatres, museums, restaurants and nightlife proving to be a popular choice for international performers from all around the globe.
The Sydney Opera House is the most famous venue for concerts and operatic performances while the VIVID Festival lights up the night sky and iconic landmarks every May and June celebrating the festival of lights, music and ideas.
When it comes to nightlife Sydney is definitely the place to party with some of the largest nightclubs in the country attracting international DJ’s. And if it’s exquisite food experiences that you desire then Sydney shines with its offering of top-end fine dining and unbelievable waterfront views if you are willing to pay for it.
But if you are on a budget then shared dining experiences at precincts like Spice Alley provide an authentic experience with mouth-watering food at a fraction of the price and without sacrificing on quality.
Melbourne’s nightlife has a distinctly more mature tone with an abundance of live music venues alongside niche wine, scotch or gin bars. Fitzroy, St Kilda and The Crown Casino are popular precincts for evening entertainment and socialising.
Eating out tends to a more affordable social event but don’t discount the many award-winning restaurants that are here too. The food options are endless with European and Asian influences inspiring a great fusion of culinary options. If you want culture then Melbourne will give it to you in spades.
Melbourne is a city with a very distinct European feel with heritage buildings and an extraordinary bar and restaurant culture. If you aren’t too interested in history or have an appreciation for art then this may not be the city for you.
Sydney, however, does live up to the hype in terms of the huge variety of activities to do that appeal to the young and old. And while the transport may not be the most convenient, visitors will find that most attractions that they are seeking to visit are located in the city so public transport may not even be required and if you do then can we recommend the very affordable ferry system that delivers with million-dollar views of the city.
Sydney in the minds of many is the true capital of Australia with a great mixture of natural scenery and man-made tourist attractions and an emerging culinary scene that rewards many diners with waterfront views. It may be stereotypical to say but no visit to Australia is complete without a visit to Sydney and thus the city slightly edges out over Melbourne as an all-round destination for all.